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Thread: Travel to Europe...

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    Travel to Europe...

    I am currently beginning to plan a trip to Europe for sometime late next spring or early next summer. I was wondering if anyone could offer any tips or recommendations? It will be me and my wife, no kids. It will be both ours first time to visit Europe.

    Currently planning on a 2-3 week trip. Was thinking about doing a Eastern Mediterranian cruise and then coming back to hit Paris and London for a few days after the cruise. Really have no idea if that is a good way to see more sights the first time or not. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    If you're planning on visiting multiple cities, get yourself a Eurail pass. It's a great way to see Europe at a reasonable price.

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Don't advertise the fact that you're American.
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by WMR View Post
    Don't advertise the fact that you're American.
    Don't worry you won't have to.

    The cruise is a great idea. Gives you a good "sampler platter" of some cool spots. I really loved Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels/Brugge, Belgium.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    I'm not necessarily recommending his tours, but he has books about traveling throughout Europe that are spot on, so check out Rick Steves' site and see if the library has any of his books.

    http://www.ricksteves.com/
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Loved Paris, I'd avoid pricy stuffy places for food and visit the markets and corner bakeries, do the museums early and don't be afraid of using the Metro and your feet.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    I'm not necessarily recommending his tours, but he has books about traveling throughout Europe that are spot on, so check out Rick Steves' site and see if the library has any of his books.

    http://www.ricksteves.com/
    Good guy for basic tips.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Good guy for basic tips.
    What I catch from his shows and I've heard friends who went to hear him speak say this too, he's great at getting us to understand other cultures, how to step out of "the usual" and help folks get over whatever trepidations they may have about traveling abroad.

    I've only visited Germany once, back in 1977 when my brother finished studying for a year in Heidelberg. I stayed with friends I had met over here in the same town and we then traveled to Wurzburg, Munich and Tubingen. I was only 22, but I was struck at how friendly everyone was. We took a sidetrip to Landau near where my Metz family was from to check out some family history. I still remember the clerk in a records office just exclaiming over and over, "you came all the way from America to see us!". Given how difficult it was to communicate long distance then, my 3rd cousin discovered an old family history in a ltter while I was over there and had no way to contact me so we didn't get to see the village my great grandfather came from.

    It was great to be able to hit places that were off the beaten path. I can highly recommend Munich, which was just a beautiful city. I fell in love with Wurzburg, a smaller town, but equally beautiful.
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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    This is a hard sell, but I think the best way to do a European trip is to pick a place and stay there for the duration. Use it as a base to visit other locations- over night trains are one of the best ways to get from one town to another and save time.

    I say it's a hard sell because there is such a temptation to hit every European highlight, which to me is mind numbing.
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by WMR View Post
    Don't advertise the fact that you're American.
    Actually, I think it might be better to be an American than another European -- they have a long history of intra-continental animosity.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by WMR View Post
    Don't advertise the fact that you're American.
    Or go to the UK. I was treated very well by the English and Welsh. Most of them were thrilled to meet an American; the only place where there was any real tension was Oxford.

    As far as other countries, I think you will find Americans are better received than you think. And, trust me, they will know you are American.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by reds1869 View Post
    And, trust me, they will know you are American.
    We went to Russia a few years back and we were focused on trying not to look American. Now I am as patriotic as anyone but with the situation we were in of adopting a child from Russia I didn't wanna start a ruckus for being American so I went along with the try not to look American thing. I asked a good friend of mines wife who is Russian how to look Russian. She laughed and told us not to wear shorts no matter how hot it was and try to wear dark colors only but she also said it isn't going to matter because everyone will know you are American. I had a hard time believeing this was true until at the very end of our trip we were in a souvenier store in Moscow and I saw a guy and I just knew he was an American. He was dressed as a Russian but he just had an "I'm American" look. It's hard to describe but even though for the most part we share the same skin color we don't look the same or act the same as Europeans/Russians.
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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    Quote Originally Posted by cincy jacket View Post
    I am currently beginning to plan a trip to Europe for sometime late next spring or early next summer. I was wondering if anyone could offer any tips or recommendations? It will be me and my wife, no kids. It will be both ours first time to visit Europe.

    Currently planning on a 2-3 week trip. Was thinking about doing a Eastern Mediterranian cruise and then coming back to hit Paris and London for a few days after the cruise. Really have no idea if that is a good way to see more sights the first time or not. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I went to London and Paris back around 87' and enjoyed Paris sightseeing but London was alot of fun. London had pubs on every corner and the people were very friendly. My memory may be bad but I believe that most of the beer/ale sold in pubs is warm. We also could go to a Burger King and get a beer with our meal. It was pretty cool.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    First Time Caller SunDeck's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    There is no way to not look american, or European. My wife, who also spent a lot of time in Germany, loves to play "spot the German", and I am pretty sure we are just as recognizable to them.

    From my travels in Europe, treatment has always been very positive and in general it can be said that Europeans like Americans a lot, but not when they act like obnoxious tourists. They probably don't like obnoxious European tourists, either.

    If the fear of looking like an American is based on some notion that one might be a target of terrorism, it's probably not well founded; the likelihood of a terrorist specifically plotting against one person who is simply passing through seems low. If there is a danger it is probably in staying at traditionally "touristy" locations.
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    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Travel to Europe...

    I've been to Europe about a dozen times over the last three/four years for business/leisure and both. There is a lot to see/do and even in 2-3 weeks you won't get to everything.

    First thing: season. Go for spring and not summer. Not only does it get hot as hell in the summer, Europe is overrun by tourists. Getting up the Eiffel Tower or into the Louvre can be a battle. The Colloseum in Rome is handling huge queues to get in. They don't show you that in the brochures, so be prepared.
    We did a lot in winter actually. The weather stinks, but there are few(er) people.

    A cruise may not be a bad idea cost and logistics-wise, but you will spend a decent amount of time on the boat and the shore-trips could leave you wanting for more. For example, they may take you to Rome or Florence for a day. It's not enough. However, this being your first time, it is more structured and could be more comfortable for you.
    And there isn't that much sail time between ports. But if you've cruised before, you know the boarding/de-boarding can be a hassle. (At least it is in the Caribbean).

    Since you do have time to plan, look into arriving in one country and leaving from another. You may fly into Rome, for example, and make your way by train to Paris and London and fly back from there. (Rome-Florence-Venice-Milan-Marseille-Paris-London or something like that).

    I've never done Europass, since we usually did shorter one or two country trips. For a long trip with a lot of rail, its probably worth it.

    The Euro just dropped under 1.20, which is good for you. But stuff is still going to be expensive. Good Luck.
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