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Old 10-22-2017, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,239 posts, read 12,695,033 times
Reputation: 22070

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Looks like I will be taking students to the UK for about a week and a half in May 2019 (yes, I'm planning FAR in advance), and since I'll already be in Europe, I want to stay for several few weeks (on my own OR with a friend, who would meet me somewhere).

I was last in the UK in 2010, and unfortunately, I had to visit 4 cities in 10 days (it was a research trip paid for by my employer) so I felt really rushed. I remember seeing signs about taking the train from London to Paris and I REALLY would have loved to do that, but there was no time.

So here are the places I would like to go, in no particular order:
- Ireland -- although this would likely be BEFORE students come (i.e. I'd fly to Dublin a week before my students join me in London); if I can't go early AND leave late, alas, I will probably have to skip Ireland
- Paris and maybe 1 other city in France, if I can (I was actually born on an Air Force base in France -- they are all gone now)
- Germany -- Munich, Dachau (for sure as I don't think I'll be able to make it to Auschwitz this trip),
- Czech Republic, if time allows (we have a partner university there)
- Italy -- not sure where although I doubt I will have time to go to the South
- I would love to go to at least 1 Scandinavian country (probably Denmark), just not sure how I can manage it this trip

I want to spend AT LEAST one week in each country, and I don't want to feel rushed. I don't have to see every tourist site there is, and there are only a few places that I REALLY want to include this trip (like Dachau). I will fly out of the last country on the trip (will fly into Boston's Logan Airport) so hopefully it will be one with relatively inexpensive fares. I will likely stay in AirBnB's or "regular" B&Bs, and I will likely prepare many of my own meals (e.g. sandwiches or whatever).

I am in decent health (although I will be 60 in May 2019) and will be concentrating on more cardio for the next year and a half to get in really great shape so I can do a LOT of walking.

I anticipate that I could stay an extra 4-6 weeks after my students leave, which would basically be late May through June. Alas, I will be teaching online courses during much of the time, but I'll have all weeks' prep done in advance so it will just be some grading -- but that means I need good Internet everywhere (don't think that will be an issue these days).

Please help me dream!
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:05 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,269 posts, read 14,155,267 times
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I'm not sure how you can fit all that in, but here's a thought for Italy; our daughter lives in Padova (Padua) in Northern Italy. It's a lovely place in its own right.

It has a beautiful Old Town and is compact enough to walk around. It is also within easy striking distance of Venice, and Verona isn't far away the other way.

You can fly into either of those places, or even take the train through the Alps.

You have lots to think about! I'm sure you'll have a great time.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,686 posts, read 16,124,355 times
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It's going to be cheaper and better to book your intra-Europe flights and train trips separate from the transatlantic legs. Plane vs. train is often a wash in terms of price if you book early due to the rise of the European low cost carriers; so it's whether you want what is often time savings of a plane or if you think the train should be part of the experience.

The budget or better chains (Ibis, Motel One, Holiday Inn Express, etc. on up) are all going to have wifi for their business travelers. It ma be more hit or miss at smaller independent hotels and inns.

A London-Paris-Munich-Prague route by either plane or train is nice and straightforward. I would be a bit wary of booking on Alitalia right now because they're cycling through financial issues again. Do remember to plan some down times when you're sipping coffee and having a pastry or piece of cake while clothes are at the laundromat.
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Old 10-22-2017, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,239 posts, read 12,695,033 times
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Thanks for the replies so far! I won't be booking anything specific (flights, train trips, etc.) for quite a while, since I won't be leaving for another 19 months or so. At my college we approve these faculty-led student trips long in advance, but much of the planning will be done within a few months of travel. Honestly, that's frustrating for me, as someone who likes to plan WAY WAY WAY in advance!

I am mostly thinking about what I can fit into a 4-6-week trip AFTER my students leave and I am on my own (or with a friend/my SO/my sister, depending on who can come!). I don't like the one-day-per-country tours that can be arranged through travel agencies; rather, I would like to spend a week (or more) in each country with a few days in each city I decide to visit. With travel time, even THAT seems a bit superficial to me, but I want to get as much out of this as I can. (My next long "time off" will be a sabbatical, probably in fall '22, so I am hoping that this trip helps me decide where to apply for Fulbrights etc.)

Jezer, Padova (Padua) sounds wonderful. I am NOT necessarily interested in only going to really well-known tourist towns (like Venice), so that might actually work out well.

Beachmouse, London-Paris-Munich-Prague sounds like it might work. I have a colleague who has spent a lot of time in the Czech Republic (his wife is actually from there), and I know we have a partner college/university there, so I may try to do that route. I will have to talk with him in more detail soon.

Thanks again for the replies, and reps to you both! I know I am planning this WAY in advance, but that's just what we do at my college, and frankly, I kind of like it.
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:01 PM
 
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The areas around the Rhine river between France and Germany are very beautiful and hidtoric; my favorite spots are Rudesheim, Heidelberg, Colmar/Strassbourg.
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Old 10-27-2017, 08:33 AM
 
Location: NW Indiana
40,255 posts, read 15,204,070 times
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Karen, I loved Belgium and would go back there in a heartbeat. We spent 4 nights in Brussels a few years ago and took some delightful side trips from there. Brussels is a marvelous city with beautiful architecture, museums, friendly people. The rail system is fantastic and we were able to get about easily. While in Belgium, we visited Hasselt, Brugges and Ghent. All wonderful cities in their own rights. You could take a train from London to Brussels and camp out there for a week.

Oh, and if you love chocolate you may never want to leave Brussels! The finest chocolatiers in the world are there, and there are many to choose from. As a guide told us, "Godiva is garbage. I'll show you some places that have really good chocolate!" And I'll be darned if he wasn't right. We went on a 4-hour walking tour which included a history of the local architecture in addition to visits to 4 chocolatiers. The tour also included a chocolate-making class that was a blast.


I believe the train ride from London to Brussels takes about 2.25 hours. https://www.raileurope.com/popular-r...-brussels.html

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Old 11-04-2017, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,239 posts, read 12,695,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJSinger View Post
Karen, I loved Belgium and would go back there in a heartbeat. We spent 4 nights in Brussels a few years ago and took some delightful side trips from there. Brussels is a marvelous city with beautiful architecture, museums, friendly people. The rail system is fantastic and we were able to get about easily. While in Belgium, we visited Hasselt, Brugges and Ghent. All wonderful cities in their own rights. You could take a train from London to Brussels and camp out there for a week.

Oh, and if you love chocolate you may never want to leave Brussels! The finest chocolatiers in the world are there, and there are many to choose from. As a guide told us, "Godiva is garbage. I'll show you some places that have really good chocolate!" And I'll be darned if he wasn't right. We went on a 4-hour walking tour which included a history of the local architecture in addition to visits to 4 chocolatiers. The tour also included a chocolate-making class that was a blast.


I believe the train ride from London to Brussels takes about 2.25 hours. https://www.raileurope.com/popular-r...-brussels.html .
A little update, I just found out yesterday that I was chosen for a work-related trip (really! ) to Paris, France, in early July 2018, so I will be going to Europe earlier than expected! I started a new thread about that trip -- it's here: Paris in July 2018 ... where else can I go? .

PJSinger, Belgium sounds amazing and I am going to do my best to include that in my 2018 trip!

Needless to say I am incredibly excited about BOTH trips, Paris etc. in summer 2018 and the UK etc. in May/June 2018!! (AND I may have a work-related trip to Israel in summer 2018, but that will be a whole other thread if it happens! )
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:45 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,652 posts, read 40,029,981 times
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Italy, Croatia and Greece are very EZ to get to from France / Belgium. IIRC our Ryan air flight was 12 or 20 Euro from Venice to Brussels.
Much varied terrain and locations (interests) in Italy. Our stay in Dolomite Mtns and Venice was great! (and quite inexpensive, especially in mtns)

being age 60... (as are we) if you choose to retire early...keep your eyes open for locations you can live and get affordable HC. Italy is in top 10.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:50 PM
 
Location: NYC
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I'll keep this simple, for me there is Paris & Rome & then there are all the rest, as interesting & beautiful as all the rest are they aren't Paris or Rome. If you have never been to either & you have a few weeks & you are a teacher or someone very familiar with history I could make no better recommendation... except perhaps spending the entire vacation based around the country of one of those 2 cities: start in Paris/Rome & then visit the various regions of that country for the entire duration & return to Paris or Rome.

My one observation based on my own experiences (& having studied Latin for several years as well as classical history) is that Rome always excites me every single day, anyone who doesn't like Rome or complains about the traffic, graffiti, etc... could never be my friend! Paris, just as amazing, so amazing in fact that the last time I went there I was on my own & I became sad that I didn't have a loved one to share the experience with of strolling over the Pont Neuf at dusk heading to a bistro, it is the city of romance & I actually became sad as a solo. YMMV
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