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Old 05-20-2008, 02:39 AM
 
Location: rain city
2,958 posts, read 11,349,514 times
Reputation: 4909

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I don't think much of the Lonely Planet travel guides. They're often years out of date and cater to the tent pitching crowd.

For Europe much better guides are the "In Your Pocket" series and "Rough Guides". Also have a look at this travel website--http://boards.bootsnall.com/eve/ubb.x--far superior to Lonely Planet's Thorntree forums. I guess I just don't have anything good to say about Lonely Planet......

Since you're pretty much covering the beaten path of western Europe you will find more information on every nook and cranny of European cultural wonder than you will ever use. Just try to go easy on the tight scheduling and give yourself some room to make last minute decisions on where to go and how long to stay. It's easy to get museum and souvenir and cathedral burnout, and then all you want to do is find the local tavern and stay there for a couple of days.....except that you've booked yourself a train ticket to a hotel room 300 miles away and you've gotta fly, gotta go. This takes a lot of the fun out of traveling.

Since you'll be traveling in the off season finding rooms on short notice should be easy. Look for local pensiones off the main streets of towns. Hostels are ok but.....I usually try to avoid them. Small hotels, private rooms, ask around when you get somewhere, lots of places have tourist information centers. Fall may be the absolute best time to do Europe.

And if you're American and you've never been to Europe before, and you're going to be at train stations, and you're full of American political correctness--be aware that European gypsies do not play by your rules. They love train stations, are rampant in Italy and Spain, and are such very good pickpockets you will never know you've been hit till you get to the border and your wallet and passport and credit cards are gone. You've been told.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Kailua, Oahu, HI and San Diego, CA
1,178 posts, read 5,386,336 times
Reputation: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig nice View Post
kind of a rough itinerary...with some obvious blank spots i need help filling in.
Craig, we spent three weeks in Italy last year. Did the whole thing by train, with a plan-it-as-you-go itinerary.

I would definitely add Venice to your itinerary. We did about 4 days there. It was just enough.

We spent about four days in Cincque Terra, too, and that was about right.

We were there in September, and the weather was fine.

Hank
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Old 05-22-2008, 02:53 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,887,891 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by HankDfrmSD View Post
Craig, we spent three weeks in Italy last year. Did the whole thing by train, with a plan-it-as-you-go itinerary.

I would definitely add Venice to your itinerary. We did about 4 days there. It was just enough.

We spent about four days in Cincque Terra, too, and that was about right.

We were there in September, and the weather was fine.

Hank
Hank

Three weeks in Italy is the way to go. Craig is moving quick though since he has England, France, Belgium in the mix too. Why rush?
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Grapevine Texas
45 posts, read 131,667 times
Reputation: 26
try this site VirtualTourist.com - Travel Guides, Maps, Photos, Forums, Deals, more

Pisa is really not worth your time just to see one building. Its better to spend more time in Florence and explore places off the beaten path.

The books by Rick Steves on Europe through the back door will list small towns that you can see and what to do when you get there.

Driving in Europe is generally not worth the hassel. Gas and tolls are extreme.

The only drive i have truly ever enjoyed was through Tuscany.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:55 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,635 times
Reputation: 10
kind of new itinerary.

September:
23:depart toronto
24:arrive in london, connecting flight to arrive in brussles at 1140am, day in brussles (need place to stay)
25:day in brussles
26:7am flight to cagliari, staying in coste verde
27: coste verde (wedding)
28: 17:30 flight to pisa, (stay in Pisa? or train to cinque terra?)
29: cinque terra (where to stay?)
30: cinque terra
OCT
1: train to florence, stay with friends
2: florence/tuscany
3: tuscany
4:tuscany? or leave for Rome (free day)
5: rome
6: rome
7: rome, Ryan air flight to Venice @ 18:00
8: venice (overnight train north, munich?)
9: south germany/castles
10: east through switzerland
11:chamonix
12:chamonix
13rovence or burgundy
14: provence or burgundy
15: provence or burgundy
16: paris
17: paris
18: paris
19: paris
20aris or train to amsterdam
21: amsterdam
22: amsterdam (or dutch countryside)
23: train to London
24: London
25: fly home

realize its not much time in london, but we're going to do a whole UK tour next spring, and our flights were cheaper if we flew into and out of london...

seem reasonable?
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:23 AM
 
Location: "The Gorge"
905 posts, read 3,067,542 times
Reputation: 712
You will really enjoy Cinque Terre. Beautiful area. I thought Vernazza was the most quaint. Montorossa is a little larger and a bit more commercialized. Do not stay at Mamma BullBoxer31 Hostel in Riogimorre, cats everywhere and the smell that comes with them. Be sure to try the local dessert wine Sacharria(Spelling??) very sweet. When I was there about 10 years ago you could hike from one town to the other. There were olive, lemon, and grape growers all along the hike.

I have used Rick Steves guide books in the past and would recommend them. I love the off the beaten path type travel. Another message board you might want to try is Lonely Planets Thorn Tree Travel forum, lots of updated info there. Have fun!!!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,906,509 times
Reputation: 13245
Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
I don't think much of the Lonely Planet travel guides. They're often years out of date and cater to the tent pitching crowd.

For Europe much better guides are the.... "Rough Guides". Also have a look at this travel website--http://boards.bootsnall.com/eve/ubb.x--far superior to Lonely Planet's Thorntree forums. I guess I just don't have anything good to say about Lonely Planet......

And if you're American and you've never been to Europe before, and you're going to be at train stations, and you're full of American political correctness--be aware that European gypsies do not play by your rules. They love train stations, are rampant in Italy and Spain, and are such very good pickpockets you will never know you've been hit till you get to the border and your wallet and passport and credit cards are gone. You've been told.
I agree with all of this advice. Lonely Planet never seems up to date.
We've driven in Europe a lot and it is especially enjoyable on the country roads of France and Italy (Rome, not so much ), but you can get just about everywhere you'd like to go on the train.
And as much as I like Rick Steves (he is so engaging and funny), he's kind of turned the Cinque Terre into a touristy human petting zoo full of Steves disciples.
Nothing he covers is really off the beaten path; it's better, as he himself says, to find your own.
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Old 07-22-2008, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Western Mass.
605 posts, read 2,219,002 times
Reputation: 304
I often buy Lonely Planet guides and can recommend them. As to whether any guide book is up-to-date or not - you need to check the publication date. Many guides, whether they be Lonely Planet, Rough Guides or others only get updated and re-issued every few years or so. If you go to Amazon and search the travel books for any given destination it's easy to see which ones are the newest.
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
529 posts, read 2,137,169 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig nice View Post
9: south germany/castles
Hey Craig, I hope by this you're talking about Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, I was just there in March and both were beautiful (snowed the day we were there). If you have time consider taking a ride up to the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany.

Here are a couple of my pics:
http://www.michaelkrotchie.com/pics/hohenschwangau1.JPG (broken link)
Hohenschwangau

http://www.michaelkrotchie.com/pics/neuschwanstein1.JPG (broken link)
Neuschwanstein

http://www.michaelkrotchie.com/pics/behindcastles.JPG (broken link)
View from Neuschwanstein

Last edited by michael krotchie; 07-23-2008 at 12:50 PM.. Reason: added photos
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:36 PM
 
40 posts, read 131,715 times
Reputation: 19
Definitely stop by the castles mentioned above. I live in Germany and take all our visitors there, it's a beautiful area, we stay right at the foot of the yellow castle (Hohenschwangau) at Hotel Mueller, very cozy, ask for a room that looks with a view of Neuschwanstein. It's also right where you actch the horse-drawn carraiges.
Also, don't forget to look at all the cheap airlines over here, sometimes you can fly from one major city to another for a few euro, for example last Feb. my family (3of us) flew from Stuttgart, germany to Venice, Italy for 66Euro total. You have to find the spaecials but they are so worth it, try...
Ryan Air
German Wings
Air Berlin
TUIfly
Easy Jet
and skyscanner.net is a search engine for alot of these sites.
Make sure you brings layers to dress in, weather can get cool then
Good Luck and Enjoy!
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