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Europe Travel Thread....


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#951 Lifesgood

Posted 12 July 2019 - 06:43 PM

Sorry to hear that bornagirl - hope you stay mobile for many years yet.

We are in Sydney so our flights were direct to Tokyo.

#952 born.a.girl

Posted 12 July 2019 - 07:34 PM

 Lifesgood, on 12 July 2019 - 06:43 PM, said:

Sorry to hear that bornagirl - hope you stay mobile for many years yet.

We are in Sydney so our flights were direct to Tokyo.


Ta!  That's the intention.  Yoga and pilates are amazing, and it's fortunate that I can afford them.

Yes, the PE offers were all via Sydney departures, with both airlines.  Melbourne flights must just be Econ & BC.

I think we'll do Jetstar from Cairns, with the overnight return being BC.


Good thing I like this sort of research, given I've spent most of the day on it!

#953 born.a.girl

Posted 09 August 2019 - 07:37 PM

 Lifesgood, on 24 June 2019 - 10:07 PM, said:

We will be there in January.

Oh the train journeys sound so amazing, I can't wait!




You must be just about down to counting the sleeps????

#954 Lifesgood

Posted 10 August 2019 - 01:47 PM

 born.a.girl, on 09 August 2019 - 07:37 PM, said:

You must be just about down to counting the sleeps????
Ha! Not yet. We have so much still to do between now and then that I'm too scared to count how close it is.

Booked all of the Germany accommodation last week, now on to Copenhagen.

#955 born.a.girl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:38 AM

 Lifesgood, on 12 July 2019 - 10:10 AM, said:

ooh how exciting bornagirl!

I'm a Germany fan personally, but its not really all that different to Northern Italy. We have just booked our Berlin accommodation.

How about Norway? We did the Norway in a Nutshell trip (although put it together ourselves, not an organised package thing) and spent time in Oslo and Bergen.

Sweden was also fascinating. We actually did the following:

Copenhagen - rural Sweden - Linkoping - Stockholm - Oslo - Flam - Bergen.

It's looking likely that we'll do Norway, and probably Scotland before that now, before we head down to Northern Italy.

I've seen we can get flights from Aberdeen to Bergen, so have had a look at the Norway in a Nutshell.

I can see from their page that you can put it together through them, and it's still not an organised package, they're more like travel agents.

Are you saying that's what you did, or did it all completely independently of them?


Aberdeen - Bergen - Oslo - Venice works easily with flights.

#956 Chchgirl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:55 AM

I'm looking at booking something for myself later in the year when bookings open because what the hell, life's too short!

#957 born.a.girl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 12:49 PM

 Chchgirl, on 31 August 2019 - 11:55 AM, said:

I'm looking at booking something for myself later in the year when bookings open because what the hell, life's too short!

It is, and if you wait until you've got both the money and the time you end up in my situation where I really don't know how many years we can continue, which is why we're hitting it hard.

Obviously some financial common sense comes into it - but you know too well that you don't know what life has in store for you.

(Unless I'm getting you mixed up, I think you lost your husband ???)

#958 Chchgirl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 01:30 PM

 born.a.girl, on 31 August 2019 - 12:49 PM, said:



It is, and if you wait until you've got both the money and the time you end up in my situation where I really don't know how many years we can continue, which is why we're hitting it hard.

Obviously some financial common sense comes into it - but you know too well that you don't know what life has in store for you.

(Unless I'm getting you mixed up, I think you lost your husband ???)

Yep,  that's me! (Although it was nearly 8 years ago).

I've travelled with the kids and by myself but haven't been that far since 1994.

I'd like to go England,  Ireland and Northern Ireland again and go some placws I missed.

I usually pay my holidays off as i go along, looking October /November next year.

Life has come full circle,  I was single then and single at 51 so will be 52 then, I'm more game to do things on my own now!

#959 Lifesgood

Posted 31 August 2019 - 07:55 PM

 born.a.girl, on 31 August 2019 - 11:38 AM, said:

It's looking likely that we'll do Norway, and probably Scotland before that now, before we head down to Northern Italy.

I've seen we can get flights from Aberdeen to Bergen, so have had a look at the Norway in a Nutshell.

I can see from their page that you can put it together through them, and it's still not an organised package, they're more like travel agents.

Are you saying that's what you did, or did it all completely independently of them?


Aberdeen - Bergen - Oslo - Venice works easily with flights.
That sounds lovely!

We did it all completely independently - just looked up the train, boat and bus schedules and booked each leg ourselves direct with the transport services. The only part that couldn't be pre-booked (if I'm remembering correctly) was the bus - we just turned up and bought tickets for that from the driver. The reason I did it this way was to avoid the trains used for the Nutshell tour that people do all in one day. Apparently those particular trains get very crowded and, as we were spending one night in Flam it meant we could take slightly later trains.

Are you planning to break the trip with a night in Flam?

#960 Lifesgood

Posted 31 August 2019 - 07:59 PM

 Chchgirl, on 31 August 2019 - 01:30 PM, said:

Yep,  that's me! (Although it was nearly 8 years ago).

I've travelled with the kids and by myself but haven't been that far since 1994.

I'd like to go England,  Ireland and Northern Ireland again and go some placws I missed.

I usually pay my holidays off as i go along, looking October /November next year.

Life has come full circle,  I was single then and single at 51 so will be 52 then, I'm more game to do things on my own now!
My SIL is off to Russia next week - she is doing the trans-Siberian railway to China. She is in her 60s and single. Go for it!

#961 born.a.girl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:17 PM

 Lifesgood, on 31 August 2019 - 07:55 PM, said:

That sounds lovely!

We did it all completely independently - just looked up the train, boat and bus schedules and booked each leg ourselves direct with the transport services. The only part that couldn't be pre-booked (if I'm remembering correctly) was the bus - we just turned up and bought tickets for that from the driver. The reason I did it this way was to avoid the trains used for the Nutshell tour that people do all in one day. Apparently those particular trains get very crowded and, as we were spending one night in Flam it meant we could take slightly later trains.

Are you planning to break the trip with a night in Flam?

Ah, that's really helpful, thankyou.

We were planning on doing it over several days, maybe three?

#962 Expelliarmus

Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:21 PM

I keep reading ‘get waterproof shoes’ for our planned trip.

Where does one purchase these items in Australia?

#963 born.a.girl

Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:21 PM

 Lifesgood, on 31 August 2019 - 07:59 PM, said:

My SIL is off to Russia next week - she is doing the trans-Siberian railway to China. She is in her 60s and single. Go for it!

Wow, go her!

The oldest person on our Cuba tour was in her seventies, and on her own.

What travel I did in my first few decades of adulthood were on my own, but now I think I'd prefer not to.  My ability to find my way around is atrocious, his is excellent, plus he does a lot more of the 'heavy lifting'.  I do any driving though, and all of the paperwork, online bookings etc.  It works well.

#964 Lifesgood

Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:25 PM

 born.a.girl, on 31 August 2019 - 08:17 PM, said:

Ah, that's really helpful, thankyou.

We were planning on doing it over several days, maybe three?
We wished we had 2 nights in Flam to do a bit of hiking so that would be great if you can spend a few days on the trip.

#965 Lifesgood

Posted 31 August 2019 - 08:28 PM

 Expelliarmus, on 31 August 2019 - 08:21 PM, said:

I keep reading ‘get waterproof shoes’ for our planned trip.

Where does one purchase these items in Australia?
I have Gore-tex lined shoes from Ecco, they are exxy around $250-300. Having said that I got my DD a pair recently on sale for $90.

Otherwise shops like Kathmandu and Macpac and Merrell have waterproof shoes.

Edited by Lifesgood, 31 August 2019 - 08:28 PM.


#966 MooGuru

Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:36 PM

 born.a.girl, on 31 August 2019 - 08:21 PM, said:

Wow, go her!

The oldest person on our Cuba tour was in her seventies, and on her own.

What travel I did in my first few decades of adulthood were on my own, but now I think I'd prefer not to.  My ability to find my way around is atrocious, his is excellent, plus he does a lot more of the 'heavy lifting'.  I do any driving though, and all of the paperwork, online bookings etc.  It works well.

I did a few busabout tours and there was an 80yr old on the tour before us.

#967 Kreme

Posted 31 August 2019 - 11:46 PM

3 weeks today I’ll be in London! I’ve been on a booking spree the past week. Have booked a tour of Buckingham Palace, tickets to Hamilton as a surprise for DD, a tour of Old Trafford in Manchester as a surprise for DS, Beatles tour in Liverpool for DH’s Father’s Day present, Harry Potter Studio Tour and a bike tour of the Appian Way and catacombs in Rome.

Am starting to get excited!

#968 born.a.girl

Posted 01 September 2019 - 05:57 AM

 Lifesgood, on 31 August 2019 - 08:25 PM, said:

We wished we had 2 nights in Flam to do a bit of hiking so that would be great if you can spend a few days on the trip.

We've requested the Norway books from the library so will have a closer look at the places along the way, esp Flam.

The hiking sounds great - provided we get through the Japan hike over three days (it's not the length, 4.5k, 10k then 7k, it's the serious elevations) we'll be up for it.

#969 Chchgirl

Posted 01 September 2019 - 06:39 AM

I would like to go to Harry Potter,  it wasn't there last time I was in London, which waz 1994!

#970 born.a.girl

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:46 AM

Hope some Italy experts are dipping into this column, because I'd love to hear what they think.

Long story short, our Venice - Milan (down to Bologna, Florence, over to Pisa etc) has now changed to Milan - Venice, and doesn't include Florence, which i've never seen.

We'll definitely still do the trip for a few reasons, but want to add Florence in, and instead of finishing at Milan, easy to get back here from, we have to find our way back from Venice.


For Italy, we will be starting from Oslo.  Plan is Oslo - Florence.

Then we need to get to Milan - our preference would generally be train, but interested to hear if plane is preferable.

At the end, we need to get from Venice to a bigger airport. Again our thinking is train back to Milan. As we were planning some Italian shopping (even my shopping averse husband was ogling the shoes in Italy), going by plane back to Milan or whevever, would involve significant luggage charges given the way they work over there.  (BC allowance Milan or wherever home.)

Both of those routes obviously have a fast train that gets us there in a couple of hours, and they're frequent.

Of the slower trains, are either of those routes (Florence to Milan, and Venice to Milan) have any particularly scenic options?

#971 carls888

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:57 AM

born.a.girl, I would definitely take the train on both routes.

They are easy, in town (versus airports that are out of town) and fast.

Can you not do Milan-Venice-Florence-Milan instead of backtracking? Or even Milan-Venice- Florence Rome?

We have travelled all of those routes on train and if you book early on business class is only a few euro more than standard.

There is not much difference though in the seating, you just receive a simple snack.

Book directly on Trenitalia.

#972 born.a.girl

Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:24 AM

 carls888, on 05 September 2019 - 09:57 AM, said:

born.a.girl, I would definitely take the train on both routes.

They are easy, in town (versus airports that are out of town) and fast.

Can you not do Milan-Venice-Florence-Milan instead of backtracking? Or even Milan-Venice- Florence Rome?

We have travelled all of those routes on train and if you book early on business class is only a few euro more than standard.

There is not much difference though in the seating, you just receive a simple snack.

Book directly on Trenitalia.

Thanks, we were thinking train beat plane hands down - love trains, hate airports to boot, but of course you don't know what you don't know.

We did consider Venice down to Florence, up to Milan then home, but the trains are so fast it hardly seems to matter that we're backtracking a bit.

We'd also like to do Florence beforehand so that Norway is a few days closer to summer than winter!  I feel the cold really badly.

We used the fast trains Rome down to Naples for the day and got an upgrade to Business - offered Champagne which we unfortunately had to refuse given we had a day in the sun up ahead!  Came back on a slower train ($) and it was very scenic.

You'd just do the fastest train/s?  No advantage with route of a slower one?  (It's our experience of the Rome-Naples route that has me wondering.)

#973 Lifesgood

Posted 05 September 2019 - 08:26 PM

Have you checked with The Man in Seat 61

#974 born.a.girl

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:24 PM

 Lifesgood, on 05 September 2019 - 08:26 PM, said:

Have you checked with The Man in Seat 61

Funnily enough I'd forgotten about him, and was just clearing out old emails and saw one from him, and knew I needed to check that out.


Dang, no direct flights Oslo to Florence.

#975 can'tstayaway

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:26 PM

 born.a.girl, on 05 September 2019 - 09:46 AM, said:

At the end, we need to get from Venice to a bigger airport.
What sort of a bigger airport?

The Venice airport is an international airport. I’ve flown in via Singapore, Dubai and I can’t remember if it was Frankfurt or Zurich.

I’d also recommend train over planes where possible. I can’t remember which company but the some are very comfortable in business class (I think it was Rome to Venice???).  I am often short on time so prefer to travel at night or early so I have more daylight hours at my destination. Ditto for fast vs slow trains but I know you’re travelling at a more leisurely pace.




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