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Europe Travel Thread....


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#951 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!

#952 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?

#953 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?

#954 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.

#955 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.

#956 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.


#957 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.

#958 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!

#959 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.

#960 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!

#961 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?

#962 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.

#963 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.)

#964 Lifesgood

Posted 05 September 2019 - 08:26 PM

Have you checked with The Man in Seat 61

#965 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.

#966 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.

#967 Lifesgood

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:42 PM

bornagirl - I'd do fast trains, the scenery will still be lovely. Unless Man from Seat 61 advises otherwise.

I'm a bit confused about your proposed itinerary, can you list it all out for me please? Florence before Norway? But you say you will fly Oslo-Italy.

#968 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:52 PM

There are fast and slow trains? I need to investigate this!

#969 Lifesgood

Posted 05 September 2019 - 09:56 PM

 Expelliarmus, on 05 September 2019 - 09:52 PM, said:

There are fast and slow trains? I need to investigate this!
Definitely use The Man in Seat 61 website I linked above. Everything you need to know about every train and then some.

#970 born.a.girl

Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:15 PM

 can, on 05 September 2019 - 09:26 PM, said:

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.


It's still a year away, and I've only done sky scanner, plus looked at half a dozen websites so far, but have only come across ones with two stopovers, mostly inc rome or Milan and I figure if we're going to do that, I'd rather take the train to Milan.

Only had one fast train Rome to Naples and got a free upgrade. We only booked the day before, so got lucky going down, but coming back the fast one was eye wateringly expensive, so we took the slower one and the route was gorgeous.  Completely understand why the fast ones tend to be through fairly ordinary country, but would be happy to spare a few more hours if there was a particularly scenic route between the cities.

#971 born.a.girl

Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:20 PM

 Lifesgood, on 05 September 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

bornagirl - I'd do fast trains, the scenery will still be lovely. Unless Man from Seat 61 advises otherwise.

I'm a bit confused about your proposed itinerary, can you list it all out for me please? Florence before Norway? But you say you will fly Oslo-Italy.

Quote

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.




I phrased that really well, didn't I?

I'd like to do Florence before our Northern Italy food and wine tour.   Tour starts 11th Sept.  

Norway - Florence - 11th Sept Northern Italy, or

Norway - 11th Sept Northern Italy - Florence

The first option has the Norway trip a few days earlier and heading into September every day closer to summer than winter I'm happy with, in Norway.

#972 born.a.girl

Posted 06 September 2019 - 08:17 AM

 Lifesgood, on 05 September 2019 - 09:42 PM, said:

bornagirl - I'd do fast trains, the scenery will still be lovely. Unless Man from Seat 61 advises otherwise.

I'm a bit confused about your proposed itinerary, can you list it all out for me please? Florence before Norway? But you say you will fly Oslo-Italy.

Sorry it's confusing, with only finding out the Northern Italy part was reversed (was going to be Venice - Milan) and no longer includes Florence, we've been juggling several scenarios, including missing Scotland.


1) Fly into London or Manchester, hire a car, drive up through Scotland probably to Inverness.  1 x week

2) Fly from Inverness to Savanger in Norway, do Bergen to Oslo Norway in  nutshell rouite.  1 x Week.

3)  Northern Italy trip: Milan - Venice 11th - 29th September.


That's all that's reasonably fixed at this stage.

NI trip was 'early september' (now Mid sept); it was going to be Venice to Milan (now reversed); it was going to include Florence, now not.

I'm trying to push any extra travel to before the NI segment.
Logic tells me to fly Oslo to Florence, but there are no direct flights, might just have to wear the fact that that's going to take a day.

#973 Expelliarmus

Posted 06 September 2019 - 09:20 AM

Thanks for the Seat61 link!

And here I thought train travel was simply about rocking up to the train station and getting on *the* train to Florence/Venice/Milan ... this is gonna need some more thought!

#974 born.a.girl

Posted 06 September 2019 - 11:17 AM

 Expelliarmus, on 06 September 2019 - 09:20 AM, said:

Thanks for the Seat61 link!

And here I thought train travel was simply about rocking up to the train station and getting on *the* train to Florence/Venice/Milan ... this is gonna need some more thought!


There are several different train operations in Italy.  It's a bit like catching a flight in Australia, you need to compare the companies and their times and prices before deciding which one.

Most of us want the fast ones for point A to B (up to 360kph), and they're not difficult to differentiate.

#975 Chchgirl

Posted 06 September 2019 - 11:30 AM

I've got the day off today so having fun planning and looking!

I am looking at doing a tour of Britain/Ireland at the end of next year and will pay a deposit when the dates open after xmas as I've travelled by myself but not that far since 1994! I'm going whether daughter does or doesn't.  I'll be 52 then and don't want to wait any longer.

I've now lost 10kgs since November and if I can get rid of the other 5 and keep working on my fitness,  I should have no problems lugging a backpack!




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