I know this will change (mabey alot) before we actually go, but I wanted to put it to paper so i could start working out the kinks. We aren't going until either 2008 or 2009, but the more research i do now, the less scrambling we'll need to do when we get close to actually going. Also, my wife has health issues that could mean her being able to tolerate a shorter trip than were planning for at this time. Anyway, here is my intial draft. Keep in mind were initially planning it to be between 4-6 weeks in length. Citys/Sites in () are the ones we'd most like to see.
Fly Reno, Sacramento, or San Francisco to NYC
2-3 days in NYC (Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Ground Zero)
Fly NYC to Dublin
4-5 days in Ireland (Dublin, Cork & SW area of Ireland)
Fly/Ferry to UK
5-7 days in UK (London, York, Bath, Edinburgh, Wales)
Train to Paris
3 days in Paris
Train to Bern, Switzerland
3-5 days in Switzerland (Bern, Lucerne, Gimmelwald, Murten, Berner Oberland, Train ride from Martigny to Chur)
Train to Austria
3 days in Austria (Salzburg, Vienna)
Train to Prague
3-4 days in Prague
Train to Munich
7-8 days in Germany (Munich, Romantic Road, Rothenburg, Baden-Baden, Trier, Traben-Trarbach, Koln)
Fly Karlsruhe-Baden to Rome
3 days in Rome (Catacombs, Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Vatican City, National Museum of Rome)
Fly back to Karlsruhe-Baden to continue through Germany
Train to Amsterdam
3 days in Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam)
Train to Brussels
3 Days in Belguim (Brussels, Brugge)
Fly Brussels to Reno, Sacramento, or San Fransisco
Obviously to much to do all things considered, but i wanted to start big then go back over it & start trimming it down. Right now it works out to 40+ days, but I'm planning on us needing one off day for every 4-5 days of the trip for my wife (she suffers from fibromyalgia).
Right now i'm thinking we could cut out Paris, Rome, & either Switzerland or Austria since (from pictures) they look very similiar. That would cut out 9-10 days.
How am i doing so far? Please be generous with your thoughts & opinions!
I'd cut out Rome if I were you; 3 days just is not nearly enough, 5-7 days would be the absolute bare minimum. Better spend some more time in Germany/Austria
You've got a great plan laid out there - now all you need to do is cut, cut, cut! Anything less than 5 days in every big city and you'll probably start to feel like all you're doing is travelling. Remember to calculate travel times and train schedules, too, to get an idea of just how much time you'll spend actually getting around. I'd suggest you pick the places you really, really want to see and work from there. And although places may look the same from pictures because of the architecture, every city is completely unique. Rome and Paris are night and day and equally wonderful. Personally, I loved Paris - there's so much to see.
Whatever you choose to see, enjoy! You've got a fantastic trip there.
5-7 days for 3 English cities, 1 Scottish city, and the nation of Wales may be pushing it quite a bit!
Will depend exactly where in Wales you want to go - the ferry from Dublin gets to Holyhead, and from there you have places such as Llanfair PG, Conwy, Snowdonia, Llangollen in north Wales (plus others spring to mind), nevermind mid or south Wales.
What are the plans for getting between the places in the UK, and what kinds of things to do while at those places?
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 28, 2006 9:25 AM by mojorob ]
I know the amount of time mentioned & the places listed don't match-up, but like I said, we wanted to start big & trim down from there.
As far as Wales goes, Snowdonia & Northern Wales in general were what we want to see if we go.
Getting between locations will depend on what is most convienent. If renting a car is better than a train or bus, so be it. I work for Avis so I get an employee rate.
I asked my wife to rank these in order of importance....
the first # is here rank, the second is mine.....
I know 5 days minimum per large city might be ideal, but since this is the first time my wife has ever been to Europe (first time anywhere other than the west coast of the US!) I want to find a happy medium between getting a taste of what each city/area has to offer & seeing all the good sights. I would hope we could get back there again & explore further any places that intrigued us the first time around.
The places she has shown the most excitement over, so far, is Ireland & Prague. For me, I absolutely love Germany & want to see more of the UK and visit Switzerland for the first time.
With respects to Austria and Switzerland they are similar in some ways but they both offer different things. Personally I love Bern and the area you're intending on visiting in the Lauterbrunnen valley and I also loved Luzern so for me I wouldn't take any of that out. Then in Austria you have Vienna which is completely different from anything you'd have seen in Switzerland and a magnificent city, the places you're going in Switzerland have some fantastic scenery but Vienna will offer some of the most interesting history, arts and architecture that you'll find anywhere in Europe. I don't think you'd regret leaving both Switzerland and Austria in your plan.
As for places to drop, without wishing to offend anyone I'd drop Rotterdam (there really isn't a lot to see there though it's a nice enough place) and Salzburg (also a really nice place but if you only have 3 days then spend them in Vienna).
Wow... pretty busy uhm?
Well maybe now you need to cut a bit, and get yourself a railpass to cut costs too!
As you are concentrating on North Europe, I would cut off Rome: no point in traveling so far for just 3 days!
Ok, all the great responses I've received have convinced us to do a major adjustment to our itinerary. Were now going to do the whole 4-6 weeks in just Ireland & the UK. Not even going to do New York City. In airfare alone this will save us around $500 for the 2 of us! SFO to Dublin & Dublin back into SFO compared with SFO to NYC to Dublin, Brussels to SFO. We also feel good that we'll have much more time to soak up everything Ireland & the UK has to offer.
More good news is that I found out that I get international employee rates for rental cars for both Ireland & the UK through Avis whom i work for as one of my PT jobs. I've already checked and they have rental car yards all over Ireland (both north & south) as well as Wales, Britian, & Scotland.
My main job is with Embassy Suites which is part of the Hilton family. I'm calling tomorrow to find out what kind of employee rates(if any) I get at Hilton or Hilton affiliated properties in both countries.
It's still going to be an expensive trip, but every $ saved in transport & lodging expenses is more $ for enjoying ourselves in other areas.
My wife wants to limit our itinerary to 4 weeks for now so i was thinking......
Fly into Dublin
See Dublin then head south towards Cork
Then around the southern coast to the SW Ireland
Then either head back up through the center of Ireland back to Dublin & catch a train to Belfast or Keep heading up the west coast & around to Belfast. Depends on which area (central Ireland or the NW coast) has more to offer.
From Belfast catch a ferry into Scotland (if no ferry avail then fly into Glasgow.
Check out Glasgow & Edinburgh
Then either head up north (are there any must sees in northern Scotland?) or start heading south with stops in York, Cambridge & mabey 1-2 other places (mabey Manchester or Birmingham, but what about small less touristy cites/towns?)
Spend at least a week in London (staying somewhere outside the city) then head to bath before going up into Wales
After Wales we would just have to catch a ferry back to Dublin to fly home.
We could, of course do this same trip in reverse if it, for any reason, made more sense.
still alot for 30 days, but makes alot more sense than my original itinerary.
This itinery makes a lot more sense than your original one! You would have spend 60% of your time travelling had you not changed it.
That's a good amount of time to spend in the UK and Ireland, and you'll see some fantastic thing. DEFINATELY go to Northern Scotland if you want to see some amazing sights. It's my favourite place in the UK. Check out these websites:
Ireland is also lovely to visit. Try and visit some of the West coast if you can, its amazing.
Also places to visit in the UK are:
Cornwall and Devon
Basically, anywhere you go you will find something special to visit.