I am off on a RTW trip next year and my rough timetable goes like this:
[*] May 1-10: Malaysia + 3 days Egypt and flight to Ahtens
[*] May 11-18: Athens & Santorini
[*] May 19-31: Ferry to Brindisi, Amalfi Coast, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre
[*] June 01-14: Spain - Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Granada
[*] June 15-18: France - Bordeaux
[*] June 19-30: to Geneva, Switzerland, Austria
[*] July 01-07: Bratislava, Krakow and on to Prague
[*] July 08-15: Czech Republic and on to Berlin
[*] July 15-22: Germany
[*] July 23-27: Bruges & WWI Battlefields
[*] July 28-Aug 10: Paris & France
[*] Aug 11-Aug 25: England & Scotland
[*] Aug 26-Sep 02: Irish Republic & fly to NYC
[*] Sep 06-09: NYC
[*] Sep 10-20: Boston, Maine & NovaScotia
[*] Sep 21-23:Montreal
[*] Sep 24-Oct 05: Chicago & across USA by Amtrak to LAX
[*] Oct 06-09: Hawaii
[* Oct 10-14: Auckland
[*] Oct 15: Fly to Brisbane - end game!
Is it too ambitious? What do I change/omit/add?
It'd be possible, but you certainly wouldn't be able to tell people you saw much in the countries with a schedule like yours especially in Egypt where you're going to miss SO much. In only 3 days you will barely be able to see Cairo properly if you go to the Pyramids at Giza which is the main purpose of most people going to Egypt. You'll miss Aswan (Abu Simbel, Aswan Dam, the little island which I can't remember the name of close by), Luxor (Temple of Karnak, Valley of Kings, Valley of Queens and more), The Red Sea area which is very nice (Dahab, Sharm El Shiek, Mt Sinai, St Catherines Monastry and more), Siwa (nice oasis in the middle of the desert), A felucca trip from Aswan-Luxor (in my view better than even seeing the pyramids others will disagree) and they are just the main ones and I have probably missed some. You could spend a month in Egypt and not run out of great and amazing things to see and do.
In the USA section of your trip I think you'd be much better off getting at least one flight there to cut out many days of overland travel to allow you to spend a couple of days in the amazing Las Vegas (you'll see many cities ie New York, Venice, Rome, Paris and more in the one city and see one of the most amazing shows in the world out the front of the Bellagio hotel as well as a very interesting site if you watch the Fremont Experience after dark. That watershow in front of the Bellagio is best viewed after dark from the Eiffel Tower lookout (a great spot to get a really good photo from). If you did get a couple of flights, you could also possibly see San Francisco as well as Los Angeles. Los Angeles is pretty dull especially the downtown area which is amongst the most dull, dangerous and boring places I have ever been. Venice Beach, Santa Monica beach and Hollywood are FAR more interesting than downtown LA which is full of homeless people and a lot of crime.
One thing you should add is more time, but that may not be possible. 5 and a half months sounds a long time for a holiday, but really your trip is so rushed you'll barely feel like you have enough time to rest if you are to see all those places even remotedly well. You'll be doing like I did on my first trip (up at 6.30am and out walking about all day sight seeing until it got dark) as well as getting trains, buses and flights that'd either depart late in the evening or would let me arrive at a destination before 9.00am, so that I could make the most out of the day in at least one place. When I was in Italy I even did Pompeii as a daytrip from Rome and that is a really massive day trip that required me to leave when it was still dark early in the morning and not get back until about 9.00pm. I also spend 14 hours, 12 hours and 14 hours of walking trying to see everything in Rome in 3 days and I still didn't get close. Even after a second trip there this time for 7 days I am yet to see all the sites (I have doubled up a few though).
Have a wicked trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Sep 7, 2007, at 8:03 PM by aharrold45 ]
It sounds great to be able to go to all these places, but like has already been said, you wont be able to say you really *saw* much of each of them. If you can afford to add more time to your trip, do it!! The USA for example is HUGE, and with the amount of time you've allowed there you'll be spending most of it in transit. Maybe revise your timetable a little, leave in the places you really really wanna see, spend a decent amount of time in those, and put the rest aside for your next trip (i'm sure there'll be another one)
Thanks for the input people. The only reason for my visit to Egypt is to visit the grave of a family member who died in WWI - I guess I should have told you that. I have been to USA and Canada three times (see my trips) and have seen a lot that I don't wish to see again. As for flights, I have made a deliberate decision to travel overland - I don't like flying, you see nothing, and the current airport security arrangements mean you have to treble or quadruple flight time to get travel time and, in Europe at least, I am informed you don't save much travel time over trains. Still, I suspected that I have crammed too much in and will probably leave Krakow, Bratislava and Austria for another time.
OK I have had a re-think. If only I worked for the Government, I could appoint a committee to do this for me - and get really screwed up!
I have to be optimistic and assume that I will get a second bite of this cherry - who knows?, I might find a rich widow on the Riveria or something. So, I will prune some branches off the trip.
Here goes: From Greece to Rome for four or five days, then 5 days in the Cinque Terre, back to Rome and FLY to Madrid. four or five days there then spend a week on Madrid-Valencia-Barcelona. Train to Switzerland for a week then into Czech Rep for a week, then Germany for 10 days, France for 10 days, Belgium for five days.
that's about 62 days in Europe, say 9 weeks. I have about 12 weeks for Continental Europe so that gives me 3 weeks slack for rest periods and/or take it as it comes opportunistic adventures (like the rich widow).
The Canada/USA thing (by train from sea to shining sea) is a life long ambition for me so is not negotiable.
That leaves Eastern Europe, Asia and South America for later.
I think you should leave out Spain too, 5 days do not do Tuscany justice. Florence alone takes 4-7 days to see properly. Plus if you go to Switzerland after Spain you'll be doubling back. There is an excellent nighttrain running from Venice to Vienna, consider taking it.
But if you are determined to see Spain, note that it is possible to travel by boat from Rome to Barcelona. It is faster than bus or the train and you don't need to fly.
If you are going to Germany, plan on having at least 5 days for Berlin. You should also reconsider on your Eastern Europe plans. Eastern Europe is cheaper and you'll feel it in your wallet after having been in Tuscany.
IMO a good route to go by train is Vienna-Bratislava-Prague-Dresden-Berlin. Another possible route could be Vienna-Salzburg-(via Linz and Cesky Budovice to)Cesky Krumlov-Prague-Dresden-Berlin or Salzburg-Munich-Passau-(via Haidmühle and Nove Udoli through the Sumava national park to) Cesky Krumlov.