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  #31  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:08 PM
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I've got enough frequent flyer miles to travel to Europe and back. Probably won't go until fall 2020 or spring 2021 but i need ideas and you have submitted great ideas in the past, some of which I have acted on.

My last 2 trips took me to Paris both times, plus London, Cardiff, French mountains and west German autobahn. I am much more comfortable speaking English or French, I only took one year of German but that is evidently no reason not to expand my horizons.

I like beauty - beautiful churches, beautiful art (particularly impressionism), beautiful architecture, and beautiful countryside. I love Paris and wouldn't hesitate to swing by for a 4th time (I was also there in 1988 briefly) but I would expect diminshing returns. I like to walk a lot and am happy to climb to the top of things. Not as interested in great food, I want my lunch to be quick so I can keep observing and interacting. At night I might arrange to play my favorite card game (bridge) if one can be found in the area.

Both times before I had either my sister or dad to accompany me, this time i might go by myself. I'm quite happy to rent a car for some or all of the trip, I enjoyed driving in England, France, and Germany. I'll probably only spend about a week out there, but I make every minute count.

That being said, some of my ideas are:

1) Drive around Scotland, including a day in each of the two large cities and time at a park or maybe a remote island. I think it would be beautiful but it would also be a lot of driving.

2) Visit Vienna, Budapest, and a couple other cities in adjacent countries.

3) Start in eastern Spain and drive across the south of France into Italy. (Assuming I can arrange a one-way car rental).

4) Ireland

5) Random cities in the UK

I really can't decide what I want to do. I'm hoping that some ideas people contribute will help me piece together a satisfying vacation...

6) Actually I have enough miles to get to Australia. But a 15-hr flight each way? Is it worth it for one week? New Zealand?

This sounds amazing! I recommend a part of Europe you did not mention.
Finland (Helsinki and rail to Turku, Ferry to Stockholm, go Scandi a bit.

Visit the north https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=...&v=UlcFueNNpMY
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  #32  
Old 12-03-2019, 11:16 PM
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Other Euro highlights

Barcelona is a really cool city with great food and sights. Went for 3 days after flying into Paris, touring city and driving south 1 night Rocamadour (cool) and 2 nights in Lourdes before flying from Toulouse to Barca. French countryside is great. 4 euro cognac I had in Rocamadour was ridiculously good after great duck dinner.

Can’t go wrong in Italy - been 2 times. Did Rome/Siena/Florence first time. Loved Rome for sights and Siena for sunset, but seeing the David was awesome. Second trip landed in Venice. Nothing like it. Trained to Florence for a couple days then a night in Assisi. That was special as the town empties at sunset and we felt like it was all ours as we ate on a second floor in main square emptied of tourists. Finished in Rome, all great sites.

Amsterdam, Brussels and Brugge are also highly recommended. So much history. Brugge is really cool. Winter with skating rinks are fun.

Last edited by Kid Rock; 12-04-2019 at 08:36 AM..
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  #33  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:54 AM
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I should be biased and tell you to go to Scotland but, if you haven't been to Rome or Barcelona, they should be at the top of your list.
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  #34  
Old 12-04-2019, 10:46 AM
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I agree with poly. I've traveled in both Eastern and Western Europe, and I felt way safer in Western Europe. Heck, a beggar approached me in Germany when I was alone on a train and asked for money. I said, "no", and he just shrugged and moved on.

Get a money belt, don't leave more in your pocket than you can afford to lose, pay attention to your surroundings, and you'll be fine. Most Western European countries are safer than most American cities. They have pickpockets but they don't really have muggers.
My father was pickpocketed in Paris by a couple of kids. Timing couldn't have been much worse, as he had just pulled out a wad of cash to buy us French Open tix.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:51 AM
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Berlin is one of the most exciting cities I have ever visited. It may have the most varied architechture of any city I've ever visited, too. They have some medieval stuff, some pre-war stuff, some soviet brutal stuff, and a lot of really nice high end modern stuff. All cheek-by-jowl. All kinds of cultural attractions. Interesting ethnic neighborhoods. Really, anything you might like when you visit cities you can find in Berlin.
Berlin is my favorite city in Europe (I've been to most of the "big" ones) for the above. Was only there for a couple days, but we did this amazing walking tour that basically hit all of the above. It will take your breath away.
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  #36  
Old 12-04-2019, 11:11 AM
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I should be biased and tell you to go to Scotland but, if you haven't been to Rome or Barcelona, they should be at the top of your list.
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Berlin is my favorite city in Europe (I've been to most of the "big" ones) for the above. Was only there for a couple days, but we did this amazing walking tour that basically hit all of the above. It will take your breath away.
If you like cities, I would add Berlin to the top of that list. I enjoyed it more than Rome.
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  #37  
Old 12-04-2019, 11:12 AM
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My father was pickpocketed in Paris by a couple of kids. Timing couldn't have been much worse, as he had just pulled out a wad of cash to buy us French Open tix.
A money belt will avoid that sort of thing.
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  #38  
Old 12-04-2019, 11:19 AM
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A money belt will avoid that sort of thing.
For someone who has traveled as much as my dad, I'm surprised he wasn't more savvy about that - I guess he's just been lucky to avoid theft. Also surprised me that he would go to one of those ripoff change bureaus at the airport to get the cash rather than pulling the money out of an ATM where he would get a better rate.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:25 PM
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Get a money belt, don't leave more in your pocket than you can afford to lose, pay attention to your surroundings, and you'll be fine. Most Western European countries are safer than most American cities. They have pickpockets but they don't really have muggers.
Agree

The area where I have personally seen the most active pickpockets is Rome. There were multiple crews working the Spanish steps there.

I had a crew try to pickpocket me in Madrid but I caught them in the act. Wouldn't have mattered much if they had "succeeded" as I had my valuables well protected.

I was riding the subway in Madrid and saw a purse snatching. A woman was standing near the door. Just when the doors were closing a guy grabbed her purse and jumped though the gap. By the time anyone could react the doors were closed and the train was pulling away.

Despite these experiences I feel quite safe walking in Europe. I think violent acts are quite rare, and you can usually avoid pickpockets by making yourself a hard target.
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  #40  
Old 12-04-2019, 12:33 PM
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I was riding the subway in Madrid and saw a purse snatching. A woman was standing near the door. Just when the doors were closing a guy grabbed her purse and jumped though the gap. By the time anyone could react the doors were closed and the train was pulling away.
Had a family friend get her purse snatched in Barcelona, the thief knocked her down in the process, injuring her foot in the process, so sadly her vacation was spent in the hospital. On the bright side, she said the hospital staff treated her really well.
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