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Trip to Europe

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michellemoran
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Post by michellemoran » Tue October 7th, 2008, 7:17 pm

First of all, congratulations to your daughter. What fantastic achievements! Because there are soo many places to see, you may want to go with a tour group. My favorite method of seeing Europe is by car, but that's only because my husband and I have done eight tours around Europe and we feel very confident now in navigating the roads and speaking other languages.

Seven of our tours were with a company called Contiki (18-35 yr olds). Their sister company is called Trafalgar (for any age) and I can highly recommend them. They are economical, well-organized, and best of all - they drop you off in a city, give you the history, give you the maps, then let you go and explore on your own!
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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Tue October 7th, 2008, 8:04 pm

Barcelona was one of my favourite cities as well.

I travelled with Trafalgar when I toured as well, and thought they were excellent.
Last edited by diamondlil on Tue October 7th, 2008, 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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michellemoran
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Post by michellemoran » Tue October 7th, 2008, 8:16 pm

Ohh... which trip did you take with them?!
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Post by diamondlil » Tue October 7th, 2008, 8:20 pm

I did a 27 day tour, that took in France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Holland...I think that was it! It was a long time ago now.

How I wish I could travel again!
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michellemoran
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Post by michellemoran » Tue October 7th, 2008, 8:22 pm

Oh... I bet we did the same tour!!!! That's how I first went to Carcassonne. Did they take you there, too?

And why no traveling?
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Post by Vanessa » Tue October 7th, 2008, 9:53 pm

I think Venice is the most beautiful place I've ever been to - it's magical, very romantic! I love Paris, too, because it's so vibrant and alive. I've been to Rome - it does have some interesting places to visit like the Vatican, the Trevee (sp) Fountain and the Colosseum - but I was a little shocked by all the beggars. London is a great city, too, lots to see and do.
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Post by donroc » Tue October 7th, 2008, 10:18 pm

I also vote for Barcelona and the wonderful cuisine of the Spanish Costa Brava. A side trip to Majorca is worthwhile as well.
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Post by Ash » Wed October 8th, 2008, 2:57 am

[quote=""michellemoran""]First of all, congratulations to your daughter. What fantastic achievements! Because there are soo many places to see, you may want to go with a tour group. ![/quote]

Tralfalgar? Oh dear, we saw these tour members, usually 30-50 in a group, corralled and shuffled from place to place. I remember watching some in the Uffuzi and and I couldn't believe that they actually had time to take anything in! No, I do not recommend tours, unless they are local (like the wonderful Cornish one we took of Iron Age sites or the one touring Hadrian's Wall from Hexam) or ones with number limits (there are some that are limited to 15, but they tend to be expensive), or ones that allow you much free time in each city you go.

There are some good youth tours, but again, be careful of how much they try to cram in within a short time, and be careful of the amount of supervision the teens are given. The Contiki one mentioned above looks worth exploring.

I think you can easily do a capital city tour in the amount of time you have, without a tour, if you prepare yourself well in advance (and with the internet, there's so much to help you prepare!)

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Post by michellemoran » Wed October 8th, 2008, 3:20 am

Personally, I really enjoy tours. Many times, it's like one big party on the bus, especially with Contiki (the younger tour group). You do get quite a bit of time in each place, and having toured over fifty cities with Trafalgar and Contiki, I've never felt cheated of time. That said, there is something freeing about doing it yourself, as Ash points out. If you want a smaller tour group, I can also highly recommend Travel Dynamics. The group is much smaller, the tour guides are archaeologists, but the prices are very, very high.
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Post by Margaret » Wed October 8th, 2008, 4:56 am

Your mention of Rome reminds me that my parents loved Ostia, the port city of ancient Rome. They raved about the restaurants and found it very reasonably priced compared to Rome, steeped in interesting history of course, and close enough to Rome to use as a base for sightseeing in Rome.
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