|Subject: Re: The Myers / Moller rough itinerary Sept, Oct 2002.|
Hi Michael - greetings from Brisbane!
I have done a similar lightning tour recently (on a 3 weeks Rick Steves Best of Europe tour plus 10 days in Loire/Provence/Riviera) so your itinerary is doable but breath-taking :) With the disclaimer that I didn't have to drive or navigate - let alone with a motorhome!
I have quite a few questions and comments about your itinerary.
Firstly a clarification - is the assumption correct that you pickup your motorhome in Sinzig and you have it for the rest of your trip? I wasn't sure if you might ditch it in Lille before taking the Eur(o?)rail to London? Might I ask why you'd opt for the motorhome for the trip - do you have many people travelling in your group and therefore it is more economical than train travel?
> Sept 22 leave Sinzig and head to Amsterdam via Cologne We travelled from Amsterdam to Bacharach in one day and that was a lot of travelling often in heavy traffic (albeit with stops in between at Aalsmeer, Munich and Dachau). I had a quick look for Sinzig and note it is NE of Frankfurt so you have quite a head start on my distance.
> Sept 23. Tour Amsterdam ( Windmills Etc) Your Amsterdam and tour windmills - not sure how many windmills you'll see in Amsterdam with a motorhome... Places to see: I loved the Van Gogh Museum but that's me :)
> Sept 24. Leave Amsterdam going to Antwerp, Brussels ( Mini Europe ???) Brugge onto Lille. This is just a day of travelling?
> Sept 26 London sight seeing London sightseeing - one day! Have you been before? Things I enjoyed (excluding day trips): Touristy things: visiting Harrods :), crayon rubbings in Westminster, St Pauls, Madame Tussaud's (sp?), ...wish I'd done a Thames cruise..., pigeons in Trafalgar Square, Tower of London - beefeaters, jewels, crows!, St James Park, Piccadilly Circus/Oxford St, ... mind goes blank at all the London fun!
Just one day in Paris! Have you been there before? To cover the big name attractions you'll need to master the metro - Eiffel Tower to the third floor, up the stairs in the Arc de Triumphe, Champs Elysee, ***Musee D'Orsay, Louvre, Musee Marmottan(Monet)***, Seine Cruise, Notre Dame, eat crepes!!! I had a great located hotel near the Eiffel Tower.
> Sept 29 Paris to Lyon Driving? Or train?
> Sept 30. Lyon, Provence and Nice This is a HUGE problem. One day? Or travel from Lyon via Provence to Nice? Where in Provence? Before the 3 weeks Rick Steves tour I spent 10 days in Loire/Provence/Riviera with 3 other people in a hire car. When I started researching our trip I had no idea that Provence is so many different things to so many different people! Avignon, Aiz-en-Provence, Roussillon, Gordes, ... We stayed in Lourmarin in the Luberon and visited the hill towns. This is definitely not a place for a motor home! Then we drove through the Gorges du Verdon to stay in Grasse and visit Nice in a day trip. To do any of your list in one day is not possible :( You'd spend that much time travelling? We spent the best part of a whole day catching a train from Tours (Loire) to Avignon then driving onto Lourmarin.
> Oct 1 Monaco
So Oct 1 in Monaco then Oct 2 travel to Cinque Terre then straight to Pisa? Cinque Terre is certainly no place for a motor home! I nearly had kittens in the tour bus as he drove the hairpin road to catch the train to Vernazza! Thats' a *lot* of travelling!
I have read that Pisa can be a lunch stop - particuarly if visiting by train. Catch a train in, see the tower, have some lunch, then the next train out is usually good timing? No personal experience - sorry!
> Oct 3 Rome
> Oct 5 Venice (3 Island Tour) Loved Venice - if you spend your only day in Venice doing a three island tour I'm not sure how much time that leaves you? I originally had Murano/Burano/... on my list of to-dos but struck it for others :) In Venice - so many touristy things but hey you have to try it for yourself before accepting other's verdicts right! - St Mark's Square/Rialto Bridge and shops/lace/glass, people and pigeon watching, Accadamia, gondola ride, walking, bridges :) ***GELATO*** Make sure you do a trip on the Grand Canal in one of the boats :)
> Oct 6 Venice to Milan (Zermatt) Not sure about these distances - we drove Cinque Terre (much closer?) to Interlaken before heading up to Gimmelwald. *Long* day with early start and late finish so beware taking on too much driving - particularly if you are still in your motorhome.
> Oct 7 Matterhorn and Interlaken
> Oct 9 Lucerne
> Oct 11 Innsbruck
My parents did a 2 weeks driving trip in Germany/Austria/Switz(Appenzall!) in 2000 - let me know if you'd like their sample itinerary. They stayed in Berchtesgaden and loved it. They stayed at Hallstatt but weren't as impressed as others have been. They also stayed in a place run by a lady called Angelika in Fussen which was wonderful - there were 4 people in their group and they had a car and actually cancelled their Lake Constance and Heidelberg stay to return to Fussen and Angelika. Can get her details if you'd like and a restaurant they ate at...
PS. They originally were going to Innsbruck and even trying to fit Vienna in but canned it as too much travel.
> Oct 13 Munich Had two hours there for lunch so saw the Glockenspiel and had lunch in a beer hall :) Typical tourist stuff.
> Oct 14 Towards Augsburg ( Romantic Rd) Castle hunting.
Went to Neuschwanstein (stayed at Reutte just over into the Austrian border and walked into Germany and the castle). You'll need to buy tickets for an English speaking tour, and go on a fine day so you can walk up to Mary's Bridge.
> Oct 16 South of Frankfurt some where
And last but not least - this is not a plug or revenue producing of any kind! - but I put my trip notes from last year onto a web site and it has more detail including itinerary notes including our time in Provence and the Europe bus tour in case it will help with your planning. http://www.geocities.com/megangrenenger/
Last year was my first trip to Europe and I too wanted to see *everything* until I realised that my heart was writing cheques my itinerary couldn't cash ;-)
All that said, we Aussies are used to driving long distances - and without so many wonderful detours and places to stop along the way as in Europe. Just make sure you don't take on too much so you get to the end and can't remmber what you've seen without notes because you didn't have time to savour it - particularly if you are designated driver! (Rome was like that for me) Particularly as parking in the likes of Rome and Paris will be problematic. (I have Microsoft MapPoint installed which has directions/distances/times so if you need some specific info let me know.)
Perhaps if you are still flexible you could fly into London, then Eurail between some points before picking up your car? It can be a great time saver allowing sleep between points. Whatever you decide you'll have a blast - perhaps you just need to allocate two nights in a couple more destinations? Can you get people in your travelling party to make lists of must-sees to help you prioritise what you must visit this trip and what can be next-time?
Sorry this is so-long winded. I'm passionate about my travels :) And sorry if I sound like a wet blanket about some of your plans - I just want you to have fun but quality time in all these wonderful places! Some of my best times were sitting on a bench with a hot chocolate, pinching myself to see if I'm really there, knowing I didn't have to bolt off and be somewhere else! Plus - sometimes transport, traffic, weather and strikes come together to destroy the best made plans of mice and men :) Let me know if I can help any further! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia