Subject: First Trip to Europe Planning! (Long)
Hello All! I've really enjoyed reading the messages the past couple of months. What a wonderful group! My husband & I (32 & 30) are planning a trip to Europe for the last two weeks of May. I've put together the basic bones of the trip and am now looking for feedback on the itinerary I've created so far. I've tried not to pack in too much since we don't want to spend the whole time rushing from place to place. I know we won't be able to see everything...we've just made a list of places we'd like to see and plan to remain flexible to changes along the way. Here goes... Day 1 - overnight flight to Brussels Day 2 - meet friends that live in Brussels and let them play tour guide. Stay with them overnight. Day 3 - same as above Day 4 - Early train from Brussels to Chartres. Pick up a rental car. Visit cathedral & town. Drive to B& B in the Loire Valley. Day 5 - Tour the chateaux (Chambord, Chenonceau, Villandry). Stay at same B& B. Day 6 - Finish touring chateaux, possible boat ride, see troglodyte dwellings. Drive to Mt. St. Michel to spend night. Day 7 - Tour Mt. St. Michel early AM. Drive up the coast to Arromanches & visit beaches. Stay at an area B& B. Day 8 - Visit the museum in Caen. Drive up the coast & visit Deauville & Honfleur. Either go back to the same B& B as the previous night or continue on to Giverny to spend the night - suggestions? Day 9 - Visit Monet's gardens in the AM. Visit Chantilly in the afternoon. Then take train from Chantilly to Paris. Either drop off the rental car in Giverny and take the train to Chantilly or drive to Chantilly & drop the car off there. Any suggestions on this? Not sure which towns are large enough to have a rental car office and which the trains go through - my husband does not want to drive in to Paris (can't say I blame him!) Day 10 - Paris - Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, Marais (these are just some of the things we want to see...not necessarily on a particular day.) Day 11 - Paris - Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Champs Elysees, boat tour, Sacre Couer. Day 12 - Ok...don't laugh - EuroDisney. We're big Disney fans and thought it would be neat to see what's different. Also thought we may be about ready for a bit of the US by day 12. If not, we can always use this as an extra day in Paris. Night train to Switzerland - ultimate destination is Mureen, just south of Interlaken. Not yet sure of the route. Any idea how long that train ride would be? Day 13 - Arrive in Mureen early AM. Hopefully drop off bags at hotel and then spend day hiking. Day 14 - More hiking, possibly visit Jungfrau and do some skiing or take a dog sled ride...depending on the weather this time of year (May 29th). Day 15 - Train to Zurich or Geneva and flight home. (Which would be best to fly out of?)

We do have one more day we could slide in...any suggestions on where to spend more time? Possibly another Paris day, or maybe another city in Switzerland to include?

Also, I've been researching small hotels and gites in the areas we are interested in. If anyone has specific recommendations of places to stay I'd love to hear them (moderate pricing - $50-$100).

Thanks so much for any help! Jennie in Atlanta Applied for my first passport two weeks ago, anxiously awaiting its arrival!