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Eolith 03-08-2012 12:33 PM

Europe! Where to go? What to do?
Yep, I'm finally getting the opportunity to do some serious travelling. I'll be doing a study abroad trip through my university in Rome, Italy. Since I'm paying for the ticket to Europe anyway, I thought I'd extend the trip a bit and go about two weeks early. I'm thinking of flying into the UK and making my way to Rome over those two weeks.

I have a close friend from Romania who has traveled Europe quite a bit and is willing to come with me. The idea of going to Europe is so amazingly mind-boggling however that I have no idea where to go or what to do... there's variety of "routes" or even small detours that I could take on my way to Rome.

So, I was wondering if anyone around here had suggestions or advice?

FlyGap 03-08-2012 01:00 PM

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When I was in college my parents lived in Germany, I got to go spend every summer over there backpacking. Had some amazing times!
If I were you I'd fly into Dublin Ireland, then over to the UK, swing around the north and drop down to France from Dover. Then I'd go through Paris, to Amsterdam, Germany, then over to Prauge! Loved going through that country! Then I'd make a loop over to Monico/Niece and then down to Rome!!!

You could stick to the west and from France go down to Spain and hit up Portugal which I also have a soft spot for and the cruise over to Monico/Niece then Rome, might give you some time to spend in Florence which is really cool.
Remember that a lot of the trains in France require reservations, didn't know that and I had to sleep in a couple luggage racks even though there were empty seats!! Whoops!

Ahhh you got me itchin!!! Have fun, safe travels!!
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FlyGap 03-08-2012 01:05 PM

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When are you going? There's a bunch of cool things to see during the different seasons like the running of the bulls.... I'd also plan to spend plenty of time going through the lourve and check out the van gogh museum in Amsterdam!
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hoopla 03-08-2012 01:48 PM

Vienna and the Spanish Riding School is an obvious one. Vienna is a fabulous city anyway but a trip to a gala performance at the Winter riding school is definitely a great experience.

xxBarry Godden 03-08-2012 04:45 PM

A trip round Europe as a horse lover
I'd fly into Heathrow and stay a couple of days in Central London -especially if I could time the trip with one of the Household cavalry displays in Green Park.
Then I'd take a trip out to Windsor to ride a horse in Windsor Great Park.

I'd take a train from London to Paris to walk around Paris, to have dinner in a French restaurant and to climb the Eifel Tower and to meet a Frenchman, whom I would persuade to buy me a dress.

I'd take another train to Saumur to eat, to drink wine and to watch the horses at the Cadre Noir.

I'd take yet another train to The Camargue where I would ride a wild horse in the dunes.
I'd then make my way to Marseilles to walk the city and see the sights.

Off then by plane to the Villa Magna Hotel in Madrid and then watch a bull fight and see some Flamenco accompanied by a Spanish Guitar in a tapas bar. I'd buy a tailored to measure traditional Spanish saddle for my horse for shipment to the US

Afterwards I'd go by coach down to Jerez to watch a feria parade and to ride an Andalusian stallion and to visit the Spanish Riding School. I'd buy one of those fancy frilly dresses with lots of petticoats and send it home by airmail.

I'd fly from Jerez over to Genoa and then travel down to Porto Fino to find an Italian millionaire with a yacht. During a sail around the Med coast I'd persuade him to take me to Milan to buy a dress (or two) in his helicopter.

Then I'd make my way to Venice, to sail the canals and to walk in the Piazza and to get my feet wet. There would be yet more drinking and eating. I'd order a set of Venetian red wine glasses for my Dad - again for posting home directly.

Then I'd go looking for a riding centre in Italy - where they have some fabulous horses if only you know where to find them. No doubt an Italian dark haired rider named Lothario would sweep me off my feet

Incidentally I'd go alone - I'd make my friends along the way. Save Roumania for another day.

Just one little problem. You'll need an Amex Gold Card with an unlimited credit limit and a kindly but very rich dad to pay the bills when they came in.

If you made the trip, your life would never ever be quite the same again. You might get away with only speaking English - especially when the locals realised you are an American. But a little knowledge of the French, Spanish or Italian lingos might help when asking the way. They are all pretty similar languages - but don't tell the locals.

On the way back you could still fly from London but I'd travel from Venice via Monaco, Switzerland, Bavaria, The Black Forest, Koln and Rotterdam.
I'd do the Koln to Rotterdam segment by Rhine River barge, which will stop off at many of the wine villages. You will sleep on the boat as it sails up the Rhine to Holland. Try to get the Captain to let you steer the barge.

Sorry but you'll need another 'sugar' daddy to pay the bills but you probably could find one easily enough if you use Tresomme regularly.

America has so much to offer, but what Europe offers is a lot different and I think you, even as a girl from classy Washington, might be surprised and swept off your feet.

PS Don't forget to take your skinny riding breeches and some thigh high riding boots. And send some photos to HF

xxBarry Godden 03-08-2012 04:54 PM

PS Maybe I went a little over the top with my itinery - unless of course your surname is Gates. So why not consider a riding holiday at a dressage centre in Northern Germany or alternatively a riding centre somewhere along the beach near Cape Trafalgar in Andalucia?

PS In which case I might skip London - I've been there and its expensive.

Hickory67 03-08-2012 08:37 PM

I highly recommend Switzerland. Beautiful country.

Rome is my second home - lived there in the early 90s.

Eolith 03-09-2012 12:33 AM

Thanks for writing up my itinerary, Barry! I'll just print it off, hand it to my dad, and bat my eyes.

Really though, I'm working hard just to save enough to catch a few trains, eat on the go, and crash with a few friends of friends along the way.

I fully expect to have my mind blown every five minutes or so for the entire time that I'm on this trip. It's a good thing too... I think everyone could do with a few mind explosions every now and then. I do hope that I won't come across as the stupid annoying American though :P. I've heard tell of some very negative attitudes towards Americans. >_<

Kayty 03-09-2012 12:58 AM

Gee Barry, I'm a little worried about all those dress references from you ;)

Eolith, have a WONDERFUL time, I am desperate to visit Europe. I've never been out of Australia and Europe is the first place I want to visit. My family is from Holland, as is my partner's family, so eventually we will get the money together and visit Holland and Germany at the very least.

xxBarry Godden 03-09-2012 04:02 AM

Kayty - well how can a girl go to London, Paris & Milan, the competing centres of world fashion without buying a dress??
The concept is correct but the bill would be the problem - unless of course her surname was Gates, or Rockefeller or one of those other mega rich families.

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