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Old 01-10-2013, 04:19 PM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
That's where I need advice from the insiders. I have no idea how many high traffic areas I'm passing through. So if google maps says 5 hours (which would allow me to leave at noon and arrive at my destination while the sun is still up) but in reality it takes 7 or 8 hours because of traffic (which would make for an extremely long haul and may mean driving in the dark in a city I've never been to) then I would really like to know before I start booking hotels. Only people who have been in and around these places have this information, which makes it hard for me to tell whether I'm being over ambitious or just ambitious.
So a couple things.

Everyone's concerns here are well warranted IMHO. You've got a ton of driving (maybe 2300 miles) in 18 days with 9 destinations. I'm a crazy auto-driving enthusiast, and that would wear my butte out. Especially keep in mind that a significant portion of your driving will be ye-standard-highway. Autobahns and Autostradas are not much different than US Interstates except for different speeds in places. It's fun to hit 150 mph, but after 10 minutes, you are used to it and sitting in cruise control. Heck, my wife fell asleep on the autobahn when I was in cruise control going 140 mph during our first ED. So when you are looking at distances, keep that in mind. The highway driving will get old.

SD Z4MR is also absolutely correct. Google maps is not nearly as accurate with timing in Europe as it is in the North America. If Gmaps says 4 hrs, plan on 6 and be happy when you get there in 5. This is especially true when you get on the backroads where a horse drawn cart of goods can shut down traffic in both directions (I've seen this in Austria).

Loganradio is also dead on. With one day per city, you will (likely, I know I would) sleep in late, have a big breakfast and then leave to explore about noon. Explore for half a day, then eat dinner, relax and go to bed. It's almost a waste to stop in them unless you are just looking to check off boxes. You're doing this while visiting amazing cities with tons to do and see.

For example, my wife and I were in Vienna in December for my most recent ED. We were there for 3 days, and saw maybe 50% of stuff on our list to see. There are half a dozen palaces, the most beautiful opera house I've ever seen, gorgeous architecture, a historic horse riding school, a cathedral, cool bars, great food, fantastic people and a large downtown area that is fun to explore and just chews time. And the only line we ever stood in was for the subway and Glühwein.

We were also in Salzburg for three days and could have spent four more days there easy. We spent a day driving around the region (which is gorgeous), visited one of the many castles, and spent some time wandering the downtown area. The best drive I've ever taken in my life is outside of Salzburg, and I'm sure there are a dozen more out there waiting to be found in that area.

So when people say there is stuff to do, it isn't old people in rocking chairs that want to spend 15 hrs in a museum talking, then a day relaxing on a patio looking at a mountain (this is BMW's full of driving/exploring enthusiasts) there is really stuff to do.

If it was my itinerary, I'd axe the Nurburgring and everything after Milan, then change Milan into Lake Como. Head from Como back to Munich, drop the car off, go home. Then balance your days across the remaining cities. That will give you 18 days in 6 destinations and allow you to focus on what interests you (like seeing where you lineage is from, which you've already mentioned). It will also heavily cut down on your hotel changes, which get old, impact your plans (be out by X:XX AM in the morning) and burn up time. Alternately, cut everything after the Ring and rebalance you time between those cities. Just run the Ring on Forza a couple times before you leave to maximize your enjoyment.

Your itinerary reminds me of people that go to Disney World and try to hit every attraction in week. They over-plan, get behind, get frustrated, hurry between places and end their vacation exhausted and find that they didn't enjoy it much.

This is just my 2 cents. Feel free to ignore it, but I'd love to hear how your trip ends up regardless.

One other thing - keep in mind that every single country you travel too will have its own traffic laws. You will need to be familiar with them before you leave or you could literally end up in an uncomfortable place.
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