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  #1  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:09 PM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Question Any changes to this 14 day travel plan?

We're picking up a 535x on September 19th and plan on making the most of the experience by staying for two weeks.

Our planned Itinerary so far is (see attachment):
1) Munich for 4 nights (Oktoberfest, BMW, museum)
2) 1 night in Fussen or Schwangau, near Neuschwanstein Castle
3) 1 night in Zurich
4) 2 nights in Gruyeres (cheese factory, castle, chocolate factory, HR Giger museum)
5) 2 nights in Milan
6) 1 night in Verona
7) 2 nights in the Berchtesgarden area
8) 1 final night at a Munich airport hotel

I've never been to Europe before and the topic that keeps coming up in my planning conversations with my girlfriend is whether it's worthwhile to visit a spot just for one night, or whether it makes more sense to skip the one-night destinations, and stay somewhere else for a longer period of time. Taking Zurich as an example, on one hand, it's our chance to at least see it. On the other hand, would we be able to make a short visit worthwhile.

Would anyone who's done this before recommend any changes to this schedule?

Also, how about scenic roads? I've been mapping this out via Google maps and it always selects the fastest routes, but I hear there are some really interesting drives that are definitely worth taking.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:43 PM
admranger admranger is offline
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One night stays suck (last night in Munich as a one nighter is perfectly fine though). Find a base and do day trip drives from there. 2 nights minimum is my recommendation. We're doing 2 in Munich (our third ED, no need to spend more time here), 3 in Vienna, 3 in the Austrian Alps (Heiligenblut -- near the Grossglockner on the B107), and 3 at Lake Como.


Taking your girlfriend? Go to Lake Como instead of Zurich and Verona (or some other place).
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2011, 08:55 PM
Ron@ViaCorsa Ron@ViaCorsa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvid View Post
We're picking up a 535x on September 19th and plan on making the most of the experience by staying for two weeks.

Our planned Itinerary so far is (see attachment):
1) Munich for 4 nights (Oktoberfest, BMW, museum)
2) 1 night in Fussen or Schwangau, near Neuschwanstein Castle
3) 1 night in Zurich
4) 2 nights in Gruyeres (cheese factory, castle, chocolate factory, HR Giger museum)
5) 2 nights in Milan
6) 1 night in Verona
7) 2 nights in the Berchtesgarden area
8) 1 final night at a Munich airport hotel

I've never been to Europe before and the topic that keeps coming up in my planning conversations with my girlfriend is whether it's worthwhile to visit a spot just for one night, or whether it makes more sense to skip the one-night destinations, and stay somewhere else for a longer period of time. Taking Zurich as an example, on one hand, it's our chance to at least see it. On the other hand, would we be able to make a short visit worthwhile.

Would anyone who's done this before recommend any changes to this schedule?

Also, how about scenic roads? I've been mapping this out via Google maps and it always selects the fastest routes, but I hear there are some really interesting drives that are definitely worth taking.
My perfect German vacation is spending 2 weeks in Munich - taking day trips around Bavaria.

As for scenic roads, the Alpine road is great fun around Kesselberg and Tatzlwurm. Both hills were used as hill climbs back in the day. I have a 2 page spread about just Kesselberg in my German travel book listed below.

There are also a number of great drives around the area..so many in fact it would be futile to list them. In my book, I narrowed it down to just 5 lake drives - IE the end destination was a restaurant over looking a beautiful German lake.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:04 PM
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HerrK HerrK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admranger View Post
One night stays suck (last night in Munich as a one nighter is perfectly fine though). Find a base and do day trip drives from there. 2 nights minimum is my recommendation. We're doing 2 in Munich (our third ED, no need to spend more time here), 3 in Vienna, 3 in the Austrian Alps (Heiligenblut -- near the Grossglockner on the B107), and 3 at Lake Como.
+1 on the multinight stayovers & +1000 on Heiligenblut - such a picturesque little town once the tour busses have stopped for the day.

For the OP if you and your girlfriend travel light the one nighters are not that bad. I just hate wasting my vacation time schleping around or waiting for someone else to move the luggage.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:39 PM
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b-y b-y is offline
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Assuming you keep the same (or similar) routing, I'd also drop most of the one-night stays. Here is a simple revision:

1) Munich for 4 nights (Oktoberfest, BMW, museum)
2) 1 night in Fussen or Schwangau, near Neuschwanstein Castle
3) 2 nights in Gruyeres (cheese factory, castle, chocolate factory, HR Giger museum)
4) 3 nights in Milan (or in Como, with day trip to Milan by train)
5) 3 nights in the Berchtesgarden area (includes a day trip to Salzburg)
6) 1 final night at a Munich airport hotel

Also, your routing doesn't seem to be a great mix or speed or scenery. You could refine some of the links. Try viamichelin.com. It lets you pick fast or scenic routes.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2011, 06:39 AM
alex md alex md is offline
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Suggestion

Gruyeres 2 nights is to much, stay in Geneva and drive around Montreaux and Annecy will be on top of my list
Milan avoid staying much better choice is Como or Lugano and do day trip to Milan
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2011, 09:09 AM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Thanks for the great input so far. Based on your feedback, here is an alternate itinerary I put together.

This schedule completely cuts out the Berchtesgarden area, Zurich, Milan and Verano and I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...5,9.876709&z=7

1) 4 nights in Munich
2) Hit Cloister Andechs on the way to Fussen for lunch and a tour
3) 1 night in Fussen (Neuschwanstein Castle)
4) 4.5 hour drive to Gruyeres if I take the highway
5) 2 nights in Gruyeres
6) 5.5 hour drive to Como
7) 3 nights in Como
8) 3.5 hour drive to Venice
9) 2 nights in Venice
10) 3.5 hour drive to Heiligenblut
11) 1 night in Heiligenblut (check in Thurs afternoon, check out Fri morning)
12) 2.5 hour drive to Wattens for the tour & lunch
13) 2 hour drive to the BMW dropoff/airport hotel. Need to get there around 3pm I guess so I'm hoping I could leave Wattens at 1pm.

Here's where it gets tricky. With this schedule, I would be checking out of Venice on Thursday. I would need to drop my car off early Friday afternoon in Munich, and my plane takes off on Sat morning. If we could do it, my gf is really excited to see the Swarovsky tour in Wattens, Austria. With this schedule, the Friday setup is possible but a little crunched for time. Innsbruck looks like it's kind of on the way to Wattens...maybe I should cut out Heiligenblut for a night in Innsbruck?

Overall, would this be more enjoyable? Is it easy to get to Milan from Como, and is Como the best place to stay in the lake area?

Last edited by kidvid; 06-02-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2011, 09:26 AM
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Erregend Erregend is offline
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Train from Lake Como to Milan is very easy.

Stay in Varenna, up high on the hillside at Hotel
Eremo Gaudio



INSIST on having a room in the upper building at
the top of the funicular railway (not in the
building at the base of the hill) and then
take the boats to the VERY expensive areas.

Train runs to Varenna.

Last edited by Erregend; 06-02-2011 at 09:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2011, 12:02 PM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
 
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I took a look at some pics for the Eremo Gaudio - wow. Beautiful place. Great suggestion. Unfortunately, they're all booked up for September. I really like the idea of staying in Verrana, especially since it has a train connection to Milan. Any other good places to stay in Verrana?

What about getting there? Google maps is suggesting two ways -- driving around the lake or a ferry from Menaggio, with the ferry being a lot quicker.

Here's another alternate itinerary I just made that cuts out Venice in favor of the Berchtesgaden area. It's a much tighter path on the map.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...ef76f820d7934e

1) 4 nights in Munich
2) 1 night in Fussen
3) 2 nights on Gruyers
4) 3 nights in Verrana
5) 1 night in Innsbruck + Swarovsky Factory tour in Wetten
6) 2 nights in the Berchtesgaden area (salt mine + scenic alpine mountain drive)
7) 1 night at munich airport (Sat morning flight)

Any glaring flaws with this plan? It definitely looks a little more efficient with the driving-time than the other itineraries.

Last edited by kidvid; 06-02-2011 at 02:28 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2011, 01:15 PM
necromancer necromancer is offline
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kidvid,

Can you answer a couple of questions?
- Is this a once in a lifetime trip (do you plan on doing this again or going back to Europe often)?
- Are you a driving enthusiast?

It seems to me you are worried about the driving times/length. The idea of European Delivery (besides saving a ton of cash) is driving your car in Europe! 6 hours of driving in a day is not that bad especially in Europe where everything is realitively close. Lots of places to stop and look around/visit/sight see.

If you want to relax alot then plan your trip with few stops and little driving. Me, if I'm there, I want to see and do as much as I can cause you never know if or when you will ever get the chance again. Besides, you can sleep and relax when you are dead.

Personally, I would spend as much time driving in the Alps specifically Switzerland. The scenery is spectacular as well as the roads. German Alpine road is nice to drive as well. Not nearly as challenging as some roads in Switzerland. Spend a week bouncing around in the Alps then rent an apartment in Tuscany for a week and use it as a base to explore mid to northern Italy. Train into Rome for a day or two. Venice is nice but kind of dirty and gross in my opinion.

If you look around this forum, I would venture that most 2 week trips rack up about 2000 miles driving.

Don't do 5 nights in Munich and one in Fussen. Fussen is an easy day trip from Munich. Use one of your 5 Munich days for Fussen. Also, unless your return flight is a Sunday or very early in the morning, don't stay at the airport. Stay out in the countryside somewhere and drive in 2 hours before flight. Drop off is right at the terminal and only takes 20/30mins.

Also, if you are like me/most folks, you are going to want to get your car and drive. With that said, put your Munich days at the back end of your trip. Have your first night with car be a two hour drive away -Fussen, Salzburg come to mind. The last thing I would want to do is get my new car, leave the Welt, drive to my hotel in downtown Munich, and pay 30Euro a night to park it. You see what I am saying man?

I did 900 miles in 8 days with three little kids and wife. We only stayed two nights in a single hotel. Pack light and smart. We spent an evening at a restaurant across the street from a laundromat. Ate grub and did two loads of laundry. That is part of the charm.

I have rambled enough. Peace out.
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  #11  
Old 06-02-2011, 02:36 PM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Thanks for your feedback Necromancer. You have a good point about the driving aspect. I made a few tweaks to my last google map based on your suggestion. Gone is the ferry ride for a trip around Lake Como, and the trip back from the Burchtesgaden takes a different, longer and hopefully more scenic route. I still have quite a bit of work to do to figure out the most scenic routes between the destinations. What I don't want is a lot of time spent on a boring highway when I could either be sightseeing or looking at spectacular scenery from the car.

To answer your questions - I doubt I'll go back to Europe very often, or at least this part of Europe. Next time, maybe in a year or two, we're going to spend most of our time in southern Italy without the use of a car. As far as driving, I'm trying to strike a balance, with a good amount of driving, but far more of the time spent sightseeing. I've never been to Germany, Switzerland or Italy before.

There have been a few principals that have guided my trip design:
1) I wanted to be in Munich for the opening of Oktoberfest. The first 4 nights in Munich corresponds to the only hotel room I've booked so far. I found a good deal and acted on it before it was too late given the skyrocketing prices for Oktoberfest.
2) I'm a huge HR Giger fan, so a visit to Gruyeres is a must.
3) We wanted to see Italy, at least for a portion of the time. It's negotiable.
4) The plane departs Saturday morning, so dropping off the car Friday afternoon isn't something I can wiggle out of.

Last edited by kidvid; 06-02-2011 at 04:28 PM.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2011, 02:42 PM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Red face 4 nights in Milan, Verona or Venice...or am I crazy?

I talked it over with my gf and we're going to allocate 4 days to Italy, and then 2 days at the Berchtesgaden before heading home. Based on recommendations above, we were really set on staying at Lake Como. I'd still be game for that and would be willing to pay for a place on the lake out of pocket, but I just checked my airlines miles that I have a lot of, and I could use them to get a room for 4 nights in Verano, Milan or even Venice without paying much, if anything, out of pocket.

For day trips, we'd definitely like to take a cooking class in Varrena (the little town next to Lake Como recommended earlier in the thread), see a show at La Scala in Milan and either see the sights in Verona or Venice depending on where we'd be.

Any thoughts on which place would be a better base of operations? Would it even be wise to do this and save some money or am I crazy for not considering a stay by the lake?

Last edited by kidvid; 06-03-2011 at 03:39 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:32 PM
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b-y b-y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvid View Post
I talked it over with my gf and we're going to allocate 4 days to Italy, and then 2 days at the Berchtesgaden before heading home. Based on recommendations above, we were really set on staying at Lake Como. I'd still be game for that and would be willing to pay for a place on the lake out of pocket, but I just checked my airlines miles that I have a lot of, and I could use them to get a room for 4 nights in Verano, Milan or even Venice without paying much, if anything, out of pocket.

For day trips, we'd definitely like to take a cooking class in Varrena, see a show at La Scala in Milan and either see the sights in Verano or Venice depending on where we'd be.

Any thoughts on which place would be a better base of operations? Would it even be wise to do this and save some money or am I crazy for not considering a stay by the lake?
(1) Please clarify...
"Verano can refer to one of the following places in Italy:
-the Italian name of Vöran, a commune in South Tyrol.
-Verano Brianza, a commune in the province of Milan.
-the Verano monumental cemetery in Rome."

(2) The September 2011 calendar for La Scala is here.
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Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2011, 03:40 PM
kidvid kidvid is offline
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Sorry for being confusing. It looks like I misspelled it. I meant Verona -- the place halfway between Milan and Venice.

Thanks for the link. I've never heard of that particular show before "Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria" but I figure it can't be half bad if they're playing it there.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2011, 07:19 PM
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b-y b-y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidvid View Post
Sorry for being confusing. It looks like I misspelled it. I meant Verona -- the place halfway between Milan and Venice.

Thanks for the link. I've never heard of that particular show before "Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria" but I figure it can't be half bad if they're playing it there.
(1) Not a problem...and my spelling isn't so great either.

(2) We provide a full-service operation here:

Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria
Claudio Monteverdi
On sale from 21 July, 9am
New production of the Teatro alla Scala
From 19 to 30 September 2011
Running Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Sung in Italian with electronic libretto in Italian, English
In coproduction with Opéra National de Paris

Synopsis here.
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Recent ED: 25 June 10, 328xiT in Red. Then headed SW to Italy & France. Flew home via Rome. Hoegh Kobe departed 22 July; unloaded at PH 17 Aug. Redelivery 11 Sept. (Re-redelivery 14 Sept....read the details here.)
Previous ED: 7 June 08, X3 3.0si in rosso corsa (*), then off to Italy, Austria, Slovenia. (*Note: A61 Crimson Red north of the Alps.)
Back-up vehicle (while waiting for re-deliveries): 1999 M Roadster in Estoril Blue.
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