Is this vacation possible?
Replies: 35 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2013 12:14 AM Last Post By: gypsygirl08
Dec 17, 2012 8:13 PM
Is this vacation possible?Hi,
My wife and I have 11 days in May or June and wish to see some of Italy, Austria and Germany. I am asking anyone if this is possible to do by train in 9 days. Two of our 11 days would be travel to and from the USA. How efficient is the train system in Italy? Are there any high speed train there? What I would like to do is to fly into Rome and stay in Rome for two or three days. Then take an evening train to Venice and spend one day in Venice. The next day, I would like to take a daytime train through the eastern Alps to Salzberg. I would like to visit Salzberg for two days, and then taken an evening train to Munich. I would like to visit Munich and one or two Bavarian walled cities near Munich in two or three days. Then fly back to the USA from Munich. Yes, I know this would be a "whirlwind trip" without much time in any place. Due to the geography, train system, and limited time, could you recommend a vacation of this type? If I could leave out one or two places, what cities would you miss on this journey? I do not know if I will ever get back to Europe again, so that is the reason for seeing all this at one time. We had one trip 10 day trip by train to Zurich to Interlaken to Montreux to Lausanne to Paris to London two years ago. We saw much, but it was very fast paced. During most of our time in the Alps, it was either raining or very cloudy, so we did not see much of the Alps.
Thanks for any recommendations.
Dec 17, 2012 9:03 PM
1No, I wouldn't recommend. Too Rushed. For nine days, pick 2 cities, with maybe a small town or side trip added. That will be whirllwind enough but will give you some time to enjoy and sightsee. If you need to fly Rome and back from Munich (US Airways?), i would just focus on those two cities. Or, decide what your priorities are. Alps?: spend several days in Austria. Venice?
As for trains, they're pretty efficient. There are high-speed lines in Italy. In other places you will be on regular intercity lines: good, but not high-speed per se. You can consult train schedules at bahn.de. In all, I find all of the relevant train systems more reliable than Amtrak, but not perfect.
I do not know if I will ever get back to Europe again, so that is the reason for seeing all this at one time.
I understand that sentiment, but you have to shake yourself of that fear. Focus on making your stay as enjoyable and meaningful as you can and don't worry about the place you aren't going to see.
Dec 17, 2012 9:53 PM
Dec 17, 2012 10:38 PM
3+ I do not know if I will ever get back to Europe again...+
Therefore you'd like to do things in as superficial a manner as possible, spending as little time in your destinations and as much time between them as possible? That's a strange philosophy.
I would draw almost the exact opposite conclusion: therefore, I'd like to limit my scope to the one or two places that have really sung their siren song to me and that I'm almost certain I'd enjoy, appreciate, value, and perhaps even cherish.
If I could leave out one or two places, what cities would you miss on this journey?
The ones whose siren song isn't coming across quite as loudly and insistently as those of the other proposed destinations. You're asking for an objective approach to entirely subjective matters.
But I will say this: Venice is one of my very favorite cites and I live 2 1/2 hours from it, call it 3 1/2 hours door-to-door. But I still don't visit unless I have a minimum of 3 nights to play with. What you'll do there with your one day is what every other tourist with one day there will be doing--and that's most of them.
Please consider reconsidering.
Dec 17, 2012 10:59 PM
4When I visited,
Rome took me 3.5 days (without jet lag recovery) - though it could easily have taken a week, I just superficially skimmed it all
Venice took me 3 days
Salzburg took me 2 days
Munich took me 3 days.
That's not including arriving or departing, nor travel between cities (For that, check http://www.bahn.co.uk for the timetable and http://www.seat61.com for general info) - this time is just the sightseeing bit.
You could always add more in - for example day trips in Munich to Dachau or Neuschwanstein castle, trips to Bertchesgaden for Hitlers Eagles Nest or the Salt mines from Salzburg (which is why Salzburg has its name - Salt castle), too many options to list for Rome and you could always chillax en route from Venice to Salzburg say in Maranello for the Ferrai factory, or Lake Garda, or the Dolomites.
Dec 18, 2012 12:37 AM
Dec 18, 2012 1:00 AM
Dec 18, 2012 1:03 AM
Dec 18, 2012 2:20 AM
If I give an answer according to my way of thinking, I'd say "don't do it". A person doesn't visit three countries in 9-10 days. They cross borders.
Me, I wouldn't waste the time going to a place like Venice for just a day. I've been there twice (one occasion for a week, including a couple of day trips). Still, I can imagine a bus tour that gives people a half day in Venice walking to and from Piazza San Marco from the train station parking lot. Some people are satisfied with that.
I could try an alternative: given that someone wants to take on this type of holiday, what's the most efficient way of going about doing it? Unfortunately, I don't have much practical experience. But you do!
What it comes down to is the following: rather than me telling you want I'd do, why not you telling me what you want to accomplish, what you're content with? As it now stands, you seem to have some doubts about your three-country plan. Why is that? People who take evening/night trains are often motivated to save time, precisely because they have a suspicion they're trying to do too much. Well, it's a trade-off .. personally, I like to use my evenings getting to know a city at a relaxed pace, which is what all the locals are doing -- out for dinner, sitting out on a cafe terrace in a picturesque square .. a different type of trip.
Dec 18, 2012 2:53 AM
9I agree with everything above. But if it must be, it could look like this:
Days 1-4: Rome, Rome dp by train 17.30 - Venice ar 20.44
Days 5-6 Venice, Venice dp by sleeping car (night train) 20.57 - Munich ar 6.15.
Days 7-9: Munich, may be with a day trip to Salzburg (1 1/2 hrs by train/one way), if you absolutely want to see Salzburg.
But be aware that this itinerary
will be rushed
will let you see only very touristic places where you may meet more foreigners than local people
will give you no opportunitiy to visit the countriside: the real gems and the soul of Europe are there and not in big towns
Dec 18, 2012 8:24 AM
10If your goal is to see something of the three countries, fly into Venice and then proceed to Munich which will take you through Austria which isn't that wide. This will greatly minimize your actual time spent traveling, giving yourself more time to spend actually seeing interesting things. Salzburg is one of my favorite towns in Europe, not only for the lovely oldtown area, but the nextdoor Austrian and German Alps. With a car, I would spend a week there.
But all the places you are going will be loaded with tourists, and foreign ones at that, hardly representative of life in those countries. You might like to investigate other options and spend an interesting time visiting other excellent places far away from those tourist hordes where you can see the "real" country, not the tourist one, and interact with the local people, not fellow tourists and people catering to them.
Dec 18, 2012 1:25 PM
11It is doable allthough quite rushed. Venice can be seen in one full day, of course you will miss some parts. Take the night train as said by #9 and that´s it. Salzburg can be seen in one day too.
Dec 18, 2012 1:29 PM
Dec 18, 2012 1:34 PM
Dec 18, 2012 8:29 PM
14I guess it depends what you mean by "see." I can go to Google maps and "see" any of these cities in just a few seconds!
As for Venice, if you wanted to "see" everything in Piazza San Marco, that would pretty much take the entire day. Leaving the rest of the city, well, unseen. Which brings us back to luca's point...
Not everybody has 4 months to backpack or a full month to spend
No kidding. And yet I know two different parties who do have that sort of time (a retired American couple and a retired Australian lady) who spend 90 days a year in Venice. What the hell are they doing those other 89 days?
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