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14 Day Itinerary - Help/Suggestions
StongoMongo
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Hey everyone…
 
(Great website here, by the way) I am going to Europe for the first time with a friend from June 29 until July 14 for a total of 2 weeks.  The goal of this trip for me is to see things I have only seen&nbspictures of and may never have another chance to see again.  I am not really too interested in immersing myself in someone else’s culture…. it might sound shallow but I only have 2 weeks to work with here, we’re going to try and cover as much ground as possible.  I am a big fan of history, so any chance I get to take in some historical sights I want to take advantage of.  For example, I’m not real interested in France in general, but I really want to see The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, etc.
 
I have played around with a few different itineraries (downloaded the timetables for eurail.com).  The one I have below is the one I like most so far.  Keep in mind our original plan was a 14 city/14 day trip that some friends of ours did 2 years ago and said they absolutely loved it… we’ve chopped the city count to half of that #.  We plan to do almost all of our travel on the Eurail, and possibly a flight from Rome to Madrid near the end of the 2 weeks.  I’m a pretty high energy person and so is my friend so I’m pretty sure we can handle a pretty hectic trip that’s a bit travel-heavy.
 
6.29 – (Friday) Leave Cincinnati, Layover NYC, Depart to Madrid
 
6.30 – (Saturday) Arrive Madrid 9:00 AM, Madrid all day, night train to Barcelona
 
7.1 – Barcelona
 
7.2 – Barcelona all day, night train to Paris
 
7.3 – Paris (possibly take train to Normandy for day and take WWII tour)
 
7.4 – Paris all day, night train to Munich
 
7.5 – Munich
 
7.6 – Munich
 
7.7 – Leave Munich in morning for Interlaken (connect in Zurich), spend second half of day in Interlaken (this will be the “outdoors” portion of our trip)
 
7.8 – Interlaken all day, leave in evening for Zurich and take night train to Rome OR Florence
 
7.9 to 7.12 - A mixture of Rome and Florence.  One variation of this is going to Florence first, then to Rome and taking a RyanAir flight from Rome to Madrid on 7.12 (found a flight for 25 euros).  The other variation was go to Rome first, then Florence, then take a series of trains back to Madrid, possibly stopping at a city on the Mediterrannean coast in Italy of France for a day along the way if we sacrifice a day in Florence.
 
7.13 – Madrid
 
7.14 – (Saturday) Leave Madrid airport in the AM
 
Please let me know what you think of this, any insight would be helpful.  I know it’s a hectic trip, but that’s kind of what we are going for.  Also, I was going to buy one of the standard Eurail packages.  Clearly, I’m all about the night trains as a means to make the most of my 2 weeks.  My plan right now is based off the assumption that I will be able to make the upgrades to the night train upon my arrival in that city.  So, for example, when I get to Munich, immediately book a spot on a train to Rome and pay the difference in price between the ticket my Eurail pass would have covered and the night train ticket.
 
Thanks.

jkfaust
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It looks well laid out and doable, but I’m a firm believer that you will see more by trying to do less.  You will be able to see the main things in the cities your going to but you won’t really experience anything but the trains and train stations.  Like you said, you’re looking for a hectic trip, and you will get that and it looks like your itinerary will work.

Brigada
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Like you said, If you are a high energy person this is possible.  Don’t expect to remember much from it.  At the end of your trip, the cities you saw in the start will blend together.  I guess, at least you wil lbe able to say you saw these palces once right? Take lots of pictures!!  and Good luck!

augustin25
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You’ll definitely be tired a lot – sleeping on a train every other night will ensure it.  I’d skip that train to Normandy and stay in Paris so that you’ll have more than a day to see the sights there.  You might also consider flying back to Madrid from Rome – that’s a long, brutal train trip that won’t be covered just at night.

StongoMongo
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Thanks for the replies so far.  I am wondering if it would be better to NOT by a Eurail pass and just book the train tickets whenever we get to the respective train station.  I’m thinking that might save money.  I haven’t calculated it yet because I don’t know how much each individual train ticket would cost, but for now can anyone steer me on way or the other?  The original plan was that we would go ahead and buy the eurail pass and upgrade to night trains upon arrival to a new city.
 
augustin 25,
You mentioned that we’d be real tired sleeping on a train every other night… is it difficult to get enough rest on train, even if you have a bed?
 
Brigada,
I doubt I’ll be forgetting much of this trip whether I go to one city or ten… but I do plan to take tons of pictures regardless!  Vacation doesn’t grow on trees so I’m going to try and see as much as I can handle.

dsoshnik
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: StongoMongo

Thanks for the replies so far.  I am wondering if it would be better to NOT by a Eurail pass and just book the train tickets whenever we get to the respective train station.  I’m thinking that might save money.  I haven’t calculated it yet because I don’t know how much each individual train ticket would cost, but for now can anyone steer me on way or the other?  The original plan was that we would go ahead and buy the eurail pass and upgrade to night trains upon arrival to a new city.


 
you might try going to railsaver.com and clicking that you have a good idea of your itinerary.  from there, click “only if railpasses save me money”.
 
good luck,