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3 months in europe: grad trip 2010

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    imatrojan
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    If you’ve been to any of these countries and have feedback, please post-it. I particularly want to make sure I have enough time in each country, so if you think any one stay is too short/too long please post that feedback as well.

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    Naples, Madrid for 4 days is too much. 3 Days in Nice is alot too, Otherwise, pretty good itinerary.

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    Thanks mim, I’ve made a few changes. I plan on doing day trips from Naples into Pompeii and Capri but I dropped it to 3 per your rec (and an Italian friend who says Naples is sketchy), and also dropped a day from both Nice and Madrid. I’m really into culture and small towns so if anyone has suggestions on places to stay (i.e. Gimmelwald in Switzerland) please post those.

    Thanks!

    mim
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    If you’re interested in smaller towns and culture, I would also check out Granada, Spain and Siena, Italy. You’ll fall in love! Check out the map for more details.

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    Instead of staying in Naples, you could stay in Sorrento instead. You’d easily be able to visit Pompeii and Capri from Sorrento and perhaps continue further south along the Amalfi Coast.

    Naples is worth a half day for a pizza and the Archeological Museum, if interested. I wouldn’t stay over night.

    imatrojan
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    Thanks mim – I’m thinking about adding Granada before Sevilla, and since Siena is en route to Florence I may do that as well.

    If you (or anyone else) has time, please check out my detailed itinerary and leave any thoughts http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgvjjmh2_384cmfsrzgf

    Thanks!

    imatrojan
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    Thanks dreaming – that seems to make more sense. My italian friend had really terrible things to stay about Naples (crime etc.). So Sorrento with day/half-day trips to Capri, Pompeii and Naples will be my go-to.

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    I really like your Italy itinerary overall. Bologna is a great visit; make sure to splurge a little (by that I mean a 10 euro meal at a restaurant) and eat tortellini there because it’s fantastic.

    I enjoyed Siena as well, it is worth a visit. Florence is fantastic and really fun. And of course Rome, is amazing.

    I looked at the link you posted and a couple things- the gelato at San Crispino’s is excellent, though I think Giolotti’s is better. Though really, I didn’t have a negative gelato experience, it’s all fantastic. Lunch: try Forno on Campo di Fiori. Very cheap and delicious sandwiches and pizza.

    Secondly, you can’t get the full effect of the Forum or Colosseum just by looking at it from the outside. It’s impressive from the outside, sure, but they are truly amazing and you should definitely pay the 11 euro to tour both. Consider a Roma pass which covers many sites and allows you to skip the lines. Obviously, the Pantheon, Vatican, & St Peter’s are other “must see’s” for me.

    I’d want 2 days in Venice, though you can see everything in 1 day. Venice is definitely a place to take it slow, wonder around, and get lost in however, not to just see the sites. It also doesn’t have to be expensive.

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    Pamplona is worth 2 or 3 days ONLY if you’re there during the San Fermin festival (i.e. Running of the Bulls) otherwise there’s not much reason to go there.

    Brugges for 4 days may be a bit much too…it’s a really small town so 2 days would be more than enough.

    My opinion of Greece is that the real charm is in the islands…Maybe cut Athens to 3 days and then spend the extra days I’ve identified hitting a couple of islands (catch train or bus from Athens to Pireaus and grab a ferry from there…you could book ferries online, but it’s just as easy to hit any of the booking offices down by the habrbour)

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    double post

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    Hey finnegan,

    Yeah I am in Pamplona for the running of the bulls. I have a friend who lives there and I will be running.

    I have an updated itinerary I will post soon where Bruges is cut down to two days – I add an extra day in Amsterdam, and add a trip to frankfurt after munich since those are the cheapest flights to Marrakech.

    I have Athens down for that entire week but I will actually be island hoping. I’m just not sure what islands I will be hitting up yet. What are your thoughts?

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    Word of advice for the running of the bulls:
    Don’t run your fist day there. Watch at least one run before you try it yourself (after seeing it you may decide it’s not for you).
    Walk the route before your run it.
    Make sure you bring a pair of white pants and a white t-shirt (buy a souvenir red bandana when you get there) – this is the unofficial uniform of the runners. Because the run is so popular, the cops sometimes limit the number of runners. If you look like a tourist (i.e. no uniform) you might not get to run.
    If you run into trouble it’s better to squeeze through the fence boards than to try to climb up (lots of people get gored trying to climb fence).
    Try to find some friendly locals to run with.

    Have fun

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    Thanks, finnegan. Right now I’m scheduled to get to Pamplona on the 5th (the day before festivities begin), I figured that would give me some time to get to know the route. I definitely would not have thought of bringing the outfit. I made a few changes to my itinerary. Cut out sorrento/pompeii/naples in favor of some more time in the Balkans. Let me know what you think if you have a chance…

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    I think you have a sweet looking trip planned…I personally am not a big fan of Nice and Cannes. The beaches are rocky, the restaurants expensive and in the summer it’s pretty crowded. They are worth a visit but maybe for a day each.

    Biarritiz used to be a hang out for the rich and famous years ago but not anymore. It’s very expensive. Most people who go there are german windsurfers who camp out in their vans. I might swing through Biarritz just to see it but stay in Bayonne or if you want to experience some Basque culture, visit St. Jean Pied de Port in the pyrenne mountains.

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    While you are in Lisbon make sure you get a chance to check out the Castle of Sintra.