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Old 06-13-2016, 07:17 PM   #2921
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I have been working out all the details and am still hard at it - see my tag line.
  • We are heading out late August, to spend a week in Amsterdam.
  • Then flying to Lyon for 3 nights
Then by train to:
  • Avignon for 6 nights - visit Nimes, Arles, Pont-du-Gard, Alpilles sites, Luberon sites
  • Nice for 6 nights - visit Antibes, Cap Ferat, Eze, Grasse, interior sites, St. Paul de Vence
  • Aix-en-Provence 2 nights - visit Cassis
  • Carcassonne 1 night
  • Barcelona 6 nights - mostly in city but will do at least one day trip out to Dali's home/museum.
  • Fly home from Barcelona.

We are using the towns in Provence and the Riviera as bases, and going out on day trips just about every day via train/bus or pre-booked minivan tour.

The transfer from Nice to Barcelona, we're breaking up an otherwise long train ride at some interesting spots.
I spent a week in Avignon, day tripped to Nimes, Arles, Pont du Gard. Drove an afternoon through the Luberon, probably not enough time. Roussillon looked pretty.

Between the western part of Provence/Cote d'Azur and Nice, you could look into driving to Gorges du Verdon. They call it their Grand Canyon. I drove from Cannes so it was a long day trip.

Oh and out of all the coastal towns near Nice, visit Eze, which is perched above. It is also near the Corniche roads over Monaco, where Grace Kelly had her auto accident. But the views from up there are stunning. I've only day tripped there. The hotels up there with views over the coast and Mediterranean below are expensive as are some of the restaurants with views. But might be worth a splurge.

You can get plenty of views though just going up to the botanical gardens at the top. I think you can buy a combo ticket for the gardens in Eze and then drive down to right before Cap Ferrat where there is the Rothschild Villa. It is a garden on a peninsula so both sides surrounded by water and you see beautiful landscaping and the nearby coast lines. There's also a lighthouse near the tip of Cap Ferrat, as well as a walk you can do around the peninsula.

For visiting Monaco, you might consider taking the train, so you don't have to deal with the parking. I've never been to the aquarium there but it's suppose to be something if you're into that. I think it's associated with Jacques Cousteau. Of course there is the casino too.

Over Nice, over the old town, is a garden overlooking the coastline. You can climb several hundred feet by foot or pay a couple of Euros for the elevator.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:48 PM   #2922
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I have been working out all the details and am still hard at it - see my tag line.
  • We are heading out late August, to spend a week in Amsterdam.
  • Then flying to Lyon for 3 nights
Then by train to:
  • Avignon for 6 nights - visit Nimes, Arles, Pont-du-Gard, Alpilles sites, Luberon sites
  • Nice for 6 nights - visit Antibes, Cap Ferat, Eze, Grasse, interior sites, St. Paul de Vence
  • Aix-en-Provence 2 nights - visit Cassis
  • Carcassonne 1 night
  • Barcelona 6 nights - mostly in city but will do at least one day trip out to Dali's home/museum.
  • Fly home from Barcelona.

We are using the towns in Provence and the Riviera as bases, and going out on day trips just about every day via train/bus or pre-booked minivan tour.

The transfer from Nice to Barcelona, we're breaking up an otherwise long train ride at some interesting spots.
I was in most of those places this past summer. You will have a great time. We did several day trips from Nice - the local train is super cheap. And the view of naked sunbathers from the train made for interesting conversations with the kids. (Mom... why is that man naked except his sneakers? Because he needs to hike down the rocks to the stone beach.)
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:53 PM   #2923
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Thaks for for all the great advice! Especially about the gardens.

I don't want to deal with a car, but I think we'll be able to catch some of the Gorges of Verdun on a minivan tour. Not the whole thing, but a couple of spots.

Many places near Nice we can reach by bus or train. I had already tagged the Rothschild Villa as a must see.

We'll skip Monaco.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:58 PM   #2924
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Monaco does have some beautiful buildings. Not just the casino but right next to it is the Hotel de Paris.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:10 PM   #2925
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Monaco does have some beautiful buildings. Not just the casino but right next to it is the Hotel de Paris.
Just not our thing. We'd rather spend more time on the villages and interior sites.

One reason I'm going to Nice is I spent a summer there when I was 5 years old, so it's kind of a nostalgic return.

Another is to visit nearby Grasse, the home of the Provence perfume industry.
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Old 06-15-2016, 08:29 PM   #2926
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What did everybody enjoy most on their Barcelona visit?

I've already found a nice minivan day tour that includes the Dali house/museum in Port Lligat (a logistically difficult trip).
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:03 PM   #2927
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I like the Gaudi buildings but also Parc Guell and Hospital Ssant Pau.

The cable car ride over the harbor.

Montserrat and Tarragona day trips.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:17 PM   #2928
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Montserrat and Tarragona day trips.
Train to Girona is nice too.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:23 PM   #2929
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Unfortunately I haven't visited the northern coast, the Costa Brava. I'm not big for visiting Dali's home but some people drive across the border there into France.

Actually want to visit Andorra too, but it's not that close to Barcelona.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:38 PM   #2930
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I like the Gaudi buildings but also Parc Guell and Hospital Ssant Pau.

The cable car ride over the harbor.

Montserrat and Tarragona day trips.
Thanks!

Yes, the Gaudi buildings and Parc Guell are high on our list.

A longish half-day trip to Montserrat looks worthwhile and very doable on our own and via cable car too. I love cable car rides. Didn't know about the one over the harbor.
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:40 AM   #2931
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Hawaii in October/November...1 week in Kauai...1 week on big island

February 2017...ski trip to CO.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:16 PM   #2932
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Been in Amsterdam, now in Brugges. Had a rare sunny day today! Any must see places here? We are staying at Casselburgh Grand Hotel in the top of the original building. Very nice.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:37 PM   #2933
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I didn't go inside the city hall but I think you can pay to go up to the tower.

Had only a sunny afternoon there and the rest of the time it rained or was overcast so I didn't pay to go up to the tower.

Further south of the main square though there is the Begijnhof and some nice red brick buildings along the canal there. On a nice day, it would be worth the walk.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:58 PM   #2934
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I have been to Europe exactly 4 times in my life. Two of them were May 17-30 (participated in a music festival in Italy) and June 14-23 (right now). We are really enjoying our driving trip around Iceland. We're relaxing after 3 days of serious hiking (5-7 miles daily) to look at waterfalls, glaciers, and the mid-Atlantic ridge. I love how long the days are, that right now it is never dark, the unbelievable beauty of the country, and that everyone speaks English. This was a good choice for us.

Next year we're spending 2 weeks in Hawaii in the winter and planning a trip to Jackson Hole specifically to see the solar eclipse. I've also been invited back to Italy next year.


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Old 06-25-2016, 05:37 PM   #2935
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Travelling to Quebec and the Maritimes in Aug. Just booked a side trip by air to go to Newfoundland and then on to Ireland. The latter two were on our bucket lists for a long time. A great airfare sealed the deal.
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Old 06-25-2016, 05:44 PM   #2936
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Just got back from Baja California with 5 kids. 2 are headed off somewhere 7/6 - 7/9 then 1 to school in Aux du Provence in August / 1 to SFSU.

I need a vacation

Toying between Scotland, rails across northern US states,
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Old 06-25-2016, 06:47 PM   #2937
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Making my 3rd trip to Thailand with a side trip to Malaysia in September - October. We will spend a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur and then go to Sarawak State in Borneo where we will take several tours into the National Parks there and visit the city of Kuching. Then back to Southern Thailand with a visit to Koh Samui and then to Pattaya.

Using this tour company in Borneo

Sarawak Tours & Daytrips in Malaysian Borneo | Borneo Adventure

Will be gone for a month.

Also, I'm doing the SE Asia trip a week after going the New York City for an annual meet up with college friends from 40 years ago.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:00 PM   #2938
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Booked a flight to Boston for some early leaf peeping this September. DW has never lived anywhere that had spectacular Autumns. Will rent an RV and drive to the leaves, since it's difficult to predict where the change will be best during a particular week. I'm prepared to drive all the way to Quebec or even Labrador if necessary.

I think the quest will make the trip more exciting.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:11 PM   #2939
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The UK is looking a bit cheaper these days.
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Old 06-25-2016, 07:32 PM   #2940
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Booked a flight to Boston for some early leaf peeping this September. DW has never lived anywhere that had spectacular Autumns. Will rent an RV and drive to the leaves, since it's difficult to predict where the change will be best during a particular week. I'm prepared to drive all the way to Quebec or even Labrador if necessary.

I think the quest will make the trip more exciting.
There are a bunch of websites that track the fall foliage. Do some googling to find them.
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