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Old 09-03-2014, 03:42 PM   #21
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How far do you have to go to get the "off season". Bruges, Belgium was absolutely packed at the very end of September last year. I don't think we're willing to go much later in the year. May or September is about the best we can do.

I can't imagine what it is like in July and August, the supposedly "crowded" months!
OK, there are special cases. Brugge, being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is naturally a top tourist destination and is usually crowded. I was there myself in early June this year, and it was already pretty well packed. But I have been there in late September and it was great. Well, at least far better.

And I have been in Denmark in December, Iceland in January, and Germany in February, and had a great time. I'm fine with cold weather (but I can't stand a lot of heat), but I know it's unpleasant for some. Still, if your objective is to enjoy a visit to another country, weather is really just one of the parameters, and shouldn't be the main one IMHO. I think too many travelers rank it higher than necessary.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:21 AM   #22
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I large can of Berliner Beer was .89cents - small can of Coke - .95cents!!! Go to the supermarkets and get your meals like the locals. We also stayed at 4 star hotels that provided breakfast. We made sandwiches each morning for the road.

Guess what I drank....
I found the beer in Prague to be cheaper than the bottled water in restaurants. I managed to choke down a couple.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:40 AM   #23
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Just a quick update. We are on day 13 of our trip and are in Bellagio, Italy. It has been a great trip so far. Oktoberfest was a blast. We started too early however. We got into a large tent around 1400 hours but only lasted until 1730 hours. The place was packed! I had to assist my BIL in walking out. The underground near the Oktoberfest had people in Orange vests lined along the edge of the track to keep the drunks from falling onto the tracks. That was a smart move.

Everywhere we have stayed has been great and the food awsome. Switzerland was beautiful but expensive.

We changed our plans for next week and plan on heading to Rome b train after Venice then catching a flight to Prague skipping Vienna. Then on to Berlin for two days and then flying home.


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Old 10-02-2014, 09:12 AM   #24
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I

Accounting to our tour director, you get twice the time for the same $ when you stay away from from Italy/London/Paris. Berlin is the place to be -
My experience is that you can get 50% more for your money by walkingaway from the most tourist areas. Visit the site you want to see in those areas. But, when searching for a restaurant, walk in a direction away from the tourist centers. Sometimes all it takes is 3 or 4 blocks. Of course, nice weather is a good excuse for a picnic in the park.

Also know what foods to order. Pizza in Venice was good and cheap compared to most other things on the menu. Add in a glass of the house red, and you're set.

+1 on Berlin. A great city, very interesting and not as expensive as Paris or London. I lived on these 2-3 Euro sandwiches they sell at the entrances to the S-Bahn stations.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #25
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Just a quick update. We are on day 13 of our trip and are in Bellagio, Italy. It has been a great trip so far. Oktoberfest was a blast. We started too early however. We got into a large tent around 1400 hours but only lasted until 1730 hours. The place was packed! I had to assist my BIL in walking out. The underground near the Oktoberfest had people in Orange vests lined along the edge of the track to keep the drunks from falling onto the tracks. That was a smart move.

Everywhere we have stayed has been great and the food awsome. Switzerland was beautiful but expensive.

We changed our plans for next week and plan on heading to Rome b train after Venice then catching a flight to Prague skipping Vienna. Then on to Berlin for two days and then flying home.


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How many liters did you all drink?!? I couldn't believe how many people were drinking eine maß (huge liter mug) at a time. More empty maß mugs on the table - and this under ordinary afternoon consumption. At 5.5% alcohol on average that is huge consumption. I just can't believe how much beer the average Bavarian can put away.

I always got a small - which was still usually half a liter!!!
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:27 AM   #26
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How many liters did you all drink?!? I couldn't believe how many people were drinking eine maß (huge liter mug) at a time. More empty maß mugs on the table - and this under ordinary afternoon consumption. At 5.5% alcohol on average that is huge consumption. I just can't believe how much beer the average Bavarian can put away.



I always got a small - which was still usually half a liter!!!

I was only good for one liter. I am not a huge drinker but everyone around me had no problems with multiple beers. My BIL bought a round for 3 of the German guys that we were sitting with. They looked at him like he was crazy. The one guy said "We German's count our coins." as in they don't usually buy other peoples drinks so they appreciated it.


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Old 10-09-2014, 02:30 AM   #27
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We breezed through Venice and Rome. Both great cities and bustling with tourists. Now we are in Prague. What a place! This is my favorite city so far. I was not sure what to expect when we got here but I never expeced it to be so beautiful. We are staying near the Old Town Square. We had a tour guide yesterday who spent three hours with us yesterday walking around old town. He was great and gave a good historical perspective on the city. Today we are doing a WWII tour that was given 5 Stars on Trip Advisor. I must admit we have relied on Trip Advisor many times during this trip. It is a great resources.


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Old 10-09-2014, 06:11 AM   #28
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We breezed through Venice and Rome. Both great cities and bustling with tourists. Now we are in Prague. What a place! This is my favorite city so far. I was not sure what to expect when we got here but I never expeced it to be so beautiful.
Prague is wonderful. I'd like to say it's my favorite but then I think of other places that are pretty close. Many places are specieal in their own way.

You're near the end of your trip. Did you get a chance to visit Cesky Krumlov?
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:19 AM   #29
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How many liters did you all drink?!? I couldn't believe how many people were drinking eine maß (huge liter mug) at a time. More empty maß mugs on the table - and this under ordinary afternoon consumption. At 5.5% alcohol on average that is huge consumption. I just can't believe how much beer the average Bavarian can put away.

I always got a small - which was still usually half a liter!!!
I can assure you it's in the genes. There are heavy Bavarian roots in my family and beer has been a favorite. In a feable attempt to control my weight, I've had to swear off beer in favor of less fattening choices.

A good Bavarian can go on about beer just like a Frenchman can discuss wine. My knowledge in both areas is lacking so I glaze over quickly in either company. Both the French and Bavarians can finally agree on something -- that I'm just another ignorant American.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:47 AM   #30
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We breezed through Venice and Rome. Both great cities and bustling with tourists. Now we are in Prague. What a place!
Don't miss the "bone church" at Sedlec, a half-hour drive from Prague's old city. You can hire a guide to take you there by minibus.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:12 AM   #31
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We could have stayed longer in Prague there is so much to see and do. We never had a chance to go outside of the city but it would have been great to go to some of the other towns. The WWII tour was just ok. The guide was good but I was expecting more.

After Prague we took a train to Berlin and spent a full day there. We took a 4 hour walking tour which was great. The guide was a history teacher and was excellant. I can't say enough good things about the public transportation in Europe. It was very convenient.

All in all we had the perfect trip, the food was good, the places we stayed were comfortable and the transportation was reliable. We spent 22 days traveling and could have spent another 22 days. For the two of us it cost around $10,000 which included $3,000 for the flight, around $2,500 for lodging and the remainder food, tours and incidentals.

The only negative was when I got home I lost the first 7 days of photos o the trip from my memory card for some reason. I have used a couple of file recovery programs and have gotten some photos back but nothing for the first 7-days of the trip (all of Bavaria). We do have iPhone photos so it is not a total loss. I wish there were a way to backup the memory card every night but I didn't want to have to carry a laptop with me all around Europe. I am not sure how it happened but it was probably operator error of some sort.


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Old 10-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #32
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I wish there were a way to backup the memory card every night but I didn't want to have to carry a laptop with me all around Europe. I am not sure how it happened but it was probably operator error of some sort.

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I use my iPad for backup. All that's required is the Apple camera connection kit. Works with either jpeg or RAW. Of course it's something else to carry, but useful anyway for planning en route.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:21 PM   #33
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Edit: So sorry, posted this in the wrong thread. Moved to intended"Have You Got Any Travel Planned" thread.
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Old 10-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #34
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Sounds like a great trip!
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:29 PM   #35
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I use my iPad for backup. All that's required is the Apple camera connection kit. Works with either jpeg or RAW. Of course it's something else to carry, but useful anyway for planning en route.
+1

I also have a free Google drive account which the iPad logs in to. I then edit the photos on the iPad, copy them to my Google drive, sort them in folders and rename them. When I get home from the trip I then simply copy them to my home laptop and external drive.

For long trips the sorting and naming makes things a whole lot easier than trying to do it months later.
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