Europe, Anyone?

I am asking for input from anyone who has traveled to Europe. The hubs (short for hubby since that's just too long for me to type) and I are planning to go to Europe for about 14-16 days and since Neither of has ever been, we need suggestions on where to go, what to do, where to stay (that is Cheap), etc. Some places we're interested in are Dublin, London, Rome... but ultimately we're not really sure. We figure we'll only be able to go to 2-4 different places depending on the vicinity and how much time we want to spend at each place.

So, let 'er rip. Gimme all the juicy details about Europe!

P.S. To give you an idea of the sort of things we like to do: we love hiking (we're very outdoorsy folk), culture (art, history, etc.), socializing (as in drinking), and I like shopping (can't say the same for the hubs on this one). We definitely like adventure and have participated in activities such as rock climbing, white water rafting, sky diving, bungee jumping (the hubs only on this one, not me), and go kart racing.


Bill Cameron said...

My wife and I did Paris, Florence, and Sienna our last big trip. The breakdown was 7 nights in Paris, then an overnight train to Florence, where we stayed 4 nights, then an early train to Sienna where we stayed just one night, but had the whole afternoon and all day the second day, since we took the overnight train from there back to Paris. Then one more night in Paris, but with a full day before and a mid-morning plane home the next day so we could really enjoy our last day there.

Florence and Sienna are both wonderful for walking. Paris is, of course, Paris. We skipped renting a car everywhere we went and just used our feet, or in Paris, the Metro.

In Paris we stayed at a little place called Hotel Le Loiret, which is about two blocks from the Louvre, and yet was very reasonable. Our room ws the size of a thimble, but it was nice and the staff was lovely.

In Florence, we stayed at an incredibly charming bed and breakfast called Residenza Il Villino. It was a little more expensive than we originally wanted to play, but it was so wonderful, and with such a vast breakfast, that I think it worked out to be a great value. We loved it.

I am blanking on our Sienna accomodations, but it was nothing special. The key to Sienna is finding a place within the old medieval city and then you can walk everywhere. It is a wonderful town. Frankly, I'd live in Sienna if I could make it work. Or Florence. Or Paris.

Have a wonderful trip with hub, wherever you decide to go!

Brett Battles said...

I love Europe. You almost can't go wrong anywhere, especially for your first trip! Dublin is fun, as is all Ireland. London is great: museums, pubs, shows, and as much walking as you want to do. Bill's already told you about Italy. So much history there.

I've never been, but my friends say Spain is also great. Barcelona, Madrid, etc.

I've spent a lot of time in Berlin, which I enjoyed a lot more than I expected. Also Switzerland, which is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Great chocolate there, too!

Drinking in Europe will never be a problem. Hiking...you might want to include either Switzerland or northern Italy (alps area), but no matter where you go, walking is a big thing in Europe. I spent an entire day walking all over London and was wiped out by night. Culture is everywhere. Shopping...eh...yeah...I'm sure someone else will help you with this.

Ultimately, you'll have more fun if you stick to 2, maybe 3 places total. Spend more time in each area and get to know it. You can do the quickie, see as much as you can thing, but that's like reading a synopsis as opposed to reading the story.

Enjoy. You'll have a great time.

mai wen said...

Thank you guys so much for all the info, I'm getting excited just reading about it. Nothing beats personal accounts and experiences of places. I really appreciate the detail provided, places to stay, etc. That'll make the planning tons easier.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I spent a year living in Europe.

We could be here all of July. But if you have really specific places in mind, feel free to ask. There are so many great places...

Derek J. Rogers said...

If I had to pick two places, it would be Paris and Rome. Before going to Rome I was told by friends that it was big and dirty and no fun. I couldn't disagree more. It is is big, and it can be a little intimidating, but I think it is one of the most alive, magical places I've ever been. Take the hub shopping for jewelry and then walk over to the Coliseum. Take a tour and then grab dinner at a cafe that overlooks the Coliseum when it is lit up at night. Extremely romantic. As for Paris, I went there on my honeymoon. I think all writers owe it themselves to go to Paris. It is elegant and has great museums. Check out the Buddha Bar if the you get a chance. It has thousands of Buddhas on little shelves on all the walls. The atmosphere is like no other.


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