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Europe Family Resorts and Hotels

 
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  #11  
Old 06-23-2009, 07:22 PM
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EuroBill EuroBill is offline
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Location: Upstate New York near Rochester
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Default Stuttgart and home

The night train was not as nice as I expected. When I did this route on a business trip I had a deluxe first class sleeper and it was new railstock with en ensuite bath/shower. Instead it was a lot like the Italy train. Oh well. It was not as hot! The ride was comfortable but over early as we arrived at 6:30am.

We got breakfast, stored our luggage, and took some walks. We got a local transit pass (family pass) for the day and headed to the TV tower to meet another co-worker of ours. We visited and looked over the city.

We headed back down to the city center and now the place was alive. Stuttgart has a great city center with lots of parkland, shopping and pedestrian areas... but it's a modern city as it was mostly destroyed in WWII. Some great old buildings made it or have been restored. We enjoyed the atmosphere, shopping (there is a wonderful toy store) and eating. We got a picnic dinner to take on the train with us later.

Back to Zurich, 2 hours on a Luxury train. On arrival we had about a half mile walk to the Zurich central Marriott. A splurge? Maybe sometimes, but we got it for just $120. It was nice to have all the luxuries. We did go out walking to find dinner but most areas had shut down by 7:00. Finally found a restaurant district along the river on the far side from the train station heading toward the lake.

The next morning, it was raining. No, pouring! Walk a half mile and take the train soaking wet for free, or take a taxi to the airport for $60? No brainer.

We told the taxi we were flying USAir and did not realize our flight was operated by another airline, so we were at the wrong terminal!

Check in was annoying, the kisok check in would not work so they made me wait in a line for "problems" so check in took an hour. We arrived plenty early so it was OK.

Finally we got on our short flight to connect at Frankfort. Our flight was delayed a little bit, squeezing our connection time. I was a little nervous now, we had 30 minutes. We got off and started off toward the gate for our transatlantic flight. And walked. and walked. and walked. and walked some more. This is the longest connection walk I have ever seen, and that includes Chicago and Denver. Now we have 10 minutes left and we arrive at... a security checkpoint. Ugh. Finally into the boarding area, and although the flight board has been flashing "boarding" for a while, nothing is happening. In fact, we are delayed, quite a lot, because our plane is parked in the wrong place. They get us buses, which circle the airport making us think we went a long way, only to arrive back 50 feet from where we started. But our plane is on the other side of an access road so we can't walk to it! Hilarious.

The rest is uneventful, back through Philadelphia, connecting with a very delayed and very late flight to Rochester. My poor daughter had to be practically carried onto the last plane and does not remember anything about it.

It was a wonderful trip, a trip of a lifetime... well hopefully not, I want to back!
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2009, 07:29 PM
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EuroBill EuroBill is offline
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Default

Our online scrapbook of the trip is at

http://www.abrams3.org/news.html

Happy to answer questions.


I have also taken 2 business trips to Europe, also using a lot of rail travel.

First Trip:
Flew in to London, one day at work in Harrow, England
Train to Paris, one night there, one day at work and evening touring
Night train to Stuttgart, two days there
Personal time in Zurich, 3 days touring Switzerland
Flew to Stockholm, Sweden
3 days conference there, evenings and a half day touring

Second Trip:
Flew into London
Train to Paris, 1 night there
Train to Stuttgart, 3 days there
Train to Belgium, 1 day there
Train to London, 5 days there including 3 days touring
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  #13  
Old 06-24-2009, 12:02 AM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Default I'm loving it, Bill!

Thank you SO much for posting what you have thus far...........everything sounds GREAT and you have been SO very helpful and thorough in giving great details to our members. You travel like I travel and you make it sound do-able on your own, which it SO is, either as a family or a solo traveler. I too love Switzerland, Paris, Germany, Italy..........a lot of what you wrote I had first hand knowledge of or experience with. Good memories and hopes for returns.

I am going to direct your postings to our Community Manager for consideration as a contender for Trip Report of the week. I think it is SO worthy!! I am sure she will too!

Mille Grazie, Wielen Danke, Merci Beaucoup!
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  #14  
Old 07-05-2009, 02:26 PM
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delbrige delbrige is offline
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I thought I was there with you guys such good reading!!! Thanks so very much for sharing!
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2009, 01:46 PM
cardbucfan cardbucfan is offline
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Wow! Thanks for such a comprehensive review! I may hire you to plan our next vacation (if I can figure out what it's going to be!). thanks.
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  #16  
Old 07-21-2009, 11:32 AM
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EuroBill EuroBill is offline
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Default Count me in

Happy to help......





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  #17  
Old 08-08-2009, 10:58 PM
mum and son mum and son is offline
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Hi EuroBill,

Excellent info inthis thread - thanks for sharing...

I will be in Paris for one day only (not overnight) with my 10 year old son in January. I have been there before but this will be a first for my son. We are visiting London for 10 days before leaving on a cruise from Barcelona and thought that we are too close to Paris not to drop in on the way (overnight train Paris to Barcelona leaves at 8.30pm, so we will get the Euro star from London to Paris early that morning).

Anyway, I am planning to take him to the top of the Eiffel Tower (possibly for sunset) and perhaps a short cruise on the Seine, but what else would you suggest to fill the day? My son won't be interested in galleries of any sort etc (and I have already seen them), is there anything in particular that you think might interest a 10 year old boy?

Regards,
Libby
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  #18  
Old 08-15-2009, 07:53 PM
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EuroBill EuroBill is offline
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Hi Libby,

My daughter was 8 when we went. The things she really liked included
- the Eiffel Tower
- Seine boat ride
- Subway rides
- Food - like Bertillon's on Ile St Louis behind Notre Dame
- Shopping (but that's probably because she's a girl!)
- Bus tour - see a lot without so much walking but it's mostly looking at buildings
- Buildings with amazing interiors like Notre Dame and St. Chappelle

Hope that helps,
Bill
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  #19  
Old 08-21-2009, 09:51 AM
MaggieMom MaggieMom is offline
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My suggestion for drumming up interest...show him some disney movies/shows. We took my daughter to Rome and Munich, before a cruise, when she was 4. Watching Little Einsteins where they went to the Coliseum helped get her "interested". You could have him watch, for example, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, or iirc, Igor, which I think is a take off. Doing some things like that might get him interested. (Wizards of Waverly Place just had some art come to life, including the Mona Lisa, so you could get him "up' with that to get to the Louvre...) Ya get the idea...

If it is still done, climbing stairs everywhere always gets some interest--we climbed to the bell tower at Notre Dame in the 90s (before dd) and the view was pretty cool.
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2009, 10:10 PM
kluv2cruz kluv2cruz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum and son View Post
Hi EuroBill,

Excellent info inthis thread - thanks for sharing...

I will be in Paris for one day only (not overnight) with my 10 year old son in January. I have been there before but this will be a first for my son. We are visiting London for 10 days before leaving on a cruise from Barcelona and thought that we are too close to Paris not to drop in on the way (overnight train Paris to Barcelona leaves at 8.30pm, so we will get the Euro star from London to Paris early that morning).

Anyway, I am planning to take him to the top of the Eiffel Tower (possibly for sunset) and perhaps a short cruise on the Seine, but what else would you suggest to fill the day? My son won't be interested in galleries of any sort etc (and I have already seen them), is there anything in particular that you think might interest a 10 year old boy?

Regards,
Libby
I am doing a similar trip the month before you - do you know where the train to Barcelona leaves from in Paris? I was thinking it might make sense to find somewhere to stay near the train station.
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