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Old 02-04-2008, 08:00 PM   #1
heinz57
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Default Planning out my trip to Europe (Medium-Long)

I graduate in May, and as a gift to myself I'm taking the small savings account I have had since I was a kid...well a younger kid, and I'm going to do as much backpacking across Europe as possible. The account is a few thousand dollars so I'm hoping that gets me at least 1-2 months of beer tasting and brewery touring. I've never been to Europe before, and I can't wait to go.

I'm hoping to hit as many brewing countries as possible. I don/t really have a reason for this plan yet, but it's a progression that will hopefully take me across a decent stretch of Europe. I plan to fly in to London as it seems to be the most economical way to go. I'm not sure if I want to do a round trip ticket, but that will depend on rescheduling fees.

Since it’s most likely going to be the least expensive to fly to London I thought I’d start in Ireland and just head East. From there head back to the UK, then to Belgium, on to Germany, then Czech, and depending on $$ and time Austria.

I plan on staying in hostels mostly, but I have a few friends in some of the areas I’ll be visiting.

What I’m hoping to do over the next few months is come up with a list of "must sees" in each country. There is a lot of history in each one, and plenty of good beer to drink so I’m excited to hear about everyone’s stories and insights into where I should go and the best ways to go about getting there. I purchased Beer (Eyewitness Companions) by Michael Jackson and have been leafing through it so far, but seemed small enough to bring with me and informative enough to be worth the money.

Thoughts? Stories? I'm all ears

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Old 02-04-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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Breweries are nice.

So are a bunch of other things, like... uh, girls?

Seriously, hyperfocus on beer may lead you to miss a great many other points of interest, IMO.

Go hike (and brew) with Orfy!

EDIT: PM me for some ideas about France, Switzerland, Italy. You have to go to Venice, it will only exist as we know it for another 30 years or so...

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Old 02-04-2008, 09:16 PM   #3
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Where are you thinking in Germany? I and Edwort usually have quite a bit of inside info on that country, also, definitely go to Czech--cheap beer, great hostels in Praha and some of the coolest architecture. Very affordable.

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Old 02-05-2008, 03:05 AM   #4
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The idea behind the trip was to mainly venture across Europe. I figured there would be plenty to do/see all along the way, so my interests aren't solely with regard to breweries.


I still haven't planned out the trip with regard to where in each country I plan on going. I plan on doing plenty of reading both the forum and literature though. Even still, who knows what the plan will be once I get there.


Right now I was just interested to hear from those who have lived/traveled the areas and were kind enough to share. That's good to know about Venice, I hadn't really considered going to Italy, but I don't see a reason to exclude it from my trip.

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Old 02-05-2008, 05:24 AM   #5
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Well, If you're heading into London consider taking the Chunnel to Paris (That thing is a wonder of modern engineering) and take some time to explore Paris. The Louvre, Montemarte (spelling), Eiffel Tower obviously, Notre Dame, Arch de Triomphe and so forth. That city could potentially take weeks to visit. Outside of Paris heading east the town of Strassbourg on the border with Germany has some serious history and some really cool museums, i'd call it a day trip.
Continuing east into Germany stop in Stuttgart and visit the Mercedes museum, Porsche museum, and enjoy that lively industrious city, it has some great bars and clubs in the downtown area northeast of the Schloss. Heidleberg is about an hour north of Stuttgart and worth a visit because of it's sheer beauty and history, but that's a day from Stuttgart at most.
Continuing east again you should go slightly north to Germany self-proclaimed (actually by hitler) most German city, Nürnberg. They have some nazi museums and the Altstadt is still medieval and have some amazing beers. If i recall right, right by the Albrecht Drürer house there is an altbraurerie that uses medieval ingredients and techniques that is really cool. Ask to go underground.
From Nürnberg you can stop by Regensburg--about an hour southeast--and see one of the most notoriously beautiful and original German cities. The bridge there is almost 1000 years old over the Danube and you need to view the Walhalla Temple about 10km east. Wiki it.
Head south to Munich and my god is there stuff to do there. Many art museums, bavaria museum, bars and bierhalls to your hearts desire and some great culture to enjoy. Look up Munich online for stuff to do because i cant list it all here.
You have two choices here, Prague or Salzburg/Vienna. Either way is badass. Prague is more party, while the latter are more culture. Prague has cheap and really good beers and some great clubs and a fairly cool city. Salzburg and Vienna are definitely more refined and more expensive but really also something to admire. Once you go through the alps, which is a ****ty train ride, and end up in Italy, Venice is pretty cool but don't plan on finding a hostel there, the hostels are always packed and are expensive because the city has become a very large tourist trap. But definitely worth a look. I thought it was one of the coolest things i have ever seen.
From there, i'd try to stay in northern Italy, unless you're into Italian culture (i am not). I found Rome, Naples and all the rest to be blah, tourist traps, and dirty. Florence, Turin on the likes are amazing and anything along the Riveria in southern France is amazing too.

Ok gah, that was a lot, but i spent quite a bit of time there and actually will be back come March so maybe we can meet up if you're in the Heart of Germany, i'll be in Kassel. Anyways, happy journeys my friend!

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #6
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Give me a shout when you outline your Itinerary.

Take a look at http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/ and www.megabus.com
Also www.easyjet.com

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Old 02-05-2008, 09:39 PM   #7
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I have flown Ryanair, it is like the greyhound of the skys...what an experience. Sterwardesses yelling at people to hurry up so you can take off faster, screeching tires of a plane around turns...but what the crap it was super cheap

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Old 02-05-2008, 09:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
Give me a shout when you outline your Itinerary.

Take a look at http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/ and www.megabus.com
Also www.easyjet.com
also check out www.airberlin.com and research other cheap airlines. it may well be better to do this than take trains, although i think trains are kind of part of the experience of running around europe.

also - sometimes you'll end up at a pretty remote airport, like frankfurt/hahn, which is 90 min from frankfurt and a PITA to get to/from.

as orfy says - when you have a route, let us know, i lived in munich for years and travelled around quite a bit. although things have changed a lot (notably prague's prices!), any ideas are useful!
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:54 PM   #9
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Get a Eurorail pass and some good walking/hiking shoes (break them in before you leave). You'll have a blast!

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Old 02-06-2008, 02:07 AM   #10
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That's funny, i just bought a pair of Burks and used those as my hiking shoes, worked out great and kept the weight down...but you know, i'm just badass like that

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