Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Lesorivel, Sep 2, 2019.
Sep 2, 2019
How to spend 10 days in Europe?
What a big question with not an easy answer!
A lot has to do with your likes and size (not fat shaming but a very tall person struggles with tours that involve small busses for transportation and tours.
Do you like to see everything there is in an area and possibly do a day trip or two from a "home base"? Do you want to get an overview of a lot of places in a short period of time packing and unpacking every day or couple of days?
Do you want something completely planned for you and you just go along for the ride? Do you want most planned and a bit of flexibility? Or do you want to see places on your own time rather than something pre-programmed? Do you want to be with a group of people for the 10 days or independent?
There are tours, there are flexible tours, and then plan on your own or with a good travel agent who knows Europe. Once you start with that, it makes it easier to say what direction to go in.
Then there is the cost....
a2z has great questions. Your preferences would help you decide what to do that is best for you. I'd prefer to stay in 1 home base if it is for 10 days and really see all of the cool places and do the fun stuff...which I know is different for different people. If you decide to go to Paris, there is a lot to do there. Make sure you go to Montmartre. I do not know anyone who didn't like it there. Have fun! I haven't gone in years, but have wonderful memories! I wonder if they still use the 747's that had lounges upstairs. If they do, that is definitely the way to go!
What I wouldn't do is try to cram in too much. My son would spend that long in Germany. I would be inclined to spend the time in Italy, with two days just for Venice. One of my nights, at least, would be in the hotel there. If traveling in the fall or winter, I would spend the rest of the time in Rome, to beat the crowds and the heat. I would find a way to visit Pompeii, but keep in mind that I am a science teacher, and how Pompeii was excavated and preserved has intrigued me since the fifth grade; age and education has just made it that much more precious to me. I could skip France with so few days. My second suggestion would be to spend all ten days in Great Britain, Ireland, and Wales. Ten days will only touch the surface there, but language won't be a problem, and the mass transit is very nice.
I took a 10 day bus tour to Great Britain and Ireland this summer. It was fabulous, but a whirlwind. I loved it, but knew what I was getting into. A few on the tour complained about the schedule, but they obviously hadn't read the itinerary.
Pick a city or country as a starting point, and then go from there.
10 days just isn't as long as it sounds! When I chaperoned and went with a group of student musicians, we were there about 24 days, and we never went to England, or any further south in Italy than Venice. I could have passed on most of Germany (too much the same), long bus rides, Switzerland was very nice, France was hectic, especially Paris, and I did really like Austria. Obviously, knowing that 10 days is much less time than I had before, I would really limit my focus and truly enjoy more time being out of a bus, more time experiencing culture and having experiences that you will remember forever. Actually, I would probably choose to either do Great Britain or Ireland. My son LOVES Ireland, but did spend a summer in England taking a couple of courses. If you have six weeks to explore, you get to utilize things like trains and mass transit, leaving a lot more time to enjoy. When I chaperoned, I got tired of being on the bus.
Sep 3, 2019
Definitely give yourself at least three whole days (two nights minimum) per city -- pick your top two and do a night train / flight between cities to not lose time. Paris / London, Paris / Nice, Paris / Barcelona...notice a theme?
Sep 4, 2019
Europe is packed with countries that are vastly different from each other, in regards of history, culture, food, language, etc. So it's a tough one.
It really depends what you enjoy more.
If you want to see more "famous" and "mainstream" places, locations that you just have to visit, then of course don't skip out Rome, Paris, London, etc.
If you want relaxing, such as beaches and other beautiful places, then Spain, Italy, Greece, etc, but also don't overlook countries like Croatia - beautiful! Switzerland has a beautiful landscape as well with a lot of diversity within the country.
Of course you will find culture, and history everywhere, but in that regard I would recommend some less visited places: Czech Republic, Hungary (visit a town called Eger, there is a castle built in 1200's, very well preserved, and it's a cute little town with a great vibe), Poland (one of my goals is still to go visit Auschwitz)
So, there, you got more options than you need.
I am from Hungary, I've been to Germany many times as a child / teenager, in Poland, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic, and recently, in the past 5 years I've visited Croatia, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Swtizerland.
On my list to visit are Turkey, Poland and one of the Scandinavian countries (preferably in the winter so I can see the northern lights. Iceland would be beautiful)
Weather: if you're going in the fall / winter / early spring, avoid northern countries or those with big mountains as you won't have much to see or be able to get around.
Language: although most tourist places will have people speaking English, keep in mind that English is not necessarily the main 2nd language taught. Knowing German has a lot more benefits (more countries speak German, so it's more widely taught. My high school offered German and Russian only). In the Eastern European countries Russian is still a language most people would understand.
It is often said that in Europe everyone speaks a second or even 3rd language. Not necessarily true. Everyone has learned a 2nd or 3rd language, but it doesn't mean they speak it. But overall, in mainstream places you won't have a problem.
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