Saturday, March 04, 2006

Time to book vacation, any suggestions?

Well, now that my partner's vacation time has been approved for 2006, it is time for us to decide where to go. I am open to any and all suggestions. Any secret place you've been to and would like to share? I want it to be in Europe or the near vicinity. Right now we are leaning towards Paris for a week and then take an overnight train to Barcelona. Then staying there at least 4 nights and fly back to Duesseldorf. If you're providing suggestions I would appreciate links to websites, for example like that. Thanks in advance!
UPDATE: Further clarification...1. 2 weeks; 2. in May, 3. Preferably larger cities, 4. Somewhere not too hot, like maybe Scandinavia. We are leaning towards Scandinavia and a side trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. Finally, I am very sensitive to water. I get sea sick VERY easily. We took our first cruise in November 2004 and I was sick the whole time. If I am getting on a boat I have to take medication so we will avoid any water trips. I hate it, because this is a fairly recent development. I use to love boats and water. I'd rather be at the beach than anywhere, but not any more. We considered and try to see the French Riviera really cheaply, but I cannot imagine getting on another cruise ship.
SECOND UPDATE: We have already booked our flight from Duesseldorf to Paris. We will be in Paris for five nights and then we booked a train from Paris to Nice where we will be staying for eight nights before flying on dba back to Duesseldorf.


Anonymous Tim said...

I'd suggest Scandinavia: Beautiful landscape, lovely cities (especially Copenhague and Stockholm!) and open-minded, friendly people. The youth hostels in Scandinavia have a very high quality standard (in fact, they are often more like little hotels). Moreover, touring these countries is very safe and - because of the good infrastructure - comfortable.
Our trip was Denmark (isle of Romo - Esbjerg - Thisted - Aalborg - Skansen - Frederikshavn), then with a ferryboat to Norway (Larvik - Oslo - Kongsvinger), Sweden (Örebrö - Eskilstuna - Mariefred (Gripsholm castle) - Uppsala - Stockholm), with another ferryboat on a short trip to Finland (Helsinki), back to Stockholm, down the southeastern coast of Sweden (Södertälje - Kalmar - Karlskrona - Malmö), via the Öresund bridge to Copenhague, then southwards via some Danish islands to Rodby and then with another ferryboat to the German island of Fehmarn. We did this trip in late September and early October (2003), and it was - though not inexpensive - a great experience. My boyfriend has some pictures of the trip on his homepage ( If you have the chance to go between May and August/September, you'll have better weather and of course the long days without real nights that make the Scandinavians wanting to party and party and party... On the other hand, fall is also quite nice with terrific coloured leaves everywhere...

3:18 PM  
Blogger ~d said...

I traced you thru alala...I am going to lurk awhile, but I wanted you to know I am here...I liked your choices of music...we chare the same..I ALMOST went with Gwen and Busta.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Hey James - What type of vacation are you looking for?
Paris will be extremely more crowded during the summer months. But for instance if you went on July 14th it is a great party underneath the Eiffel tower!

Paris is great for seeing museums and walking and shopping. Drinking wine and having great food. I stayed at one rather cheap ** (2 star) hotel. But I'd been there before. Personally, I'd rather be down on the beach in Nice, Cannes and Monaco...

I've never been to Barcelona but it will be very hot during those times.

And tim is so right about visiting Scandinavia during the summer - the time is right for full nights of sun and beautiful skies...

Don't discount Switzerland or parts of Italy. And you forgot about Prague!!! Rather cheap, great beer...

Throw out more of what you are looking for in a vacation and how many days or the week you are thinking of going.... I might be able to throw in a bit more input that way.

6:17 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

P.s. PAris is so hot in the summer and they don't use air conditioning! Try Go into their forums. That's the best place for sure!

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We really enjoyed a couple of days in Denmark a few years ago.

Paris and Barcelona are great, but as Expat says, very hot in the summertime.

Nice and Moncaco are cool to visit.

Switzerland and Austria are also lovely.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops! Anonymous was me. :-)


9:22 PM  
Blogger alala said...

Ooo! Paris=fantastic! I went with my mom and my son a few aprils ago, and it was wonderful, though you might want to avoid the unpleasantly stinky sewer tour. Oh, what am I saying? If you're not traveling with an 8-year-old boy the sewer tour wouldn't occur to you anyway, would it?

Not sure what your usual standard for hotels is but we stayed at the Valadon (**), near the Rue Cler, and we enjoyed it a lot.

Anyway, looking forward to hearing about your holiday, whatever you decide.

12:40 AM  
Blogger J said...

Off the top of my head: Andalucia, Croatia (especially Dubrovnik) or Greece.

9:06 AM  
Blogger saksa2000 said...

As you may now I have a special liking for finland.
So why not Helsinki?
You can get from DUS to HEL with "Air Berlin" for little money.
The money you save for the flight, you could spend for a breathtaking trip to Tallinn (Estonia). You can cross the Baltic Sea by helicopter!!! Check it here:

St. Petersburg is quite close too. To avoid ships you could go there with the "Sibelius Train":

Hey, that sounds so great, I should do this!

10:46 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

I've been to Paris in April and October, so can't tell you about the weather in May. Barcelona is WONderful, esp. if you like Gaudi architecture, but again, we were there in October. We are doing the Scandinavian and St. Petersburg cruise at the end of May (we both love the water) because we think it will be spectacular then. Maybe we'll see you in St. Petersburg?? We're docked there for 2 days, June 2-3.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

That is so incredibly romantic. *happy sigh* If you have a moment, do think of us stuck here in Deutschland and snap a few pics?
(who gets a kick out of vicarious vacations)

7:20 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Hey James - Corsica is more for locals and there is something like an hr boat ride both ways. I'd stay away from there. My cousin in law has a house there. It's great but probably better after the month of May. I'd say you'll enjoy the rivera better. I've heard that people don't exactly welcome visitors either. Yes it is beautiful but not really for tourists.

I'm sure you can find enough recommendations on tripadvisor though... Congrats on your picks. I'm sure you guys are going to have lots of fun!

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Manuel said...

Corsica is awesome, that's a great choice (best destination, just after San Francisco of course...). ;-)

1:26 AM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Bonjour! Paris is delightful in May. The south of France is where I live; You won't regret coming here either! The French Rivera is beautiful especially the little tucked away towns that dot the coastline.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous tobias said...

I would have said Helsinki as well, but I am (and I know it) extremely late to respond to the matter.
But the good thing about Helsinki is that you can do Helsinki, Tallinn, Stockholm and St Petersburg all in one trip. Not bad!
Also - don't miss Riga! Wonderful place indeed.

11:48 AM  

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