Author Topic: Europe May 2010 Trip Planning Thread.  (Read 60643 times)

Offline Dan

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Europe May 2010 Trip Planning Thread.
« on: March 11, 2010, 12:52:13 PM »
So I'm trying to make a trip to Europe in May with my wife.
I would definitely like to hit up Paris and stay in the supreme goodness that is the $2,000/night Park Hyatt Vendome.

If we were to go to one other European city what would you recommend?
Ideally it should have an SPG or Hyatt presence, but if not I'm sure we'll be able to find someplace to stay at for free :)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2010, 08:55:12 PM by Dan »
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Offline deals

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 12:57:36 PM »
if you wanna fly than italy or prague
or amsterdam by train

Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 01:05:45 PM »
if you wanna fly than italy or prague
or amsterdam by train
Where in Italy?
Venice?
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Offline batzelda1

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 01:18:59 PM »
i think madrid and barcelona are great

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 01:35:24 PM »
Where in Italy?
Venice?

Venice, yes max 3 days

Milano, NO

Rome yes

Florence yes, max 1 day

Pisa yes, max 1/2 day

Pompei/Vesuvius yes, 1 day max

Naples/Sorento/Amalfi yes, min 2 day (in Naples you WILL get robbed)


Thats basic Italy,

if you need more info on more countries, let me know.

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 01:36:55 PM »
i think madrid and barcelona are great

You want to go to Barcelona, however, unless your are arranging with stopovers, I'd visit a bit more of a country then just one city.

Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 01:53:51 PM »
You want to go to Barcelona, however, unless your are arranging with stopovers, I'd visit a bit more of a country then just one city.
It's going to be with stopovers, so probably 2 cities in Europe max.

Unless there are any other cities that can be "seen" in less than 24 hours to qualify as a connection instead of a stopover.

So would you recommend doing Paris and Venice?  How many days in each?

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Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 02:11:49 PM »
It's going to be with stopovers, so probably 2 cities in Europe max.

Unless there are any other cities that can be "seen" in less than 24 hours to qualify as a connection instead of a stopover.

So would you recommend doing Paris and Venice?  How many days in each?



If you use aeroplan miles, you can have 10 stops as well.

Venice takes 2 days to see it all, 3 days if you do it a little be'iyun, with the islands)

Its very nice to be shabbos there, chabad invites toons of people there, basically a very special atmosphere.

Paris is tricky, depends your 'tolerance' to culture, etc.

I would add IST to your list (2 days) if you dont look to jewish, before its too late. I loved it.

Offline damaxer91

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 03:11:53 PM »
If you use aeroplan miles, you can have 10 stops as well.

Venice takes 2 days to see it all, 3 days if you do it a little be'iyun, with the islands)

Its very nice to be shabbos there, chabad invites toons of people there, basically a very special atmosphere.

Paris is tricky, depends your 'tolerance' to culture, etc.

I would add IST to your list (2 days) if you dont look to jewish, before its too late. I loved it.

IST is worth it just to fly the TK 77W!

Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 04:15:37 PM »
If you use aeroplan miles, you can have 10 stops as well.

Venice takes 2 days to see it all, 3 days if you do it a little be'iyun, with the islands)

Its very nice to be shabbos there, chabad invites toons of people there, basically a very special atmosphere.

Paris is tricky, depends your 'tolerance' to culture, etc.

I would add IST to your list (2 days) if you dont look to jewish, before its too late. I loved it.
I don't have Aeroplan miles...but how would you make 10 stopovers, I thought the limit was 2?
Their miles get me nervous because of the rough expiration dates and the fuel surcharges that can always apply to all *A travel at their whim.

So you recommended being in Venice for Shabbos over the Park Hyatt Paris/Vendome?
Is Paris a 2 day city? 4 days?

I've got a beard...not so sure that IST is the best of ideas.
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Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 04:22:53 PM »
IST is worth it just to fly the TK 77W!
Better than flying SQ to FRA?
I'm probably going to redeem 100K/125K US in J or F for the trip.  Although if I can go in early May I may rough in on AA/BA for 40K in Y.
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Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 07:34:50 PM »
Okay, lets set a few things straight:

while i'm typing here now, I'm booking with aeroplan an open jaw return from the usa to europe, with 5 flights in europe (including a 5 day stop, which is not the open jaw part).

Their taxes are usually very low, and if by mistake they are higher, you just call again a few hours later, and all will be alright.

The best is to mix airlines, not just use LH (or LX), then you have almost a guaranteed failure in their tax calculations.

The SQ FRA-JFK you will not be able to book in First.

The overnight stay in IST you can get a free hotel (shuttle to hotel, and limo back for free) [ask for the www.grandyavuzhotel.com].

In Istanbul stick to the Sultanahmet area, which is the most interesting.

If you are dressed with the flow it'll be alright. Remember, Turks aren't Arabs, and don't dare call them this.

Worst come to worse, you buy a nanach yarmulke, but without the writing, and youll blend right in with your beard. Just wear slippers to make it complete.

Btw, they just got the taxes loaded. incl their CAD30 its CAD174, which is excellent for a 6 legged trip.

In Venice Id stay in the Ghetto Vechio area. The point is being in local hotels, to feel the vibes, not in a too posh western standard hotels.

Stay a little longer then shabbos, i.e. have say the whole friday and sunday to tour. (there is a eruv there).


Paris depends on your wife and your own love for art, architecture and the likes.

(not wanting to judge, an average american would be fedup after two days, as "everything" looks the same to him.)

Offline moish

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2010, 01:19:54 AM »
i dont agree. paris is beautiful. you can wander around for hours. venice indeed is an experience, but i went there mid summer so im not sure in may. rome might be another option. good kosher food, a beautiful shul, archaeology that will blow your mind, and you could see everything you READ in angels & demons.

Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2010, 01:38:08 AM »
i dont agree. paris is beautiful. you can wander around for hours. venice indeed is an experience, but i went there mid summer so im not sure in may. rome might be another option. good kosher food, a beautiful shul, archaeology that will blow your mind, and you could see everything you READ in angels & demons.
Is there really that much for an frum jew to do in Rome once you knock out the churches?

Paris and Venice sounds like a nice trip...now I just need to figure out how to get both onto one *A award ticket...
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Offline damaxer91

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2010, 04:56:25 AM »
Try and incorporate at least 2 of these into your flying experience as they are the best that Europe has to offer:

1. TK 77W in F (Still the best F product in my opinion, though I have not flown EK (yet ;))
2. LX 333 in F or J (from ZRH or GVA to NY and possibly ZRH-ORD as well in the Spring)
3. SQ F from JFK-FRA-JFK (VERY HARD to get using partner miles though extremely easy using SQ miles)
4. LH First Class Terminal in FRA (Don't forget to call before to order your 5 course kosher meal)
 
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 04:58:31 AM by damaxer91 »

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2010, 05:13:30 AM »
Is there really that much for an frum jew to do in Rome once you knock out the churches?

Paris and Venice sounds like a nice trip...now I just need to figure out how to get both onto one *A award ticket...

To Moish: Not everyone likes Paris for more then 1-2 days, depends the type.

Rome has what to do when knocking the churches off. however, Florence, not so much, but what there is to see is beautiful. Arriving morning leaving in the eve is no problem.


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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2010, 05:27:11 AM »
Try and incorporate at least 2 of these into your flying experience as they are the best that Europe has to offer:

1. TK 77W in F (Still the best F product in my opinion, though I have not flown EK (yet ;))
2. LX 333 in F or J (from ZRH or GVA to NY and possibly ZRH-ORD as well in the Spring)
3. SQ F from JFK-FRA-JFK (VERY HARD to get using partner miles though extremely easy using SQ miles)
4. LH First Class Terminal in FRA (Don't forget to call before to order your 5 course kosher meal)
 

Nice choice, but not very cultured choice.

Using SQ miles will allow you that many stops??

Was this sunday in the First terminal in FRA, and besides the fact that you can order customized kosher meal, I prefer by far the MUC F lounge for a couple of reasons: Assuming that you are on a stopover in FRA, you might need to take a good walk to get there (its outside the airport, and depending which terminal you are coming from, some dont have any signs up to get you there), FRA F terminal is sometimes overcrowded and MUC not. There is a huge variety of treifes in FRA, which shouldnt concern you. Muc has new relaxation rooms, and when you want to take a shower (superb), as the lady for the one with the Bath (jacuzzi, jet,...), its moiredig.

In other words, besides for FRA to be spoiled with many F and Hon travelers, the airport is huge and a 1:20 stopover isnt a luxury to catch another flight without going to the lounge.

In MUC its smaller, so you get much more attention, you can ask the limo (from the lounge) more favors, more easily, such as bring me next to the stairs of the plane, or to wait till everyone is in the plane to board.

The actual First Class seats I prefer in Swiss. Have a Blue label or two (in the last LH inflight magazine it worked out to 260 euro the liter...)

To damaxer: You prefer TK F to the (new) F from Thai? Dude this is something, plus the treatment in BKK, "man dechar shemay..."

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2010, 05:28:15 AM »
MUC has one problem, which is to connect a TLV flight to the USA, but going back isnt a problem, so you can commbine.

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2010, 06:03:01 AM »
Im in a generous mood (not bored), so here we go:

All DIY pics, no Google-images-grabbing.

Sorry for lousy quality, its my phone...


Entrance to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal





Appetizer (including chrain)  :P , on LH First.





Heavy snow (and delays) at MUC airport





MUC LH First Lounge










KSML in MUC Lounge (Antwerpian food, not too good [but hey, I didn't order it, it was just there]





Getting into the Limo (a Mercedes 450 Hybrid)





Inside the Limo





While regular mortals are waiting like sardines in the bus for an authorisation to board the plane, I'm already sitting (shoes off  ;) )





An adjoining aircraft is being sprayed with anti-freeze (note the different color shades [for once its not my cam])






For people into the forensics, some picture are done with my Nokia and some with my Blackberry (besides where obvious because you see one of them in the picture), which one is taken with which one?

Offline Dan

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Re: Favorite European Cities?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2010, 12:03:56 PM »
Try and incorporate at least 2 of these into your flying experience as they are the best that Europe has to offer:

1. TK 77W in F (Still the best F product in my opinion, though I have not flown EK (yet ;))
2. LX 333 in F or J (from ZRH or GVA to NY and possibly ZRH-ORD as well in the Spring)
3. SQ F from JFK-FRA-JFK (VERY HARD to get using partner miles though extremely easy using SQ miles)
4. LH First Class Terminal in FRA (Don't forget to call before to order your 5 course kosher meal)
 
Is it worth going J on SQ?
Which LH flight in F is best?
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