Topic Wiki

Still in progress... 3.5 weeks done, 2.5 to go!

As per a great suggestion from Joe, here are the links to each city's TR:
Israel: Part 1
Israel: Part 2 (very short)
Israel: Part 3 - Eilat
Israel: Part 4 - Ein Gedi/Dead Sea
Madrid
(Pics from Israel and Madrid)
Barcelona
Seville
Gibraltar
Rome
Florence
Pisa
Venice
Switzerland

Trip planning thread: http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=37776.0
There you can find all the info about how I booked what. May take some searching in there.
« Last edited by @Yehuda on October 29, 2015, 05:06:09 PM »

Author Topic: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report  (Read 60604 times)

Offline morgs

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #255 on: July 23, 2015, 04:29:08 AM »
Great installment as usual. Brings back good memories although my trip was in the winter. Thank you
Thanks for the installment-PLEASE keep them comin-very enjoyable read!!

Offline ad120

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #256 on: July 23, 2015, 10:44:55 AM »
@Yehuda
not many people would bother posting and even writing that long after their trip. Thank you.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #257 on: July 23, 2015, 02:18:28 PM »
Great installment as usual. Brings back good memories although my trip was in the winter. Thank you
Aw, shucks. It's fun for me to put this together also.
Thanks for the installment-PLEASE keep them comin-very enjoyable read!!
:) I'll keep trying...
@Yehuda
not many people would bother posting and even writing that long after their trip. Thank you.
:) I hope I inspire others to keep on working on their TRs.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #258 on: October 29, 2015, 03:46:44 PM »
Switzerland – July 8

After finishing an amazing 10 days in Italy, we arrived at VCE to catch our 8PM flight to ZRH. If you recall, we most of our flights had been part of a OneWorld Explorer Award ticket which required us to always depart from the same city we arrived in. Our last flight had been into FCO where we then drove through Italy till Venice. Having to get back to FCO to continue our journey, I knew we’d either have to train/drive back down there or pay for a flight from VCE. Then I realized that perhaps we could fit the nearby Switzerland into our journey by taking utilizing one of United’s gracious routing rules. After several HUCAs, I proudly booked a one way ticket on Swiss Airlines from VCE-FCO with a stop in ZRH for 15K miles and $49 per person in coach. Since it’s an international flight for United, you’re allowed a free stopover as long as it’s less than 24 hours long. I had found two legs, VCE-ZRH and ZRH-FCO that had… get ready for it… a 23:55 hour stopover! *pat myself on the back*


Flying from Venice to Rome with a convenient stop on the way in Zurich ;D

This was our first non J (or fake J) flight on the trip, but for the 1 hour flight, we were just fine :P. Before we blinked, we landed. Despite having already looked into which trains to take from the airport to the hotel, it took time getting used to the airport/trains and buying train tickets, so the whole travel took about an hour. For 13.60CHF each (~$15 – finally, a pretty good currency!), we got tickets for the train from the airport to the main Zurich train station (Zurich Hauptbahnhof or Zurich HB) and a tram (basically an above ground subway – nicer than NYC too) from there to the hotel. We stayed at the Sheraton Zurich Hotel for 16K SPG and really liked it. The room was really modern and huge. As a honeymoon gift, they left us this nice plate that we, unfortunately, couldn’t eat.


Swiss chocolate that we can’t eat?? Such a tease

In the morning, we packed up, checked out of the hotel and paid $5 in taxes. I had done some research before the trip about which trains would get us around town and to an Alp, but incredibly, a DDFer from Zurich (who was currently living in Israel) reached out to me and offered to get us an all-day travel pass good for the local trams and the long-distance trains. It’s not easy to obtain one of these as they only go on sale 30 days in advance, only a few are made available for each day and can only be purchased by a Zurich resident. He took care of all of that for us and then actually had someone from his hometown get the passes to him in Israel where he met up with us in Yerushalayim one day while we were there. To do so much for someone you don’t know (and refusing to take anything in return) blew our minds. I love DansDeals.

The passes cost just under $50 each, but were well worth it once you see how much they covered. We first took the tram to Zurich HB where we stored our bags in a locker for 9CHF and then got on another tram to Agudas Achim for Shacharis (IIRC we had to pass through Zurich HB anyway to get to Shul, so it made sense to drop our stuff in the locker anyway). I was caught off guard by how many Jews we saw in the streets – I totally had no idea the Zurich community was so large! Agudas Achim was a Minyan factory (I think), so a new Minyan had been starting when I walked in. After Shul, we went right across the street to the Kosher City Grocery store and were, once again, surprised by how much Kosher food was available. We stocked up on all sorts of food to cover us for breakfast, lunch and dinner for about $50. We got on a tram back to Zurich HB and went to our locker to put my Tallis and Tefillin away. As soon as I opened the locker, I realized my mistake. There went our 9CHF for the day’s locker! :-[ After paying again to re-lock it, we went to speak with an information agent to decide on the best way to get to the Alps with the specific train pass we had. Instead of the classic roundtrip to Lucerne and the (around $100) Golden Ticket up to Mount Pilatus, we opted for trains that would be covered with our pass and decided on Mount Rigi. Unfortunately, this TR is coming so long after we traveled and my notes aren’t so clear, so I'm not positive about our exact route, but it was a day full of train travel with really nice views. We first took a train to the city of Audi (I believe) where we then took another train to the base of the mountain. It was a cloudy and rainy day, but the buildings/cities we passed were really nice and the mountainous sights were still awe-some.







From there, we took a cable car up to the top of Rigi. At times, this train got pretty steep – and boy was it getting colder and wetter by the minute – and as we rode, I read the map of the mountain. The train makes a few stops on its way to the peak, where you can get off and explore or switch train lines to other areas of the mountain. While heading up, our view was still clear, and we saw some sheep chilling in the rain.



Once we finally got to the top, though, we were in one, big, FREEZING cloud.


You like that effect, eh??

Thankfully it wasn't raining up here, but because you couldn’t see 5 feet infront of you, there wasn’t any point in walking around. Wearing just sweatshirts was not wise, but we also didn’t exactly have coats with us on our summer Eurotrip ::). We went into the gift shop to warm up for a few minutes before getting back on the train to head down to the next level station below us. At this level, we could see around slightly better and found an information office where we learned about the hiking options in the area, but due to the cold and rainy weather, we opted to just walk around the area nearby. We came across the Mineralbad & Spa which was totally unexpected up here on the mountain, but we left once we found out the prices. We then made our way to the gondola down to the town of Weggis (I believe). Once we were below cloud-level, we got some of our best views of the day with Lake Lucerne at the bottom (although the camera really didn’t capture them well).






Back on solid ground

We knew that we had to take a boat back from here to Lucerne, but we didn’t know where to go exactly. Instead of asking for help, we just wandered through the small town, checking out the streets and shops until we made our way to the dock where we found out we had some time to kill till the next departure.


Swiss pets, I guess?


;D ;D

My wife made some friends at the water’s edge.





The beautiful Lake Lucerne.



When it was time to board, we got on the boat and found the trip very pleasant. There was plenty of seating – mostly restaurant-style – with food and drinks being served. The views on the water were great - even caught a few glimpses of snow-capped mountain tops. Within a half hour, we docked at Lucerne. Despite having heard that the city is very nice to walk through, we were getting tired, so we headed into the train station, which was conveniently right next to the dock.


Our lone picture from Lucerne; some military thing going on, I guess

We took the train back to Zurich HB, picked up our stuff from the locker and got on a train for the airport. I had originally thought we’d go out to dinner (take advantage when there are Kosher restaurants!), but the food we bought in the morning was enough, so we headed to the airport and made it for our 9:05PM flight to Rome. It was too late for the hotel shuttle, so we took a taxi for 35 euro to the Sheraton Golf Parco de' Medici, booked for 7K SPG. The hotel was pretty standard (although it had a golf course out back), and after scheduling the airport shuttle for the morning, we went to sleep.

Despite the rain and cold weather, we had a great 23 hours and 55 minutes in Switzerland!

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #259 on: October 29, 2015, 03:49:09 PM »
Woohoo for getting another part out!

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #260 on: October 29, 2015, 03:52:41 PM »
It's a good thing you did not try and use green stars before you earned them :p
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #261 on: October 29, 2015, 03:56:31 PM »
lol, but great job @Yehuda for continuing this TR so long after the trip! May you will indeed finish it one day soon.

Offline stbaum

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #262 on: October 29, 2015, 04:38:18 PM »
oh boy! what an unexpected treat! thanks!
My greatest achievement? I am fluent in FRIENDS quotes

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #263 on: October 29, 2015, 04:40:08 PM »
oh boy! what an unexpected treat! thanks!
Unexpected indeed.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #264 on: October 29, 2015, 04:47:23 PM »
It's a good thing you did not try and use green stars before you earned them :p
Lol give me some time

lol, but great job @Yehuda for continuing this TR so long after the trip! May you will indeed finish it one day soon.
Thanks and Amen!

oh boy! what an unexpected treat! thanks!
Hehe, had some time today.

Offline zow

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #265 on: October 29, 2015, 09:13:26 PM »
Beautiful! How do you remember such detail from, what, more than a year ago? I can barely remember last week.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #266 on: October 29, 2015, 09:22:21 PM »
Beautiful! How do you remember such detail from, what, more than a year ago? I can barely remember last week.
Probably took notes.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #267 on: October 29, 2015, 09:24:05 PM »
Probably took notes.
+1
Yep, although some days have much less than others.

Offline VacationLover

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #268 on: October 29, 2015, 10:16:03 PM »
Interesting that you chose Mt Rigi over Pilatus.

Nice recap though

Offline Ergel

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon Trip Report
« Reply #269 on: October 30, 2015, 01:00:54 AM »
I still can't believe you refuse to invest $300 in a camera, but whatever.

Bummer on the weather, glad you enjoyed anyways
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