March 10, 2004



Europe Travel Log

April 27 through May 14, 2000

Europe Day 1

 We arrived in Rome at 8:30am

managed the money exchange and purchased our first train ticket to Termini.  We booked a room  conveniently at the airport.  Our next task, finding out how to get to our hotel.  Information at the station was very helpful.  Bus 40 would take us within 1 block from the Hotel Bolivar.  The room was small but did have its own bath.

Sites.. Piazza Venezia, The Forum, The Colosseum, Fountain di Trevi.  The Spanish Steps.

Food... lunch at a little outdoor pizza place.  Dinner at outdoor cafe near the Spanish steps.

Notes...  The forum and the ruins were incredible.  All of this inside the city and heavy traffic.  Drivers were like mad men.  Not many apparent rules being followed.  Great start...

Hotel...  Hotel Bolivar, 250,000 L- 4 people.

Europe Day 2

Day 2...

Rome-morning.  Breakfast at hotel.  Back to Termini to drop off backpacks and go to the Vatican.  Bus 40 again takes within 1 block.  The line at 10:00am was horrible to get into the Vatican museums.  We decided to skip the Sistine and tour around the grounds. 

Validated our first europass and successfully boarded train to Pisa.

Pisa was much larger than we expected.  Next there was some debate which bus actually took us to the tower.  Bus A.  The tower was very impressive, leaned a lot further than we thought.  Took the long bus back to the station. 

To Montarosa...  Arrived late and did not have a room.  Three inquiries later, we found an apartment with dinner and breakfast for $50 pp.  Dinner was three course.  They ran out of pork roast after we had ordered and only had seafood and one meat dish left, rabbit.  Kristin actually loved it.  The rest had sea bass.  The apartment was very nice, overlooking the older part of the town.

Sites...  Vatican, Saint Angelo Castle Piazza san Pietro, the Tiber, Leaning tower of Pisa.

Europe Day 3

Breakfast was good.  Caught train to Vernazza.  Within 5min we had a 4th floor room overlooking town square and marina.  Hiked a very steep and lengthy trail to Corniglia.  Had lunch and trained to Rio Maggiore.  Hiked back north to  Mantarola.  Boated back to Vernazza.  Ate pizza as the sun fell.  Used cell phone to call friends.

Notes...  Heard Greece music coming from small cafe.  Gelato is wonderful here.  Ended evening with a stroll by the marina.  Great day....

Europe Day 4

Day 4...  Got up early to catch the train to Genova.  Another possible mistake, the train made just about all the stops one make (next time look for a more express train if time permits).  Now boarding an express train to Milan...  Did not have time to stop in Milan for lunch.  Caught the next express train to Venice.  First class seats were limited.  First time we have noticed the need for reservations.  Got to Venice in about 3 hours.  Booked reservations for night train to Munich, 127,000L.  Next chore, to find a hotel.  We walked to a general area where we new there were a few AAA listed hotels.  We picked a small little hotel with 12 rooms.  The lady was very nice.  Double room for 110,000 L.  She recommended a nice restaurant.  We walked through the walkways and over the canals.  Very beautiful and confusing.  Dinner was nice, steak was brought pretty rare.. Had to send it back.  Pizzas are very thin but good.

hotel...  Alberto Alex.  110,000 L

Europe Day 5

Day 5... First time we had to shower down the hall.

We have all day in Venice, need to store luggage to hike for the day.

We found and toured the Grand Canal.  Saw the Piaza san Marco, basilica della santa maria salute.  The water bus was one of the most enjoyable events of the day.  Bus 1 tours the Grande Canal.  Lunch was outside at a pizzeria.  In the afternoon we had several hours to kill before our night train to Munich.  We opted to use our earlier water bus tickets to take the bus back down the grand canal, illegally of course.  Nobody cared until we stayed on the bus to cross over to Lido.  We were asked for our tickets and we gave them.  We were told that these tickets were in violation.  Kristin argued...we all tried to play dumb American, but that did not work.  In the end we had to pay about a $50 fine.  We made our way back to the station, had dinner and got on our first night train.  The couchette was small but comfortable.

Notes...  To visit the inside of any churches you must where pants.  The water bus is a must.  The pizza is very thin.  Crowds are every even in the off-season.

Europe Day 6

Munich...  We arrived early and needed to wait for the tourist information office to open.  They found hotel room for the 4 of us.  Hotel Europaischer 200 dm.

We visited the Marian Platz and viewed the glockenspiel.  Did Mikes bike tour.  Wonderful.  Lunch at beer garden.  Did some shopping and dinner at the Hofbrauhaus.  Hotel had Internet.

Europe Day 7

Breakfast was very nice.  Bus system on strike.  Had to walk downtown to pick the car.  C 220.  Got out of town just fine and made way to the castles with just one or two wrong turns.  Ran into a man from England who now delivers beer to the villages,  gave good directions.  The castles were great.  Steep hike up to N. And the bridge but worth it.  Drove through Fusun and Reutte.  Steep hike to the Ernberg ruins.  Incredible view.  Information here is great.  Found great hotel for 66dm.  Hotel Urisee.  Lake, biking, scuba, hiking.

Notes... Higly recommend hotel and Reutte.  Perfect views.  Dog named Beluga.  New Foundland.  Huge.  Dinner at hotel was very good.  Went into Reutte to get ice cream. Spaghetti ice.

Lunch at Cafe Kainz very good.

Europe Day 8

Shopped in town.  Left Reutte.  Drove to Fusun then up the romantic road.  Drive was nice until Lansberg and Augsberg.  Like going through big city.  Road closed to Rothenburg.  Took Autobahn straight to R. Outskirts were not nice, but the old town is great.  Cobble stone streets inside a walled city.  Covered bridge, courtyard, walked wall, walked on top of wall. Lots of shop.

Dinner at hotel, very good.

Hotel.  Gotisches haus  130 dm w/ breakfast.

Europe Day 9

Breakfast was good.  Checked out and shopped in Rothenburg.  Good place to pick up gifts.  Knives, clocks... Left about 11:00.

Drove to Bingen(about 3 hours), had lunch at small cafe on the Rhine.  Drove to Bacharach(20 min).  Visited youth hostel in castle overlooking Rhine.  Great view.  Found hotel, 140 dm for double.

Drove to Manubach to visit friends.  House built in 1759.  Drank family wine.. 24 years old.  Thomas and Hildegard.  House is older than America.

Dinner at hotel, had good local spatlasse.  Nice hotel.

Europe Day 10


Nice breakfast, real orange juice.

Took 10:00 boat to St. Goar.  Lots of castles.  Boat ride 15 dm pp, 15.40 dm pp.  We headed down stream, it took about 3 min.  St Goar was boring, typical tourist.  Took 12:22 train back to Bacharach, 4.80 dm pp.

Shopped, found wine place with taste testing.  Bought 4 bottles.  18 dm.

Left at 2:00.  Drove to Baden Baden (got there about 4:00) and decided not to stay but to tour through the Black Forrest and find place to stay.  Ended up in Alpirsbach.  Cute little beer town.  The hills of the Black Forrest were very pretty.  Dinner was good, at Gastof Waldhorn.  Local beer was excellent.  Alpirsbacher!!

Europe Day 11

Got early start and headed for Switzerland.  At border we had to buy car pass for 60 dm.

Found our way to Stechelberg where we took our tram up to Gimmelwald.  Tiny cute community.  Walter hotel was old and rickety but had a lot of character.  Room was 66 chf f d with breakfast.  We walked up to Murren for dinner.  Incredible view along the mountain side.  Half way up we hitched a ride with the local courier.

Dinner was good, but first tasting of rucllette was not good.  The hike back down to G.  Took 30 min but very peaceful.

Gimmelwald is at 4485 ft.

Europe Day 12

Breakfast with Walter is plain and simple, bread with butter and jelly.  Coffee juice or chochlate.  We took the 8:30 tram up to Shilthorn.  We had an incredible day of weather, barely a cloud in the sky.  At 10,000 ft the view is incredible.  Saw James Bond snippets.

Lunch was in Wilderswil.  We decided to stay another night in this area.  Hotel Oberland in Lauterbrunnen for 120 chf for double with breakfast.

Took hour hike to Trummelbach falls.  Well worth it.  Waterfalls inside mountain caves.  Pumps 20,000 l of water per second.

dinner at hotel, pretty good.


Yellow fields, showers of sugar.  Cow bells.  Light and dark tress, houses in hill sides hillside.

Europe Day 13

Drove car to Bern to return, directions again not good.

Had to take the tram back to the station, bought bus ticket at the stop, cost 1.5 chf.

Where to go??  Paris, Nice, Colmar?

Nice would have been 10 hours...

Paris, to many more nights left....

Colmar it is!!

On the train we meet Tom and Heather from Penn.  They had reservations at Hotel Rapp.  We called and booked a room for 395 ff double with no breakfast.  Room was small but had indoor pool that was nice.

Colmar is another story book town.  You can tell that is what Rick Steves likes.  Dinner at a small pizza cafe.

Ended night with a cool swim.

Europe Day 14

Found a chocolate shop and had pastries for breakfast.

Walked around open market.

Took 11:15 train to Paris. One  change in Nancy.  Train was pretty full.

Made several calls to Paris hotels.  Found one for 600 ff with no breakfast.

Managing the subway is pretty easy... once you know you are and where you want to go.

The Hotel Saintoge is a dump.

6:00... Found small cafe just missing a small rain shower near eifel tower.  Paid about $ 30 for two small hamburgers and fries.

The Eiffel tower is really cool and beautiful at night.

Paris looks like New York in the day.  At night it is really pretty.

Subway works well and is cheap.  About $ 1 per trip.

On the way back to the dump we found the Holiday Inn at Republique Square... 4 star but we needed it after the last 14 nights.  1300 ff for 2 doubles.

Europe Day 15

Checking out was slightly problematic, tried to charge for breakfast that we did not have. She just about would not take cc and tried to cheat us. 

The Holiday Inn is great, first hotel with air conditioning.  Extremely helpful.  Tried to book us tours.

We went out on our own... bought boat tours for 35 ff pp.  Tour cruised up and down the Seine. Then we walked up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumphe.  Nice shops and cafe.  Then we walked back down the Champs Elysees to Notre Dame.  Very gothic.  Then back to the hotel.  Lots of walking.  Dinner at The Indiana, a tex mex place, very good.

Europe Day 16

2nd day in Paris....

Breakfast was McDonalds pancakes.  We took the metro to Basilique du Sacre Couer, Sacred heart.  The view overlooks Paris.  Next to the cathedral is an area called Place du Tertre, this is an artist community where Picasso painted.  Hundreds of artists peddled there work.  After dinner Kristin and I headed back to the Eiffel Tower for one last look before we head out tomorrow.  We laid down on the grass looking up at the lit tower.

The train ride to the tower is about 30 min.

Europe Day 17

Breakfast at McDonalds...

Managed the train ride to Charles De Gaul.  We did not purchase the correct ticket.  The full fare got us there but would not let us use that ticket to get out to the terminal.  The ticket guy let us go through because we did not have any money.  The proper ticket cost 49 ff.

Check in went fine.  There are not any food or magazine stands at or near the gates like we have.  Eat before you get there.

Fight 051 Paris to Detroit.  Ran out of choices for food.  We had to eat so slop called vegetarian lasagna.  The flight attendants all seemed to have attitudes not pleasant to many passengers, especially one large one named Lori.