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Thread: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

  1. #1

    Default Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Hi guys

    I will be embarking on a Europe trip this coming Dec. It is a 16 days trip. The countries I will be going to are...

    Italy (Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Doges Palace)
    Austria ( Innsbruck, Old Town Hall - Little Golden Roof)
    Liechtenstein (Vaduz City)
    Switzerland (Lucerne, Schaffhausen, Rhinefalls)
    Germany (Black Forest, Cologne)
    Holland ( Amsterdam, Canal Cruise, Dam Square)
    Belgium (Brussels)
    France (Paris, Ars De Triomphe, Eiffel Tower)
    England( London, Trafalgar Sq, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace)

    Anyone been to these countries? Able to share your experiences, photographs that you took etc?

    In Switzerland, are the Rolex cheap? Would you go shopping there or take a trip up the Alps? : )

    In Paris, would you suggest going to Disneyland? I've been to California's Disneyland and I feel it should be about the same.

    Which lens would you suggest to be on my D80 most of the time?

    I have the following lenses

    Kit 18-135.
    50mm f1.8
    Tokina 12-24mm

  2. #2

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    One tip when ur in Paris, France. Learn how to say do you speak english in french else chances are that no one is gonna reply/speak to u as they are very proud of their own language. I was there on competition last month. Beautiful country I have to say. Also see if you can get ur hands on pre reserved tickets for the effiel tower else be prepared to queue for a couple of hours. Their metro is very efficient, so i would say one of the best form of transport there. Accident rates on the roads seems quite high.

    The 12-24 would come in useful for the eiffiel tower where the landscape is stunning.

    Pictures i took @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanxj/sets/ . A short blog post when i was there @ www.sgsnap.com
    Chanxj
    my blog @ http://sgsnap.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Hi

    ANy idea where to buy the pre-reserved eiffel tower tickets?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Sounds like a very nice trip!

    I love the places you picked in Italy, they are all beautiful. Don't plan too much time for Pisa. The leaning tower and the area around that is nice, but for the rest it is not a wonderful city, not much else to see.
    For Amsterdam, wander a bit further than just the Dam, the famous canals with the canal houses are not that far away, but look a lot nicer when you get away from the tourist area.

    For Brussels don't miss the famous 'Manneken Pis' (peeing guy), it's a little statue close to the Grote Markt. And of course, while you're there, also enjoy some Belgian beers! (but take your pictures firsts, these beers are strong..)

    For Switzerland, absolutely go for the Alps instead of shopping. Price difference is not that great (wouldn't surprise if it's even more expensive due to tax), and how often do you see the beautiful Alps??

    Enjoy your trip!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Hi Dennisdk

    Thanks for the tips! Your words certainly make me sway towards going to the Alps. By the way, can we claim back the taxes there? If yes, how many %? I wen to Mont Blanc in Takashimaya to ask and they say the taxes in Germany is almost 20%.

    Anyone knows about the taxes in Switzerland?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Yes, I expect you can claim tax back, now that you mention it... Don't know tax amount in Switzerland, but GST in The Netherlands is 19%, so the 20% you mention is probably not far off.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Wow! A nice eventful trip you've got planned there Better than me... been here almost 2 months and only been a couple of places... (England, France, Switzerland) haha

    In Switzerland I really enjoyed seeing the alps more than shopping. Well, for shopping I only spent a couple of hours in Geneva and that was enough for me, I'm not really a shopper anyway.

    I'm going to Paris again this weekend, so hopefully will bring back some photos. I've got some photographs from my last trip on my flickr, but not many

    Have fun!
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Thanks! Will take note when I do shopping in Amsterdam.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by adamadam View Post
    Wow! A nice eventful trip you've got planned there Better than me... been here almost 2 months and only been a couple of places... (England, France, Switzerland) haha

    In Switzerland I really enjoyed seeing the alps more than shopping. Well, for shopping I only spent a couple of hours in Geneva and that was enough for me, I'm not really a shopper anyway.

    I'm going to Paris again this weekend, so hopefully will bring back some photos. I've got some photographs from my last trip on my flickr, but not many

    Have fun!
    Hmm, did you manage to find out the price of Rolex in Switzerland? : D Thinking of getting one...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokka View Post
    Italy (Rome, Vatican City, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Doges Palace)
    Holland ( Amsterdam, Canal Cruise, Dam Square)
    England( London, Trafalgar Sq, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace)
    i am going to say that the amount of coutnries you have fitted into a 16 day trip is way too much, flights are cheap but when you factor in airport transit/train timing, you don't actually have much. let alone the fact that in the winter months, the days are shorter, the nights are longer. you can say that you don't mind going out at night all the time but it is not necessarily safe for all areas and cities.

    why make your trip an amazing race europe edition for yourself? quality > quantity. else you are just wasting money in my humble opinion.

    for italy and london, these are relatively tourist-friendly cities - if you need more extensive help with london, feel free to pm me. though personally there is much more to england than london.. unless you're a city person, i would think anywhere outside of london is prettier in a non-city sense.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Sion View Post
    Which post?
    thx.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    I don't want to dampen your holiday mood so i actually do not have the intention to reply when i saw your thread. However since nightmare gave you his harmless, humble opinion,i guess i should chip in my 2 cents worth with no malice or offence intended...

    Your itineary in my context is a "gan cheong spider" kind of trip. As mentioned by nightmare,u have packed too many cities in 16 days n i agree that u will waste your money. I'll give u a few examples...When u visit Vatican city, u need to queue up early outside sistine chapel to get in not to mention there r plenty of tourist hotspots that need queuing. Then u need time to tour n admire the architecture of the churches,Vatican city etc. In Rome, there's still the Victor Emmanuel II monument, Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi fountain, museums, soccer stadiums etc.. From Rome,assuming u take a train to florence,u'll probably will only have 1/2 a day to look ard before making a mad dash to catch the train to Venice.

    England and France r more than just Paris and London. Disneyland is like an hr away by metro IIRC. When u r in Paris,u'll probably want to visit Versaille palace, Louvre as well i assume. Like what nightmare has suggested,u should visit places outside of London as well to see the prettier England.

    Shopping for an expensive watch needs time too unless u have a model in mind. Not sure if the 3 places in Switzerland have plenty of watch shops like Geneva. Anyway, if i am not wrong, VAT(tax in the uk) is 15-17%. For LV,it's abt 12% i think. Long queues at the tax refund counters r common. I assume u r flying with budget carriers ard europe? Have u taken into account flight delays which is rather common for european budget carriers.

    I mean no harm in sharing with u. I sincerely hope that u will enjoy ur trip n get to visit many lovely places. If possible,would u consider extending ur stay? I dont know abt u but with such an itinerary, i will travel for at least a month.
    Last edited by bovine; 19th August 2008 at 10:31 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    For Germany, i advise you rent a car(at least a 2L) for a few days and let your daredevil control you as you flatout on the Legendary Autobahn >200km/h
    If you dont drive..ah, thats a pity

    In Belgium, a must do is to sample the many beers. A good and famous one is Hoegaarden, which is my personnal favourite here in singapore.
    Last edited by eosdigital; 19th August 2008 at 10:41 PM.
    Canon EOS 30D , EF 17-40mm F4L USM , EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS

  14. #14

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by bovine View Post
    I don't want to dampen your holiday mood so i actually do not have the intention to reply when i saw your thread. However since nightmare gave you his harmless, humble opinion,i guess i should chip in my 2 cents worth with no malice or offence intended...

    Your itineary in my context is a "gan cheong spider" kind of trip. As mentioned by nightmare,u have packed too many cities in 16 days n i agree that u will waste your money. I'll give u a few examples...When u visit Vatican city, u need to queue up early outside sistine chapel to get in not to mention there r plenty of tourist hotspots that need queuing. Then u need time to tour n admire the architecture of the churches,Vatican city etc. In Rome, there's still the Victor Emmanuel II monument, Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi fountain, museums, soccer stadiums etc.. From Rome,assuming u take a train to florence,u'll probably will only have 1/2 a day to look ard before making a mad dash to catch the train to Venice.

    England and France r more than just Paris and London. Disneyland is like an hr away by metro IIRC. When u r in Paris,u'll probably want to visit Versaille palace, Louvre as well i assume. Like what nightmare has suggested,u should visit places outside of London as well to see the prettier England.

    Shopping for an expensive watch needs time too unless u have a model in mind. Not sure if the 3 places in Switzerland have plenty of watch shops like Geneva. Anyway, if i am not wrong, VAT(tax in the uk) is 15-17%. For LV,it's abt 12% i think. Long queues at the tax refund counters r common. I assume u r flying with budget carriers ard europe? Have u taken into account flight delays which is rather common for european budget carriers.

    I mean no harm in sharing with u. I sincerely hope that u will enjoy ur trip n get to visit many lovely places. If possible,would u consider extending ur stay? I dont know abt u but with such an itinerary, i will travel for at least a month.
    Hi, may I know will 2 months be enought for the above places as mentioned by TS plus a few more places in austria and germany, cos I also planning to go for backpack in Europe in Dec or January onwards.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i am going to say that the amount of coutnries you have fitted into a 16 day trip is way too much, flights are cheap but when you factor in airport transit/train timing, you don't actually have much. let alone the fact that in the winter months, the days are shorter, the nights are longer. you can say that you don't mind going out at night all the time but it is not necessarily safe for all areas and cities.

    why make your trip an amazing race europe edition for yourself? quality > quantity. else you are just wasting money in my humble opinion.

    for italy and london, these are relatively tourist-friendly cities - if you need more extensive help with london, feel free to pm me. though personally there is much more to england than london.. unless you're a city person, i would think anywhere outside of london is prettier in a non-city sense.
    Hi night86mare

    Thanks for your advice. I am actually following a tour group and not going free and easy. So, not up to me to choose the days. Of course if it were up to me, I would want it to be as loooong as possible too. : )

    Anyway, will try to enjoy myself lah and take more pictures. That is the most impt part.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by bovine View Post
    I don't want to dampen your holiday mood so i actually do not have the intention to reply when i saw your thread. However since nightmare gave you his harmless, humble opinion,i guess i should chip in my 2 cents worth with no malice or offence intended...

    Your itineary in my context is a "gan cheong spider" kind of trip. As mentioned by nightmare,u have packed too many cities in 16 days n i agree that u will waste your money. I'll give u a few examples...When u visit Vatican city, u need to queue up early outside sistine chapel to get in not to mention there r plenty of tourist hotspots that need queuing. Then u need time to tour n admire the architecture of the churches,Vatican city etc. In Rome, there's still the Victor Emmanuel II monument, Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi fountain, museums, soccer stadiums etc.. From Rome,assuming u take a train to florence,u'll probably will only have 1/2 a day to look ard before making a mad dash to catch the train to Venice.

    England and France r more than just Paris and London. Disneyland is like an hr away by metro IIRC. When u r in Paris,u'll probably want to visit Versaille palace, Louvre as well i assume. Like what nightmare has suggested,u should visit places outside of London as well to see the prettier England.

    Shopping for an expensive watch needs time too unless u have a model in mind. Not sure if the 3 places in Switzerland have plenty of watch shops like Geneva. Anyway, if i am not wrong, VAT(tax in the uk) is 15-17%. For LV,it's abt 12% i think. Long queues at the tax refund counters r common. I assume u r flying with budget carriers ard europe? Have u taken into account flight delays which is rather common for european budget carriers.

    I mean no harm in sharing with u. I sincerely hope that u will enjoy ur trip n get to visit many lovely places. If possible,would u consider extending ur stay? I dont know abt u but with such an itinerary, i will travel for at least a month.
    Hi bovine

    Thanks for your input. : ) It certainly helped to cushion me for the trip ahead. As mentioned earlier, this is a group tour and not a free and easy; hence, would not be able to control the time spent in the country. It is all in the itinerary.

    But anyway, this is my first time to Europe. If possible, I would want to go again in future. Have you all been to Europe when its snowing? Has it affected your shots?

    Most probably would not be extending.. no more leave away from work! Must come back earn money liao. Haa...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by eosdigital View Post
    For Germany, i advise you rent a car(at least a 2L) for a few days and let your daredevil control you as you flatout on the Legendary Autobahn >200km/h
    If you dont drive..ah, thats a pity

    In Belgium, a must do is to sample the many beers. A good and famous one is Hoegaarden, which is my personnal favourite here in singapore.
    Hi eosdigital

    Would love to rent a car and go at that speed. Unfortunately, as I'm travelling with a group, don't think I'll have the chance. Hopefully the next time I go, I'll be able to. : )

    Cheers!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokka View Post
    Hi eosdigital

    Would love to rent a car and go at that speed. Unfortunately, as I'm travelling with a group, don't think I'll have the chance. Hopefully the next time I go, I'll be able to. : )

    Cheers!
    Aw, i didnt know you were travelling with a tour group.Perhaps next time when you have the chance to, you can enjoy it
    Either way, tour or F&E it's still a good thing to visit Europe and to see it's magnificant sights!
    Hope u have a good time there
    Canon EOS 30D , EF 17-40mm F4L USM , EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS

  19. #19

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Just had a look from a receipt I got in Geneva, it says TVA 7.6%
    I think that might be the tax component
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr - adamloh.com

  20. #20

    Default Re: Europe Trip Dec 11 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    i am going to say that the amount of coutnries you have fitted into a 16 day trip is way too much, flights are cheap but when you factor in airport transit/train timing, you don't actually have much. let alone the fact that in the winter months, the days are shorter, the nights are longer. you can say that you don't mind going out at night all the time but it is not necessarily safe for all areas and cities.

    why make your trip an amazing race europe edition for yourself? quality > quantity. else you are just wasting money in my humble opinion.

    for italy and london, these are relatively tourist-friendly cities - if you need more extensive help with london, feel free to pm me. though personally there is much more to england than london.. unless you're a city person, i would think anywhere outside of london is prettier in a non-city sense.
    Totally agreed. I only dare to visit switzerland (zurich, lucerne, interlaken, berne, a few small towns) , austria (vienna) and italy (florence, rome, venice, milan). All these places in 22 days which I feel just enough time with almost zero shopping. Prices there are

    16 days -> think u forget to minus 1-2 days for your 1st and last day (travel to and from airport and 2 hr check in etc)

    You can save some travel time by taking night train but don't think you wanna spend 10+ nights sleeping on train during winter. Don't think you got enough time even if you do this.

    Go for 2-3 close countries you really want to visit. Spend more time enjoying then travelling on train. You can always go again
    EOS 550D EFS 18-200 IS + Sigma 50mm F1.4 HSM + 430EXII

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