Travel Thread


#2764

Starting to make bookings for my European holiday in June. Trip include:

  • Fly into Rome and stay for 3 days (have been to Rome many times, so really just an intro for the kids)
  • Fly to Malta to see the relatives
  • Fly to Naples and set up base for 4 days to roam the Amalfi Coast, Capri and Pompeii
  • Train to Florence - set up for 4 days there. Kids are keen to visit Pisa.
  • Train to Lyon for 2 days. MrHeff and I love this city.
  • Train to Paris. Will probably need to go to Euro Disney for the kids.
  • Train to Bern to set up a base for a train trip on the Jungfraujoch to the highest- peak in Europe.
  • Train to Venice for 2 days.
  • Train to Rome and back to Canberra.

Hopefully not too much for a 5 and 7 year old.


#2765

Any specific reason for Bern? I lived in Switzerland for a few years and would recommend checking out Thun if you are making an assault on Jungfrau. Beautiful and very underrated place.


#2766

I thought Bern would be easiest to get to from Paris and close enough for the jungfrau?


#2767

Bern is nice and central (when coming from Paris), but it can make the Jungfraujoch day, a really big one. @Aceman is the guru on trains in CH, he would know the links better.

Getting as far as Thun or Interlaken, gives you options if the weather is bad and Jungfraujoch isn’t going to be fun. It’s a lot of time and cash, to be clouded over.

I used to lead tours from a place called Kandersteg and it is about an hour south of Bern (fast train). We would leave by 7am and get to the top just before lunchtime. Then leave and be back just on dinner. I think it was about 4 hours each way. I reckon, Bern would be similar.


#2768

Thanks @Hoffy. I definitely need to look more into it.


#2769

@Hoffy is spot on. Bern to Jungfraujoch is about 3hrs by train and involves atleast 2 stops which can make it a long and tiring day trip. Interlaken is about an hour closer and is a very nice place but for me I much prefer Wengen or Lauterbrunnen. Both are stunning little towns and if the weather isn’t great up at the Jungfraujoch there is plenty of other cablecars and stunning viewing areas all around you. Probably my favourite area in the world and there really isn’t a bad place to stay. With the trains and their connections just be aware that some connections are very tight and require changing platforms which can be a hassle with luggage and kids in tow. I try to make sure to allow myself atleast 10 minutes if possible but don’t worry they are very frequent. Definitely consider a rail pass if you plan on getting out and about.
As for Euro Disneyland it’s over priced and packed most of the year. At that time of the year it’s likely to be 30 degrees plus with not a great deal of shade and people crammed in like sardines. Most rides you would need to line up for 2-3 hours.
This was the view from our room in Wengen in summer last year


#2770

Thanks for the info!


#2771

Both Thun and Interlaken are fabulous. Heaven on earth! Both well worth a visit.
Interlaken was our base in that region of CH. Loved it.


#2772

BLITZ. Travel thread is delivering.


#2773

For all European train info, check out The Man in Seat 61.


#2774

Interested if anyone has any travel related observations or experiences about Jordan and Israel, particularly the border crossings. We’re going in late Feb for just shy of three weeks and so far we’ve bought the air tickets, 3 nights accommodation in Petra and nutted out a basic itinerary - 11 days in Jordan and week in Israel. At this stage we’re thinking of entering Israel from down South and restricting ourselves to Masada 2 days and Jerusalem and nearby for 4 days and then reentering Jordan through the West Bank if it’s possible.


#2775

It’s been a few years so you might want to investigate further but Border crossings were very easy but rules and quirks change daily and often rules can be different between one official and another. Israel don’t stamp passports anymore but issue you with a piece of paper which is stamped however when going back to Jordan you must ask them to also not stamp your passport as any passport stamped with a Jordanian land stamp will alert authorities in other ME countries that you have been to Israel and you will be denied entry to some countries ( if you don’t plan on ever visiting other ME countries don’t worry about the stamp). Be aware that the Jordanian visa you get on arrival at QA airport is a single entry only and when we were there the border at the Allenby crossing doesn’t issue Jordanian visas but I believe it’s the only crossing where you can exit Jordan, visit Israel and return on the single entry Jordanian visa.
In your situation I don’t think you can enter Jordan from the West Bank but things may have changed


#2776

We intend getting the Jordan Pass which waives the visa cost and allows reentry providing it’s within the allowable date, if I’ve read it correctly. The research we’ve done has been a little vague but the impression I’m getting is it’s easier to go from Israel to Jordan than vice versa, hence our attempt to reenter via the West Bank. The Allenby Bridge entry into Israel is apparently slow, hence our decision to enter from down south near Aqaba. If Allenby doesn’t work we’ll take the long way around, about 4 or 5 hours I’m told. No big deal, we’re basically planning on just spending the night in Amman and then flying back.
Incidentally we have a 5 and half hour wait in Doha on the way back. Any idea if there are ways to wangle your way into an airport lounge without paying through the nose? Is Doha an interesting airport? If it is, it’s new on me.


#2777

To the best of my knowledge the Jordan pass doesn’t cover multiple entries and you would need to get another visa to re-enter Jordan.
If that is still the case you won’t be able to re-enter from Allenby as they don’t issue VOA as technically they still don’t acknowledge the West Bank. You could go via the King Hussein crossing to return to Jordan.
As for Doha it’s a pretty cool airport but for 5 hours a lounge is good just to relax. There is atleast one lounge you can pay for entry and I think it was around $85 for 6 hours


#2778

Back home today.

I’ll be back in 2022. Your accommodation better be ready by then @JohnRain

Have now spent 6 months of the past 6 years in Japan. Love it to bits!


#2779

It’s ready now, dude. Just haven’t listed it as yet.

Good to hear you love Japan as much as I do.

See you in 2022.


#2780

So…

Am I going to be able to find decent coffee in Japan (Shinjuku, Kyoto downtown, Kumano Kodo (clearly not), Osaka Dotonbori)?

Last time (2002) we resorted to Starbucks.

@JohnRain @mrjez @BAAKKEERRRR @Soulnet and others?


#2781

I took my own so wouldn’t know… I’d rather eat my own ■■■■ than go to Starbucks (made that mistake in the US… never again…)
On cursory evidence there didn’t appear to be many options, but I wasn’t looking for it.
There are always the pre-brewed cans from the countless vending machines (many of which are heated)…


#2782

I don’t drink coffee out of the house much (except for vending machines, see below), but as for Osaka, put these into Google Maps when out and about and see if one is near (some have a few branches):
LiLo Coffee Roasters
Brooklyn Roasting Company
Mondial Caffee 328
Muc Coffee Roasters & Peak Roast Coffee (both more midtown)
Coffee is generally not done well in most places, if nothing good is near and you really need one the mass chain places Doutor and Tully’s are passable.


#2783

Even though these are not great, at about ¥120 I end up drinking them often. Only a small percentage are tasty though, and as soon as you find one you like it gets pulled cos it was just a seasonal release or something.