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Report 1826: European Road Trip - Six Weeks Looking for the Sunshine

By dgassa from California, Spring 2010

Trip Description: April 28th to June 9th. Driving through France, Germany and Austria. Staying mostly in B&B's, some which we found along the way. We had a budget of $200 a day. Read on to see if we made it.

Destinations: Countries - France, Austria, Germany; Regions/Cities - Dordogne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Other France Region, Provence, Rhone-Alpes

Categories: Hotels/B&Bs; Shopping; Sightseeing; Walking/Hiking; Independent Travel; 2 People

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Page 1 of 17: Introduction and Planning

We are a retired married couple making our second trip to Europe together. Our first trip in 2006 covered the same countries, but we didn't visit any of the same places, with the exception of one restaurant. For me, the "he" in the travelers, I get some enjoyment out of planning the trip. I made advance reservations for three of the first four stops, then we intended on "winging it" after that.

Our trip looks something like this:

Four nights, south of Geneva near Annecy, France in a small village at the foot of the Alps. We stayed in a small B&B, Les Colombines. When I contacted the owner of this B&B, she e-mailed me that it was very rare to have Americans stay in her home. Sounded like my kind of place, so it will be our first stop.

From there it was south to Provence for six nights at Le Mas du Kairos a B&B in the small hilltop village of Venasque. Here the owner in the last part of her driving directions said, “turn right on the dirt track.” Again my kind of place.

Then to the southwest to Carcassonne, France, the old walled city, for a couple of days. Turning north, we stayed five nights in the Dordogne Region of France at Le Relais Du Pech, a B&B owned by an English couple.

That was the last place with reservations, so after that the road took us to some locations we found along the way. We spent some time on the Rhine River in Germany and then headed to Bavaria and Austria. We then returned back across Germany for a stop in Baden-Baden for a few days before ending up in the Black Forest to stay a few days with friends.

Last year friends asked us for our advice for their upcoming trip to Europe. When asked if they should take a laptop with them, I told them not to bother. Who wants to carry around the extra weight? Upon their return, they told me it was the worst advice I could give, as a computer would have been beneficial for making reservations and researching the area one is visiting. With that in mind, I went out and purchased a Net Book, or mini-computer, which only weights about two pounds.

We've leased a new Peugeot from Peugeot Open Europe, booked through Auto Europe. We did this on a previous trip and it worked well for us, so we did it again.

Trip dates: April 28th through June 9th, 2010

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