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Best of Europe 21 days, starting 4/28

Anyone else here on this tour? I'd love to meet some of my travel companions. This is my first RS tour. Getting very excited in preparing. Still figuring out how to pare down to 1 bag - I'm not known for traveling light! Will be my first time visiting many of these places. I'm traveling single this time. Any other singles on this trip? Anyone else interested in Keukenhof Gardens? I'm arriving in Amsterdam 2 days before & hope to go there, on my own, if the tour isn't going. Found out it's King's Day then - understand it will be a festival madhouse! Way to start out with a bang. (-;

Posted by
333 posts

Hi! I'm not on your tour, I'll be going a week after you (also as a single). However, I think there are some here who will be on your tour and who, I'm sure, will chime in soon. You will go to Keukenhof on your tour, so you might choose to see something else on your pre tour days. Amsterdam is a wonderful city, very walkable. You'll have so much fun!

I just bought some compression bags today at WalMart, hoping it might help me open up a wee bit more room in my carry on bag!

We're gonna have so much fun!
Lisa

Posted by
796 posts

You will absolutely want to go to the Keukenhof gardens!!!! We have lived in Amsterdam and yes, King's Day is a big deal but it is fun too. It will be a madhouse so do keep your valuables in your money belt and your eyes wide open as pickpockets love to get happy at celebrations like this. We might see you there!

Posted by
695 posts

Our tour leaves on 19 of April. So we will be ahead of you. We are looking forward to Keukenof as we will go as a group (and you will too). If you really want to spend a lot of time there I think it is recommended you go on your own too. We will only have a little time there on our way to Germany.

Posted by
16832 posts

All April departures of this tour will visit Keukenhof together, instead of Arnhem. I see that this info in now reflected on the Dates & Prices list for the tour.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you all for the replies. Am glad to be sure of the Gardens being included on this date; I may also go before tour starts, but there are so many other things to do - especially with King's Day! Will be staying at B&B in Amsterdam before...I've bought some compression bags, too...Am sure we'll all have a fabulous time!

Posted by
500 posts

From my time in these regions in the same months as your tour will be, my clothing tips are: *waterproof jacket with a hood; light weight gloves; a hat; x-long neck scarf; *waterproof shoes; more LS than SS tops; 2 second layers like a sweater and a light fleece; 2 pairs of shoes; both medium and lightweight socks; and a pair of a light silk underlayer like cuddly duds or another brand.~~Many tourmates’ shoes weren’t waterproof. They were uncomfortable within the first hour. You want to be dry and warm.

Two pairs of shoes: Many women had sandals and they wished they had closed toe. Some lugged 3 pairs to have sandals for a warm day. I rather have a lighter bag to carry. There were warmer days but spring puddles, too.

Pack extra assorted sized zip locks bags. Put in a extra 2.5 gallon one for wet items/dirty clothes/laundromat trip/ souvenoirs on way home, and many more options.

Favorite things in Amsterdam post tour: walking around the Joordan; going into the funky shops and chatting with the owners; stopping in cheese shops and tasting the free samples, and doing the same at a wine shop; visiting the Dutch Resistance Museum and the Jewish Memorial; Cafe time.

I left Amsterdam the day before Queens’s day and it was already crazy fun everywhere with street performers at night. Wear a little orange! Our Keukenhoff time flew by. ~~~ I’d suggest if there is something in particular you wish to see, do that first! Then wander second. I ordered bulbs from there and each spring it’s a lovely reminder.

Don’t leave you mobile phone out on the table and use a moneybelt. Enjoy!

Posted by
500 posts

PS: For Keukenhoff to have more time in the Gardens, pack a bottle of water and a snack bar or something you can eat while exploring. It got a bit cold for us, too, I did stop to buy a take away coffee. After a sitting on a bench and having a few sips and admiring the views, I continued on.

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks, Diane. Your info & suggestions are very helpful! I was thinking of getting by with a compact umbrella rather than a rainjacket, but I'm rethinking that. Am planning on clothing layers.

Posted by
8065 posts

Altho I have not been in April, I've been to Italy in May and did the BOE last August/Sept. I saw your last post about the jacket and I do suggest you have a waterproof layer which can also act as a wind layer.

Frankly, after 5 RS tours and a couple of Road Scholar tours, I don't go anywhere without a waterproof jacket AND an umbrella...and ziplocks to put each in when they are damp.

Posted by
9 posts

Have decided I will buy a waterproof jacket & pack a bit warmer clothing than was thinking of. Maybe I've lived in LA too long - forgotten how to dress for "real" weather! (-;

Posted by
8065 posts

I was just looking at the temps for Amsterdam/Bacharach/Rome/Lauterbrunnen for the gals going the week before you and it is still pretty chilly looking 10 days out from now. If you have an REI or something like that, go in and look at the waterproof (not water resistant) jackets. Mine is an older Marmot Precip, but the newer ones are softer and less crinkly sounding, if that makes any sense at all. My criteria is that it has to be waterproof and it has to fold up small enough to put in my purse. Eddie Bauer has some nice waterproof jackets but they don't fold up as small as the Precip does. The waterproof ones should be wind resistant as well which might be important if the day is clear and you go up to the top of the Schilthorn. Your jacket criteria might be different!

Of course, it could be fun to shop for clothes in Europe if you get cold, lol!

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks for the jacket suggestions, Pam. Have started shopping for one (online) but haven't bought yet. Not a shopping fan. Thinking I may buy a short trench. Even if I take something else on the trip, I could use it at home...I've enjoyed the 1 Road Scholar trip I've been on - multisport north of San Francisco. Also had 1 trip with Overseas Adventure Travel Services (OATS) , to China a couple years ago - was a real eye-opener! Educational in many ways & fun. Really expanded my understanding in culture, history, cuisine. Other travels have been independant or day group trips on cruises. Looks like you've traveled a lot, yourself.

Posted by
8065 posts

If you go for a short trench, take a look at the Eddie Bauer. Do get waterPROOF not water resistant. In my view there is no point in water resistant unless you are at home and your trips are in and out of a car. Here is a link to one that is similar to one I also have.

http://www.eddiebauer.com/product/girl-on-the-go-reg--trench-coat/20612683/_/A-ebSku_0067344100000070__20612683_catalog10002_en__US?showProducts=111&backToCat=&previousPage=SRC&tab=&dcolor=512

I did not take it on my RS tours as I wanted something I could roll up in my purse and this is bigger than that. A friend has this one as well and likes it. Even though you don't like shopping if you have an Eddie Bauer Outlet near you they may have this in stock so you can see how it feels. It is softer than my Marmot.

I have been able to catch up on traveling the last couple of years and wow, has it been fun! The King's Day celebrations sound like fun!