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25th Anniversary European Vacation

My wife and I celebrated our 25th by spending 3 weeks in Europe (May to June before the crowds). This was our 4th trip to Europe. We flew on Icelandair so we could make a stopover in Iceland on the way back. Also so we could fly busiiness class at an affordable price. We flew into Munich (4 nights). Rented a car. Drove to the Fussen area (Neuscheinstein & Hosengau castles), Rothenburg (midieval city) and Dachau (concentration camp). We had a private guide in Rothenburg. Spent a day in Munich. Drove to Vienna (2 nights for the Schonbrunn Palace audio guide tour, dinner & concert. On to Salzburg (3 nights) just outside of the city for the old city and the Sound of Salzburg. On to Tasch (2 nights) for Zermatt and Gornergrat. The Matterhorn was in clear view. Had the best fondue at an out of the way restaurant in Tasch (Vieux Chalet). Took a strange car train for a small portion of the ride (Kandersteg to Goppenstein) as the gps took us that way. From Tasch we drove to Geneva. We stayed in a 3 star hotel in France (St. Blaise) as hotels were very expensive in Geneva. It was only 13 miles from Geneva. We spent time in the old town. We took a dinner cruise on Lake Geneva. We purchased all of our tickets before leaving the US. We drove back to Munich to catch our flight to Iceland for 2 nights. Iceland is very expensive. We rented a car there as well. We needed a light jacket as the temperature never got above 55 degrees. It was great to have light 24 hours. We soaked in the geothermal pool at the Blue Lagoon for a couple of hours. Very little greenery around the southwest area of Iceland which is where we stayed. They have really nice museums and great seafood. Unlike here in the US where a lot of people don't obey the driving laws, they obeyed them over there. I loved driving the autobahns. I was driving 100 mph in the center lane and people were still passing me as if I was standing still. It was great. The time went by so quickly. Our next trip will be to Ireland and Scotland, hopefully next year. We love to travel. Like Steve has said time and time again, don't expect to visit every country in one trip. Just expect to go back for another time. We are.

Posted by
14288 posts

Thanks for your Trip Report! It sounds like you had a terrific time.

Posted by
7465 posts

Happy Anniversary and sounds like you had nice variety in your sites!

Now that you've completed the trip, would you recommend a trip to others that requires the stay in Iceland? Or, in your opinion, would you say to spend the extra day in Europe?

Posted by
8245 posts

Congratulations to making it 25 short years. And it looks like you really prepared well to take such a detailed trip.

Now, you'll have to figure out what to see in Ireland and Scotland--two more great places.

Posted by
610 posts

Congratulations! Sounds like a wonderful trip. We will have to rent a car the next time we go to Germany - it sounds like my husband would enjoy that experience!

Posted by
8 posts

I appreciate all of your well wishes. I wish I had scheduled another night in Iceland. That is a very nice country. I would have done more exploring. Iceland is worth the trip. I would like to go back to Iceland. For those that want to drive in Europe and you want to drive into other countries, don't forget about purchasing the 'Vignettes'. which are required for the autobahn driving in Austria, Switzerland and Slovakia. Other countries may require them as well. I would do some pre-trip checking. The tourist information offices for each of the countries you want to visit can tell you if you need them or not. Germany and France so far does not require them. We met a couple from Arizona who did not get a vignette before driving into Austria. The police pulled them over and fined them $120 plus they still needed to buy a vignette. The cost for a 10 day vignette in Austria was 8.60 euros. For some reason Switzerland requires you to purchase a yearly vignette for 40 CHF. The fines in Switzerland are a lot stiffer too. Of course, each country is different. Do learn the basic road signs. By the way, trucks are limited to under 70 mph on the autobahns and must stay in the right hand lane except to pass. The bikers will ride between cars to get to the front of the line when stopped for a red light. There are also a lot of round abouts. They keep the traffic flowing plus it minimizes the number of traffic lights. Keep your eyes open for them as well. I guess that is it. Happy vacations to all.