Italy Travel Guide by Rick Steves #travel #one

#travel italy
#

Italy

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Venice Romantic island city, powerful in medieval times; famous for St. Mark s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and singing gondoliers.

▲▲▲ Cinque Terre Five idyllic Riviera hamlets along a rugged coastline (and part of a national park), connected by scenic hiking trails and dotted with beaches.

▲▲▲ Florence The cradle of the Renaissance, with the world-class Uffizi Gallery, Brunelleschi s dome-topped Duomo, Michelangelo s David, and Italy s best gelato.

▲▲▲ Siena Florence s smaller and (some say) more appealing rival, with its grand Il Campo square and striking striped cathedral.

▲▲▲ Rome Italy s capital, the Eternal City, studded with Roman remnants (Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon), romantic floodlit-fountain squares, and the Vatican home to one of Italy s top museums and the Sistine Chapel.

▲▲ Milan Powerhouse city of commerce and fashion, with the prestigious La Scala opera house, Leonardo s The Last Supper, and three airports.

▲▲ Heart of Tuscany Picturesque, wine-soaked villages of Italy s heartland, including mellow Montepulciano, Renaissance Pienza, and Brunello-fueled Montalcino.

▲▲ Assisi St. Francis hometown, perched on a hillside, with a divinely Giotto-decorated basilica.

▲▲ Orvieto and Civita More hill-town adventures, featuring Orvieto s classic views and ornate cathedral plus the adorable pocket-sized village of Civita di Bagnoregio.

▲▲ Naples Gritty, in-love-with-life port city featuring vibrant street life and a top archaeological museum.

Near Venice Several interesting towns: Padua (with Giotto s gloriously frescoed Scrovegni Chapel), Verona (Roman amphitheater plus Romeo and Juliet sights), and Ravenna (top Byzantine mosaics).

The Dolomites Italy s rugged rooftop with a Germanic flair, featuring Bolzano (home of tzi the Iceman), Castelrotto (charming village), and Alpe di Siusi (alpine meadows laced with lifts and hiking trails).

The Lakes Two relaxing lakes, each with low-key resort towns and a mountainous backdrop: Lake Como, with quaint Varenna and upscale Bellagio; and Lake Maggiore, with straightforward Stresa, manicured islands, and elegant villas.

Pisa and Lucca Two classic towns: Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower and surrounding Field of Miracles, and Lucca, with a charming walled old center.

Volterra and San Gimignano Two hill towns in north Tuscany: vibrant, refreshing Volterra and multi-towered, touristy San Gimignano.

Pompeii and Nearby Famous ruins of the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, stopped in their tracks by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Sorrento and Capri The seaside resort port of Sorrento, and a short cruise away, the jet-set island getaway of Capri, with its Blue Grotto.

Amalfi Coast and Paestum String of seafront villages including hilly Positano and workaday Amalfi tied together by a scenic mountainous coastal road, plus nearby Paestum, with its well-preserved ancient Greek temples.

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre More Italian Riviera fun, including the beach towns of Levanto, Sestri Levante, the larger Santa Margherita Ligure, and trendier Portofino nearby, and to the south, resorty Portovenere and workaday La Spezia (transportation hub).





08/12/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

London Travel Guide Resources – Trip Planning Info by Rick Steves

#travel london
#

London

London is the L.A. D.C. and N.Y.C. of Britain a living, breathing, thriving organism. a coral reef of humanity. Blow through the city on a double-decker bus, and take a pinch-me-I m-in-London walk through the West End. Ogle the crown jewels at the Tower of London, hear the chimes of Big Ben, and see the Houses of Parliament in action. Cruise the Thames River, and take a spin on the London Eye. Hobnob with the tombstones in Westminster Abbey, visit with Leonardo, Botticelli, and Rembrandt in the National Gallery, and explore Harry Potter s stomping grounds at the film studio in Leavesden. Enjoy Shakespeare in a replica of the Globe Theatre and marvel at a glitzy, fun musical at a modern-day theater. Whisper across the dome of St. Paul s Cathedral, then rummage through our civilization s attic at the British Museum.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Westminster Abbey Britain s finest church and the site of royal coronations and burials since 1066.

▲▲▲ Churchill War Rooms Underground WWII headquarters of Churchill s war effort.

▲▲▲ National Gallery Remarkable collection of European paintings (1250 1900), including Leonardo, Botticelli, Vel zquez, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh, and the Impressionists.

▲▲▲ British Museum The world s greatest collection of artifacts of Western civilization, including the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon s Elgin Marbles.

▲▲▲ British Library Fascinating collection of the most important literary treasures of the Western world.

▲▲▲ St. Paul s Cathedral The main cathedral of the Anglican Church, designed by Christopher Wren, with a climbable dome and daily evensong services.

▲▲▲ Tower of London Historic castle, palace, and prison housing the crown jewels and a witty band of Beefeaters.

▲▲▲ Victoria and Albert Museum The best collection of decorative arts anywhere.

▲▲ Houses of Parliament London s Neo-Gothic landmark, famous for Big Ben and occupied by the Houses of Lords and Commons.

▲▲ Trafalgar Square The heart of London, where Westminster, The City, and the West End meet.

▲▲ National Portrait Gallery A Who s Who of British history, featuring portraits of this nation s most important historical figures.

▲▲ Covent Garden Vibrant people-watching zone with shops, caf s, street musicians, and an iron-and-glass arcade that once hosted a produce market.

▲▲ Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Hour-long spectacle at Britain s royal residence.

▲▲ London Eye Enormous observation wheel, dominating and offering commanding views over London s skyline.

▲▲ Imperial War Museum Exhibits examining the military history of the bloody 20th century.

▲▲ Tate Modern Works by Monet, Matisse, Dal , Picasso, and Warhol displayed in a converted powerhouse.

▲▲ Shakespeare s Globe Timbered, thatched-roofed reconstruction of the Bard s original wooden O.

▲▲ Tate Britain Collection of British painting from the 16th century through modern times, including works by William Blake, the Pre-Raphaelites, and J. M. W. Turner.

▲▲ Kensington Palace Recently restored former home of British monarchs, with appealing exhibits on Queen Victoria, as well as William and Mary.

▲▲ Natural History Museum A Darwinian s delight, packed with stuffed creatures, engaging exhibits, and enthralled kids.

▲▲ Greenwich Seafaring borough just east of the city center, with Cutty Sark tea clipper, Royal Observatory, other maritime sights, and a pleasant market.

Courtauld Gallery Fine collection of paintings filling one wing of the Somerset House, a grand 18th-century palace.





07/12/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Switzerland Travel Guide by Rick Steves #travel #air

#swiss travel
#

Switzerland

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Gimmelwald and the Berner Oberland Rustic village spectacularly perched on a cliff in this mountainous region popular for its alpine towns and scenic hikes, lifts, and train rides; touristy Interlaken is the region s gateway.

▲▲▲ Bern Cozy capital of Switzerland tucked in a sharp river bend, with arcaded shopping promenades, medieval clock towers, and museums devoted to Albert Einstein and artist Paul Klee.

▲▲ Z rich Bustling cosmopolitan city Switzerland s largest by far with upscale shops and a charming riverside old-town quarter full of pointy church spires and pealing bells.

▲▲ Luzern and Central Switzerland Touristy yet worthwhile town of historic wooden bridges, picturesque streets, and vintage steamships that ply lovely Lake Luzern, ringed by mountains with stunning vistas accessible by high-altitude lifts.

▲▲ Murten Quaint, small walled town sitting right next to the German/French linguistic fault line, with nearby Roman ruins and museum in Avenches.

▲▲ Lake Geneva and French Switzerland Small-but-sophisticated lakeside city of Lausanne, Switzerland s best castle experience at Ch teau de Chillon, the cute cheesemaking center of Gruy res, and pleasant scenery in the surrounding countryside.

▲▲ Appenzell The most traditional Swiss region, known for pastoral scenery, small towns, cows, folk museums, and, just a cable-car ride away, a rustic cliffside retreat at Ebenalp.

▲▲ Scenic Rail Journeys Four famous train rides, each offering panoramic views and crisscrossing the country.

Zermatt and the Matterhorn Glitzy ski resort that sports some traditional old-fashioned touches, in a valley at the foot of the famous Matterhorn.

Lugano Leading city of Italian-speaking Switzerland, with a tidy if dull urban core, scenic boat trips on Lake Lugano, and mountain lifts to lakeside peaks.

Pontresina, Samedan, and St. Moritz Romansh-speaking mountain resort region, anchored by three towns: touristy Pontresina, humble Samedan, and swanky St. Moritz.





09/11/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Alcohol Withdrawal: Symptoms, Treatments, Duration, and More #alcohol #withdrawal, #alcohol #withdrawal


#

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in people who have been drinking heavily for weeks, months, or years and then either stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption.

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as two hours after the last drink, persist for weeks, and range from mild anxiety and shakiness to severe complications, such as seizures and delirium tremens (also called DTs). The death rate from DTs — which are characterized by confusion, rapid heartbeat, and fever — is estimated to range from 1% to 5%.

Because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can rapidly worsen, it’s important to seek medical attention even if symptoms are seemingly mild. Appropriate alcohol withdrawal treatments can reduce the risk of developing withdrawal seizures or DTs.

It’s especially important to see a doctor if you’ve experienced previous alcohol withdrawal episodes or if you have other health conditions such as infections, heart disease. lung disease. or a history of seizures.

Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms are a medical emergency. If seizures, fever, severe confusion, hallucinations. or irregular heartbeats occur, either take the patient to an emergency room or call 911.

Causes of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

Heavy, prolonged drinking — especially excessive daily drinking — disrupts the brain ‘s neurotransmitters, the brain chemicals that transmit messages.

For example, alcohol initially enhances the effect of GABA, the neurotransmitter which produces feelings of relaxation and calm. But chronic alcohol consumption eventually suppresses GABA activity so that more and more alcohol is required to produce the desired effects, a phenomenon known as tolerance.

Chronic alcohol consumption also suppresses the activity of glutamate, the neurotransmitter which produces feelings of excitability. To maintain equilibrium, the glutamate system responds by functioning at a far higher level than it does in moderate drinkers and nondrinkers.

When heavy drinkers suddenly stop or significantly reduce their alcohol consumption, the neurotransmitters previously suppressed by alcohol are no longer suppressed. They rebound, resulting in a phenomenon known as brain hyperexcitability. So, the effects associated with alcohol withdrawal — anxiety. irritability, agitation, tremors, seizures, and DTs — are the opposite of those associated with alcohol consumption.

Continued

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

In general, how severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms become depends on how much and for how long a person has been drinking.

Minor alcohol withdrawal symptoms often appear 6 to 12 hours after a person stops drinking. Sometimes a person will still have a measurable blood alcohol level when symptoms start. These symptoms include:

Between 12 and 24 hours after they stop drinking, some patients may experience visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations. These usually end within 48 hours. Although this condition is called alcoholic hallucinosis, it’s not the same as the hallucinations associated with DTs. Most patients are aware that the unusual sensations aren’t real.

Withdrawal seizures usually first strike between 24 and 48 hours after someone stops drinking, although they can appear as early as 2 hours after drinking stops. The risk of seizures is especially high in patients who previously have undergone multiple detoxifications.

DTs usually begin between 48 and 72 hours after drinking has stopped, Risk factors for DTs include a history of withdrawal seizures or DTs, acute medical illness, abnormal liver function, and older age.

Symptoms of DTs, which usually peak at 5 days, include:

  • Disorientation, confusion, and severe anxiety
  • Hallucinations (primarily visual) which cannot be distinguished from reality
  • Profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Racing and irregular heartbeat
  • Severe tremors
  • Low-grade fever

Assessment of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

If alcohol withdrawal syndrome is suspected, your doctor will take a complete medical history and ask how much you drink, how long you’ve been drinking, and how much time has elapsed since your last drink. He or she also will want to know if you have a history of alcohol withdrawal, if you abuse any other substances, and if you have any medical or psychiatric conditions.

During a physical exam. your doctor will identify alcohol withdrawal symptoms and any potential complicating medical conditions such as irregular heartbeats, congestive heart failure. coronary artery disease. gastrointestinal bleeding, infections, liver disease, nervous system impairment, and pancreatitis. He or she also may order blood tests to measure complete blood count. alcohol and electrolyte levels, liver function. and a urine screen to identify drug use.

The results of the medical history and physical exam will help your doctor decide if you have alcohol withdrawal syndrome and, if so, its severity.

Continued

Treatment of Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

If you have mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms, your doctor may prefer to treat you in an outpatient setting, especially if you have supportive family and friends. Outpatient detoxification is safe, effective, and less costly than inpatient detoxification at a hospital or other facility.

However, you may require inpatient treatment if you don’t have a reliable social network, are pregnant. or have a history of any of the following:

  • Severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Withdrawal seizures or DTs
  • Multiple previous detoxifications
  • Certain medical or psychiatric illnesses

The goals of treatment are threefold: reducing immediate withdrawal symptoms, preventing complications, and beginning long-term therapy to promote alcohol abstinence.

Prescription drugs of choice include benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium ), chlordiazepoxide (Librium ), lorazepam (Ativan ), and oxazepam (Serax ). Such medications can help control the shakiness, anxiety, and confusion associated with alcohol withdrawal and reduce the risk of withdrawal seizures and DTs. In patients with mild to moderate symptoms, the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Tegretol ) may be an effective alternative to benzodiazepines, because it is not sedating and has low potential for abuse.

To help manage withdrawal complications, your doctor may consider adding other drugs to a benzodiazepine regimen. These may include:

  • An antipsychotic drug, which can help relieve agitation and hallucinations
  • A beta-blocker, which may help curb a fast heart rate and elevated blood pressure related to withdrawal and reduce the strain of alcohol withdrawal in people with coronary artery disease
  • Clonidine (Catapres ), another blood pressure drug
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin ), an anticonvulsant which doesn’t treat withdrawal seizures but may be useful in people with an underlying seizure disorder

Preventing Future Alcohol Withdrawal Episodes

Because successful treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome doesn’t address the underlying disease of addiction, it should be followed by treatment for alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence.

Relatively brief outpatient interventions can be effective for alcohol abuse, but more intensive therapy may be required for alcohol dependence. If you have alcohol dependence, your doctor may prescribe other medications to help you stop drinking. He or she also may recommend joining a 12-step group — such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous — or staying at a comprehensive treatment facility that offers a combination of a 12-step model, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family therapy.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on February 09, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
FamilyDoctor.org: “Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome.”
Bayard, M. American Family Physician. March 15, 2004.

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


20/09/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Disability Travel in Europe by Rick Steves #travel #and #tourism

#traveling europe
#

Europe on a Roll or a Slow Stroll

Don t Let Limited Mobility Keep You From the Old World s Greatest Cities

by Rick Steves

If you re a wheelchair user or slow walker, Europe s cobblestoned charms may seem as unreachable as a rainbow s end. But in recent years Europe has been making impressive strides toward opening its doors to everybody, including travelers with limited mobility. Its biggest cities offer the most accessible sightseeing opportunities for your time and money. In London, taxis will whisk you between more wheelchair-ready sights than you ve got time to see. Just a few hours away by train, Paris and Amsterdam are doing their best to catch up to London. Plan ahead and take advantage of the growing number of resources available. If you re traveling with an older person who could benefit from using a wheelchair in museums, call or email the museum (many have websites) to see if they loan out wheelchairs.

I know you re thinking. what do I know about disabilities? I do know about Europe and how to do research. My co-author, Dr. Ken Plattner, and I teamed up to write Easy Access Europe, a guidebook for people with limited mobility (now in its second edition).

London

London, easily the best destination for any first-time visitor to Europe, is the enjoyable epicenter of all things British. With recent improvements and a barrier-free mentality, London is one of Europe s most accessible cities. A staggering 20 million people visit London every year, and many have disabilities.

You ll find that many of London s venues such as theaters welcome people who use wheelchairs. You can roll along on the city s walking tours to learn about anything from Jack the Ripper to the Beatles. The city s taxis are convenient, inexpensive, and fully accessible. London has recently made its bus system accessible and is improving the Tube stations as well. The city s airports are accessible from customs to baggage claim to queuing for a taxi.

Most of London s big sights make it easy for wheelchair users to visit. You can get a feel for life during the Blitz in the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. Get thee to a play at Shakespeare s Globe, or channel Mary Poppins at St. Paul s Cathedral. You can check out the Crown Jewels the king s bling on display at the Tower of London, and take a spin on the 450-foot-high London Eye Ferris Wheel (where from the top, Big Ben looks little). A few of London s top sights, such as Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, aren t fully accessible but can work for wheelchair users with a companion.

Paris

The City of Light has been a beacon of culture for centuries. As a world capital of art, fashion, food, literature, and ideas, it stands as a symbol of all the fine things that human civilization can offer. Paris is more challenging than London for people with disabilities. But if you can make a little extra effort and have a healthy sense of humor, you ll find plenty in Paris to savor.

Taxis charge reasonable rates and are the best way to get around, because the Metro with its many stairs and escalators is difficult for wheelchair users. Most cabbies are happy to assist; once you re inside the taxi, the driver will fold up your chair and place it in the trunk.

Many of Paris top sights are fully accessible. Wheelchair users can visit Mona and Venus at the Louvre, be impressed by the Orsay Museum s Impressionists, zip up the Eiffel Tower (to the second level), and sing Louis, Louis at the Palace of Versailles. Other notable sights will work for wheelchair users who have some assistance, such as Notre-Dame Cathedral s echoey, incense-filled interior (though only hunchbacks can climb its tower).

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city of good living, cozy caf s, great art, stately history, and a spirit of live-and-let-live. You can roll or stroll through any neighborhood and see a lively culture thrive amid 17th-century buildings, all of it reflected in quiet canals.

For travelers with limited mobility Amsterdam is both challenging and rewarding. While locals have a friendly attitude toward people with disabilities, they also have great respect for the historical nature of their beautiful (and largely non-accessible) canal-side buildings. The city has strict rules about making adaptations to monumental structures useful for historical preservation, not so helpful for accessibility. The good news is that attitudes regarding accessibility are slowly improving.

The streets and sidewalks of Amsterdam have a certain freedom of movement: thousands of bikes mingling and merging with cars and pedestrians. Wheelchair users here are smart to adapt to the chaos maneuvering their way through the streets, across trolley tracks, along the pink bike-only paths, and on the sidewalks. Stay alert and keep a steady line as you make your way through this bustling city.

At any Amsterdam tourist information office ask for the extremely helpful Amsterdam Accessibility Guide, which provides information about levels of accessibility at hotels, restaurants, and sights around the city. The steep stairs at the Anne Frank House mean that only the ground-floor museum is open to wheelchair users. Otherwise, however, you ll find that most of Amsterdam s best attractions are accessible, including the famous sunflowers at the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt s Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum.

Getting There

European countries, at various speeds, are doing what they can to make their cobbled streets and cities easier for everyone to visit. Still, it s smart to do some advance groundwork.

The U.S. Department of Transportation s New Horizons guide provides information for air travelers with disabilities, including navigating security, getting on and off aircraft, and handling seating assignments (available online at http://aircon sumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/horizons.htm).

Air carriers abroad have significantly different policies regarding people with disabilities than U.S. airlines. Fortunately, the European Commission recently drafted legislation that will go into effect in 2006 to force airlines to meet the needs of people with disabilities. It s worth looking into the differences between airlines you re considering. Some airlines may require a doctor s certificate for all independent air travel; others may require that you travel with a personal assistant. Contact the airlines directly for specifics.

Whenever possible, plan and book flights well in advance. Inform the airline of your disability and let them know if you ll be traveling with a companion and if you ll need special equipment on the plane with you. It can be helpful to work with an airline special-services representative who can assist with facilitating arrangements.

If you d rather not go it alone, you ll find a selection of groups that run tours to Europe for the mobility impaired, including Accessible Journeys (wheelchair trips to Britain, France, and Holland, www.disabilitytravel.com ), Flying Wheels Travel (escorted tours to Great Britain and France, www.flyingwheelstravel.com ), and Nautilus Tours and Cruises (tours to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, www.nautilustours.com ).

On the Road

A growing number of hotels have elevators and rooms with accessible bathrooms.

The Sweden-based Independent Living Institute s Accessible Vacation Home Exchange Web site can put you in touch with disabled Europeans looking to swap homes or help you find an assistant overseas (www.independentliving.org ).

You ll find even more resources through organizations such as Mobility International USA (MIUSA), which encourages international exchange (www.miusa.org ), and the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange (NCDE), which provides information about work, study, volunteer, and research opportunities abroad for people with disabilities (www.miusa.org ). Access-Able Travel Source s site (www.access-able.com ) includes access information and resources, and offers a free email newsletter. The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (SATH), an educational nonprofit group, publishes a travel magazine and offers advice (www.sath.org ).

Other sites to check out include Emerging Horizons (www.emerginghorizons.com ), Gimp on the Go (www.gimponthego.com ), and Disabled Peoples International (www.dpi.org ). Access Abroad is a good resource for students with disabilities planning to study abroad. AARP s website features articles written for seniors and slow walkers (www.aarp.org/destinations ).

I m inspired by the fact that wherever I go in Europe I see locals who have disabilities. On the streets, in the museums, in the restaurants, and on the trains, you ll see people using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, and canes. If they can live rich and full lives in Europe, then you can certainly have an enjoyable and worthwhile vacation there. The Old World is becoming newly accessible for you.

Rick Steves is the author of over 50 books on European travel, including Europe Through the Back Door. available at bookstores or at www.ricksteves.com.





05/09/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Germany Travel Guide – Trip Planning Info by Rick Steves #travel

#travel to germany
#

Germany

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Munich Lively city with a traffic-free center, excellent museums, Baroque palaces, stately churches, rowdy beer halls, convivial beer gardens, and beautiful parks (such as the English Garden) plus the sobering concentration camp memorial at nearby Dachau.

▲▲▲ Southern Bavaria and Western Tirol Pair of Alps-straddling regions (one in Germany, the other in Austria) boasting the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, and Linderhof; inviting villages such as the handy home base F ssen, Austrian retreat Reutte, and adorable Oberammergau; the towering Zugspitze and its high-altitude lifts; and hiking, luge rides, and other mountain activities.

▲▲▲ Salzburg (Austria, just over the border) and Berchtesgaden Austrian musical mecca for fans of Mozart and The Sound of Music. offering a dramatic castle, concerts, Baroque churches, and an old town full of winding lanes; plus nearby Berchtesgaden, soaked in alpine scenery and Nazi history.

▲▲▲ Berlin Germany s vibrant capital, featuring world-class museums, gleaming modern architecture, and trendy nightlife, along with evocative monuments and reminders of the Wall that once divided the city and country.

▲▲ Rothenburg and the Romantic Road Well-preserved medieval city full of half-timbered buildings and cobbled lanes surrounded by walkable medieval walls; jumping-off point for the Romantic Road scenic route through lovely countryside and time-passed towns, including Dinkelsb hl and N rdlingen.

▲▲ Rhine Valley Mighty river steeped in legend, where storybook villages (including charming home-base towns Bacharach and St. Goar) cluster under imposing castles, such as Rheinfels and Marksburg.

▲▲ Mosel Valley Peaceful meandering river lined with tiny wine-loving cobbled towns, such as handy Cochem and quaint Beilstein, plus my favorite European castle, Burg Eltz.

▲▲ N rnberg City with old-fashioned sandstone core and great museums, with reminders of Nazi past thoughtfully presented on the outskirts of town.

▲▲ Dresden Art-filled city offering exquisite museums, Baroque palaces, a pleasant riverside promenade, and hard memories of a notorious WWII firebombing.

Baden-Baden and the Black Forest High-class resort/spa town of Baden-Baden, with decadent bath experiences, a peaceful riverside stroll, and a grand casino; lively university city of Freiburg and cozy village of Staufen; and a thickly forested countryside rife with healthy hikes, folk museums, cute hamlets, and cream cakes.

W rzburg Home to the impressive Residenz palace (with manicured gardens and dazzling Rococo chapel) and lively wine bars.

Frankfurt Europe s bustling banking center, offering a stunning skyscraper skyline and a look at today s Germany.

Trier Germany s oldest city, with a lively pedestrian zone and imposing Roman monuments, including the Porta Nigra gate.

Cologne Spectacular Gothic cathedral looming above a busy, museum-packed city on the Rhine River.

Lutherland Charming university town of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent his youth; Wartburg Castle, where he hid out from the pope s goons; and Wittenberg, where he taught, preached, and revolutionized Christianity.

Leipzig Formerly derelict second city of East Germany, now rejuvenated (if architecturally dull) with excellent Bach and Cold War sights.

Hamburg Big port city with emigration, World War II, and Beatles history and Las Vegas-style nightlife.





29/08/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Italy Travel Guide by Rick Steves #search #airline #tickets

#travel italy
#

Italy

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Venice Romantic island city, powerful in medieval times; famous for St. Mark s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and singing gondoliers.

▲▲▲ Cinque Terre Five idyllic Riviera hamlets along a rugged coastline (and part of a national park), connected by scenic hiking trails and dotted with beaches.

▲▲▲ Florence The cradle of the Renaissance, with the world-class Uffizi Gallery, Brunelleschi s dome-topped Duomo, Michelangelo s David, and Italy s best gelato.

▲▲▲ Siena Florence s smaller and (some say) more appealing rival, with its grand Il Campo square and striking striped cathedral.

▲▲▲ Rome Italy s capital, the Eternal City, studded with Roman remnants (Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon), romantic floodlit-fountain squares, and the Vatican home to one of Italy s top museums and the Sistine Chapel.

▲▲ Milan Powerhouse city of commerce and fashion, with the prestigious La Scala opera house, Leonardo s The Last Supper, and three airports.

▲▲ Heart of Tuscany Picturesque, wine-soaked villages of Italy s heartland, including mellow Montepulciano, Renaissance Pienza, and Brunello-fueled Montalcino.

▲▲ Assisi St. Francis hometown, perched on a hillside, with a divinely Giotto-decorated basilica.

▲▲ Orvieto and Civita More hill-town adventures, featuring Orvieto s classic views and ornate cathedral plus the adorable pocket-sized village of Civita di Bagnoregio.

▲▲ Naples Gritty, in-love-with-life port city featuring vibrant street life and a top archaeological museum.

Near Venice Several interesting towns: Padua (with Giotto s gloriously frescoed Scrovegni Chapel), Verona (Roman amphitheater plus Romeo and Juliet sights), and Ravenna (top Byzantine mosaics).

The Dolomites Italy s rugged rooftop with a Germanic flair, featuring Bolzano (home of tzi the Iceman), Castelrotto (charming village), and Alpe di Siusi (alpine meadows laced with lifts and hiking trails).

The Lakes Two relaxing lakes, each with low-key resort towns and a mountainous backdrop: Lake Como, with quaint Varenna and upscale Bellagio; and Lake Maggiore, with straightforward Stresa, manicured islands, and elegant villas.

Pisa and Lucca Two classic towns: Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower and surrounding Field of Miracles, and Lucca, with a charming walled old center.

Volterra and San Gimignano Two hill towns in north Tuscany: vibrant, refreshing Volterra and multi-towered, touristy San Gimignano.

Pompeii and Nearby Famous ruins of the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, stopped in their tracks by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Sorrento and Capri The seaside resort port of Sorrento, and a short cruise away, the jet-set island getaway of Capri, with its Blue Grotto.

Amalfi Coast and Paestum String of seafront villages including hilly Positano and workaday Amalfi tied together by a scenic mountainous coastal road, plus nearby Paestum, with its well-preserved ancient Greek temples.

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre More Italian Riviera fun, including the beach towns of Levanto, Sestri Levante, the larger Santa Margherita Ligure, and trendier Portofino nearby, and to the south, resorty Portovenere and workaday La Spezia (transportation hub).





25/08/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

McKinney-Lumber Co #north #texas, #lumber, #lumber #yard, #custom, #product #lists, #quotes,


#

Since 1982

Highlights:

A few things that separate us from the rest.

  • The Yard
  • Our People
  • Custom Product
  • Our yard is over 12 acres making us one of the largest privately owned lumber yards in the state of Texas. This gives us a few advantages.
    • Easily accommodate larger orders
    • Quicker delivery
  • Many of our employees have spent 5, 10, and even the full 30 years we have been in business with us. When you are working with a representative of McKinney Lumber you will always receive:
    • Knowledgeable assistance from experienced professionals
    • Courteous service from people who care about getting you exactly what you need
  • For those high end finishes that require custom product; we can help. If we do not have it here we will get it for you as quickly as possible; just let us know what you need!
    • Onsite Custom Inventory
    • Rush Ordering Available

Of course there’s more; just give us a call at (972) 838-4100 or stop by today!

Have Drawings & Need A Quote?

We have engineers ready to look over your prints to ensure you will get what you need.

About Us

We will keep it short

How It Started

Founded by Roy Dale in 1982; McKinney Lumber served its customers from the original location on Chestnut Street in McKinney, TX; making a name for itself based on top notch product & service.

The Move

Due to growth and expansion; McKinney Lumber spent several years searching for a new location. To ensure continued growth and the focus on top notch service a new location was selected moving the yard from it’s home of 21 years to Melissa, TX.

Our Promise

Since we opened our doors in 1982 and as long as we are around; McKinney Lumber will always deliver the best service & product available to its customers. There is a reason why individuals & builders alike have come to know, trust, and use McKinney Lumber over the last 30 years.

Contact Us


09/08/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Rick Steves: How to tour Europe by train #bcd #travel

#european rail travel
#

Rick Steves: How to tour Europe by train

Story Highlights

    Europe s well-organized rail system makes touring by train a breeze Travelers should calculate whether a rail pass or individual tickets are a better deal Taking overnight trains could cut down on hotel costs

449 CONNECT TWEET 5 LINKEDIN 14 COMMENT EMAIL MORE

Great European train stations stir my wanderlust. In Munich, about to catch a train, I stand under the station’s towering steel and glass rooftop and study the big schedule board. It lists a dozen departures. Every few minutes, the letters and numbers on each line change as, one by one, cities and departure times work their way to the top and then disappear. I’m surrounded by Europeans on the move–businessmen in tight neckties, giddy teenagers, families, porters pushing handcarts.

For many tourists, the pleasure of journeying along Europe’s well-organized rail system really is as good as the destination. Train travel isn’t as flexible as driving, but it’s less stressful. I’d rather watch the landscape instead of fixing my eyes on the road. On a train, I can forget about parking hassles, confusing road signs, bathroom stops, or Italian drivers.

A train traveler’s biggest pre-trip decision is whether to get a railpass, point-to-point tickets, or a mix of both. It pays to do the math by adding up the approximate ticket costs for your itinerary. European rail fares are based primarily on distance traveled, so if you’ll be on the train for just short trips, point-to-point tickets are usually a better match.

The more miles you’ll cover on the train, however, the more likely it is that a railpass makes sense. The Eurailpass is the most common multi-country pass, and many countries sell railpasses good for use in their country only. Most railpasses give you a certain number of train travel days to use within a longer “window” of time (for example, any ten days within a two-month period). You can sprinkle these travel days throughout your trip (ideally to cover long rides), and pay out of pocket for short trips.

Online schedule sites can help with planning. Each country’s national rail company has its own website, but the site operated by Deutsche Bahn, the German rail company, has schedules for virtually all of Europe and can be the best place to start (www.bahn.com ).

Riding the rails is much the same all over Europe. Ticket windows handle your ticket and reservation needs; or you can usually buy a ticket at a travel agency to spare yourself the long lines. Be sure, when necessary, that your ticket or railpass is validated before boarding. Many express trains require an advance reservation; it’s smart to ask.

Wondering whether to splurge for first class? Nearly every train has both first- and second-class cars–each going at precisely the same speed. First class is cushier, generally with three seats across and fewer passengers. Second class comes with four seats across and more people. But today’s trains are so comfortable that the new second class feels as slick as the old first class–at a third to half the cost. I don’t bother to pay the premium for first class except during very busy times, such as holiday weekends.

Schedule boards in European train stations have all the information you need to be on your way: departure times, routing, destinations, and track numbers. (Photo: Cameron Hewitt)

When you’re on the platform, look for the posted train composition charts that show the order of cars (first class, second class, and dining car) for your train. With this chart, you’ll know where to wait on the platform so that when the train stops, you’re already positioned to step right onto your car.

Nowadays, the old clackity-clackity rhythm of the rails has been replaced by the nearly silent swoosh of bullet trains. These super-fast trains are making European rail travel more time-efficient than ever.

Take the speedy Eurostar train, which barrels between Paris and London in about 2.5 hours via the Chunnel. Within minutes of departure, the train is zipping at 180 mph across the French countryside. The train travels so fast that, where the tracks parallel the highway, the cars you pass seem to be standing still.

Sleeping while rolling down the tracks can save time and money. With night trains, you can easily have dinner in Paris, sleep on the train, and have breakfast in Venice, Munich, or Madrid. If a train ride is six hours or longer, it’s worth considering whether a flight or an overnight train is more convenient.

Sleeping cars require a paid reservation beyond the regular ticket price, but for less than the cost of a simple hotel bed, you get your own bunk with clean linen and an attendant who monitors who comes and goes as you sleep. What you miss in scenery is more than made up for by the entire extra day you gain for sightseeing.

Trains remain the quintessentially European way to go, and are the best option for romantics. Across the Continent, train stations are being remodeled into gleaming transportation hubs. Whether old or new, each station is a temple of travel. Just pick a platform. and explore Europe.

449 CONNECT TWEET 5 LINKEDIN 14 COMMENT EMAIL MORE





08/08/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Italy Rail Passes and Train Tips from Rick Steves #book #airline

#train travel italy
#

Italy Rail Passes and Train Tips

By Rick Steves

Are rail passes a good value for Italy?

Not for most people think carefully before buying a rail pass, especially if your trip doesn t extend beyond Italy. Most train travelers in Italy spend each rail-travel day taking relatively short rides on the Milan Venice Florence Rome circuit. For these trips (most of which cost less than $60 for a second-class ticket), it s cheaper to buy point-to-point train tickets than a rail pass (since most cost more than $60 per day). Furthermore, a rail pass doesn t provide much hop-on convenience in Italy, since many trains require paid seat reservations. as indicated in train schedules (see below for more Italy-specific reservation advice).

All that said, keep in mind that per-day costs are lower for longer-term rail passes so if you ll be doing a lot of Italian train travel, a pass may indeed pencil out (especially if you re venturing beyond Italy on a larger European trip).

Train Fares: Italy





06/08/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Germany Travel Guide – Trip Planning Info by Rick Steves #tibet

#travel to germany
#

Germany

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Munich Lively city with a traffic-free center, excellent museums, Baroque palaces, stately churches, rowdy beer halls, convivial beer gardens, and beautiful parks (such as the English Garden) plus the sobering concentration camp memorial at nearby Dachau.

▲▲▲ Southern Bavaria and Western Tirol Pair of Alps-straddling regions (one in Germany, the other in Austria) boasting the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, and Linderhof; inviting villages such as the handy home base F ssen, Austrian retreat Reutte, and adorable Oberammergau; the towering Zugspitze and its high-altitude lifts; and hiking, luge rides, and other mountain activities.

▲▲▲ Salzburg (Austria, just over the border) and Berchtesgaden Austrian musical mecca for fans of Mozart and The Sound of Music. offering a dramatic castle, concerts, Baroque churches, and an old town full of winding lanes; plus nearby Berchtesgaden, soaked in alpine scenery and Nazi history.

▲▲▲ Berlin Germany s vibrant capital, featuring world-class museums, gleaming modern architecture, and trendy nightlife, along with evocative monuments and reminders of the Wall that once divided the city and country.

▲▲ Rothenburg and the Romantic Road Well-preserved medieval city full of half-timbered buildings and cobbled lanes surrounded by walkable medieval walls; jumping-off point for the Romantic Road scenic route through lovely countryside and time-passed towns, including Dinkelsb hl and N rdlingen.

▲▲ Rhine Valley Mighty river steeped in legend, where storybook villages (including charming home-base towns Bacharach and St. Goar) cluster under imposing castles, such as Rheinfels and Marksburg.

▲▲ Mosel Valley Peaceful meandering river lined with tiny wine-loving cobbled towns, such as handy Cochem and quaint Beilstein, plus my favorite European castle, Burg Eltz.

▲▲ N rnberg City with old-fashioned sandstone core and great museums, with reminders of Nazi past thoughtfully presented on the outskirts of town.

▲▲ Dresden Art-filled city offering exquisite museums, Baroque palaces, a pleasant riverside promenade, and hard memories of a notorious WWII firebombing.

Baden-Baden and the Black Forest High-class resort/spa town of Baden-Baden, with decadent bath experiences, a peaceful riverside stroll, and a grand casino; lively university city of Freiburg and cozy village of Staufen; and a thickly forested countryside rife with healthy hikes, folk museums, cute hamlets, and cream cakes.

W rzburg Home to the impressive Residenz palace (with manicured gardens and dazzling Rococo chapel) and lively wine bars.

Frankfurt Europe s bustling banking center, offering a stunning skyscraper skyline and a look at today s Germany.

Trier Germany s oldest city, with a lively pedestrian zone and imposing Roman monuments, including the Porta Nigra gate.

Cologne Spectacular Gothic cathedral looming above a busy, museum-packed city on the Rhine River.

Lutherland Charming university town of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent his youth; Wartburg Castle, where he hid out from the pope s goons; and Wittenberg, where he taught, preached, and revolutionized Christianity.

Leipzig Formerly derelict second city of East Germany, now rejuvenated (if architecturally dull) with excellent Bach and Cold War sights.

Hamburg Big port city with emigration, World War II, and Beatles history and Las Vegas-style nightlife.





25/07/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Greece Travel Guide by Rick Steves #travel #comparison #sites

#travel greece
#

Greece

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Athens Greece s capital, featuring the ancient world s most magnificent sight the Acropolis a pair of world-class museums, an atmospheric Old Town, and funky neighborhoods bursting with avant-garde nightlife.

▲▲▲ Hydra Idyllic island getaway, convenient to Athens and the Peloponnese, with picturesque harbor, casual beaches, enticing coastal hikes, and no cars (but plenty of donkeys).

▲▲▲ Santorini Romantic island destination built on the remains of a volcano crater, renowned for cliff-clinging white villages punctuated by blue-domed churches, volcanic black-sand beaches, and spectacular sunsets.

▲▲ Nafplio Greece s first capital and finest midsized town, with a cozy port, an elegant Old Town, a cliff-topping fortress, and energetic street life; handy to nearby ancient sites (Mycenae and Epidavros).

▲▲ Olympia Birthplace of the Olympic Games, with stunning temple ruins, a still-functional stadium, and an intimate museum of ancient masterpieces.

▲▲ Kardamyli Cozy, unspoiled beach town, providing a handy jumping-off point for the Mani Peninsula.

▲▲ Monemvasia Greece s Gibraltar-like fortress on an imposing rock peninsula jutting out into the sea, blending Venetian and Byzantine charm, traffic-free cobbled lanes, and million-dollar views.

▲▲ Delphi Mountainside draped with the Sanctuary of Apollo and other once-grandiose structures, where ancients came to consult the oracle.

▲▲ Mykonos Quintessential (and very popular) Greek isle with postcard-perfect whitewashed village, old-fashioned windmills, and pulsating nightlife; ruins on nearby Delos mark the birthplace of Apollo and a once-mighty shipping center.

Epidavros Best-preserved theater of the ancient world, with unbelievable acoustics.

Mycenae Legendary mountaintop palace/fortress with iconic Lion Gate, massive beehive tomb, and mythic links to the Trojan War.

Mani Peninsula Remote, rustic region with dramatic hill towns, spectacular caves (Pyrgos Dirou), and breathtaking jagged coastlines.





25/07/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Italy Travel Guide by Rick Steves #travel #o #city

#travel italy
#

Italy

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Venice Romantic island city, powerful in medieval times; famous for St. Mark s Basilica, the Grand Canal, and singing gondoliers.

▲▲▲ Cinque Terre Five idyllic Riviera hamlets along a rugged coastline (and part of a national park), connected by scenic hiking trails and dotted with beaches.

▲▲▲ Florence The cradle of the Renaissance, with the world-class Uffizi Gallery, Brunelleschi s dome-topped Duomo, Michelangelo s David, and Italy s best gelato.

▲▲▲ Siena Florence s smaller and (some say) more appealing rival, with its grand Il Campo square and striking striped cathedral.

▲▲▲ Rome Italy s capital, the Eternal City, studded with Roman remnants (Forum, Colosseum, Pantheon), romantic floodlit-fountain squares, and the Vatican home to one of Italy s top museums and the Sistine Chapel.

▲▲ Milan Powerhouse city of commerce and fashion, with the prestigious La Scala opera house, Leonardo s The Last Supper, and three airports.

▲▲ Heart of Tuscany Picturesque, wine-soaked villages of Italy s heartland, including mellow Montepulciano, Renaissance Pienza, and Brunello-fueled Montalcino.

▲▲ Assisi St. Francis hometown, perched on a hillside, with a divinely Giotto-decorated basilica.

▲▲ Orvieto and Civita More hill-town adventures, featuring Orvieto s classic views and ornate cathedral plus the adorable pocket-sized village of Civita di Bagnoregio.

▲▲ Naples Gritty, in-love-with-life port city featuring vibrant street life and a top archaeological museum.

Near Venice Several interesting towns: Padua (with Giotto s gloriously frescoed Scrovegni Chapel), Verona (Roman amphitheater plus Romeo and Juliet sights), and Ravenna (top Byzantine mosaics).

The Dolomites Italy s rugged rooftop with a Germanic flair, featuring Bolzano (home of tzi the Iceman), Castelrotto (charming village), and Alpe di Siusi (alpine meadows laced with lifts and hiking trails).

The Lakes Two relaxing lakes, each with low-key resort towns and a mountainous backdrop: Lake Como, with quaint Varenna and upscale Bellagio; and Lake Maggiore, with straightforward Stresa, manicured islands, and elegant villas.

Pisa and Lucca Two classic towns: Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower and surrounding Field of Miracles, and Lucca, with a charming walled old center.

Volterra and San Gimignano Two hill towns in north Tuscany: vibrant, refreshing Volterra and multi-towered, touristy San Gimignano.

Pompeii and Nearby Famous ruins of the ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, stopped in their tracks by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Sorrento and Capri The seaside resort port of Sorrento, and a short cruise away, the jet-set island getaway of Capri, with its Blue Grotto.

Amalfi Coast and Paestum String of seafront villages including hilly Positano and workaday Amalfi tied together by a scenic mountainous coastal road, plus nearby Paestum, with its well-preserved ancient Greek temples.

Riviera Towns near the Cinque Terre More Italian Riviera fun, including the beach towns of Levanto, Sestri Levante, the larger Santa Margherita Ligure, and trendier Portofino nearby, and to the south, resorty Portovenere and workaday La Spezia (transportation hub).





23/07/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Rick Steves Travel Blog #travel #tickets #cheap

#travel europe
#

Rick Steves Travel Blog

I m sharing my travel experiences, candid opinions and what s on my mind. If you think it s inappropriate for a travel writer to stir up discussion on his blog with political observations and insights gained from traveling abroad, you may not want to read any further. — Rick

  • We are monitoring this blog carefully for inappropriate posts. Before you post, read our Community Guidelines .

I m not Dancing with the Stars, I m Dancing with the Star Programmers

A letter from Paris

Thank you for all of your responses to my post about terrorism and travel. I appreciated them all, but this one was extra special:

Hello there Rick Steves!

My name is Amber, my family and I are currently vacationing in Paris for a week with your Paris 2015 guidebook. We’ve seen all of the museums, monuments, and art we’ve wanted to see. We LOVE doing your walks from your app. Paris is such a beautiful and historical city! We’ve loved every minute of it. I m sure you get tons of these messages, but I wanted to thank you. Thank you not only for your awesome books but for the Facebook post on terrorists and traveling you posted a week ago.

We were scheduled to leave for Paris the Wednesday after the horrible tragedy that took place, and we suddenly found ourselves wondering if we should still go. Is it safe? What might happen to us? My heart was broken for the people of Paris, but we’re traveling with our two teenage daughters. Safety suddenly became a big concern and we had the hardest time making a decision.

Your post really touched me and helped me put things in perspective. My husband and I both agreed we would not let ourselves be terrorized and we would go and have the amazing Europe trip we planned. And boy am I so glad we made that choice!

The city is like none other. And the French people have been so kind to us. Yesterday we toured the Eiffel Tower and watched the sun set from the top with both our girls. It was a moment we will never forget. It was so beautiful, I shed a few tears. I m so glad we made the choice to come, and to be able to have these wonderful experiences together as a family.

As we made our way back to our flat, we boarded the metro, and started discussing dinner ideas. A nice French businessman was sitting next to my 12 year old and must have over heard her talking. He asked her, Do you speak English? She said yes. He said, Are you American? Did you come here from America? And she said yes again. Then he put his newspaper down and said to all of us, Thank you for coming to visit Paris. Despite what happened. We are a strong city. I hope you have a wonderful stay.

I was so moved! This city has witnessed such horrible evil, not too long ago. And they have not let it stop them from living their lives. I see it every day in the cafés, couples and families sitting together conversing, laughing, and most importantly Living. It warms my heart. We will definitely always keep traveling.





27/05/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Italy Rail Passes and Train Tips from Rick Steves #travel #shop

#train travel italy
#

Italy Rail Passes and Train Tips

By Rick Steves

Are rail passes a good value for Italy?

Not for most people think carefully before buying a rail pass, especially if your trip doesn t extend beyond Italy. Most train travelers in Italy spend each rail-travel day taking relatively short rides on the Milan Venice Florence Rome circuit. For these trips (most of which cost less than $60 for a second-class ticket), it s cheaper to buy point-to-point train tickets than a rail pass (since most cost more than $60 per day). Furthermore, a rail pass doesn t provide much hop-on convenience in Italy, since many trains require paid seat reservations. as indicated in train schedules (see below for more Italy-specific reservation advice).

All that said, keep in mind that per-day costs are lower for longer-term rail passes so if you ll be doing a lot of Italian train travel, a pass may indeed pencil out (especially if you re venturing beyond Italy on a larger European trip).

Train Fares: Italy





12/05/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Czech Republic Travel Guide by Rick Steves #travel #gift #ideas

#travel rebublic
#

Czech Republic

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Prague The Czech capital and one of Europe s most romantic cities, boasting a remarkably well-preserved Old Town with top-notch architecture from every era; a sprawling hilltop castle; a thriving New Town packed with slinky Art Nouveau facades; a historic and well-presented Jewish Quarter; inspiring tales from its rocky late-20th-century history; countless lively pubs serving some of the world s best beer; and enough museums, churches, gardens, and other attractions to entertain any visitor.

▲▲ Day Trips from Prague A wide range of easy side-trips, including Kutn Hora, a workaday Czech town with an offbeat bone church, stunning cathedral, and silver mining museum; Terez n, a sobering memorial to the victims of the Nazis; Konopi tě Castle, the opulent but lived-in former residence of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand; dramatically situated Karl tejn Castle; the genuinely Gothic hunting palace of Křivokl t Castle; and the swanky spa town of Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad).

▲▲ Česk Krumlov Charming, picturesque, and popular midsized town huddled under a colorful castle and hugging a river bend in the Bohemian hills, made to order for canoeing, hiking, and people-watching.

Třeboň, Telč, Třeb č, and Slavonice Four different southern Bohemian towns, each with a claim to fame: Třeboň, surrounded by artificial lakes; Telč, with a spectacular main square; Třeb č, with echoes of Jewish history; and huddled along the Austrian border Slavonice, with evocative, never-used WWII fortifications.

Olomouc Moravian cultural capital and thriving university city, with a grand square (crowned by Europe s biggest plague column), churches, museums, famously pungent cheese, bustling everyday life, and the country s top Rococo ch teau in nearby Kroměř ž.

Wallachia Time-passed, mountainous corner of Moravia, with a fine open-air folk museum at Rožnov pod Radho těm and a mountaintop retreat at Pustevny.

Mikulov Wine Region The Czech Republic s top wine-growing area, with a trio of worthwhile stops within a few minutes drive: the historical town of Mikulov (postcard-perfect main square and vibrant Jewish sites), the humble village of Pavlov (wine cellars), and the impressive castles-and-gardens complex of Lednice and Valtice.





03/05/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Germany Travel Guide – Trip Planning Info by Rick Steves #discount

#travel to germany
#

Germany

Places

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Munich Lively city with a traffic-free center, excellent museums, Baroque palaces, stately churches, rowdy beer halls, convivial beer gardens, and beautiful parks (such as the English Garden) plus the sobering concentration camp memorial at nearby Dachau.

▲▲▲ Southern Bavaria and Western Tirol Pair of Alps-straddling regions (one in Germany, the other in Austria) boasting the fairy-tale castles of Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, and Linderhof; inviting villages such as the handy home base F ssen, Austrian retreat Reutte, and adorable Oberammergau; the towering Zugspitze and its high-altitude lifts; and hiking, luge rides, and other mountain activities.

▲▲▲ Salzburg (Austria, just over the border) and Berchtesgaden Austrian musical mecca for fans of Mozart and The Sound of Music. offering a dramatic castle, concerts, Baroque churches, and an old town full of winding lanes; plus nearby Berchtesgaden, soaked in alpine scenery and Nazi history.

▲▲▲ Berlin Germany s vibrant capital, featuring world-class museums, gleaming modern architecture, and trendy nightlife, along with evocative monuments and reminders of the Wall that once divided the city and country.

▲▲ Rothenburg and the Romantic Road Well-preserved medieval city full of half-timbered buildings and cobbled lanes surrounded by walkable medieval walls; jumping-off point for the Romantic Road scenic route through lovely countryside and time-passed towns, including Dinkelsb hl and N rdlingen.

▲▲ Rhine Valley Mighty river steeped in legend, where storybook villages (including charming home-base towns Bacharach and St. Goar) cluster under imposing castles, such as Rheinfels and Marksburg.

▲▲ Mosel Valley Peaceful meandering river lined with tiny wine-loving cobbled towns, such as handy Cochem and quaint Beilstein, plus my favorite European castle, Burg Eltz.

▲▲ N rnberg City with old-fashioned sandstone core and great museums, with reminders of Nazi past thoughtfully presented on the outskirts of town.

▲▲ Dresden Art-filled city offering exquisite museums, Baroque palaces, a pleasant riverside promenade, and hard memories of a notorious WWII firebombing.

Baden-Baden and the Black Forest High-class resort/spa town of Baden-Baden, with decadent bath experiences, a peaceful riverside stroll, and a grand casino; lively university city of Freiburg and cozy village of Staufen; and a thickly forested countryside rife with healthy hikes, folk museums, cute hamlets, and cream cakes.

W rzburg Home to the impressive Residenz palace (with manicured gardens and dazzling Rococo chapel) and lively wine bars.

Frankfurt Europe s bustling banking center, offering a stunning skyscraper skyline and a look at today s Germany.

Trier Germany s oldest city, with a lively pedestrian zone and imposing Roman monuments, including the Porta Nigra gate.

Cologne Spectacular Gothic cathedral looming above a busy, museum-packed city on the Rhine River.

Lutherland Charming university town of Erfurt, where Martin Luther spent his youth; Wartburg Castle, where he hid out from the pope s goons; and Wittenberg, where he taught, preached, and revolutionized Christianity.

Leipzig Formerly derelict second city of East Germany, now rejuvenated (if architecturally dull) with excellent Bach and Cold War sights.

Hamburg Big port city with emigration, World War II, and Beatles history and Las Vegas-style nightlife.





22/04/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

London Travel Guide Resources – Trip Planning Info by Rick Steves

#travel london
#

London

London is the L.A. D.C. and N.Y.C. of Britain a living, breathing, thriving organism. a coral reef of humanity. Blow through the city on a double-decker bus, and take a pinch-me-I m-in-London walk through the West End. Ogle the crown jewels at the Tower of London, hear the chimes of Big Ben, and see the Houses of Parliament in action. Cruise the Thames River, and take a spin on the London Eye. Hobnob with the tombstones in Westminster Abbey, visit with Leonardo, Botticelli, and Rembrandt in the National Gallery, and explore Harry Potter s stomping grounds at the film studio in Leavesden. Enjoy Shakespeare in a replica of the Globe Theatre and marvel at a glitzy, fun musical at a modern-day theater. Whisper across the dome of St. Paul s Cathedral, then rummage through our civilization s attic at the British Museum.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Westminster Abbey Britain s finest church and the site of royal coronations and burials since 1066.

▲▲▲ Churchill War Rooms Underground WWII headquarters of Churchill s war effort.

▲▲▲ National Gallery Remarkable collection of European paintings (1250 1900), including Leonardo, Botticelli, Vel zquez, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh, and the Impressionists.

▲▲▲ British Museum The world s greatest collection of artifacts of Western civilization, including the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon s Elgin Marbles.

▲▲▲ British Library Fascinating collection of the most important literary treasures of the Western world.

▲▲▲ St. Paul s Cathedral The main cathedral of the Anglican Church, designed by Christopher Wren, with a climbable dome and daily evensong services.

▲▲▲ Tower of London Historic castle, palace, and prison housing the crown jewels and a witty band of Beefeaters.

▲▲▲ Victoria and Albert Museum The best collection of decorative arts anywhere.

▲▲ Houses of Parliament London s Neo-Gothic landmark, famous for Big Ben and occupied by the Houses of Lords and Commons.

▲▲ Trafalgar Square The heart of London, where Westminster, The City, and the West End meet.

▲▲ National Portrait Gallery A Who s Who of British history, featuring portraits of this nation s most important historical figures.

▲▲ Covent Garden Vibrant people-watching zone with shops, caf s, street musicians, and an iron-and-glass arcade that once hosted a produce market.

▲▲ Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace Hour-long spectacle at Britain s royal residence.

▲▲ London Eye Enormous observation wheel, dominating and offering commanding views over London s skyline.

▲▲ Imperial War Museum Exhibits examining the military history of the bloody 20th century.

▲▲ Tate Modern Works by Monet, Matisse, Dal , Picasso, and Warhol displayed in a converted powerhouse.

▲▲ Shakespeare s Globe Timbered, thatched-roofed reconstruction of the Bard s original wooden O.

▲▲ Tate Britain Collection of British painting from the 16th century through modern times, including works by William Blake, the Pre-Raphaelites, and J. M. W. Turner.

▲▲ Kensington Palace Recently restored former home of British monarchs, with appealing exhibits on Queen Victoria, as well as William and Mary.

▲▲ Natural History Museum A Darwinian s delight, packed with stuffed creatures, engaging exhibits, and enthralled kids.

▲▲ Greenwich Seafaring borough just east of the city center, with Cutty Sark tea clipper, Royal Observatory, other maritime sights, and a pleasant market.

Courtauld Gallery Fine collection of paintings filling one wing of the Somerset House, a grand 18th-century palace.





19/04/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Rental Cars and the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) in Europe by

#travel car rental
#

Car-Rental Insurance and the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Know what your rental-car insurance covers in case you find yourself up a creek.

By Rick Steves

When you rent a car, you are liable for a very high deductible, sometimes equal to the entire value of the car. Fortunately, there s usually more than one way to limit your financial risk in case of an accident.

Baseline rates for European rentals nearly always include basic, mandated liability coverage for accident-related damage to anyone or anything outside the car. (The company may offer additional liability insurance, but I wouldn t buy this without some extenuating reason.)

It s (usually) up to you, however, to decide how to cover the risk of damage to or theft of the car itself. You have three main options, all described below: buying a collision damage waiver (CDW) through the car-rental company (easiest but most expensive), using your credit card s coverage (cheapest), or getting collision insurance as part of a larger travel-insurance policy.

If you re renting in either Ireland or Italy you ll have little choice but to buy the company s CDW. If you need a car for at least three weeks, you re probably better off leasing. which includes zero-deductible collision and theft insurance (and is tax-free to boot).

Note that theft insurance covers just the loss of the car itself, not anything stolen from inside it (see my tips on protecting your car from thieves ).

Car-Rental Company CDW

The simplest solution is to buy a CDW supplement from the car-rental company (it s the main extra included in the inclusive rates you ll see in quoted prices). This coverage technically isn t insurance; rather, it s a waiver: The car-rental company waives its right to collect a high deductible from you in the event the car is damaged. Note that this waiver doesn t actually eliminate the deductible, but just reduces it. CDW covers most of the car if you re in a collision, but usually excludes the undercarriage, roof, tires, windshield, windows, interior, and side mirrors.

CDW generally costs $10 30 a day (figure roughly 30 percent extra). Sometimes the CDW charge itself is a little less when combined with theft/loss insurance as part of an inclusive rental rate it s often cheaper to pay for this kind of coverage when you book than when you pick up the car.

When purchasing CDW, the reduced deductibles can still be substantial, with most hovering at about $1,000 1,500 (or more, depending on the car type). Most rental companies also offer a second tier of coverage, called super CDW or zero-deductible coverage to buy down the deductible to zero or near zero (if you didn t opt for this when booking from home, expect to hear a sales pitch from the counter agent). This is pricey figure about an additional $10 30 per day but, for some travelers, it s worth the peace of mind.

When comparing rental options online, beware that some European rental agencies quote basic rates that include CDW/theft coverage. (In this case, it s not an optional extra, so you can t decline it.) If these CDW-inclusive rates seem too good to be true, they probably are: The unwaived deductible is almost certainly especially high (expect $2,000 3,000). so you ll have to spend extra to buy the super CDW anyway to get the deductible down to a reasonable level.

Given these costs, the alternatives to paying for the rental company s CDW are worth considering carefully: credit-card coverage or collision coverage through your travel-insurance provider.

Credit-Card Coverage

Car-company CDW surcharges can seem like a racket when you consider that most credit cards already include collision coverage. By paying with the right credit card, you get zero-deductible collision coverage (comparable to super CDW). likely for free. In other words, if your car is damaged or stolen, your credit card will cover whatever costs you re liable for. The only major downside: If you do end up in an accident, dealing with credit-card coverage can be more of a hassle than what you d encounter with the car-company CDW. But if a potential headache seems like a worthwhile trade-off for certain and significant cost savings, look into this option.

To make this work, first double-check that your credit card does indeed offer this coverage. Remember that restrictions apply and coverage varies between issuers: Get a complete description of the coverage offered by your credit-card company. Ask in which countries it is applicable, which parts of the car (if any) are excluded, the types of vehicles that are eligible, whether it covers theft/loss, the maximum reimbursement allowed (if it s less than the price of the car, the rental company may require you to buy their CDW), and the maximum number of rental days covered (if your rental period exceeds that number, your card won t cover any of the rental). Have them explain the worst-case scenario to you. It can be smart to ask for a Letter of Coverage take a hard copy of it with you to the rental counter in Europe.

Once you ve confirmed your credit card s coverage, be sure to decline the CDW offered by your car-rental company. If you accept any coverage offered by the rental agency, you automatically forego your credit-card coverage. (In other words, if you buy CDW that comes with a $1,000 deductible, your credit card will not cover that deductible.) This may also be the case if you book and prepay for a rental that already includes CDW and/or theft coverage don t sign any rental contract until you re sure that by doing so you re not accidentally accepting the rental company s coverage.

A credit card s collision coverage applies even if the damage happens while the car s being driven by someone else, as long as that other driver, and the cardholder, are both listed as drivers on the rental contract. Remember to use that same card not only to reserve the car, but also to pay for the rental itself, as well as any other related fees you re charged, whether when booking at home, or when picking up or dropping off the car in Europe switching cards can invalidate the coverage.

If you get in an accident, the rental company will charge your credit card for the value of the damage (up to the deductible amount) or, if the vehicle is stolen, the value of the deductible associated with theft. It s then up to you to seek reimbursement for these charges from your credit-card company when you get home. You ll need to submit the police report and the car-rental company s accident report. (When deciding between rental companies, consider that American-based rental companies can be easier to work with if you have a claim to resolve.)

Be warned that, as far as some rental companies are concerned, by declining their CDW offer, you re technically liable for the full deductible (which can equal the cost of the car). Because of this, the car-rental company may put a hold on your credit card for the full value of the car. This is bad news if your credit limit is low particularly if you plan on using that card for other purchases during your trip. (Consider bringing two credit cards one for the rental car, the other for everything else.) If you don t have enough credit on your card to cover the car s value, the rental company may require you to purchase their CDW.

Since most credit cards don t offer collision insurance to their European cardholders, counter agents especially those unaccustomed to American clients may be skeptical that declining their CDW is a prudent move (all the more reason to have hard-copy proof of your credit-card coverage on hand). Don t be surprised if you hear a warning about how credit cards provide only secondary coverage that s moot as long as you ve declined the rental company s coverage and your own personal car insurance doesn t apply to the country you re in. By clearly understanding the coverage from your credit-card company, you should be set to ward off a hard sale on the rental-company CDW.

Collision Coverage Through Your Travel-Insurance Provider

If you re already purchasing a travel-insurance policy for your trip, adding collision coverage is an option. Travel Guard. for example, sells affordable renter s collision insurance as an add-on to its other policies. It s valid everywhere in Europe except the Republic of Ireland, and some Italian car-rental companies refuse to honor it, as it doesn t cover you in case of theft. If your car-rental company doesn t accept this coverage, and you have to buy other coverage to replace it, Travel Guard will refund your money.

If you do go with an insurer s comprehensive travel coverage, be sure to add the insurance company s name to your rental agreement when you pick up the car.





15/04/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Rick Steves: How to tour Europe by train #hotel #and #airfare

#european rail travel
#

Rick Steves: How to tour Europe by train

Story Highlights

    Europe s well-organized rail system makes touring by train a breeze Travelers should calculate whether a rail pass or individual tickets are a better deal Taking overnight trains could cut down on hotel costs

449 CONNECT TWEET 5 LINKEDIN 14 COMMENT EMAIL MORE

Great European train stations stir my wanderlust. In Munich, about to catch a train, I stand under the station’s towering steel and glass rooftop and study the big schedule board. It lists a dozen departures. Every few minutes, the letters and numbers on each line change as, one by one, cities and departure times work their way to the top and then disappear. I’m surrounded by Europeans on the move–businessmen in tight neckties, giddy teenagers, families, porters pushing handcarts.

For many tourists, the pleasure of journeying along Europe’s well-organized rail system really is as good as the destination. Train travel isn’t as flexible as driving, but it’s less stressful. I’d rather watch the landscape instead of fixing my eyes on the road. On a train, I can forget about parking hassles, confusing road signs, bathroom stops, or Italian drivers.

A train traveler’s biggest pre-trip decision is whether to get a railpass, point-to-point tickets, or a mix of both. It pays to do the math by adding up the approximate ticket costs for your itinerary. European rail fares are based primarily on distance traveled, so if you’ll be on the train for just short trips, point-to-point tickets are usually a better match.

The more miles you’ll cover on the train, however, the more likely it is that a railpass makes sense. The Eurailpass is the most common multi-country pass, and many countries sell railpasses good for use in their country only. Most railpasses give you a certain number of train travel days to use within a longer “window” of time (for example, any ten days within a two-month period). You can sprinkle these travel days throughout your trip (ideally to cover long rides), and pay out of pocket for short trips.

Online schedule sites can help with planning. Each country’s national rail company has its own website, but the site operated by Deutsche Bahn, the German rail company, has schedules for virtually all of Europe and can be the best place to start (www.bahn.com ).

Riding the rails is much the same all over Europe. Ticket windows handle your ticket and reservation needs; or you can usually buy a ticket at a travel agency to spare yourself the long lines. Be sure, when necessary, that your ticket or railpass is validated before boarding. Many express trains require an advance reservation; it’s smart to ask.

Wondering whether to splurge for first class? Nearly every train has both first- and second-class cars–each going at precisely the same speed. First class is cushier, generally with three seats across and fewer passengers. Second class comes with four seats across and more people. But today’s trains are so comfortable that the new second class feels as slick as the old first class–at a third to half the cost. I don’t bother to pay the premium for first class except during very busy times, such as holiday weekends.

Schedule boards in European train stations have all the information you need to be on your way: departure times, routing, destinations, and track numbers. (Photo: Cameron Hewitt)

When you’re on the platform, look for the posted train composition charts that show the order of cars (first class, second class, and dining car) for your train. With this chart, you’ll know where to wait on the platform so that when the train stops, you’re already positioned to step right onto your car.

Nowadays, the old clackity-clackity rhythm of the rails has been replaced by the nearly silent swoosh of bullet trains. These super-fast trains are making European rail travel more time-efficient than ever.

Take the speedy Eurostar train, which barrels between Paris and London in about 2.5 hours via the Chunnel. Within minutes of departure, the train is zipping at 180 mph across the French countryside. The train travels so fast that, where the tracks parallel the highway, the cars you pass seem to be standing still.

Sleeping while rolling down the tracks can save time and money. With night trains, you can easily have dinner in Paris, sleep on the train, and have breakfast in Venice, Munich, or Madrid. If a train ride is six hours or longer, it’s worth considering whether a flight or an overnight train is more convenient.

Sleeping cars require a paid reservation beyond the regular ticket price, but for less than the cost of a simple hotel bed, you get your own bunk with clean linen and an attendant who monitors who comes and goes as you sleep. What you miss in scenery is more than made up for by the entire extra day you gain for sightseeing.

Trains remain the quintessentially European way to go, and are the best option for romantics. Across the Continent, train stations are being remodeled into gleaming transportation hubs. Whether old or new, each station is a temple of travel. Just pick a platform. and explore Europe.

449 CONNECT TWEET 5 LINKEDIN 14 COMMENT EMAIL MORE





28/03/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Buying European Train Tickets by Rick Steves #europe #travel

#rail travel europe
#

Buying European Train Tickets

Though some train rides should be booked in advance, it’s generally easiest to buy tickets right at the station. Advance tickets sold through national-railway websites are often easily redeemable at the station.

By Rick Steves

While a rail pass is often the smart way to ride the rails in Europe, sometimes it makes more sense to purchase individual train tickets between specific destinations (either instead of, or in addition to, a rail pass see my tips for figuring out whether a pass pencils out for your trip ).

Unlike rail passes, which must be purchased before you get to Europe, it s generally easiest to buy point-to-point train tickets right at the station. But it can be smart to buy in advance for certain trains and destinations, especially if your dates are set and you don t want to risk a specific train journey selling out, or if you re hoping to land an advance-purchase discount .

With a valid rail pass, you just hop on any covered train that doesn t require reservations. But even unreserved point-to-point tickets have some flexibility, since you can still make any number of stops and connections along the most direct route between the starting and ending stations printed on your ticket (within a single country your trip usually just has to be completed within the same calendar day; for many international point-to-point tickets you have two weeks to complete the journey).

Where to Get Train Tickets

You have three main options for buying point-to-point tickets: through a US-based retailer before leaving home (we even sell them right here ), through the website of one of Europe s national railways, and in person at Europe s train stations (and at some European travel agencies).

Through a US Retailer

The easiest way to get train tickets before leaving home is to buy them through ricksteves.com (after all, you re already here!). Virtually all US-based websites and travel agents sell European train tickets for the exact same prices you ll find here.

By buying through any US retailer, you may pay a little more than if you were to purchase that same ticket in person at a European train station but for a can t-miss train, the extra cost can be worth it for the peace of mind. (And rail-pass holders who still need tickets and/or seat reservations on certain trains most notably the Eurostar. Thalys. and any TGV are smart to get their passholder-fare tickets through a US-based site, as these fares sell out quite far in advance and aren t available elsewhere online.)

On National-Railway Websites

Many European national rail companies allow customers to buy tickets online at the going European price (usually for faster classes of trains for which reservations are required, or at least recommended). Advance tickets can be an especially smart buy for popular high-speed trains (such as France s TGV trains and Italy s Le Frecce trains), which frequently sell out.

If you re looking for the cheapest possible ticket between A and B especially if A and B are in the same country this is the way to go.

Not all national-railway sites are created equal: While some are difficult (or impossible) for foreigners to use (such as the unreliable Spanish railway site), quite a few are fairly easy to navigate (see my tips for using the well-designed Austrian. British. French. German. Irish. Italian. Swedish. and Swiss railway sites).

Your ticket may be a barcode on your smartphone, an emailed confirmation code redeemable at the station (in the same country that operates the website you bought it on), or a print-at-home document. Online tickets are valid for a specific date and time and have strict refund restrictions, so read the fine print carefully.

In Europe

Once in Europe, you can simply get tickets at the station, usually without much fuss, either on your day of travel or in advance (see my tips for buying tickets in European train stations ). This is the best option if you d prefer to keep your itinerary more spontaneous. You can even get tickets for trains in another country: For example, if your trip starts in Paris, you can buy your Berlin-to-Prague ticket at any Parisian train station (as any Parisian would). Tickets bought at train-station windows tend to be easier to change (or have refunded) than tickets bought online.

In some cities you can avoid trekking to the train station by visiting a neighborhood travel agency or branch office of the national railroad. This convenience may come with an extra fee, but if the agency is easier for you to get to than the train station, buying tickets there can save lots of time and hassle (and travel agents may have more time and English-language skills than the people behind the train-station counter).

Ticket Prices

European train fares are based primarily on the distance traveled. Each country has its own euros per kilometer formula, though the type of train also affects the price (logically, slower trains are usually cheaper than faster ones). For faster classes of trains, however, many European rail companies have moved to a dynamic pricing system similar to how airfares work in which a fare can vary depending on demand, restrictions, and how early you purchase.

The quickest way to get a rough idea of what you d pay for any given train trip in Europe is to check my cost-estimate maps .

Scoring Ticket Discounts

If you re buying point-to-point tickets, be aware of the ways you can qualify for a discount (whether buying through a national-railway website, or in person at the train station). For details, check this site s country-specific rail pages for any countries you re planning to visit.

Advance purchase (a week to three months in advance) can save you money in certain countries (most notably Austria. Britain. Finland. France. Germany. Italy. Spain. and Sweden ), especially for faster or longer rides. In some areas (such as Switzerland and most eastern countries), advance-purchase deals either don t exist or aren t worth the hassle. In most places, for regional or medium-speed trains, tickets cost the same whether they re bought two months or two minutes before the train leaves.

Round-trip tickets can be cheaper than two one-way tickets in some countries (Britain. Ireland. and Spain ; sometimes in combination with advance purchase). For many trips within Britain, for example, a day return (round-trip in a single day) can be just a bit more expensive than a single one-way ticket.

Children get ticket discounts in most of Europe (typically about 50 percent off for ages 4 11, sometimes free with an adult). Whether you re traveling with tickets or a rail pass, kids under 4 always travel free on your lap (though if there s an empty seat, feel free to use it).

Seniors can find a few ticket deals. most of which require a discount card purchased in Europe (discounts start between ages 60 and 67).

Off-peak travel (such as midday or midweek) can be cheaper than peak-time journeys (mainly in Britain and France ).





14/03/2017

Posted In: NEWS

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment