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Topic # 198627 16-Jul-2016 23:54
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Hi Guys. 


Sorry if this seems a bit of a strange thread or rambles a bit. 


I have never really been interested in Europe in the past (With the exception of France and Italy almost exclusively for the food, as this is a BIG interest of mine), but a couple of years ago I was exceptionally fortunate to win an all expenses paid trip to Italy, which literally blew my mind! History was the opposite of my thing, but it's impossible not to be affected by it.


I have been offered a chance to go to a conference in Germany later this year, which may have some decent benefits to my business (but it also may amount to nothing significant), but would also give me the chance to tail end to OctoberFest (Which I think has limited interest to a non drinker) and potentially see more of Germany or surrounding areas like Amsterdam etc. 


It's a reasonably big cost and the vendor is covering my attendance costs except airfares and accommodation and any post-conference costs. 


Germany is not a place I ever had any interest in visiting, but a few people have said it's amazing.  


It's going to cost around 8K I expect, assuming I fly PE or E the whole way which is a big ask given I hate flying and it's 34-44 hours of travelling depending on the carrier. 


I was keen to hear from people who have been to Germany, had any recommendations, thoughts on what to do and see, and what areas I might consider spending a few days in other than Berlin. 


Yes, I understand it's a first world problem, but I'd still like some ideas.


 


Cheers


 


 


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gzt

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  Reply # 1593730 17-Jul-2016 00:15
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The only German I used was 'Bitte, sprechen ze English?'. Bitte is 'excuse me' and if you skip that part it sounds extremely demanding apparently ; ).



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  Reply # 1593731 17-Jul-2016 00:18
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gzt: The only German I used was 'Bitte, sprechen ze English?'. Bitte is 'excuse me' and if you skip that part it sounds extremely demanding apparently ; ).

 

 

 

Isn't Bitte please?

 

 


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  Reply # 1593732 17-Jul-2016 00:21
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The only city I have been to in Germany is Berlin, and I loved it. Its a cultural spot, and you will find a lot of interesting galleries and stuff going on there.

 

If you get to go to the Netherlands and Amsterdam, do that too! Thats also a very nice city!

 

I would look at Emirates for the flights to Europe. Have been very happy with them, been flying with them the last few trips and its been a very nice experience (only flown on cattle class, though - have a hard time justifying the price difference between Economy and Business Class). One of the perks of Business Class with Emirates is that you get a limo to and from the airport.. :)

 

Their A380s are a very comfortable way of spending a lot of time in the air, thats for sure - even on cattle class its liveable (in my opinion).

 

My experience when traveling in Europe is that Tripadvisor has been a great help to finding great places to eat and also to suss out what is worth doing the places you are going. Would suggest you check out Berlin on Tripadvisor to get some tips there.





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  Reply # 1593747 17-Jul-2016 04:24
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A couple of months ago my wife and I spent ten days in one part of Germany on the way home from a house exchange in England. As part of this we did a week-long barge-bike cruise down the Moselle River valley from Saarburg to Koblenz. Flew home from Frankfurt.

 

During the days we rode supplied bikes down the riverbank on smooth asphalt bike paths - through one beautifully picturesque village after another. Very scenic - castles on the hills etc. We had breakfast and dinner and slept on the boat. Boat supplied our picnic lunch each day. Total about 50 passengers.

 

I could go on and on but in short, we have travelled widely and this was one of the best things we have ever done. Boat was an older vessel and about three-star but the price made it really good value for money - it was an absolute bargain, compared to the super-expensive non-bike five-star Euro-river cruises.

 

Hadn't been in Germany since our OE 40 years earlier (incl. Oktoberfest!) and we were blown away by the part we visited. Would definitely go back to other parts and we will - geo-political considerations permitting.

 

https://www.tripsite.com/bike-boat/boats/comfort/patria/

 

 


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  Reply # 1593748 17-Jul-2016 07:03
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If you hate flying save up for Business Class :)


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  Reply # 1593749 17-Jul-2016 07:04
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Emirates tends to have crazy sales at certain times. Maybe ask the local travel agent.


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  Reply # 1593751 17-Jul-2016 07:09
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Another good thing about Emirates is that you can now get to (or back from) Germany in just two flights - Auck > Dubai > Frankfurt. Depending on where you live.

 

Their relatively-new Auck/Dubai leg is one of the longest in the world - about 17 hours.


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  Reply # 1593786 17-Jul-2016 09:31
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eracode:

 

A couple of months ago my wife and I spent ten days in one part of Germany on the way home from a house exchange in England. As part of this we did a week-long barge-bike cruise down the Moselle River valley from Saarburg to Koblenz. Flew home from Frankfurt.

 

During the days we rode supplied bikes down the riverbank on smooth asphalt bike paths - through one beautifully picturesque village after another. Very scenic - castles on the hills etc. We had breakfast and dinner and slept on the boat. Boat supplied our picnic lunch each day. Total about 50 passengers.

 

I could go on and on but in short, we have travelled widely and this was one of the best things we have ever done. Boat was an older vessel and about three-star but the price made it really good value for money - it was an absolute bargain, compared to the super-expensive non-bike five-star Euro-river cruises.

 

Hadn't been in Germany since our OE 40 years earlier (incl. Oktoberfest!) and we were blown away by the part we visited. Would definitely go back to other parts and we will - geo-political considerations permitting.

 

https://www.tripsite.com/bike-boat/boats/comfort/patria/

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lived south of frankfurt for a while, the little villages are amazing to my kiwi eyes.... our towns are largely crappy little toilet stops by comparison.       Architecturally beautiful town design is one thing that seems to get worse over time. 


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  Reply # 1593793 17-Jul-2016 10:06
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Germany is a fantastic place. I've only scratched the surface and fully intend to go back. I'd recommend hiring a car - experience the Autobahn in all it's glory, but also to explore some of the beautiful little villages off the beaten track a bit. Just driving through them even if you return to base for the night is pretty impressive.

 

Of the bigger towns I've been to, I really liked Cologne. The cathedral honestly looks like a space ship that's been parked in the town square.

 

Also, if you're in Germany already, don't feel limited to to staying within its borders. Deutsche Bahn makes it really quick and easy to hop into France and Switzerland especially (Switzerland is one of my favourites - I was based around Zurich, Zug and Lucerne for a bit).

 

Finally, I'm into history and can spend days just in the same museum (until Mrs MDF's hints that she's bored progress from subtle, through overt, through (literally) falling asleep on a convenient couch). But I also like the "experience" side of travel. I found just driving on the Autobahn or going at 300 kph on an express train cool. And some of the European sporting events are awesome. The Wesfalion Stadium in Dortmund is one of the best in Europe, but even local sports teams can be pretty amazing. One of the best nights I have had is in a ramshackle barn watching EV Zug play ice hockey. 

 

BTW: "Bitte" literally translates as "please", but is kind of an all purpose "with politeness" word. So for example "you're welcome" (i.e. after someone thanks you) is "bitte sehr". "Entschuldigung" is literally "excuse me" which works too. 


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  Reply # 1593806 17-Jul-2016 10:46
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I love Munich as a city and have now been there about 6 or 7 times. It is a long way from Berlin so you'd ideally want to fly. It has become a major hub for Lufthansa so could be very easy to fly in or out of or use as an open jaw destination.

 

Bavaria is very different to the rest of Germany and there is a lot to see in the outdoors.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1593810 17-Jul-2016 10:54
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I've never been to Germany but just got back from Greece a few days ago. I agree with the other posts that Emirates is a good choice; you get a fairly decent amount of space and the trip is about as comfortable as possible. I also used Singapore Airlines for one leg of the trip and that was comfortable too (and it was a nice touch to be able to wander down to the galley and help myself to snacks).

 

As you may have guessed, I went via Singapore. In an attempt to save money I used Air Asia to get from Auckland to there. I would not recommend this. The seats are small and cramped, and everything other than the seat and toilet carry an extra charge (even for water!). It's probably OK for going across the Tasman but I wouldn't suggest using a cheap airline for anything longer than that.




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  Reply # 1593818 17-Jul-2016 11:08
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Yeah to be fair, I am only considering flying with the "less budget" carriers. I am already DREADING the flight times. I'd feel MUCH happier on an A380 or 787, but not sure what the chances are. 

 

@sbiddle what is your opinion of flying on the 777-200ER?


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  Reply # 1593823 17-Jul-2016 11:16
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When I lived in Europe I spent a bit of time in Germany. A friend and I went for the Munich beerfest, which was kinda fun, but spent a day or two extra in Munich and a few days in Berlin. Berlin was great, really interesting. East Berlin was great for nightlife, but the whole place was just so different from NZ. I think on that trip I went to Vienna as well, which was very cultured but dead boring.

 

If you're going for a conference definitely look around a bit. Thing is you can get anywhere in Europe pretty quickly and easily, so if Germany isn't your thing jump on a fast train and go somewhere else.





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  Reply # 1593826 17-Jul-2016 11:22
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networkn:

 

Yeah to be fair, I am only considering flying with the "less budget" carriers. I am already DREADING the flight times. I'd feel MUCH happier on an A380 or 787, but not sure what the chances are. 

 

@sbiddle what is your opinion of flying on the 777-200ER?

 

 

I'm assuming you mean on Air NZ?

 

BP is the same seats as the 77W, Economy seat is better than the 77W but still very crammed and PE is the Zodiac rather than the Spaceseat.

 

IFE on that and the 789 is far better than the 77W.

 

 

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1593846 17-Jul-2016 12:03
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sbiddle:

 

networkn:

 

Yeah to be fair, I am only considering flying with the "less budget" carriers. I am already DREADING the flight times. I'd feel MUCH happier on an A380 or 787, but not sure what the chances are. 

 

@sbiddle what is your opinion of flying on the 777-200ER?

 

 

I'm assuming you mean on Air NZ?

 

BP is the same seats as the 77W, Economy seat is better than the 77W but still very crammed and PE is the Zodiac rather than the Spaceseat.

 

IFE on that and the 789 is far better than the 77W.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry I don't really understand what you just wrote :) 

 

I was talking in general, how is the flying experience in a 777-200LR, would it be better to fly another airline/route if it meant A380 or 787 instead?

 

 


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