Saturday, September 10, 2011

PLANNING OUR TRIP TO GERMANY & AUSTRIA

Sometimes in the fall of 1996, we were sharing travel stories with Dave & Shari, good friends and neighbors, during an evening boat ride on East Lake when it was decided that we’d make great travel companions; plans were tentatively set for a trip to Germany and Austria in the fall of 1997.

Over the next several months, evenings were spent on the lake planning our proposed trip. The plan was to use the International Dine Out book and Intercontinental Hotels for great bargains on upper end hotels….we each had a “free companion ticket” coming from an airlines due to previous commitments.

In January, we started checking on reservations….plane tickets were already filling up and Dave & Shari ended up on Lufthansa Airlines for their United tickets…we would be on American Airlines. Both tickets were double what we’d expected due to the time of year. We also soon discovered that hotel reservations were going to be tougher to get because of the Octoberfest Celebrations going on during the same time as we were planning our vacation. The reduced rates were out the window as this is their premium occupancy time. Meetings were held as we read the travel books and laid out our basic route.

We will fly into Frankfurt September 11th from LAX and return from Frankfurt Oct. 1st. We’ll rent a car from Alamo…Jim to order through Kemmel. Stay over the first night in Frankfurt and then start north to L├╝beck; southeast to Berlin; south to Bamberg; east to Vienna, Austria; west to Salzburg then back into Germany by way of the Romantic Road through Bavaria. Back through Oberammergau, Munich, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Rothenburg, Wurzburg and back to Frankfurt by October 1st.

During April, having recovered from the trip to England, we spent a week faxing various hotels that were about $100/per night; with shower & toilet in the room. Nothing fancy…going toward quaint and comfortable. Several were hotels that Jim & I were familiar with from our previous trip to Germany.

Over the next several months, meetings were held to read the travel books and make plans for places we wanted to visit on the trip. Decision was made to each set up our own transportation to LAX due to the difference in departure times. Both lay over in Chicago, but Dave & Shari leave an hour later from LAX. Both arrive about the same time in Frankfurt. Plans are to meet at the car rental in Frankfurt. Weather will probably require warmer clothes, but may still be on the warm side in the southern part of our stay. Each party to limit their baggage to two suitcases. I will bring my computer to use e-mail for everyone.

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