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TA for a River Cruise?


Travel R
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22 hours ago, Daisi said:

Hmmm... rather than renting a car, we tend to buy the public transit passes.

 

21 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

The trains are so easy for Versailles, Disney, Amsterdam, Brussels. I would save the car rental for driving the magnificent roads and tunnels of Switzerland.

 

20 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Agree, car more for Switzerland, but even there trains are convenient depending on where you want to go

 

17 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 We rented a car at CDG and drove the peripherique to avoid Paris en route to Chartres – and it was still heavy traffic [combined with jet lag – not good...]

 

13 hours ago, notamermaid said:

Within Paris and out to Versailles I would avoid the car, also thinking the driver can then enjoy the time as much as the passengers. If you enjoy driving long distances renting a car is convenient but, again, the big cities Brussels and Amsterdam are well connected by train and can be a pain to drive in. Brussels orbital motorway is incredibly busy at times. Spent an hour for a 20 minute journey on there in a previous year. Can be okay on some days but you really can lose quite some time just getting where you want to be. Train gets you into the centre straight away.

 

5 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Okay Paris peripherique five lanes so five across and as far as you can see bumper to bumper* in front and behind. People drive in that every day!

 

I hear y'all, but this is one area where I digress. I was born n' raised in New York City, where traffic is just a part of life (it has sometimes taken 20-30 minutes to drive 3 miles - seriously). So, a little traffic is of no concern. Growing up I also used to work on cars and even do a little street racing; the driver's seat of an automobile is one of my happy places. 

 

When we visited Alaska recently, it was the 45th of 50 States I had visited. I had driven within all the other states, and drove a jeep off-road to ensure that I was able to drive in all 45. I have driven through a few Provinces in Canada, and in various countries throughout the world (Iceland being the most memorable because of its topography - it was like driving on the surface of the moon).  The only countries I will not drive in are England and the former colonies that drive on the left side of the world. My instincts and reactions as a driver are too right-side dominated, that I fear that I would make a good move in the US that would cause an accident in England.

 

I love to drive. In fact, within the next two months I am going to drive from New Jersey to Niagara Falls (NY), Memphis (TN) and up to various states in New England (twice). I know this is a cruise board, but many of our vacations are land-based within the US and abroad.

 

There are a few things I love about driving while on vacation, especially in states and countries that we have never or rarely visit.  We enjoy the freedom of deviation - changing of schedule or destination based on something as small as seeing an interesting sign to a museum or oddly named road.  We love the ability to visit all those little places that a bus or train will pass by and talking to people that you may meet along the way - shopkeepers, locals, and fellow travelers.  Allegorically, the road is my river - and the car my river cruise ship.  I can sail along the highways in my auto stopping at all the smaller sites that the big ships cannot port and immerse myself in the local culture and history. [Just as there are low/high water levels, jams, locks, and other obstacles to slow down the ship on the river, there is also going to be traffic to contend with.]

 

As always, I will do my research about the traffic regulations for each country I visit. I'll also find out if they have any driving restrictions within the city we intent to possibly visit. [I know that there are ZTL zones coming to Paris; I'll have to find out what other cities have them; FYI - for those travelling to NYC, there will be something similar (congestion pricing) that may be implemented in 2023.]  Various countries also have low emission regulations (so you have to ensure that you rent an auto that is okay to travel through your desired countries); I am sure the Netherland probably has this without even looking.

 

Long story short - I know that it is not for everyone, but driving would be one of the highlights of my trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Travel R
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4 minutes ago, Canal archive said:

We’ve been visiting the states for many many years and a  used to navigate was the little map you got when you hired a car, now we’ve got sat nav. All around California just before Covid.

 

At the beginning of COVID I did a big clean-out of my basement.  I had dozens of highway maps from many of the states and countries we have driven though (and a few city street maps).  I sold them all as part of a large lot on eBay. I used to love using maps, but the Internet has negated their usefulness (although, shhhhhh . . .  I still keep a small hard copy of a US (Highway) Atlas in my car).

 

Talking about traffic and California - I've been stuck in traffic on the LA Freeway, that's a 14 lane parking lot during rush hour (7 lanes each way).

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24 minutes ago, Travel R said:

So, a little traffic is of no concern. Growing up I also used to work on cars and even do a little street racing; the driver's seat of an automobile is one of my happy places. 

Oh well then you will be very happy with renting a car, if you do that itinerary, although Paris and Brussels are more than "a little traffic".  :classic_biggrin:

 

It has been a fun journey going through your thought processes and planning. Have a great time during your next adventures and hope to read back from you when you come back to us and tell us you and your travel companions are ready again to look at being on a river.

 

notamermaid

 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Oh well then you will be very happy with renting a car, if you do that itinerary, although Paris and Brussels are more than "a little traffic".  :classic_biggrin:

 

It has been a fun journey going through your thought processes and planning. Have a great time during your next adventures and hope to read back from you when you come back to us and tell us you and your travel companions are ready again to look at being on a river.

 

notamermaid

 

 

Thank you so very, very much for all of your suggestions and advice.

 

Yes, it has been fun.

 

Unfortunately, my time on the River Cruise boards is soon arriving at its final hour. I am waiting for our friends to look through the materials I sent them on luxury cruising and to give us the okay before I begin making any waves on those boards. In the mean time, I am still semi-active on the thread for my recent ocean-cruise review answering any questions that come my way.

 

Fortunately, it is not a true goodbye, since we do plan on a river cruise within the next few years - and celebrating our 30th Anniversary in 2026 by sailing down a European river seems like the perfect way to celebrate!

 

Thanks again!

 

[PS: For those not familiar with NYC traffic, here's a recent article on how it stacks up vs. other cities in the US and internationally. . . . https://www.fox13news.com/news/us-cities-with-the-worst-traffic-congestion]

Edited by Travel R
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For those not familiar with NYC traffic, here's a recent article on how it stacks up vs. other cities in the US and internationally. . . . https://www.fox13news.com/news/us-cities-with-the-worst-traffic-congestion]
 

Thanks for the list.  I live in the Bay Area and I will say traffic is still fairly light with so many people working from home.  Have family in NJ and after many trips to NYC can attest to the density of the traffic.  I remember going into the city when Obama was in office and he came to town to see Hamilton…total gridlock even worse than the UN in session!  Would think Honolulu would be a surprise for many who haven’t been but it really is bad at rush hour.  Maui is even getting annoyingly heavy.

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8 hours ago, Canal archive said:

Okay Paris peripherique five lanes so five across and as far as you can see bumper to bumper* in front and behind. People drive in that every day!

* can’t remember the North American word for bumper!

Bumper is the word! 🙂

Paul

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