Here’s a rough plan for our upcoming holiday in Europe. This is a work in progress; there are bound to be both places mentioned here that we won’t visit and places we’ll visit that aren’t mentioned here. I’ll update this blog post occasionally. Recommendations of additional destinations are welcome, as are your experiences of places I mention.
Some sites are in German. For your convenience, here’s a direct link to Google Translate.
[Update: here’s my report on how the holiday actually went.]
- We arrive in Frankfurt Airport at 6:30am on Sunday August 21. For the first few days after arrival, we separate, with Dad and me going south to Stuttgart while Rebecca (my sister) and Ellis (her husband) go elsewhere. Dad and I don’t speak any German, but he’s confident we’ll cope.
- After arriving by train at 10:00am, Dad and I will spend most of Sunday at various attractions in and around Stuttgart. I’ve always wanted to visit the Kepler Museum in Weil der Stadt. Other ideas include the Lapidarium and the Playing Card Museum. On Monday the museums are shut, so maybe an excursion into the Black Forest, from Monbachtal to Calw via the ruins of Hirsau Monastery. Thanks to a recommendation from Paul Willis, our most likely destination on Tuesday is the Urwelt-Museum Hauff. In the seemingly unlikely event of spare time, we can also visit Stuttgart’s own larger museums, the Wurttemberg State Museum and the State Museum of Natural History.
- On Tuesday afternoon at 4:00pm we reunite with Rebecca and Ellis and take the train southwest to Salzburg, Austria, arriving at 8:00pm. Wednesday is in Salzburg with Bob’s Special Tours. Last time I was there I went on the salt mine tour and then the Sound of Music tour. This time around we have yet to choose but apparently Ellis is keen to do the Eagle’s Nest tour.
- The reason we’re going to Germany in the first place is for a friend’s wedding. There’s a ceremony in Saalfelden, Austria, on Thursday 25 and another near Meiningen, Germany, on Saturday 27, to accommodate the two sides of the family. Also a party on Sunday 28. During this period the focus will be on friends rather than tourism, but there may be some excursions as well.
- On Tuesday 30 August we make our way by train via Eisenach to Frankfurt and fly to London arriving at midday. We have a few days in London, seeing both places and friends.
- On Wednesday, Rebecca and Ellis go to Reading while Dad and I stay in London. Dad’s booked two seats for an afternoon performance of Les Miserables. On Thursday and Friday we’re all together in London with Rebecca and Ellis flying home on Friday at 10:00pm. While they’re preparing to leave, Dad’s booked two Friday evening seats for piano/orchestra performance at Royal Albert Hall.
- Things to do in London. I’d like to visit the British Library, partly for the Out Of This World science fiction exhibition (video) and partly for the permanent display of historically significant books. I’d also like to take a ride on the London Eye, which had not yet opened last time I was in England. Dad has suggested visiting Greenwich (i.e. National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory) which sounds good to me. A London friend has recommended the Cartoon Museum. I also expect to revisit some places I’ve been to before.
- On Saturday, Dad and I take the train to Southampton, where we’ll be based for the next few days. On Monday and Tuesday, Dad will be at the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists while I spend time with a friend. The AASP has a field trip to the Isle of Wight (including dinosaur museum) on Sunday 4 and to the Jurassic Coast of Dorset (Kimmeridge Bay and Lulworth Cove) on Wednesday 7, either/both of which we may join.
- Other things to do near Southampton. For a start, there’s the Exbury Gardens (could possibly catch the tail end of the Look Twice art exhibition). I’d like to travel east one day and visit Arundel Castle (more) in Arundel near Littlehampton. On another day I’d like to travel west and visit Bournemouth for a balloon ride and to see the monkeys. There is also the option of travelling further afield.
- Thursday night we stay with friends in Guildford, and then Dad and I fly home on Friday 9 September at 10:00pm.
While I’m away I will probably tweet regular updates and photographs.