Gil Head

Europe Trip

I'm starting planning for my Europe trip now, and have some options... I'd like to know people's opinions, as well as others' plans, should I want to join up with folks on the trip.

Right now, my tentative plan is to arrive in EU on Sunday morning, August 14. On Aug 15 and 16, I'll be in Luxembourg, for business, then will be free on the 17th to head to the con site (will either do a contentital flight or overnight train, probably). After the con, I'd probably be free until August 28 or 29, when I'd fly back home.

One of the interesting caveats this year is that between Luxembourg and Magdeberg's location, I may not elect to fly into Frankfurt. Both Paris and Ansterdam have direct flights from Seattle, each for around the same price (Paris is on Air France, Amsterdam is on Delta). Does anyone have any thoughts as to one of these destinations over the others, either in terms of the local area or the airline. I've been to Paris in the past (and was less than impressed, I admit), but haven't yet been to The Netherlands. My intent would be to take trains once in Europe. I'm also still working with the folks I'll be working with in Luxembourg, so that time could grow as well, and might migrate to post-con.

I have no personal experience, but I've heard very good things about Schapole (sp?).

Amsterdam is a cool place to visit for a couple of days. I probably still have some of my tourist materials from it if you think about spending some time there.
It might be helpful to know (as I assume your employer will cough up the money for it) that Luxair flies into both CDG and FRA, and I think they're part of Star Alliance too.

For further travel once you're there, you'll want to avoid inner-European point to point flights like the plague, as they're silly and only serve the purpose of getting you into hub cities. :P
Actually, I'm paying for all the flights; just sticking this in as a visit to the group out there, because I'm already in the area. They will cover any additional costs of adding the Lux visit (hotel, train tickets, etc...). The need for me to visit the office there is enough to justify giving me the "domestic" additional cost, within EU, but not the full trip.

The big bonus I get out of it is that I don't have to claim my flights or any other travel time as vacation time (nor, of course, any of the time in the office there). Getting to save on those two days of vacation time is a big thing, since the US vacation allowences are rather small. Basically, the trip could grow up to a week longer, with me working that week, but I'd actually drop off a couple days of vacation time in doing so.

(That being said, there IS a chance they could send me out to EU much of December, on their dime, to work there through the Christmas peak volume. THAT would be cool. :>)