Epic European Cycle : 2015-04-30 : Preparation and Notes
Important links that we may need throughout the trip.
|Accommodation Resource||Cycle B&B||vrienden op de fiets||$0.00||From Bob at NorQuest: There's a special B&B organisation that caters for cyclists: vrienden op de fiets (friends on the bicycle). In their booklet you'll find 3600 addresses where you are welcome for a bed and breakfast for a maximum of euro 19 per person.|
|General Info||Eurovelo||Cycle Routes||$0.00||Get Eurovelo maps at local tourist offices. Maps available for sale are rated as useless.|
|General Info||Waymarked Trails||Cycle Routes||$0.00|
|General Info||Bicycle Germany||$|
|General Info||Cycle Route Planner||$|
|Handy||Global ATM Alliance||Withdrawals without extra fees||$0.00|
|Handy||Rome 2 Rio||How to get from A to B. GREAT web site.||$0.00|
|Travel Resource||Bahn/Eurail||Train (Germany)||$0.00||You can take a bike on some trains in Europe, but it does depend on the type of train. For example, it’s usually not possible to take your bike onto most high-speed trains, but you often can on regional trains. To find out if you can take your bike onto a particular train, check this online timetable: http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml. After filling in your departure and arrival station, you can select the option “carriage of bicycles required”. You will then be able to see the trains that have enough space to carry a select number of bikes. Before getting on the train with your bike, you do need to get a ticket for the bike and (if possible) book space for it on the train.|
This trip came about when I was working for NorQuest and found out that they have an employee program where you can take a reduced salary for a number of months, take some time off, then return. Brent and I thought it was a great opportunity to take a long vacation. Brent had mentioned wanting to ride the "Orient Express" trail in Europe, so that became our goal.
As fate would have it, I quit the job at NorQuest just as I became eligible to apply for the program, but we decided that we would just plan and save differently, but still take the trip.
As our research progressed, we discovered that there is no "Orient Express" trail per-se, but what that referred to was the Danube Cycle Trail, so that became our plan. Since we didn't need a full six months to do that, we added a few more countries to supplement our time in Europe. As the plan gelled in the last few months before the trip, the plan became Iceland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, then home.
When we arrived in Iceland, we were informed that we were limited to 90 days within 180 within the Schengen Area. We didn't know what a Schengen Area was, but lo, turns out that most of the countries on our list are in an agreement which restricts foreigners from being within the collection of countries greater than 90 days. Oops. We had looked into visa requirements for the individual countries, but didn't know there was a collective agreement with such limitations.
After much research and deliberation, we moved on to Croatia, which has not yet joined Schengen. That was a lucky stroke - Croatia is fantastic!