We had a 9-day trip in Switzerland last Thanksgiving break in 2019. It was a fascinating trip in a fascinating country!
Haha. I think this plan is much better now. Looking forward to it!
Below is the drive route in Europe.
First stop: Nuremberg, Germany
2nd stop: Prague
3rd stop: Cesky Klumov, Czech Republic
4th stop: Vienna
5th stop: Budapest, Hungary
6th stop: Zagreb, Croatia
and 7th and the last stop of the road trip will be Rovinj, Croatia:
And from Rovinj, we will fly from the nearby Pula airport to the southern crown jewel of Croatia, Dubrovnik, where we will spend 2 days enjoying the Adriatic.
And then we will fly from Dubrovnik to Istanbul, Turkey, and spend a day and a half there to visit the magnificent Hagia Sofia and famous Grand Bazaar:
From Istanbul, we will make an overnight roundtrip to Cappadocia region, where early Christians had dug out literally underground churches in the fairy rock formations to escape persecutions in the past. We may also have a chance to take a hot air balloon ride in the dawn. It's one of the most popular activities there.
Back to Istanbul, we will conclude our 17-day Europe trip and continue to our next destinations.
I am planning for our Europe summer trip. It has been decided that we will fly from USA to Frankfurt, Germany, visit Prague/Vienna/Budapest/Croatia/Istanbul or any combination of them, and leave Europe from Istanbul for China. But there are two options for the routes inside central Europe, that we are still debating. The options are:
Option 1 (with Budapest):
Drive: Frankfurt - Heidelberg - Prague, Czech - Cesky Krumlov - Budapest - Rovinj, Croatia - Zagreb, Croatia - Vienna
Fly: Vienna - Istanbul (Stay for 3 days) - Beijing (Stay for 3 weeks) - USA
This route is 2415 km long, and I think it is kind of too rush.
Option 2 (Skip Budapest):
Drive: Frankfurt - Heidelberg - Prague, Czech - Cesky Krumlov - Vienna - Rovinj, Croatia - Zagreb, Croatia
Fly: Zagreb - Istanbul (Stay for 3 days) - Beijing (Stay for 3 weeks) - USA
And this route is 1782 km long, more than 600 km less than Option 1. But we will skip Budapest, and spend more days in Vienna with this route.
Below is our planned route! Ya-hoo!
Today we will checkout our hotel at Banff and start driving back to the U.S. It's again a long drive and we will stop by the old railway town of Cranbrook for lunch. After crossing northern part of Idaho, we will be staying at the bustling city of Spokane at eastern Washington state.
Today we will start exploring Banff and Yoho national park around. After checking out the magnificent Fairmont Chateau hotel at the shore of Lake Louise, we will drive north to Yoho NP and if time allows we will see the Takakkaw Falls. Then we will drive to the Emerald Lake, hopefully before the parking lot gets full. In the afternoon, we will drive south back to Lake Louise area and take a shuttle bus to Moraine Lake, which is featured on the $20 Canada dollar bill. Tonight we will stay at the town of Banff at the south end of Banff NP.
We will first visit beautiful Maligne Canyon, just 10 minutes away from the town of Jasper. Then we drive 1.5 hr south along the Icefield Parkway to the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center, and take a tour to see the glacier. Then we continue to drive 1 hour south to the amazing Peyto Lake. We will stay at the town of Lake Louise tonight.
It will be a long drive today. 494 miles as Google said. We will stop by the town of Kamloops for lunch, and in late afternoon we will pass the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson. We will stay at the small town of Jasper tonight.
Not much arranged for today, so just relax. Our itinerary for today is to checkout hotel at Victoria, look around the town again, and drive north to the ferry port of Swartz bay, where the ferry will take us to Vancouver across the bay in 1.5 hour. We will stay at downtown Vancouver tonight and have some really great foods!