Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/02/28

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Subject: [Leica] Travel question
From: nathan at (Nathan Wajsman)
Date: Thu Feb 28 22:29:37 2008
References: <>

Hi John,

Some other people have already answered, so I will just add a bit. I  
lived in Zurich for 3 years and travelled to Munich and Stuttgart  
reasonably frequently from there, as well as trips to Cologne  
(Photokina), Wetzlar etc.

As Brian said, there are low-cost airlines here, but for the type of  
itinerary you describe I would use trains. They are fast and more  
comfortable, and once you take into account the fact that they get  
you from city center to city center without having to arrive 1 hour  
early for security checks and check in, they are faster than flying  
for any trip under 500 km. Frankfurt-Paris will take you perhaps 3 to  
4 hours by train, and flying will be at least that long. Frankfurt- 
Vienna and Frankfurt-Milan you might consider flying, though, but  
Frankfurt-Munich I would take the train. I hate Munich airport, it is  
confusing and very far from the city--the last time I flew into  
Munich, the taxi ride from the airport to the Siemens HQ took almost  
1 hour.

I would caution you, however, against making your itinerary too  
ambitious. Resist the typical US tourist syndrome of trying to see  
too many cities in too short a time. If you are only going to have 6  
days to travel around and try to go to Munich, Milan, Paris and  
Vienna, you will end us spending more time travelling from place to  
place than actually taking in the cities. I would suggest focusing a  
bit. If I were you, I would skip Paris and visit Munich first, then  
go to Vienna and then back to Frankfurt, from where you can visit  
Cologne. I would not waste time on Wetzlar--unless a bunch of LUGgers  
are in town, it is a pretty boring and sleepy town with nothing  
particular to see. Yes, there is a famous Leica collectibles shop,  
but with 1 Euro being worth more than $1.50 at the moment, you are  
not going to buy anything there anyway.

As for some other practicalities: the low-cost airlines tend to focus  
on the low-end tourist trade, which means that their flight schedules  
are heavily oriented towards flying Northern Europeans to the sun. So  
I have plenty of Easyjet and Ryanair and other flights between  
Alicante and, say, the Netherlands or the UK (I am flying to Bristol  
for about $100 on Sunday); but on a route like Frankfurt-Milan there  
may be fewer low-cost choices.

As opposed to the US, in Europe you do NOT have an automatic right to  
have film hand-examined. They may do it for you if there is not a  
queue, but do not count on it. On the other hand, it is totally  
unnecessary since the machines used for scanning hand luggage will  
not damage even Delta 3200 (spoken based on multiple experiences). As  
Mark Rabiner said, the security people at Frankfurt airport display a  
level of politeness and professionalism than they typical rent-a-cop  
found in US airports.

Your chargers should work fine. If you look at them I am certain that  
it says something like INPUT 100-240V on all of them. These things  
are designed for people who travel, and since the rest of the world  
uses 220V, even US-bought chargers can take European voltage. We have  
bought several digital cameras, iPods and other such things during  
trips to the US and have never encountered a 110V-only charger. You  
will need an adapter to plug your charger in, which you can buy in  
the US at bigger electronic shops, or just at the airport.


On 29-feb-2008, at 1:16, John Payne wrote:

> I have a job to shoot in southern Germany in early May and would  
> appreciate
> any helpful thoughts on traveling there.  Have not done much in the  
> way of
> flying so help with security check points, batt chg. Adapters,  
> travel once
> I'm there, I'm thinking mostly rail.  I want to fly into Frankfort,  
> shoot a
> wedding, and then travel for 6ish days and fly out of Frankfort.  
> Travel to
> include maybe Vienna, northern Italy, then into Paris for 3 days  
> and rail
> back to Frankfort.  Maybe see Wetzlar...
> Any help would be much appreciated.
> Regards,
> John Payne
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Nathan Wajsman
General photography:

In reply to: Message from john at (John Payne) ([Leica] Travel question)