dbskyler: (Golden Gate)
[personal profile] dbskyler posting in [community profile] travel_europe
Hi gang! I unfortunately don't have any trips to Europe currently planned, but I still think about where I would like to go the next time I'm able to travel. Here is my current "wish list":

UK: Cornwall (never been), Wales (need to see Aber next time), Scotland (one of my favorite countries, so I need to visit it again)

Ireland: need to see western Ireland

France: Paris (last time I was there I didn't spend nearly enough time)

Russia (never been), Norway (never been), Sweden (never been), Finland (never been) -- I know this would be an expensive trip, but worth it!

Greece: it's been ages since I've been there; time to see how it's changed or stayed the same!

Also, I have yet to delve into Eastern Europe, and I would like to do that someday. However I tend to travel alone, and I'm more hesitant about going to Eastern Europe alone. I don't expect it to be less generally safe, but there will probably be more language barriers, and more (or at least, less familiar) cultural differences.

So, there's my current "wish list"! How about you? Where do you want to go next?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] librariana
If you want to visit Eastern Europe I more or less vouchsafe for Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. I'm sure you will have little trouble to travel through those countries and cultural differences are definitely not what they were 20 years ago. Some things are different, sure, but adjusting is no more what you do traveling through Spain, Italy or France. Most young people speak English and they will be happy to show you around.

I also like traveling alone - I went alone to Asia :) - and all I can say that youth hostels are the best any country you stay. You can always find company and meet some nice and helpful people in there.

I am also a huge fan of Lonely Planet guides, with such reference book you almost can't get lost in any country :)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-03 07:20 pm (UTC)
travelingmonkey: Travel Europe (europe)
From: [personal profile] travelingmonkey
I'm not a big fan of the UK. But Russia is at the top of my -to visit- list also. I haven't been to Norway or Finland, but I've been to Stockholm and it's pretty nice there. ^^ I was in Greece nearly a year ago now, and loved it. Where did you go there, and when?

It depends on where in Eastern Europe you go. I've heard that Russia tends to be less on the English, but aside from there, the cities that are visited more tend to have at least plenty of young people who speak English, as [personal profile] librariana said. I've only been to Slovakia (Bratislava) off her mentions, but they definitely spoke good English there. I haven't been yet but I know Prague is also the same, etc. I'm sure you'd be fine if you stick to the more tourist-visited cities. And if you do CouchSurfing, then you can find good local host who speak the language and will be able to help you if you need it. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 07:50 am (UTC)
travelingmonkey: Chimp w/ glasses (Default)
From: [personal profile] travelingmonkey
"I don't mind going to the more tourist-visited cities as I find there's usually a reason why they're popular." Exactly!! It drives me up the wall when people say "I don't want to go to anywhere touristy!" but they're going to Paris, Amsterdam, etc etc. Like, um, really? So you're going to go to the most touristy cities in the world and...go to some little backwoods part of it and ignore the entire reason to go there in the first place?! I mean, if you really don't want to be "touristy" then you don't go to those cities! But yes, exactly, they are touristy because there are good/special/unique/etc things to see/do there!

hahaha, well I really loved Greece, so I definitely support a return trip regardless! ;P

Honestly I think it'd be fine to do it there first, you just have to be smart about it is all. Look for the profiles of truly active people with lots of references, been on the site for a while, as well as being people who have similarish interests as you, that you think you'd get along well with. The only "negative" experience I've had was this girl who stayed here who was a total partier, wanted to just be out, at bars/pubs/clubs and so forth, drinking and dancing the nights away, and that is so completely not us, which it very clearly states on our profile and which she knew, she kept being like, Well I know you don't really drink but... and I'm just like, NO!! She was a very nice girl, but the personalities were just way too different. So, try to find people, if you can, who you think match up with you nicely. And make sure you request enough in advance that people are still free, but if you do it too far ahead they may forget or not know if that date is good yet, but you an always contact early and then keep in touch. And you should keep in touch regardless, to make sure they don't forget and things haven't changed. You should also keep their contact info/address/directions with you on paper, 'cause you won't always have access to the internet and you don't want to be stuck without it. Also, make sure your requests are personalized, address some things that they said on their profile. It lets them know you took the time to actually read it and are requesting them for a real reason, not just because they were handy. In a less popular city, it might not be as big of a deal (though even then some people won't accept, as they feel they're just being used for a free couch, and not the experience), but in more visited ones, where it can be harder to track down a couch, things like that make all the difference! Those people who get 10+ requests a day, are not going to choose the person with a "hi I need couch on such & so dates, can you host me?" but the one who takes the time to address the things on their page. But yeah, either way you should try it out, it's nice! Oh, and make your profile asap, if it's made just before the trip, again it seems more that it's made for free couches rather than the experience. If it's possible, you should consider hosting and/or going to meetings/events in your area, to get some references before you travel. ^_^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 04:55 am (UTC)
cathepsut: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cathepsut
That leaves a lot of Europe uncovered. How about Germany and the counrties around the Alps? How about Southern Europe?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 07:51 am (UTC)
travelingmonkey: Chimp w/ glasses (Default)
From: [personal profile] travelingmonkey
And it's appreciated! ^__^

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-05 11:40 am (UTC)
cathepsut: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cathepsut
Ok, doing this comment again... Apparently I need food, my brain is not working... ;-)

Right, that's totally ok.

I took a tour around Scotland a few years ago and really liked it. Ediborough is a fun town. Glencoe was beautiful. If you haven't been, add it to your list of things to see there, it's worth it. I also went looking for Nessie -- no luck! :-)

Paris is so expensive!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 05:09 pm (UTC)
peaceful_sands: (cougar icon)
From: [personal profile] peaceful_sands
I'd love to be able to take in some of the more Northern parts of Europe, I've never yet made it to Norway, Sweden, Finland or Denmark, all of which tempt, if I got the opportunity. Plenty of other bits I'd like to see too.

I love some of the less populated areas of France for their beauty. We took a drive this summer through the Alsace area and while we did visit Strasbourg and some of the other larger towns, we also veered off into the wilderness and found some lovely little villages and amazing views.

I have been to Prague (with my Mum - we took a girls' weekend away a few years ago) It was a lovely city and I would love to go back and see more of it again. I didn't feel unsafe there at all, although we did stay in a nice hotel and we weren't out particularly late at night - my mum's not a night owl!

If you were to ask me personally about travelling alone in Russia, or more specifically Moscow, I wouldn't recommend it. I found it very hard and had some unpleasant experiences while there, before meeting up with a tour group to travel onward. I would, however, say that it is definitely worth visiting for the history and the stunning architecture and art (don't miss out on the subway stations - they're unlike anything I've ever seen before). At the same time, I do know of people who had a much easier time while there alone than I did.

I love how Europe as a whole is so varied, each country has its own feel, its own history, art and architecture, so much to see and do. Seriously, I could spend months travelling happily (if finances permitted!).

(no subject)

Date: 2010-10-04 11:35 pm (UTC)
peaceful_sands: butterfly (butterfly)
From: [personal profile] peaceful_sands
Driving outside the cities is for someone like myself (I come from somewhere very small) less daunting than inside the cities, which I try my best to avoid if I can help it at all. The last couple of times I've driven with a GPS which helps overall (although it's neither infallible nor able to comprehend that telling you to turn right/left when you're two lanes across from where you need to be to turn is not that easy - LOL!)

Not sure where you're from, but the most difficult thing I found the first time was having to drive on the opposite side of the road but you soon adjust and in fact the best thing I've ever done was on a trip to Canada, I hired a car which puts you on the right side of the road for the traffic - this makes overtaking so much easier, because you can see!

Travelling in Europe I've largely done by either taking a tent and camping with family or more recently staying in medium price chain hotels or travelling with a friend.

Outside Europe, I've done more of a range of things from large and small group tours to travelling completely alone. The group I travelled from Russia to Mongolia and then China with was only 9 people and that included the guide. We took the Trans-Mongolian Railway. It's a hard choice - in some places I think a tour is a good way to get a quick insight into a place, maybe learn a little about some of the cultural differences and history, but then taking the time to go back and explore at more length is a plus when you know where to go and what you really want to spend more time at.

Also I've made some amazing friends by doing the smaller tours where you really get to know other people and then travelled on with them or met up with them later, but then again the majority of friends I have in everyday life are not as big on travelling as me and can't see the urge I have to explore constantly - many of them are happy with two weeks in the sun at a resort and hardly ever venturing outside the compound they're staying in.