Going to Europe, finally!!!

  • Guycicle

    Posts: 228

    Apr 01, 2013 6:38 AM GMT
    Hey guys,

    Just bought a ticket to London and will be spending 10 weeks traveling through western Europe. I leave at the end of April and plan on visiting the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Andorra, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Hopefully I'll have enough time to visit all these places, but we'll see! icon_razz.gif

    I plan on staying with friends and couchsurfing, and the occasional hostel and hotel when all else fails. Also, I'd like to find the cheapest way to travel...I've heard rail is one of the more expensive ways to go but am looking into cheap flights and buses. And if there are any stretches along the way that can be safely biked, that would be awesome too!

    I'm not too big a fan of the typical tourist circuit, or recreating the travel experience of someone who has written for Lonely Planet or the likes, but at the same time am looking into forming a generic route outline for me to either follow or stray from.

    Anyway, if anyone has any advice or recommendations, or would like to show me around your town or meet up for a drink, let me know!

    Here's my couchsurfing profile: http://www.couchsurfing.org/anothersam

    Cheers!

    Sam

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    Apr 01, 2013 8:35 AM GMT
    There are cheap buses to different places that go from Victoria station in London. By cheap I mean £9 from London to Amsterdam!

    http://www.eurolines.co.uk/
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:21 PM GMT
    I just spent twenty minutes writing down sites of interest in London and a recommendation that you see Bath, and Edinburgh, Scotland. The browser wiped it.

    What are you interested in seeing in England?

    London has a number of lesser-known museums, like Leighton House Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Chiswick House and there are pretty picturesque places to visit like Hays Galleria and Richmond Waterfront at sunset, and Hampstead Heath and Regent's Park.

    Chelsea and the King's Road have an incredible buzz in summer, and Shepherd's Market, Mayfair has wonderful atmosphere on a weekday evening.

    What interests you?
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    ryanair is really a cheap airline, but it seems like you are gonna move throughout close nations. Eurolines is then the best options, but it took me 4 hours to go from brussels to amsterdam. totally a waste of time.

    no italy in your plans? dude, Rome is a must if u r coming to europe.
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:36 PM GMT
    Well have fun visiting my continent!
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:41 PM GMT
    Marocco isn't in Europe
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:44 PM GMT
    Ohhh Jealous !! Take me with you hehe. Have fun over there, Hit Rome Italy and Berlin Germany !!icon_cool.gificon_razz.gif
  • O5vx

    Posts: 3154

    Apr 01, 2013 3:45 PM GMT
    When I'm rich, I want to visit the entire continent of Africa. I might be a bit biased, but I do think Africa is the most beautiful continent left on earth----too bad global warming is fighting with.
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:46 PM GMT
    I live in the south of Spain. If you want to go to Morrocco, I would recommend (once you make your way south) going from Lagos, Portugal (the best place ever) to Seville, Spain then to Malaga, Spain then to Gibraltar then take a ferry from there to Morocco. It is very affordable to get around and all those places are great. Whenever I go on long trips, I try to plan the general direction of where I want to go and then piece it together. Have fun!
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    Apr 01, 2013 3:50 PM GMT
    Since your leaving at the end of April and travelling for 10 weeks that should put you about the middle of July when you are ready to go home. You have already booked your flight to London so there is no way to change that so see what you want to in England then take a cheapy flight like Ryan to Malaga in the south of Spain. There are millions of Brits that vacation here and many thousands that live here year round, that is why the flights are so cheap. The reason why I suggest reversing your trip is the weather. Northern Spain, France and the rest of northern Europe will still have lots of rain during May and into June. England get rains all year round so there is no way to avoid that. Good luck.

    If you do plan to come to the south of Spain, then you can contact me by email here if you would like any other advice but I need to know first, what you are interested in doing and seeing. Other than Teide on Tenerife, we have the highest mountains in Spain, therefore, biking is a considerable challenge.
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    Apr 01, 2013 4:15 PM GMT
    Be careful Sam..
    Couch Surfing turned me into a pillow Biter icon_eek.gif

    Just be safe dude!!
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    Apr 01, 2013 4:18 PM GMT
    Have fun! There's a lot to do in all of those places. England is one of my favorites and I've been all over the country. Spain was pretty cool though I've only been to Barcelona. I don't see Germany or Czech Republic on your list (now you're getting east) but Prague had to be one of my favorite places to visit.

    It sounds like you've got a great list already though. Enjoy!
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    Apr 01, 2013 4:53 PM GMT
    Anocxu saidBe careful Sam..
    Couch Surfing turned me into a pillow Biter icon_eek.gif

    Just be safe dude!!


    You can't just make a statement like that without giving the full story - it sounds too interesting not to hear...
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    Apr 01, 2013 5:18 PM GMT
    italianmisarc said
    no italy in your plans? dude, Rome is a must if u r coming to europe.


    I must agree with my compatriot. ROME! And Florence, Venice, Bologna… the list is pretty long. Hope you manage to make some time for Italy, you won't regret it.
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    Apr 01, 2013 5:55 PM GMT
    Traveling by train here in the UK is shockingly EXPENSIVE!
    If you wish to travel across the UK, you can either:

    1. Use the National Express coach service, the UK's equivalent of the Greyhound Bus. It is much cheaper than by train, however, it's also a lot slower and a trip, say from London to Edinburgh can leave you quite drained out.

    2.You can fly. I think Ryanair and Easyjet do domestic flights, but the downside of this is that if you have luggage to go in the main hold, you'll end up paying a lot more. Ryanair also no longer issue boarding passes, unless you are willing to pay over the top. Instead, you print your own boarding pass online at least four hours before take-off. At least this makes flying much cheaper.

    If I was an American about to go on such a trip, a British, or better still, a European rail pass purchased before leaving the States would, for me, have been the best option. Once on board, the train is smooth, fast and very comfortable which can offer spectacular scenery often bypassed by the roads. One week, two, three or four week passes, I believe, are available for non British/European travelers.

    I envy you. I hope you have a great experience.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 01, 2013 5:57 PM GMT
    As Spain is at the bottom of France, it's a very long way from London - although not cheap, you might want to consider a TGV train from Paris to the south of France or the border. Even at 200 mph, it takes a long time to get there. Cheapo airfares: Be very careful in arranging flights on the cheapo airlines like Ryan Air - these carriers generally have very restsrictive baggage limits (often only found by reading the fine print), and very high excess charges - and with Ryan Air - there are additional charges if you don't check in online, well in advance of a flight. If you go to Nice, take the old railraod up the Var valley gorge to the old town of Entrevaux. Bicycling - lots of France is flatish, and ideal for cycling trips.
    Ireland Public transit not the best - but- try to get to some rural coast areas like Crookhaven, Aran Islands, Donnegal. Food- seafood is great - try an Irish Breakfast once, for the experience ("a heart attack on a plate."). Irish guys are very friendly. If you want gay company, it might be hard to find outside of Dublin and Cork. If you want to hear traditional music, it would be best not in the tourist pubs of Dublin, and best chances north of Dublin - also Kilkenny. Doolin is great, but might be overrun by american musicians. There is actually now a site that lists the best prospects by county (can't vouch for its accuracy) http://goireland.about.com/od/nightlife/a/sessions.htm
    Spain: Sitges, a great gay beach town, 1/2 hour west of Barcelona on suburban train line..
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 01, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    Drueavidolce saidMarocco isn't in Europe
    True; but a very short ferry ride away.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Apr 01, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
    TravelBuff saidHave fun! There's a lot to do in all of those places. England is one of my favorites and I've been all over the country. Spain was pretty cool though I've only been to Barcelona. I don't see Germany or Czech Republic on your list (now you're getting east) but Prague had to be one of my favorite places to visit.

    It sounds like you've got a great list already though. Enjoy!


    What's so great about England?
  • Splendidus_1

    Posts: 611

    Apr 01, 2013 6:08 PM GMT
    FYI: Portugal is having crazy weather - it's supposed to be warm and sunny by now!!! Anyway, it seems (pratically) all Europe is going through the same. Push Portugal to the end - you will definitely want to hit the lovely beaches we have icon_smile.gif
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Apr 01, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
    I'm excited for you! I did a similar backpacking trip for a month in the summer of 2010. It was my first time traveling abroad and it was fantastic. I was a little worried about doing it alone but I really kind of recommend that. Although traveling alone presents some added risk, I think it's the only way to see the things that interest you and meet new people in the areas you're traveling too.


    As for getting around, I took planes (EasyJet and RyanAir) mostly as it was the cheapest way to get around. Note that airports, however, are very rarely conveniently located so you'll need to consider the cost and hassle of getting too and from the airport in your plans.
  • Splendidus_1

    Posts: 611

    Apr 01, 2013 6:27 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    Splendidus_1 saidFYI: Portugal is having crazy weather - it's supposed to be warm and sunny by now!!! Anyway, it seems (pratically) all Europe is going through the same. Push Portugal to the end - you will definitely want to hit the lovely beaches we have icon_smile.gif

    hey you, where you been?


    Sharky! Loving the new pic, haha. College is keeping me in my cave 24/7 *sigh* . I shouldn't be here now, but everyone deserves a lil' break. How's the proud parent?
  • Splendidus_1

    Posts: 611

    Apr 01, 2013 6:33 PM GMT
    Aristoshark said
    Splendidus_1 said
    Aristoshark said
    Splendidus_1 saidFYI: Portugal is having crazy weather - it's supposed to be warm and sunny by now!!! Anyway, it seems (pratically) all Europe is going through the same. Push Portugal to the end - you will definitely want to hit the lovely beaches we have icon_smile.gif

    hey you, where you been?


    Sharky! Loving the new pic, haha. College is keeping me in my cave 24/7 *sigh* . I shouldn't be here now, but everyone deserves a lil' break. How's the proud parent?

    Excited. My daughter's wedding date is set for late August, and my son who is now clerking for a local judge in California, just scored a Federal clerkship on the Third Circuit. In our system, the only higher honor is to clerk for a Supreme Court justice. When the clerkship is over, they will be lining up for his services. I think he wants to teach at a university law schoo.


    Woa, woa. A lot going on, I see icon_biggrin.gif. Happy to hear the good news! Just make sure to keep the drool to a minimum, hehe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 01, 2013 6:36 PM GMT
    Let me know if you need help getting around Bilbao and the Basque Country in Spain. It's a beautiful place to visit, I'm telling you!!

    I did the "Interrail pass" when i was 20 and it was great, but not sure what you can buy not being european, I think there used to be one called Domino, or something like that.
  • Hunkymonkey

    Posts: 215

    Apr 01, 2013 6:39 PM GMT
    You will hate Ryanair even worse than Easyjet. Also, if you don't book far enough in advance to get a low fare, you may as well fly on a normal airline that actually has services! Europe abounds with cheap airlines. A lot of them you can book from major airport terminals. Beware that everything in the UK is expensive. I wanted to go London-York round trip and didn't because the ticket (and it wasn't really too long of a trip) was over 100 pounds.
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    Apr 01, 2013 6:55 PM GMT
    bus9ja2d said
    Anocxu saidBe careful Sam..
    Couch Surfing turned me into a pillow Biter icon_eek.gif

    Just be safe dude!!


    You can't just make a statement like that without giving the full story - it sounds too interesting not to hear...


    ..I wouldn't want you guys to think i'm a straight up prostitute... icon_sad.gif