1st. small Eurotrip

  • artneil

    Posts: 5

    Jan 04, 2016 9:04 PM GMT
    Hey guys, first post after I created a new account. I'm glad to be back and read your comments and see your beautiful profiles icon_smile.gif

    I am, this year, planning to do a small trip in a few cities, maybe Paris, Amsterdam because I have friends there and I'd love to see those cities. I'm thinking maybe Rome, or Ireland. Always wanted to go to Ireland, or maybe London.

    So far, for sure, I'm going to Paris and Amsterdam. I've been reading a lot, a friend of mine sent me a link to Eurail, but I'm not sure if that would be an option for me.

    Any of you have any eperiences or tips or things to share for a first timer. I realize I fly for work, I'm a flight attendant, so I've been to almost every country in America, but it's completely different when you're flying on your own, across the Atlantic, to a different continent with different people.


    Anyways, hope to hear from any of you. And if you're up for having a beer, I'm down too icon_smile.gif

    -Art
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2937

    Jan 04, 2016 9:43 PM GMT
    There's so much to see... and that's without ever getting out of London!

    I think one secret is to read up on a place, get the guidebook, etc. and have a plan and a focus with a clear idea about the kind of thing your want to see.

    My favorite thing to do is get "lost" and discover some nice restaurant, easy to do in Italy.
  • SilverRRCloud

    Posts: 873

    Jan 04, 2016 9:55 PM GMT
    Yup.

    A good guide book, and a reasonable plan will certainly help. Many folks are into arts, and some are not. Many other folks come to Europe to see the past. A few come to see the modernity, too.

    Think of it as being in THE utmost Michelin*** in the world with an inexhaustible, never ending but daily changing menu. Everything on it is stunningly good for someone. So, you read the menu, and decide what is good for you, and how much of it is palatable.

    I have never used the Eurorail. But most folks travel between Amsterdam and Paris on Thalys. Thalys seems to be a decent, pretty fast train, and it gets you to your destination via Brussels in some 2:20. This makes it convenient.

    Discovering 'Your Europe' is a most wonderful life-long love story...

    SC

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    Jan 05, 2016 2:03 AM GMT
    How long are you going for? How many Cities/Regions do you want to visit? What tinme of year are you planning for?

    Generally, Eurail passes are not nearly as useful as they used to be - when you could just flash the pass and board a train. Now most good trains require advance reservations, and they charge a substantial amount for each of those reservations. In addition, some of the trains on which Eurail passes could be used, place limits on the number of seats allocated to Eurail pass holders, so you may not be able to travel on a train even if you have the pass.

    Worth investigating are passes for individual countries, or "Select" passes for 2-3-4 countries. After you plan on where you are going, you have to investigate which rail passes (if any) will work your your itineraries. It may turn out that there is no rail pass that meets your needs and is cost effective. Italian rail tickets are quite cheap, and for going to Rome, may be a more economic alternative than using a pass.

    A great source on European train travel is
    http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm#.VosgW1L18zp

    Also, although the RickSteves site is not as helpful as it used to be, you may get some help from Rick Steves' train pass site:
    https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/how-to-choose-rail-passes

    For long distances - such as to/from Ireland or the UK, consider flying unless you want the experience of the Chunnell train - which is quite nice There are lots of flight possibilities. (Just beware, that when flying on the real cheap discount airlines in Europe, the bag weight limitation is very low. Check first before committing yourself to a ticket.)

    If you are flying on a free ticket, it won't matter, but if you are purchasing TATL tickets to Europe, you may find that it is cheaper to fly to/from Paris than London, because the British tax for flying into/out of Heathrow is very high.

    Ireland is beautiful, and everyone is very friendly, but now this is not the time of year to go there.

    I know a lot about Paris, and quite a bit about Italy, so if you want, feel free to PM me with any questions.
  • eM_Jay

    Posts: 90

    Jan 05, 2016 2:08 AM GMT
    Thalys is a good option i think, i dunno so much about the others. But if your lookin for good, efficient, affordable transport i recommend Thalys. The places you listed are pretty cool, but just so you know Paris is pretty grimey and completely not what the movies make it seem. Rome is amazing though and amsterdam, well, depends what you're there for i guess. It's still great to me though icon_smile.gif

    Tip: Dont bother trying to say anything in a language you dont understand fully. Italian i dunno so much about but the dutch are ok. Frenchies though, if you're in their turf and you dont blend in you're sh#t outta luck...
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jan 05, 2016 2:41 AM GMT
    MJ_Indi saidThalys is a good option i think, i dunno so much about the others. But if your lookin for good, efficient, affordable transport i recommend Thalys. The places you listed are pretty cool, but just so you know Paris is pretty grimey and completely not what the movies make it seem. Rome is amazing though and amsterdam, well, depends what you're there for i guess. It's still great to me though icon_smile.gif

    Tip: Dont bother trying to say anything in a language you dont understand fully.

    Frenchies though, if you're in their turf and you dont blend in you're sh#t outta luck...


    Don't know what bad experiences MJ Indi might have had, but generally the French, although quite formal in public, are quite friendly. (There is still some prejudice toward black Africans - but not black Americans - so that might have been the source of his problems. OTHO, since he does not apparently speak French, they would not have assumed he was African).

    Two rules to follow to get a friendly response from the French (not really applicable in gay bars): 1. When entering a shop/store, always first say "bonjour" to the proprietor or clerk. Not to do so is considered to be rude. 2. Before speaking to someone in English, first ask in French if they speak/understand English. Whoever it is will undoubtedly speak English, and appreciate your politeness is asking before starting out in English. If Spanish is your language, you will find that some of the French speak Spanish - but not nearly as many as speak English.
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    Jan 05, 2016 2:47 AM GMT
    Take a road trip from London. On your way go see the Stonehenge archaeological site and then drift to Bath England. It's a crazy beautiful city with the Architecture reminiscent of ancient Rome/Greece.....
    hith-stonehenge-superhenge-iStock_000012
    Holiday-in-the-City-of-Bath.-England-6.j

    I have such fond memories of Europe.
  • artneil

    Posts: 5

    Jan 05, 2016 11:43 AM GMT
    Gracias everybody! I have friends in France so, over there it's gonna be easy, and I'm already taking Duolingo classes for French. I am one of those who think if you're going to a foreign country where they don't speak your language, then you should at the very least learn a thing or two. Is not really hard coming from a Spanish speaker.

    I've been building an itinerary so that I have an idea of where I am going and what dates and thru what transportation system.

    So far I'm flying with Virgin Atlantic, which with my crew benefits costs from Boston to London around $380 bucks. Then I'm using the train to go from London to France and for France to Rome I think I'm flying EasyJet. I think.

    If I have time and money I'll go to Amsterdam.

    I am beyond excited about this.
  • MadridGuy93

    Posts: 5

    Jan 05, 2016 12:38 PM GMT
    As every self-respecting Spaniard, I do have to recommend you my country, Spain. I don't know if this is accurate, but, as far as I know, most of the American people don't know too much about Spain. If you're interested in the gay life, you'll find Spain the best country to have a blast, this is, probably, the most open-minded country on earth, neighborhoods such as Chueca in Madrid, and Gaixample in Barcelona are well known around the world.

    If you love gastronomy, museums, night life, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Valencia are musts. Public transportation is always safe, reliable and convenient, and one of the biggest perks of this country is that is cheaper than France, and way cheaper than the UK. To be honest, France and UK are worthy, but I'd skip Amsterdam, there's nothing interesting there but the "crazy aura about being a permissive city". Besides, if you get tired of Spain, you can go to Portugal, a really cool country.

    Let me know if you feel like coming here, I can show you the city. And I can give you some advice prior your arrival icon_wink.gif
  • artneil

    Posts: 5

    Jan 05, 2016 1:05 PM GMT
    Capaz termino eliminando Ámsterdam y me voy esos días a Madrid icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 06, 2016 10:58 AM GMT
    fly into something like Heathrow and buy a medium small size reliable but junk looking motorcycle. A gps and all by your self. In the end, done with the bike, sell it off for half value.
  • artneil

    Posts: 5

    Jan 07, 2016 10:54 PM GMT
    Guys, any cool area to look for hostels in London?
  • Rower1950

    Posts: 72

    Jan 08, 2016 2:37 PM GMT
    MadridGuy93 saidAs every self-respecting Spaniard, I do have to recommend you my country, Spain. I don't know if this is accurate, but, as far as I know, most of the American people don't know too much about Spain. />


    One of the reasons from the recent past that fewer Americans traveled to Spain than to other countries in Western Europe was the ultra-repressive, fascist government that survived World War II and lasted until Generalissimo Franco died in November, 1975. Americans established habits traveling abroad in the 1950s and 60s when the value of the American dollar was at its highest; even middle class Americans could afford first class hotels in London, Paris and Rome. Old travel habits die slowly.

    You are right. There is a lot to see and eat in Spain.

    I need to visit soon.
  • interestingch...

    Posts: 694

    Jan 09, 2016 6:56 PM GMT
    artneil saidGuys, any cool area to look for hostels in London?


    Not offhand, if I go anywhere then buy a lonely planet guide to the city/country that i'm going to, lots of information and hostels are listed in these books, hope you enjoy yourself over here and yes you have to go to Bath, it's near where I live when i'm not in London and it is very beautiful.
  • MadridGuy93

    Posts: 5

    Jan 18, 2016 2:23 PM GMT
    artneil saidGuys, any cool area to look for hostels in London?


    I highly recommend you hostelsclub.com for the hostel matter. Since I got addicted to travel whenever I have the chance, that's the page where I get accommodation. Let me know if I can help you out with that. London is quite expensive, even for European standards, so get your pocket prepared icon_lol.gif
  • Fireworkz

    Posts: 606

    Jan 18, 2016 6:38 PM GMT
    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREartneil said
    Guys, any cool area to look for hostels in London?



    I'd also check out airbnb for London you could get some comparable prices or cheaper than hostels.



    QUOTE AUTHOR GOES HEREIf I have time and money I'll go to Amsterdam.


    Amsterdam is not as good as it used to be. The gay scene has diminished. I wouldn't spend more than a weekend there. Go if you have friends there. Berlin is a far more interesting place to go to.

    You can't go wrong with Spain. Barcelona is always great you get the city and the beach and if you go to Barcelona go to Sitges which is a great gay beach destination. For Barcelona I'd budget at least 4 days even a week.


    Rome is great but you'll need at least 3 days to make it worth it. There is so much history and tours. The nightlife is ok (not as good as Spain)

    Ireland is beautiful and fun if you like drinking. Dublin is the place to go.

    Paris is a must do.

    I don't think you need the Eurail. Flights are pretty cheap if you get a good deal and book in advance especially with the low cost airlines such as easyjet, ryanair, vueling etc. Use skyscanner or google flight search to get the best deals.



    Other options: Lisbon, Berlin, Athens

  • artneil

    Posts: 5

    Jan 26, 2016 1:04 AM GMT
    Thank you everybody, so much icon_smile.gif