European Vacation

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Re: European Vacation

Postby ITALIANO » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:17 am

Okri wrote:Hungary and Greece mainly.


No, you can go there. You'll be 100% safe. Especially in Greece.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Okri » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:15 pm

Hungary and Greece mainly.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:16 am

Okri wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:I know the area very well, so in case you decide to go and need some advice, just ask me here or in private. But first try to know WHERE in Croatia you would be based - while the country isn't big, it's geographical structure is quite diverse, so for example there's a big difference between staying in Zagreb (the capital) or, say, Split (on the coast). In summer it's especially beautiful by the way.

Also, honestly - I know that in this case it's your best friend etc... but maybe going around by yourself wouldn't be a bad idea. I know that Americans - after those Hostel movies - think of Europe and especially of Eastern Europe as a dangerous place, but frankly - how shall I put it - it's much safer than the US. Especially now.


Heh - I did travel in Europe on my own about a decade ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. That said, as a black male, I would probably still avoid certain countries, much to my regret because most seem fascinating. Though, frankly, I'm probably never going to the United States again either for similar reasons.


I mean, I don't know which countries you are talking about... As you say, the US is right now probably the most dangerous place for a black person (and this includes black Americans of course - I know black people living there who say they have to be very careful when travelling around). In Europe I've never heard of a single case of a black tourist being hurt in any way just for the color of his or her skin... Racism exists, of course, but rarely in a truly aggressive form.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Heksagon » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:26 am

Okri wrote: Heh - I did travel in Europe on my own about a decade ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. That said, as a black male, I would probably still avoid certain countries, much to my regret because most seem fascinating. Though, frankly, I'm probably never going to the United States again either for similar reasons.

I would definitely advice any black person not to travel in Russia on their own.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Reza » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:28 pm

Okri wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:I know the area very well, so in case you decide to go and need some advice, just ask me here or in private. But first try to know WHERE in Croatia you would be based - while the country isn't big, it's geographical structure is quite diverse, so for example there's a big difference between staying in Zagreb (the capital) or, say, Split (on the coast). In summer it's especially beautiful by the way.

Also, honestly - I know that in this case it's your best friend etc... but maybe going around by yourself wouldn't be a bad idea. I know that Americans - after those Hostel movies - think of Europe and especially of Eastern Europe as a dangerous place, but frankly - how shall I put it - it's much safer than the US. Especially now.


Heh - I did travel in Europe on my own about a decade ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. That said, as a black male, I would probably still avoid certain countries, much to my regret because most seem fascinating. Though, frankly, I'm probably never going to the United States again either for similar reasons.


Apart from the United States which other countries would you avoid?

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Okri » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:34 am

ITALIANO wrote:I know the area very well, so in case you decide to go and need some advice, just ask me here or in private. But first try to know WHERE in Croatia you would be based - while the country isn't big, it's geographical structure is quite diverse, so for example there's a big difference between staying in Zagreb (the capital) or, say, Split (on the coast). In summer it's especially beautiful by the way.

Also, honestly - I know that in this case it's your best friend etc... but maybe going around by yourself wouldn't be a bad idea. I know that Americans - after those Hostel movies - think of Europe and especially of Eastern Europe as a dangerous place, but frankly - how shall I put it - it's much safer than the US. Especially now.


Heh - I did travel in Europe on my own about a decade ago and would do it again in a heartbeat. That said, as a black male, I would probably still avoid certain countries, much to my regret because most seem fascinating. Though, frankly, I'm probably never going to the United States again either for similar reasons.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby ITALIANO » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:39 am

dws1982 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:
dws1982 wrote:Trip was a semi-disaster.


I'm sorry for that. But... didn't you know your travelling companion well? Because doing such a long and intense trip with someone who's not very close is a big, big risk. And honestly, while I understand that Americans may be less expert than us about the dangers of Eastern Europeans strip clubs, this guy was at least very, VERY naive.

Late reply, but yes, I did know him pretty well! But I guess you REALLY get to know someone when you travel with them. I love the guy, and talk to him almost every day still. But I'd never take this kind of trip again with him. If we ever travel together again, it'll be a nice, laid-back trip to the mountains or something, and maybe with another friend or two.

Incidentally, I may be going back to Europe next summer. Nothing is firm yet, but basically I have a friend getting married in Croatia. My best friend happens to be very close friends with this guy, and my friend's wife doesn't want to go to the wedding--they have a baby boy who'll be just over a year old when the wedding takes place, and she doesn't want to leave him or have the hassle of traveling overseas with him. So I may be going. The lodging would be paid for, and all meals for the first weekend would be paid for. All I'd have to pay for is airfare, and any food/sightseeing after the wedding. Since I don't have a wife or child, I may stay longer than my friend do some more sightseeing in that area.



I know the area very well, so in case you decide to go and need some advice, just ask me here or in private. But first try to know WHERE in Croatia you would be based - while the country isn't big, it's geographical structure is quite diverse, so for example there's a big difference between staying in Zagreb (the capital) or, say, Split (on the coast). In summer it's especially beautiful by the way.

Also, honestly - I know that in this case it's your best friend etc... but maybe going around by yourself wouldn't be a bad idea. I know that Americans - after those Hostel movies - think of Europe and especially of Eastern Europe as a dangerous place, but frankly - how shall I put it - it's much safer than the US. Especially now.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby dws1982 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:12 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
dws1982 wrote:Trip was a semi-disaster.


I'm sorry for that. But... didn't you know your travelling companion well? Because doing such a long and intense trip with someone who's not very close is a big, big risk. And honestly, while I understand that Americans may be less expert than us about the dangers of Eastern Europeans strip clubs, this guy was at least very, VERY naive.

Late reply, but yes, I did know him pretty well! But I guess you REALLY get to know someone when you travel with them. I love the guy, and talk to him almost every day still. But I'd never take this kind of trip again with him. If we ever travel together again, it'll be a nice, laid-back trip to the mountains or something, and maybe with another friend or two.

Incidentally, I may be going back to Europe next summer. Nothing is firm yet, but basically I have a friend getting married in Croatia. My best friend happens to be very close friends with this guy, and my friend's wife doesn't want to go to the wedding--they have a baby boy who'll be just over a year old when the wedding takes place, and she doesn't want to leave him or have the hassle of traveling overseas with him. So I may be going. The lodging would be paid for, and all meals for the first weekend would be paid for. All I'd have to pay for is airfare, and any food/sightseeing after the wedding. Since I don't have a wife or child, I may stay longer than my friend do some more sightseeing in that area.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Precious Doll » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:31 am

Big Magilla wrote:You can find good cheap walking shoes in Europe, but you have to be careful there, too.

When I was in Italy six years ago, my sister-in-law tried on a pair of shoes she liked and bought them in a town we were passing through somewhere in Tuscany. When we got to the hotel at our next destination, she went to put them on and found they gave her two left foot shoes which she was unable to return.


Magilla,

That brought back memories for me of Eugene Levy's character in Best in Show!
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:30 am

You can find good cheap walking shoes in Europe, but you have to be careful there, too.

When I was in Italy six years ago, my sister-in-law tried on a pair of shoes she liked and bought them in a town we were passing through somewhere in Tuscany. When we got to the hotel at our next destination, she went to put them on and found they gave her two left foot shoes which she was unable to return.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: European Vacation

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:55 am

dws1982 wrote:Trip was a semi-disaster.


I'm sorry for that. But... didn't you know your travelling companion well? Because doing such a long and intense trip with someone who's not very close is a big, big risk. And honestly, while I understand that Americans may be less expert than us about the dangers of Eastern Europeans strip clubs, this guy was at least very, VERY naive.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby dws1982 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:03 pm

I loved Krakow, despite my friend's, uh...mishap that occurred there. It was beautiful and atmospheric, loved the history, it was super-easy to navigate (it was easy to pick out a legit cab from a non-legit one, the cab drivers spoke excellent English, and you could get from one side of town to the other for under $10 USD. I would definitely go back. I liked Prague a lot as well, despite the fact that it seems like someone dumped Times Square down in the middle of all of those beautiful old buildings. It was pretty easy to navigate as well, and it's easy to see why it's so popular with tourists--you can get a hotel close to Old Town for about $50 USD per night, and you can get a legitimately good and good-sized meal (with a drink) in the heart of Old Town for under $15 USD. (Of course you can do the same for $10-$12 in Krakow.) Wittenberg was a very cool small city. Since we were otherwise in large cities, it was really cool to see a small city, although you get the feeling that Wittenberg does a lot of things with its (sizable) tourist population in mind.

I feel like I would've liked Budapest if I had gotten a little more time there, but we pretty much only had 12 hours on the ground before world events intervened. The airport was very odd though. The front part, behind security, was very drab, very old-school. There was no way of getting any help or having any questions asked during the middle of the night. And then when we got our flight and went through security, it was like another world. Nice, well-decorated shops and restaurants. It was like a nice shopping mall with airport departure gates.

If I ever go back to Berlin, it would have to be with someone who knows the city to guide me. The city is so physically large that it's a real haul to walk from one place to another, and the public transportation system is a real nightmare if you don't speak German. And anytime we tried to ask for help, the people working the Metro Station just responded like we were idiots. I did like the view from the Reichstag Dome, especially as we got to see it just as the Strawberry Moon (something that hasn't occurred in nearly 70 years) was rising.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby mlrg » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:12 am

dws1982 wrote:Trip was a semi-disaster. The sites were cool. Traveling partner was not. No doubt I'll be able to look back on some parts of it with fondness as I get some distance from it. I'll probably even laugh about certain parts of it. I'd love to go back and spend some time in some of those places at a slower pace.

My feet got absolutely destroyed. So many blisters--this happens when you walk an average of ten miles per day and your shoes are a half-size small. (I didn't realize they were too small the time.) I still haven't worn shoes at all since I got back. We ended up cutting it short after my traveling partner went out alone one night (because I just couldn't walk another mile that day), got conned into a Krakow strip club, and withdrew all the money from his bank account.

Took a sizable financial hit moving our flight date, then when we were in Budapest getting ready to go home, the Istanbul airport gets attacked. We were scheduled to fly back through Istanbul. At the time flights from Istanbul to the US were grounded, and even then, only one flight goes from Istanbul to Atlanta each day. Our main worry was getting stuck in an airport terminal for several days. At that point we were sick of each other, wearing the same clothes for a day, going on 24 hours with no sleep. Most of this took place in the middle of the night in Budapest. It's almost impossible to get any information there at that time, so we had to be on the phone with family back home to try to reschedule our flights. Eventually we got one through Aerlingus, the literal last seats on the planes. Even though the flight through Istanbul was cancelled, I somehow still got charged for that last Friday, over a week after the scheduled flight. Still trying to figure out how to get that reimbursed.


It's a shame you had all those problesm

Which sites you liked the most?

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Re: European Vacation

Postby dws1982 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 9:46 pm

Trip was a semi-disaster. The sites were cool. Traveling partner was not. No doubt I'll be able to look back on some parts of it with fondness as I get some distance from it. I'll probably even laugh about certain parts of it. I'd love to go back and spend some time in some of those places at a slower pace.

My feet got absolutely destroyed. So many blisters--this happens when you walk an average of ten miles per day and your shoes are a half-size small. (I didn't realize they were too small the time.) I still haven't worn shoes at all since I got back. We ended up cutting it short after my traveling partner went out alone one night (because I just couldn't walk another mile that day), got conned into a Krakow strip club, and withdrew all the money from his bank account.

Took a sizable financial hit moving our flight date, then when we were in Budapest getting ready to go home, the Istanbul airport gets attacked. We were scheduled to fly back through Istanbul. At the time flights from Istanbul to the US were grounded, and even then, only one flight goes from Istanbul to Atlanta each day. Our main worry was getting stuck in an airport terminal for several days. At that point we were sick of each other, wearing the same clothes for a day, going on 24 hours with no sleep. Most of this took place in the middle of the night in Budapest. It's almost impossible to get any information there at that time, so we had to be on the phone with family back home to try to reschedule our flights. Eventually we got one through Aerlingus, the literal last seats on the planes. Even though the flight through Istanbul was cancelled, I somehow still got charged for that last Friday, over a week after the scheduled flight. Still trying to figure out how to get that reimbursed.

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Re: European Vacation

Postby Okri » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:46 pm

The one that jumped to mind is Peter Nadas' Parallel Stories.


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