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After I'm through vacation
Old 02-12-2006, 05:22 PM   #1
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After I'm through vacation

Ok guys--

I'm hanging it up at the end of August and am thinking of "getting out of Dodge" for awhile. Never traveled to Europe and am thinking of England, Scotland, Ireland--possibly Greece & Italy if I wait until the winter months. What are some ways to enjoy myself, see intersting things on the cheap, and not have to stay under a bridge.


thanks for your help.

Professor
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #2
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Re: After I'm through vacation

If 55, try http://www.elderhostel.org

If under--backpack, hostels & Eurail Pass remain a standard mode. I did it 30 years ago, and it still has an appeal.

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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-12-2006, 08:16 PM   #3
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Re: After I'm through vacation

If you are thinking of staying in/around one place for weeks or months instead of days, maybe consider renting an apartment (caution: may be called a "flat" by the brits, as they've been known to get English wrong from time to time) or a house. Not really an option if you are constantly on the go and sightseeing, but could be interesting if you want to relax, watch sunsets (or sunrises) and enjoy the quiet life for a while.

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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-12-2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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Re: After I'm through vacation

No, Justin, I suspect it will be a week in each place--maybe less. I really don't want to leave my house vacant for more than a month at the most. I just don't want to do the senior citizen bus tour bit. You know, off the beaten path & enjoying a bit of local color w/o being regimented.

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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 04:46 AM   #5
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Hello,
In Europe B&B type accomodation can be cheaper than hotels.
Often local Tourist Offices provide lists of private rooms. Some have this option on their websites, too.
Also apartment sharing could be an option: http://www.mitwohnzentrale.de/staedteliste.php
Hosts organised by www.servas.org would invite you to stay at their homes for 2 nights.

Rick Steves website provides lots of ideas for inexpensive travelling in Europe.
Have fun!
Chris
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 06:09 AM   #6
 
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Re: After I'm through vacation

I have travelled to the UK many, many times and I prefer to do the B&B thing, less expensive and you can get interesting places.

Lonely Planet guide is a good one, as is Fromers.

I assume you will land at Heathrow, there is a stand there that will set you up with a BN&B.

You should take the Underground from Heathrow into the city, much cheaper and faster than taxi, and I suggest you try to stay in Kensington/ Marble Arch area.

I have been told Brit Rail pass no longer exists, see if Travel Agent has an idea.?

London needs a week, take walking tours, advertised evrywhere, cost a couple of bucks, usually unemployed actor who will lead a theme walk.(Dickens, ghosts, Monumens etc)

SW England(Devon, Cornwall), the Cotswolds, Wales, Lake District, York in the North, and Scotland for a week.

Good Luck, take some walking shoes.

Also, look Right, look left, several people are killed every year by looking the wrong way when they crossed the street.

Keep saying, Right, Left.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 08:11 AM   #7
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
Also, look Right, look left, several people are killed every year by looking the wrong way when they crossed the street.
It isn't the pedestrians looking the wrong way. It's the drivers driving on the wrong side of the road!
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 08:16 AM   #8
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Re: After I'm through vacation

I did that once. Looked left and stepped off a curb in London. Almost bought it from one of those huge black taxi cabs.

By the way, when in boston, look BOTH ways before you cross any street. Might want to look up too.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 08:17 AM   #9
 
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Re: After I'm through vacation

CFB look up, what for , Snipers??
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Any number of things. We almost lost a bunch of good californians (yeah, oxymoron, I know) visiting on business who thought it was ok to step off the curb in a crosswalk and not look.

That more people dont get nailed in CA on a daily basis is some sort of goodwill from god. The standard operating procedure appears to be to run like hell to the curbside, jump into the crosswalk without looking up or to either side, then walk at 1/4 speed through the cross walk, then resume a canter when reaching the opposite curb.

Drivers SOP is to accelerate to try to get through the crosswalk when seeing the running person about to enter, then try to steer around them if they've entered the crosswalk, otherwise stop and stare daggers at them.

Much simpler process in Boston...people remain on the sidewalk until there appears to be no vehicles operating in the western hemisphere...then run as fast as possible and nowhere near a crosswalk because that just tips the drivers off. All available cars at that time must swerve onto that street at warp 9, painted lines and lanes become irrelevant, and that pedestrian MUST be struck down or at least forced back to the curb from which they originated.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 09:13 AM   #11
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Have been to Scotland, England, and Italy.
If going to the UK, I would recommend B&Bs.
.
If going to Italy, check out this website:
http://www.slowtrav.com/
.
We rented a villa in Tuscany from
http://www.labellatoscana.net/eng/
and were extremely happy with the place.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 09:43 AM   #12
 
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Re: After I'm through vacation

http://www.chooseacottage.co.uk/partners/WKB/index.asp

Hope it helps, but elderhostels work well, my 65 year old Brother travelled extensivly through Australia for 6 months, amde lots of new friends.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 09:59 AM   #13
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Re: After I'm through vacation

In Rome you can stay in convents that function as bed and breakfasts.

Explore Central Europe if you want a lot of bang for your buck--food and transportation are cheap.

Try staying in hostels--many have private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and are located in historical buildings.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 10:16 AM   #14
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
Much simpler process in Boston...people remain on the sidewalk until there appears to be no vehicles operating in the western hemisphere...then run as fast as possible and nowhere near a crosswalk because that just tips the drivers off.* All available cars at that time must swerve onto that street at warp 9, painted lines and lanes become irrelevant, and that pedestrian MUST be struck down or at least forced back to the curb from which they originated.
The key is to complete the Darwinian process before the next generation is born...
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 10:38 AM   #15
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by bennevis
We rented a villa in Tuscany from
http://www.labellatoscana.net/eng/
and were extremely happy with the place.
They have some pretty decent looking places on their website. $400-500 per week for some of the places I looked. Beautiful views.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 10:52 AM   #16
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The key is to complete the Darwinian process before the next generation is born...
I think its environmental, not genetic. You take a reasonable person, place them in boston, and within a matter of months you'll get an ornery, wiseass cynic. Look how many comedians are from Boston or spent a lot of time cutting their standup teeth there. Amazing what a huge percentage are from there.
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 11:07 AM   #17
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
I think its environmental, not genetic.*
I wish a similar process worked here. Whoever believes in the "aloha spirit" hasn't encountered a local jaywalker.

Official guidance consists of "Please don't run down the visitors!"
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 11:39 AM   #18
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor
No, Justin, I suspect it will be a week in each place--maybe less. I really don't want to leave my house vacant for more than a month at the most.
I plan to do long term travelling. As uncomfortable as it felt selling my 2 fam house, I decided that I didn't want to be tied down to it. I am planning to travel with carry-on luggage and 31" samsonite that will contain my touring folding bike with travel trailer that I will be able to check in at no extra cost. When I land, with the proper weather and road conditions, I can unpack my bike and trailer, transfer my carry on luggage to the suitcase and off I go.
Similar to the Kaderlis, if I really like a place, I could decide to live there for as long as I want. In that case, I would negotiate a lower room rate or get a furnished apartment.

At least that's the plan.

MJ]
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 12:07 PM   #19
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Justin,
Our place in Tuscany was located in Colle Val D'Elsa, which is about 4 miles from the scenic town of San Gimignano. Is handy to Siena and Florence also.
Colle is a small town with 2 areas: the medieval town atop the hill and the newer town below. Some excellent restaurants there and I do mean "EXCELLENT".
It's a really good deal to find a nice place for under $100/night. The owner of our villa, Hillary, treated my wife and I like family. Our villa was in a renovated monastery building, had 4 apartments in it. Ours was on the first floor - very nice and spotless. Pool outside, but we didn't us it, as the weather was cool in early May there, in the 60's. The local grocery store was a treat, the locals were very helpful when I was shopping. No one spoke English, but they did their best to help find things in the store. Same true at the nearby Pharmacia, that I used when I scalded my fingers pouring hot water for coffee - what a klutz !
On the website for La Bella Toscana, look for property number 59, Il Papavero,
you'll see the place we rented.
Cheers,
Ray
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Re: After I'm through vacation
Old 02-13-2006, 12:10 PM   #20
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Re: After I'm through vacation

Ray, how did you get around the countryside - to town and back? Rental car? Buses?
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