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Old 09-11-2017, 02:49 PM   #21
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Only thing reasonably priced in Prague is beer. Too many English stag parties there on weekends.

One quiet place we love in the Summer is Tallin, Estonia. It is so green and lush, and the locals were so kind.
Vienna was on our Summer 2017 list with a day trip to Bratislava but we nixed Vienna since we had too many other places to visit. Sounds like Bratislava might be worth a visit. I have no problem if it's slow and can be seen completely in a day or two. We'll take it really slow, spend a week, and relax.

I've heard great things about Tallinn/Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania but was curious if they are still "undiscovered". I'm strongly considering them for a Summer 2018 trip if we return to Europe for the summer. Frugal FIRE friends from Finland/Ukraine said the Baltic states would be right up our alley. All three recently adopted the euro, too, so that makes it just a little bit easier as a tourist.

In Prague, we went for a cheaper Airbnb a few subway stops outside the tourist area. Serendipitous given how swamped the center of town was.
We had multiple parks and a huge apartment courtyard within 1 minute walk so our kids could play unattended for hours. Inexpensive groceries and restaurants up and down our street (including a great local Czech place called a "Svejk" that was USD$4-5 per plate). Prices weren't bad in the non-tourist area. We managed to find a nice quiet castle/complex to the south of downtown that was almost entirely locals and much nicer than the center of town (which, admittedly, is beautiful and worth a visit masses of people notwithstanding).
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:50 PM   #22
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Went all over Slovenia (and other parts of Yugoslavia) and eastern Europe in the 1980s. It's passé.

Klondike, Yukon, Canada. 'Nuff said.
It's probably a little different in Slovenia now - they have a McDonald's for example (though we didn't sample it while there).
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:36 PM   #23
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We didn't allow enough time this go around, (we catch a transatlantic on Nov 06 from Civitavecchia), but we have our eye on Romania/Moldova down the road, (if I live long enough ).......also want to see Lithuania/Estonia/Latvia.
Sure. That's why I do not understand when people say they have seen the world, and do not want to see more. The world is really larger than we often mistake when seeing it from 40,000 ft. Could one really have seen it all? Heck, get down on the ground, and it takes one forever to walk across one small city, or to go over the next hill.

I would understand if one says he/she is tired, and does not want to travel anymore. I am afraid I may be getting there sooner than I want. Need to work on the next travel plan ASAP.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:46 PM   #24
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Could one really have seen it all?
DW & I still, (periodically but infrequently), chuckle when we recall an encounter with a local boutique owner who threw out that she had "Been all over the world".........upon further investigation it appeared that she'd visited a couple spots in Mexico, three or four islands in the Caribbean, and done a 'day trip to Spain' or somesuch.
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Old 09-11-2017, 03:57 PM   #25
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...I've heard great things about Tallinn/Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania but was curious if they are still "undiscovered". I'm strongly considering them for a Summer 2018 trip if we return to Europe for the summer. Frugal FIRE friends from Finland/Ukraine said the Baltic states would be right up our alley. All three recently adopted the euro, too, so that makes it just a little bit easier as a tourist...
We did a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki last month. It's a cruise port for large ships like Norwegian Getaway, which carries almost 5K passengers, so there's no way I'd call it undiscovered, though you may be able to pick an uncrowded day if you use the calendar at cruisemapper.com wisely. That said, the old town with its medieval walls and towers is a Unesco world heritage site and definitely worth visiting. We didn't get out of the old city other than to walk back and forth to the ferry since it was just a day trip, so I can't comment on the rest of the city or country.

I also liked Helsinki a lot, though Finland's prices are definitely more like its Scandinavian neighbors than its Baltic ones. We ate at a brew pub founded by a couple of Finns who brew their beer in Estonia because it's cheaper to import it than to make it at home. I do think Finland is less expensive if you get out of Helsinki and explore more of the countryside though. It's a beautiful place and I recommend spending some time there if you can fit it into a Baltic trip.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:03 PM   #26
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It's probably a little different in Slovenia now - they have a McDonald's for example (though we didn't sample it while there).
While Slovenia is not mentioned, I found this report of McDonald's in the Balkans interesting. The first in 1988 was after our extended trip.

McDonald’s in the Balkans: a brief history | BTURN
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:20 PM   #27
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Mauritius. If you are from France or S. Africa, you likely know the island. Most Americans do not. Worth a visit for sea/beach oriented things, good food, and relaxing. If you want to trade up, stay at one of the resorts.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:41 PM   #28
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Mauritius.
Regretted, (we had complimentary tickets), not taking a day or so to go from Saint-Denis to Mauritius, (it's only 140 miles), but we found so much to occupy us on Réunion......ah well, back to the bucket list.....
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:03 PM   #29
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Well, is it possible that some places are undiscovered because there's nothing to discover there?
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:10 PM   #30
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Well, is it possible that some places are undiscovered because there's nothing to discover there?
I've been to Norman Wells, NW Territories, Canada. Not a real touristy place, but very interesting. Plus, it has a museum.

I haven't been to Antarctica, though. I wonder if anyone here has been?
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:33 PM   #31
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I haven't been to Antarctica, though. I wonder if anyone here has been?
Could be wrong, but seem to recall that sengsational has been there...but he's on the high seas right now so we can't get verification.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:59 PM   #32
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We did a day trip to Tallinn from Helsinki last month. It's a cruise port for large ships like Norwegian Getaway, which carries almost 5K passengers, so there's no way I'd call it undiscovered, though you may be able to pick an uncrowded day if you use the calendar at cruisemapper.com wisely. That said, the old town with its medieval walls and towers is a Unesco world heritage site and definitely worth visiting. We didn't get out of the old city other than to walk back and forth to the ferry since it was just a day trip, so I can't comment on the rest of the city or country.

I also liked Helsinki a lot, though Finland's prices are definitely more like its Scandinavian neighbors than its Baltic ones. We ate at a brew pub founded by a couple of Finns who brew their beer in Estonia because it's cheaper to import it than to make it at home. I do think Finland is less expensive if you get out of Helsinki and explore more of the countryside though. It's a beautiful place and I recommend spending some time there if you can fit it into a Baltic trip.
Kind of a bummer about the 5000 cruise passengers disembarking in Tallinn. I'm curious if that's just a few times per week or nearly every day. The cruise passengers really swamped Venice when we were there. Very nice first thing in the AM and in the evenings but during the day in the tourist area it was insanity.

I saw that Helsinki was a relatively short (and comfortable) ferry ride away from Tallinn and that's definitely an add-on that I would be interested in, at least for a few days.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:10 PM   #33
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I've been to Norman Wells, NW Territories, Canada. Not a real touristy place, but very interesting. Plus, it has a museum. ..........
I drove to Yellowknife NWT some years back. All it cost me was a set of tires.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:11 PM   #34
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I drove to Yellowknife NWT some years back. All it cost me was a set of tires.
You got off easy!
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:54 PM   #35
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Kind of a bummer about the 5000 cruise passengers disembarking in Tallinn. I'm curious if that's just a few times per week or nearly every day. The cruise passengers really swamped Venice when we were there. Very nice first thing in the AM and in the evenings but during the day in the tourist area it was insanity.

I saw that Helsinki was a relatively short (and comfortable) ferry ride away from Tallinn and that's definitely an add-on that I would be interested in, at least for a few days.
Here's the schedule for cruise ships calling at Tallinn in August. You can see that most days have at least one ship, but there are some days with none.
Tallinn (Estonia) cruise ship schedule | CruiseMapper. (Click on the ship names to see how many passengers each one carries.) We were there on the 15th, when there were two ships in port, totalling about 5K passengers, and there were definitely a lot of people around. We weren't really trying to do a lot of things indoors though -- just wandering around town, admiring the architecture, grabbing lunch at a sidewalk cafe, exploring the outdoor market, visiting the churches, etc. If you wanted panoramic photos with no strangers in them, that was not going to happen, but it's not like we had to wait in line anywhere and the streets weren't so full we couldn't walk.

I also used this website for every city we visited in Scandinavia as they're all cruise ports. Even in a major city like Stockholm, you don't want to arrive at the Vasa museum after 10:30 if there are 4 ships in port. We saved the big tourist attractions for days when there were few ships, and on heavy ship days we did the walking tours from the Rick Steves guide book (and it's quite funny to see 3 or 4 small groups standing in front of a statue all reading the same book) or we took trains to the more outlying sites.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:03 PM   #36
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If you wanted panoramic photos with no strangers in them, that was not going to happen
One Sunday morning in Prague we got up at about 03:00 a.m., showered, ate, got ready, caught the streetcar and arrived at the Charles Bridge at 05:00 a.m.

There were a few drinkers heading home, and then for about two hours we had the whole downtown to ourselves. It was great.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:22 PM   #37
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Lots of talk about foreign destinations, but we just found a nice spot right here in the USA - the Missouri Rhineland. Over Labor Day weekend, we flew out to Missouri for a wedding in Hermann. We drove down Missouri Route 94 from St. Charles to Hermann. The road is called the Missouri Weinstrasse due to all the wineries along the way. The road runs along the Missouri River and the Katy Trail, which is a rail to bike trail path that is about 200 miles long. We saw a number of people riding the trail and stopping at the bed and breakfasts that have sprung up at the little towns along the way. The scenery was attractive and it was not crowded at all. We enjoyed lunch and a tour at the StoneHill Winery in Hermann itself.

Missouri Wine Country | Missouri Wine & Missouri Wineries | MissouriWineCountry.com

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missou...he_Weinstrasse

Katy Trail Missouri Trail Maps, Businesses, Events, Mileage, and more

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katy_Trail_State_Park
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:28 PM   #38
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We didn't allow enough time this go around, (we catch a transatlantic on Nov 06 from Civitavecchia), but we have our eye on Romania/Moldova down the road, (if I live long enough ).......also want to see Lithuania/Estonia/Latvia.
Romania is still so inexpensive to where you can afford to hire a driver to take you throughout the country. I have the name of such a driver if anyone would need it. He is highly recommended.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:31 AM   #39
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I have a back-burner plan (that will probably remain there) to take jaded tourists to all kinds of small European towns that are just as nice, historic, quaint, cute, etc as the famous places, but half the price and one-tenth as packed with busloads of people. Besalú in Catalonia, Dambach instead of Riquewihr in Alsace, Vitré in Brittany, Bad Friedrichshall near Heilbronn in Germany...
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:36 AM   #40
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I have a back-burner plan (that will probably remain there) to take jaded tourists to all kinds of small European towns that are just as nice, historic, quaint, cute, etc as the famous places, but half the price and one-tenth as packed with busloads of people. Besalú in Catalonia, Dambach instead of Riquewihr in Alsace, Vitré in Brittany, Bad Friedrichshall near Heilbronn in Germany...
Just one small glitch....some/most of us 'jaded tourists' prefer to go on our own, be on our own, and make our own way to such places without paying for a middleman.

(Good luck anyway!)
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