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 Post subject: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:26 am 
Sumerul
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I thought perhaps we could use a travel advice thread? We have members here from all over who surely have lots of advice to offer and who perhaps equally need advice when traveling places. The advice could be where to go, how to get around, things to see, basically any questions one would have. I know most of this is Googlable but sometimes the best advice comes from those who have direct experience with the location one's going to, and not everyone's situation is Googleable.

So I'll start off with a question about Germany. What do you recommend for someone who needs to travel around Germany to 4 or 5 cities within a week. Point to point tickets seem to be around 30-50€ for two persons one way which is rather expensive. Rail passes are usually more than 200€. Do you have any tricks of the trade for getting around on German trains?

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Last edited by Viktor77 on Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:40 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 9:02 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:05 am 
Avisaru
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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:07 pm 
Sanno
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Train tickets with a stopover are generally cheaper than buying two halfway tickets individually. (As an example, Cologne - Hannover by ICE without any discount is 72 €, Hannover - Berlin is 68 €, but Cologne - Berlin via Hannover is only 117 € instead of 140.) Train tickets within Germany are only valid on two consecutive calendar days though, so this option for saving money is only available if you do only a single stopover and if you don't stay there for more than one night.

However, international train tickets in the EU must be valid for a longer time (a month IIRC), so if you buy a ticket that starts or ends in Belgium, you can do several stopovers, each of which may last more than a day if you want. At least, this was possible three years ago, when I travelled from Cologne to Geneva via Berlin (where I stayed for several days), Tübingen (where I stayed for one night), and Basel (where I stayed another night) on a single ticket. Apparently you can't buy this kind of ticket online anymore, but I think it should still theoretically be possible because international tickets still have to be valid for a longer period of time. Maybe ask for specifically this option at a travel agency in Liège, or at the main train station in Aachen?

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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:09 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:29 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Travel advice thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:18 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:57 pm 
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From my experience Germany flat out contradict's the typical anglophone's expectation that foreign food is more interesting than their own. It's nice to know that there's somewhere else in the world with the same level of culinary boredom as us.

(I apologise if I have offended any Germans by this comment)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:54 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:12 pm 
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I agree despite eating Indian food all the time and loving it. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:26 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:32 pm 
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Well, our trip to Germany might've just been completely destroyed. With the attacks in Brussels (which are very sad and of course I probably have no right to complain about this) they are now controlling all of Belgium's borders and despite my persistence with the foreign office my husband still has his temporary papers. We went to Amsterdam and several times to Germany before without any problem but now.... We could go to Germany without planning anything ahead just in case, and then if we are controlled just see what happens. We can always plead ignorance. The card says no where on it that it's only valid in Belgium.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:44 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:26 pm 
Sumerul
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I'm still going to try to go to Germany so that's a yay.

Also this will only work if I find a cheap flight, but has anyone here visited Moldova and have any recommendations? It seems like a place we could travel to once my partner has his papers and save a ton of money since it seems to be pretty cheap. Either Moldova or Ukraine. I think these are the cheapest countries in Europe.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:51 pm 
Sumerul
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Just so you know, there's a reason that they are cheap.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:54 pm 
Smeric
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I honestly did not know that about Moldova until now.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:34 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:53 am 
Sumerul
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:53 am 
Smeric
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Well, Ukraine is much bigger and IINM much better known, and both Kiev and Lviv have a much longer history than, say, Chișinău. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2016 4:14 am 
Sanno
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I'm going to spend ten days in Japan in the second half of May, so I'll jump in here to hopefully get a few pieces of useful information from those who know the country better than I do. I'll probably stay in Tokyo for a few days, visit Kyoto, and I also want to see one or two more rural places (e.g. a traditional onsen town, and/or do a day walk somewhere in the mountains). Apart from this general outline I have no definite plans yet, so any suggestions for worthwile destinations and activities are welcome!

Of course I also have a few concrete questions:

- I'm usually not much of a typical sight-seeing tourist, instead preferring to simply experience the atmosphere of a city by walking around (in a culturally vibrant area if possible) and spending time in a café or so. Which parts of Tokyo and Kyoto would be best suited for something like this?
- Are there any "must-see" things in Tokyo, Kyoto and surroundings that you think I shouldn't miss?
- Do you know of any specific rural places worth visiting?
- What's the best way to get around in the country? I've already heard of the Japan Rail Pass, but I'm not yet sure whether it would really be worth it, or if something else might be more useful (a regional rail pass? planning only a few individual journeys because the trains would beoperated by different companies? etc.)
- How easy or difficult is it to orient myself if I can't read kana and kanji? I guess in some places (the largest cities and a few tourist destinations?) some things will also be written in English or at least with Latin characters, but how common is this really, especially in the countryside?
- Is there anything general about travelling in Japan that I should know?

Also, those of you who are in Japan at the same time (Finlay? Clawgrip? Vampireshark? anyone else???), would you be interested in a meetup?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:59 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:05 pm 
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