6 weeks

Old Feb 4th, 2003, 02:45 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 47
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
6 weeks

Hi all, next summer I plan on spending 6 weeks in Europe, mostly Eastern Europe. Has anyone done this before? I will have a companion for a week or so but after that I think I will be like Hemingway. The thigns I would like to see would take no more than half the time. What experiences have people had with just bumming around a place for a few weeks doing nothing but relaxing? Is it worth it or should I just take a series of shorter trips?
grogger69 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2003, 05:16 PM
  #2  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I were young and free enough to try this, I would probably be sure to include Slovenia and/or Croatia. Of course, eastern Europe is a very big place; you couldn't even get to every country - - from the Baltics to Bulgaria in six weeks.

You really should re-post and mention eastern europe in the message header. Ben Haines will have much wisdom to share with you.

I am looking to have some additional info to share on Vienna, southern Poland and Prague/southeast CR after a trip in May.

Best wishes,

Rex
[email protected]
rex is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2003, 07:53 PM
  #3  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
to the top, for grogger
rex is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 07:57 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I do not admire Fodors indexing system, but this time it worked well, and told me of this enquiry. Not that I have much wisdom to offer: I am afraid I still dash about cities looking at things, and make an unwilling bummer. But let us see.

To some extent the cheaper a country of central Europe the fewer western tourists it has. This cuts two ways. With low costs, you can sit at pavement (sidewalk) cafes all day and not spend much. But with low levels of western tourists the places may be weak at conversation in English. In any case, here is a list, starting with the cheapest countries, so far as I can judge things. In the first five English is pretty rare, so I have added names of cities or resorts that collect young people in summer, and thus have more English

Ukraine (on a private visa, not a tourist visa: I can advise). Lviv
Belarus. Nowhere
Bulgaria. Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv
Moldova. Chisinau. A bit boring.
Slovakia. Bratislava

English becomes commoner here.
Romania (if you use bed and breakfast or hostels, but not hotels). There are western tourists in Sibiu, Brasov and Sighisoara. But you may well find more educated, chatty, English-using young Romanians in Cluj Napoca, a relaxing city
Serbia (on a visitors pass or a transit visa, not a tourist visa). The summer places of Belgrade, such as along the river, are good for chat, and so are the cafes around the fine old centre of Novi Sad. But anywhere the Serbian young rejoice to use English. I have on disc a 70 page guide to Serbia: please tell me if you would like a copy by e-mail.
Hungary (Budapest is a bit expensive, but fulfils your needs). There is a lot of German in tourist places here. But the Anglophone young gather and chat in Szeged, and Fonyod on Lake Balaton rivals Ibiza for low living and high drinking.
The Czech Republic. Prague is expensive, but fulfils your needs: you can render it cheaper by using hostels. The great gathering place for the Western young is Cesky Krumlov.

continued


ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 07:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Continued

Lithuania, Estonia, perhaps Latvia. Especially the seaside towns and summer capitals
Poland (Krakow and Warsaw are expensive, but fulfil your needs). You might try Gdansk. Beautiful smaller places like Torun and Jelenia Gora have little English.

The rest are expensive or very expensive. Croatia and Slovenia cost as much as Italy and are not that good at English. Inn west Europe I suppose you might find a bed and breakfast or pension in a country town with a good town square and excellent English: that would be Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. But not cheap, especially if you compare them with Bulgaria for example.

I did indeed travel from Belgium to Tallinn and back last summer in two weeks, and often enough to Romania or Bulgaria in two weeks. The trick is to speed the nights away in sleeping cars, or couchette cars if you are short on funds. You can go where you like in six weeks. North of Slovakia you would use domestic rail tickets as much as you can, and international tickets as little as you can. South of Poland you can buy a Slovakian "City Star" ticket. See http://dop.slovakrail.sk/city_star.html. On this a return ticket, valid two months, from any station in Slovakia to anywhere in Romania costs 75 euros for one person, and 112.5 for two, and for Bulgaria 109 for one, p163.5 for two.

You might like to cost out a week at the InterUniversity Centre in Dubrovnik, http://www.iuc.hr/. They have good summer discussion meetings, called seminars, a week long each, run in English: most people there are central Europeans, many of them ex-Yugoslav, and they speak freely and well on questions that concern any European. The meetings are mornings only, so you can swim, take the sun, snooze or otherwise bum around in content. There are day bus connections from Bar, and night sleepers connections, followed by a bus, from Zagreb.

Now that no frills flights to and from Berlin, Prague and Klagenfurt are so cheap, you might indeed try the Cafe des artistes way of life for a fortnight to start with, come home, and decide what next.

Please write if I can help further. For example, have I rightly understood your query ?


[email protected]
ben_haines_london is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 08:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 73
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I spent two months in Europe this summer but I prefer moving around quite a bit instead of just hanging out. Depending on when and where you are going you may not have to make reservations ahead of time (especially if you are flexible on the quality of accomdations)so that lets you decide when you get somewhere how long you want to stay. It is a great way to travel. Be sure to pack light because you do spend more time walking with your luggage when trying to find accomodations.
debbier is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:42 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Debbier--except for large cities, I get bored after a week or so. I don't usually make reservations, that way I can stay if you like a place and leave if I feel like it.

I think you'll find 6 weeks goes by really quickly. There a lot to see in Eastern Europe. I spent a month last summer just in Croatia wandering up the coast and could have easily stayed another month. Ran out of time well before I ran out of islands.

My experience there was a little different than Ben Haines's. I found transportation and lodging cheap--I got rooms in private homes (look for "sobe" signs) for $10-15 US a night, but food was much more expensive than I thought it would be. Most of the women I rented rooms from did not speak English nor did waitstaff, but tourist offices, ferry ticket offices etc all did.

Have a great trip!
Syrin is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #8  
Brutforce
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The places I would suggest include Prague & Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Rep., Dubrovnik, Krakow & Budapest. Wouldn't hurt to spend a little time in Venice either. Cesky Krumlov is a great little inexpensive place to bum & raft/canoe. West of Budapest (I don't recall the town name or lake) is Hungary's wine region & they do make some very good wine. Also a great place to relax for a bit.
 
Old Feb 7th, 2003, 10:36 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,682
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The lake is Balaston, the city is Pecs, and the vinyard hills are Villanyi, of which I have several bottles in my cellar. All are good ideas.

Ben Haines
ben_haines_london is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dls_canada
Europe
15
Jun 16th, 2013 05:12 AM
jerseyguy79
Europe
11
Aug 17th, 2010 01:16 PM
sfretired
Europe
8
Nov 30th, 2009 08:09 AM
lawson
Europe
13
Mar 17th, 2005 12:29 PM
serena
Europe
7
Feb 28th, 2004 06:25 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -