Dec 24th, 2000, 08:35 AM
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Help! I want to know about places to avoid while I'm in Europe this spring! Either dangerous or dangerously overrated.
Dec 24th, 2000, 08:44 AM
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The Matterhorn.

There's no railing around it at the top, and if you fall, it's a long ways down.
Dec 24th, 2000, 09:14 AM
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Jeniza. Cancel the trip, get in bed, pull the covers
up tight and pray that you get over it.
Dec 24th, 2000, 11:21 AM
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Read 'Fielding's Guide to the World's Dangerous Places' - for Europe it warns against visiting Dagestan and Chechnya.
Dec 24th, 2000, 11:27 AM
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I think that what the previous posters are trying to tell you is that Europe is no different than anywhere else in the world. Is there a reason that you assume there are specific dangerous places? What kind of danger are you expecting and exactly where in Europe? Please remember that Europe is a big place with many countries and cultures.
If you can answer these questions I think we could be of more help to you.
Dec 24th, 2000, 11:35 AM
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Sorry these people are so unhelpfully antagonistic.

They should have noticed that you are planning to travel alone, which does make a difference. And they should have paid attention to the last 2 words in your post, if they were so annoyed with fearfulness.

Re:actual danger: You can always check the Dept. of State list of alerts for American travelers (check www.state.gov). Greece is one area that persists in presenting -- shall we say -- challenges to Americans, but mainly in Athens. I don't think things are necessarily stable in the countries just north of Greece, either, but the most serious flash point looming is Israel, which means airports that take care of connecting flights to Tel Aviv will have heightened security, notably Frankfort, Rome, and Athens.
Dec 24th, 2000, 12:00 PM
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why don't you tell us where in Europe you are planning on going, and people can comment.
Dec 24th, 2000, 04:57 PM
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Overrated - ticky-tacky touristy Santorini.

For other dangers, check out:
Dec 25th, 2000, 01:43 PM
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Thank You for respoding. I do not think it is a stupid question to ask. If you are going to travel there are certain places that have political situations that would make them unsafe for tourists. I am not contemplating staying home in bed (am studing abroad for four mos.) but I think it is smart to know what is going on. Especialy in Spain (ETA) Portugal, France, and eastern Europe.
thanks. (still want to know what's overrated)
Dec 25th, 2000, 03:08 PM
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Jeniza, you may not think your question stupid, but you might wish to consider whether it is wise.

Wise, in the sense, are you asking too broad a question?

Most of those who pose inquiries here find they get better responses, most often, when they ask specific questions.

Such a broad question about such a wide swath of geography, the size of the United States, is likely to elicit exactly what you've received.

And by the way, there's no place in western Europe of which I can think where "the political situation" or other consideration would cause a particular concern for ones safety. There is much more reason to fear, if that's the correct word, for one's safety in the US than in Western Europe (or most of Eastern for that matter.)

You'll probably discover that for yourself while you're 'studing'.

Dec 25th, 2000, 03:33 PM
Ben Haines
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On safety, you can read the considered views of five consuls, not just the American
from Australia on http://www.dfat.gov.au/consular/advice
from Britain on
from Canada on http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/menu-e.asp, under "Travel Reports"
from France on http://www.dfae.diplomatie.fr/voyage...s/alphabet.asp
from the USA on http://travel.state.gov, under "travel warnings"
Some experienced American travellers find the American site over-cautious. It is therefor useful to check all five sites.

My reading in this and other travel fora suggests that you are unsafe in northern Albania, in Athens perhaps, and in some grubby social housing estates on the outskirts of London and Paris. Were you planning to go to these ?

Overrated is a longer list. Here goes

London: Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussaud's, The London Eye big wheel, Big Ben, Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral, the London Dungeon, the Clink Prison.

Elsewhere: Stratford upon Avon, The Eiffel Tower, the leaning tower of Pisa

Countries just north of Greece are Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Yugoslavia. These are stable, and offer the usual central European dangers of luggage thieves on trains, and pickpockets -- neither of which mean much if you keep awake.

I think people are antagonistic because they think that you see some great dark continent called Europe, whereas they (and I) potter around it without a care.

Please write if I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London

Dec 25th, 2000, 03:50 PM
Ben Haines
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Thanks for specifying. For danger, you can see what the five consuls say. If travellers get into trouble they have to pick up the pieces. For over-rated, I'd say
The Eiffel Tower
The restaurants on the Left Bank
Warsaw (no fault of theirs: Hitler had it blown up)
Bran Castle
The TransSiberian Express

Ben Haines

Spain (ETA).
France, and
eastern Europe.
Dec 26th, 2000, 12:24 PM
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Boy, you all have a little superiority problem don't you. I don't see Europe as a "big, dark, continent." I have been there before. I don't think that I should get ridiculed for asking about my safety when I am going to be alone there for an extended period of time.
sorry I didn't spell check for errors.
Dec 26th, 2000, 12:42 PM
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Jeniza, I understand your concerns, but just use common sense, at 20 my girlfriend and I backpacked all over Europe and in terms of violence against women or crimes in general, big cities over there are like big cities over here. (Well with fewer civilians with guns perhaps) use common sense, wear a money belt, take group tours when you first arrive in a city to get the lay of the land. If you are going to youth hostel route, ask people you meet who work in the hostels where to go or not go by yourself, or taxi drivers are another great source of info.
Use your instincts and you should have no problems.
In terms of overrated, now that is such a subjective thing. Somethings are highly rated because they are so unique and cool to visit. Alot of it depends upon your mind set at the time you arrive... I personally did not care for Stonehenge... but somepeople LOVE it. I did love Versailles but again a lot of people recommend going someplace else. One place that is really fun to visit are the Catacombs in Paris to see lots of skulls and creepy stuff like that. You go in a group so its safe.
PS, Thanks again Ben for raising the bar! You are ever a gentleman.
Dec 27th, 2000, 07:14 AM
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Hi Jeniza!

There aren't any really dangerous places in Europe. Things have settled down in Serbia/Kosovo. Although there are VERY isolated terrorist incidents in Athens and Spain (Basque region), you'd have to be very very unlucky to be affected by it. These things make the news, but they're very rare, really.

Many people worry about street crime in the major capitals - I would suggest that it's over-emphasised. Yes, some cities have a problem with pick-pockets, around the major tourist sites, but these are never violent - they only want to steal, not hurt you. You could be constantly on your guard, but this would spoil your enjoyment - I'd say, wear a money belt and put pick-pockets out of your mind.

In terms of dangerously over-rated, Santorini would be on my list. The views are as spectacular as they say, but there are far too many people there in July/August, and you don't need any more than a couple of days. I would disagree about Stratford on Avon. I'm from the UK, and I had a great 3 days there. There are lots of Shakespeare things to see, and some great restaurants/pubs.

I'm not convinced about much of London - I've never been tempted to go to the London Dungeon, for example. If you want to see real dungeons, go to Warwick Castle (near Stratford On Avon). Likewise, Madame Tussauds doesn't appeal. If I can't be bothered to go (when it's only 200 miles away) you might want to spend your time doing something else! The best things about London are the theatres, in my opinion.

Have a great trip, and let me know if I can help with anything else>
Dec 27th, 2000, 07:29 AM
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I think Provence is vastly overrated--very touristy and not really beautiful--especially when compared to the Dordogne, which is far less touristy and much more beautiful.
Dec 27th, 2000, 08:27 AM
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Dangerous Places
New York
Los Angeles

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