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Things Old Travellers to Europe Seem Not to Understand!!!

Things Old Travellers to Europe Seem Not to Understand!!!

May 12th, 2014, 05:07 AM
  #21  
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I think young people (and older people) view the train ride as part of the trip, not just something to be endured which gets you from a to b.>

exactly to me the thrill was on the train (and still is, being a rail nut) - but I always think that things in between huge tourist meccas - even just the lay of the land - is as interesting as what's in those cities.
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May 12th, 2014, 05:13 AM
  #22  
 
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Many of us did things "back in the day" that seemed absolutely rational at the time, that today we'd be asking ourselves, "What in the H was I thinking??!!! It's all a matter of perspective, maturity, experience, education, financial level, and different set of values.

Two thoughts on the matter
1)Let's just say that I would consider my actions "age appropriate".
2)Some people are just born "old" and will never experience nor be happy experiencing a "younger" way of traveling.

I remember being 18, traveling around on a eurail pass and arriving in Frankfurt from France and having a hard time figuring out the mass transit system. At the end of an hour, both my travel buddy & I were fed up, looked at each other, and said "Hey, let's go to Italy instead.", and we did. It was a great ride down, met a lot of wonderful people on the train & saw fantastic scenery. Still prefer Italy to Germany to this day. Still don't consider it a waste of time, either. Youth hostel ID & book and map of each country...we were good to go!

Talking and sharing with fellow youth hostel people was how one researched the next day's events...we pretty much flew by the seat of our pants.

My sister and I were just talking the other day how we can't believe when we were 20 and had just arrived at the train station in Venice, that we were approached by some guy asking us if we needed a place to stay. We said yes, agreed upon a price, and set off following this guy who we didn't-know-from-Adam down the narrow, dark alleys of Venice. It was a great B & B (I don't even think they had that name for that category then),but we can't believe how trusting and naïve we were now that we're older.

Have some fantastic memories of many planned-out trips including those of my youth, but ABSOLUTELY there are more truly magnificent moments in the "unplanned/unresearched" column than the "planned" column! That's one of the things that makes them so special and endearing.
klondike is offline  
May 12th, 2014, 05:15 AM
  #23  
 
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<< or you're retired on a fixed income, time, money and comfort re-balance themselves differently >>

Once you're retired, even if you don't have the income you had when working, you can take leisurely trips, stay longer in places, explore non-city areas that are often less expensive, book longer term apartment rentals, stay farther from city center as you have more time to get back and forth to main sights. Economize in many of the the ways you did when young without much money (book double room hostels, sit on park benches rather than in cafes, look for good food at economy rates).

I love trains, train stations, and train rides. One day I'm going to take a steam train in Britain.
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May 12th, 2014, 05:19 AM
  #24  
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Ah the serendipity sans fear of youth!
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May 12th, 2014, 05:46 AM
  #25  
 
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My first trip to Europe - 8 countries in three weeks - was with 5 friends. It was right after college. We had a blast! Spent 4 days in Rome during which I saw none of the typical tourist sights. I met a US Marine stationed at the American Embassy and spent the whole time at the beach at Ostia or riding madly around on the back of a motor scooter. Up all night partying, no time to sleep during the day. Missed the Forum and St. Peters and saw the Colosseum only from the road. Rome was my favorite stop on the trip.

I wouldn't (and couldn't) do that today but it helps tremendously to understand how young travelers wish to see Europe.
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May 12th, 2014, 06:27 AM
  #26  
 
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One day I'm going to take a steam train in Britain.

I did this last summer but not in England. It was in Franconia. And it was A BLAST!
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May 12th, 2014, 06:28 AM
  #27  
 
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I spoke with a young coworker yesterday who is leaving shortly for 7 weeks in Europe. Her plans: "Croatia for two weeks, then Europe." Where in Europe are you planning, I ask? "We aren't sure, just Europe." I bit my tongue and wished her a great trip.
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May 12th, 2014, 06:36 AM
  #28  
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And she will probably have a great trip - part of the fun when traveling in Europe at age 20 was it was a learning experience - figuring out things - I learned more on that first trip than in all of my college years - well about having confidence in traveling, etc.

Travel is a bit of a travail and young folks kind of like that - at least I did. Now I program my trip, pre-arrange accommodations, etc and at my age prefer it - but young folk like KTravel's coworker I envy - taking off sans plans - not that is exciting and he/she will consider it the trip of a lifetime regardless of what they do later.
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May 12th, 2014, 06:38 AM
  #29  
 
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I agree, PalenQ.
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May 12th, 2014, 06:56 AM
  #30  
 
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sparky - can you give details of your steam train trip? Where was it (Franconia is a large area), a link, if possible. Given that I fly United I always transit through Frankfurt and can add a couple of days at the end or beginning of the trip. It's much easier for me to get to Franconia than to Britain.
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May 12th, 2014, 07:03 AM
  #31  
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adrienne - a classic steam train trip in Germany goes from Wenigerode to Brocken and also from a place to the south - slicing thru the Harz mountains.

http://www.thisisharz.com/narrow%20steam%20train.html

Until recently this was a regular train in DDR days - using steam when I first rode it just after the fall of the wall. Brocken of course is a famous lookout mountain - so if at all in the area this trip makes a great experience and also takes you somewhere of note.
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May 12th, 2014, 07:11 AM
  #32  
 
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Sure. It was the Dampfbahn that runs out of Forchheim.

Dampfbahn Fränkische Schweiz e.V.: http://www.dfs.ebermannstadt.de/

It is owned an operated by a group of steam train enthusiasts who also own and maintain the stretch of track it runs on. They own a few steam trains and some vintage diesel locomotives so be sure to check the schedule to make sure you get the train you want.

The English version of the site is so-so, so I recommend viewing the German site with Google translate.

We went last summer with my nephew and two friends and the five of us were the only native English speakers on the train. If you get there early enough, you can inspect the steam locomotive. We got there about 5 min before departure and second class was completely full so we sat in first class (feels like a modern day 2nd class on the RE).

It makes several stops along the way and day hikers would get off to go hiking in the Fränkische Schweiz. You can walk out of the wagon and stand outside and watch the countryside roll by. The final stop is a very small village with not much to do except go hiking. We hopped on the next return train and got off at Gößweinstein or Muggendorf (I can't remember which one but there was a large church and a mini golf course) and had lunch there and went into a rock and fossil shop there.

Tickets are not cheap (but not too expensive) but it is definitely worth the price.

Hope that's helpful.
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May 12th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #33  
 
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Less dramatic, but in Britain and it goes to and from a pleasant little town:
http://autolycus-london.blogspot.co....rain-sets.html
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May 12th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #34  
 
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The one PalenQ mentioned I want to ride.
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May 12th, 2014, 09:58 AM
  #35  
 
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I don't think the whole difference is age. I just think different people enjoy traveling different ways. I travel the same way now I did at 19, enjoying the same type of sights and nice dinners and not getting drunk every night (have never been a bid drinker, EVER) - just with more money and not so much time.

As for train - it's OK (except for a few wonderful sights through the mountains). But as someone who grew up taking trains and subways routinely - I have always enjoyed road trips when they make sense.
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May 12th, 2014, 11:12 AM
  #36  
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No nytraveler I do not think it largely a matter of age - I think it is a matter of youth without worries... when I was on my first trips I never worried about say finding a place to sleep - I slept on on the Hotel du Park Bench in Paris a few times, etc. And never would do that now.
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May 12th, 2014, 01:05 PM
  #37  
 
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Thanks all for the train links!

I road on this steam train, visited the train museum, and stayed at the train motel (which was disgustingly filthy).

http://www.strasburgrailroad.com/

https://modigliani.shutterfly.com/lancaster2000/13
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May 12th, 2014, 01:09 PM
  #38  
 
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Must be auto correct.
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May 12th, 2014, 01:12 PM
  #39  
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On my first trip to Europe as a 20 yr old I rode an actual in service French SNCF steam train - it went from Montpellier to Perpignan - a real in use steam train - regular passenger train - that'show old I am!
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May 12th, 2014, 03:13 PM
  #40  
 
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I agree that many people are quite comfortable flitting from place to place every couple of days and if you are reasonably fit and happy to get just a taster of a location, I really don't see anything wrong with that. So its not the multiple destinations per se that bothers me - its the not realising how much transit time eats into plans, and even more than that, the itineraries that read like school timetables. I get the bit about once in a lifetime trips, not much holiday allowance etc etc, but they seem like an endurance test rather than a vacation. No time for wandering, no time for people watching in cafes, no allowances for bad weather, tiredness etc - no relaxation full stop. They depress me a bit.
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