Tips for 2018 Eastern Europe trip

Old Aug 16th, 2017, 12:18 AM
  #41  
 
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If you go from Hungary to Russia, I recommend you to stop by Maramures Romania, is not a town is a county, just search on google and you will see the beauty, al this place is like in pictures.
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Old Aug 16th, 2017, 01:08 AM
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Hi,
Due to the war in the East of Ukraine and Ukraine-Russia transport limitations/shortages plus exorbitant lines at the still kinda "functioning" borders plus the paranoia of Ukrainian border guards for anyone going to Russia, the trip via Maramures not only means an enormous detour both in time, distance and costs but would probably being something like going from NYC to Frisco via Mexico City overland. Actually possible. BUT!!!!!!
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Old Aug 16th, 2017, 06:24 AM
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"the trip via Maramures not only means an enormous detour both in time, distance and costs"

Nonsense. have you looked at a map? No reason to go anywhere near eastern Ukraine.

Chernvitsi-Lviv-Minsk-Moscow would work, as would a detour through the Baltics.

But I thought the OP had dropped Russia.
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Old Aug 17th, 2017, 01:54 AM
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I have lived in that country for 27 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Speak both Russian and Ukrainian as we say in Hungary at "Mother tong's level", so I don't need to look at tha map. I know the map by heart!
While I guess, you are just a simple tourist/visitor around here. Sorry to say that but travel in those areas involves SIGNIFICANT knowledge of geopolitical and ethnic/cultural knowledge of those places/mentalities. Like how to deal with customs and how much money to give the border guard etc., etc. Even our Hungarian border guards and customs officers look like they are from other planet in comparison with their fellow colleagues from the Western borders or Budapest airport.
The detour I meant would be EXORBITANT, meaning going to Moscow or St. Petersburg via Romania.
Crossing Ukrainian borders nowadays (especially since June 16th when they have been granted Visa free travel to Europe) can take ages.
This Maramures detour would involve TWO Ukrainian border crossings!!! One in, one out.
I am pretty much sure, you also have no idea of TONS of Ukrainians driving Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish registered cars. They do this to avoid customs and other registration taxes. The setback is that they have to leave and enter Ukraine every 5 days or so, thus making ENORMOUS waiting lines at the borders. Just the day before yesterday friends coming back from Chernivtsti, had to wait 4.5 hours at the border. I stopped going to Kiev (were mother in law lives) by car for more than 6 years. Any Ukrainian border is the most hated in the whole of Europe, was and is.
If you speak Russian, then you can watch tons of youtube videos, made by dashboard cameras from those borders.
Not to mention the facts, that the recently resigned boss of Ukrainian railroads (a Polish rocker, OMG!!!!!!!!, like there are no professionals in Ukraine) left even bigger chaos than before him. resulting in constant delays, blocked toilets, no A/C on 65% of the cars, problems with reseved seats (people seat at your seat and care a sh..... of your reservation)etc., etc.
Just to name a "few" things in favor of that Romanian detour.
yeah of course to can go to back to Bucharest or to Kolozsvar and fly from there, who cares about a few extra days, when your plan is already quite ambitious.....
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Old Aug 21st, 2017, 07:08 PM
  #45  
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Hello again guys! Sorry for the delay getting back. I thought this post had gone cold.

Firstly, please forgive me if I wasn't very clear in my earlier posts, but "thursdaysd" is quite correct in that we have dropped Russia from this trip

I am still determined to get there in the next few years but have been advised that with the FIFA World Cup being hosted in Russia next year, this would not be a good time for a visit.

Thanks again for your input. I appreciate any and all suggestions.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2017, 02:01 AM
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You could be right, Steve, but I visited Australia in 2003 during the Rugby World Cup and it was a great time to be there! I wasn't even a rugby fan at the time, but am now! Remember the the drop kick in the last seconds of the match? ;-)
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Old Aug 22nd, 2017, 09:12 PM
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Hi Heimdall,

Sorry, no I don't remember the drop kick, ha ha. I'm not a Rugby fan. Believe it or not, I also prefer Baseball to Cricket. Not a very good Aussie, I guess.

I think the big difference between a world sporting event in Australia vs Russia is that there are half as many people living in Moscow as in the whole of Australia. If you then increase that number with fans of the world's most popular sport - well, I'm not sure I want to be in that city just then.

I was there, however, way back in 1975 and am determined to take my wife there. I think viewing St Basil's Cathedral and strolling through Moscow's Metro system is one of THE most worthy bucket list entries ever written!
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Old Aug 22nd, 2017, 10:05 PM
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Steve, that was a tongue in cheek comment, and of course you are right! I'll bet former PM John Howard remembers Jonny Wilkinson's drop kick, though. The look on his face as he presented the cup was priceless:
http://www.theage.com.au/ffxImage/ur...rophy400,0.jpg
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Old Aug 23rd, 2017, 01:03 AM
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Steve,
OMG!!!!!!
Moscow of 1975 and Moscow of 2017 is not even another city or country. NO! It's another GALAXY.
Back then, there were hardly a few cars downtown, nowadays there's a Lambo or Ferrari (don't remember exactly which one) dealership almost next to the Lenin's mausoleum. The traffic is probably 2 or 3 times more dense than in NYC and I mean it. Compare it with Bangkok's or alike. The huge GUM store near the Red Square, that was filled with people but not things to buy (in 1975) is now an absolute rival of the fanciest Paris/Milano stores etc, etc, etc!
My gosh, you can't even compare it with 2000 not even mention 1975.
There'll definitely be like a new city even to you.
Same applies to St.Petersburg. Mr Putin (came from there) probably has spent more money for its restoration for the 300-s anniversary back in 2003, than the whole 5 years EU budget.
By the way, you were almost right.
According to the 2017 estimate, there are 24,629,100 people in Australia.
In Moscow officially there are 12,000,000 but the real figure varies from 16 to 18 millions! There are more Azeri and Armenian people living in Moscow than in their native countries
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Old Aug 24th, 2017, 11:27 PM
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Hi Okszi,

Wow! It sounds positively scary. St Petersburg won't be a shock because I didn't get there back in 1975. It will definitely be new to me as well as for my wife

Yes, when I was last in Moscow it was like stepping back in time. All shop fronts were plain - no colour; no advertising and they used an <b><i>abacus</I></b> to calculate the cost of your items.

We were met at the border (I was on an Under-25s camping tour) by Russian soldiers who remained with us throughout our 8-day stay. They chaperoned us EVERYWHERE!

I think the Russian Rouble / US Dollar was at parity compared with One USD = around 60 Roubles today.

I am sure that I will be overwhelmed with the crowds; the modern cars and seeing Moscow as part of the 21st century - however, St Basil's Cathedral, The Kremlin and the indescribable beauty of the Moscow Metro will still amaze and delight my wife and me all over again!!
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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 01:37 AM
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Heimdall - I just checked out the final 2 minutes of the 2003 Cup. I can see why you wouldn't forget it - very exciting! Regardless of the fact that England snatched victory from the jaws of an Australian win, ha ha!
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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 02:40 AM
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I was back in England by that time, so had to watch the match on telly early in the morning. I'm an American, so theoretically should have been neutral, especially after the wonderful time you Aussies showed me in Queensland.
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Old Aug 28th, 2017, 03:48 AM
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Hello!
I'm from Saint-Petersburg and you know... U're absolutely right about the language barrier - it's great problem in Russia! After fools and roads (russian joke).
I've little advice 4U, website bookbro.pro specielizes on language-guides and unique experiences. Fill search-form and they pick up smth 2U considering on your preferences about kind of experiences and activity.
I've work with it and may to say - it's good useful thing
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Old Oct 18th, 2017, 01:34 AM
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Make sure to eat and drink at the right places while in Moscow. Here is a fresh list of the best restaurants in Moscow: http://www.trendymoscow.com/best-restaurants-moscow/
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