what do you do when you travel?

Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:09 PM
  #1  
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what do you do when you travel?

I am not a big museum fan, or cathedral-goer, tour-taker or sightseer. I like to 'absorb' the city (I prefer cities to beach trips). For me, that means walking a lot, and seeing what the locals see. I walked all over Paris last year, and I will be in London in the late summer. I anticipate much walking in my future!

What's your favorite vacation activity?
Vast is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:23 PM
  #2  
 
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I also like to check out the cities, all the old buildings. I do visit some of the cathedrals. The artwork is incredible.

I love to shop. And I search for ice cream cafes and chocolate shops.

I love to sit at the seawall at Nice at night. It is soooo beautiful.
scatcat is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
  #3  
 
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Like you, I love to walk the cities and absorb the sounds, smells and sights around me. I like to wander through little neighborhoods and visit local churches. I know this might be a bit wierd but I love wandering through cemetaries and reading tombstones. I also enjoy going into grocers and local shops just looking at the different products and trying new things. All of the walking is broken up with long people watching sessions at cafes with a nice glass of wine or cappucino. I also enjoy churches and museums but I spend most of my vacation time outside just wandering and pinching myself in ecstacy at just being there, wherever it is.
jdraper is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:07 PM
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I love to go to the food markets where the locals shop. There is always something is season to try or a specialty of the town/region.

People watching anywhere! I like watching a wedding party coming out of a church -- I have to check out the weeding dress!

Laying on a secluded beach in Hawaii where the wind feels like silk on your skin

Scatcat - chocolate works for me too!
My family & I am headed to London & Paris in August -- any good chocolate shops? I heard Berthilion is a must for ice cream in Paris
LuvFlowers is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 07:47 PM
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I love visiting cities as well. although countryside and natural wonder are high on the list too. When going to cities I look up events calenders for festivals, concerts, theatre, sporting events, street markets and the like. These are where I find out how the locals really enjoy themselves. thereyet
thereyet is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 08:42 PM
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I'm no longer very interested in museums, having visited major (and minor) museums for forty years, but I still get rapturous over a gorgeous baroque church or palace. I love the countryside, too--the mountains and valleys of Bavaria, the incredible rock formations and white hill towns in Spain, and the rolling fields of England all stand out in my mind, though I love anything that's very different from my own beautiful northwest.

I like to meander around, enjoying the ambiance, drinking the occasional coffee, or looking at the wonderful architecture and watching the people.

I do not shop! However, among my few traveling regrets is that in Pompeii I did not buy the "Cave Canem" tile as a gift for my dog-loving neighbors. In general, though, I don't like shopping.

I'll go to a concert now and then and on Sundays I usually try to find a beautiful church with good music. I'm very partial to Gregorian chant or traditional Latin liturgical music.

I'm a city girl, too. I'd feel that it was a waste if I spent European vacation time on the beach when I can just go to a nearby lake when I'm at home.

Pegontheroad is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:49 AM
  #7  
 
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My favorite part of traveling is when we put the map away (after getting a sense of the general direction we want to go in) and from then on we just follow our intuition. We walk, talk, laugh, stop, admire, take-it in, walk, ponder, observe...and most of the time we end up having some pretty amazing experiences in special places we may not have otherwise discovered had we stayed completely "on the map." Its all about enjoying the moment, having positive energy, and going with your flow!
Travel_Ty is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:05 AM
  #8  
 
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Hi

I like to do a combination. It is fun to see well known monuments, it is fun to visit huge cathedrals and museums etc. But is also fun to just walk around in a city...I have also had some very nice walks in Paris and it is a beautiful city

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:25 AM
  #9  
 
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In London, I hit Boots a lot as well as book stores. I spend a lot of time in bookshops.

Also, spotting & reading the blue plaques around the city.

http://www.blueplaque.com/
Carrybean is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:52 AM
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Go to concerts, but only in smaller venues. Go to Jazz/Blues bars in the evenings. Both great places to meet up with locals. Many times I ended up hanging out with them after the shows at the very least or maybe being invited to a party at one of their homes, or at an out of a way local restaurant or to go on a day trip or weekend trip with some of them. Great way to get a feeling about the country, exchange ideas, agree/disagree on issues but at the end have a fun time and see things and places that most tourists never see. And as a bonus, make some great lifelong friends.

I'm an avid photographer. I like architecture, and people shots. That's also a great icebreaker, either with the people I photograph or some other photo enthusiast.

I do like shopping, but only at small, local stores. I always try to look for something unique that represents the region or some local piece of artwork.

I'm of Polish descent and I love Polish food, but since I live in Sarasota, Florida I don't get to taste it too often.

So my favorite thing to do is to search out Polish restaurants all over the world. It's pretty easy in most of the large European cities but it gets more difficult in Asia. I did find a Russian/Polish restaurant in Hong Kong and a small, family owned Polish restaurant in Tokyo (that one was a hard one). In US it's also very common in large cities.

I'm also not much interested in museums anymore unless it's some kind of one of a kind place.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:29 AM
  #11  
 
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I like to play tourist in the morning, checking out the sites, maybe doing a bicycle tour. In the afternoon, I like to go to the beach and relax.
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:01 AM
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Depends which country we're visiting, but we always hire a car and get out and about to see the not so "touristy" places. Love eating out and getting the feel of where the Locals eat.

When we visit USA like to drive off the beaten track (though sometimes this has been a bit scary!!) loved touring Virginia seeing Civil war sites and have been twice to Pennsylvania Amish areas, loved the home cooking in that part of the world.

Not too bothered with churches etc as been there done that, but do like pretty places.

Visited Finger lakes last year very nice, but preferred Vermont.

Off to London in July and might have a look at some of the other Jewells my own country has to offer.
AnnRiley is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:27 AM
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Together DH and I often start off with a good private tour of the major sites so we can get a sense of the place's history. We love to meet a local and spend time with them to start with.

DH then continues to visit the museums and other historical sites. Before each and every trip, DH reads several historical books realted to our destination. By now, we have enough books for a full library!! It really helps him to understand where he is.

I peel off from him and then I like to shop and wander, wander, wander. I love going to all food markets and have been to so many fab ones throughout the world.

I love taking the Metro in European cities. sometimes, Ill just ride around in the Metro and just look at the all people with no particualr destination in mind.

Love to sit in a cafe and people watch as well.

And then we really enjoy luxuriating in a fine hotel in a fabulous room.

But the highlight for us is eating; we take in several fine dining places as well as little out of the way places.
We'll often invite our private guide to join us for meals. We also have some friends in various cities and we'll call them up too.

I was actually thinking about this the other day: I can still taste the cottage noodles in a place we found in a back alley in Vienna several years ago. Just locals, tiny little place. Those cottage noodles...mmmmmmmm!
tripgirl is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:30 AM
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to Pegontheroad:

Being a dog lover, and going to Pompeii in Oct, of course I had to google the Cave Canem tile, and I HAVe to have it! Do you recall the size and/or approx price? Thanks!
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Museums, churches, castles, ruins, any sort of historical sights, art galleries, shopping (rarely - for something specific). And we do like to do a lot of wandering, cafe sitting, people watching.

DO NOT like beaches (I never tan and need about a ton of equipment - umbrella, chairs, cold drinks, books, magazine, music - and them I'm bored in an hour).

Do like other natural wonders (waterfalls, mountains, sea scapes) in limited amounts.

Wandering cute small towns is a reasonable alternate.

But am basically a big city person. I'll walk all day in the city, and maybe up to an hour or so in the countryside if it's to get to something I want to see - but there's no way I would ever do a long hike or go camping or anything of that ilk. (I want a nice comfy hotel with hot shower, hair dryer, 47 TV channels, and 24 hour room service to relax and change before going out to a nice dinner.)

As for staying in an apartment - I don;t cook at home - why would I ever do it on vacation?
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:10 PM
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nytraveler:

Ditto on the "don't cook at home"
scatcat is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:20 PM
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drinking wine in interesting places
exploring around my hotel
grocery stores and post offices
small local practical shops
no tours or museums
maybe a cathedral or two
suze is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:25 PM
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I'm an artlover and museums are pure heaven to me. Been to most of the top ones in Europe, but can go again and again and it's always like the first time.

Love getting lost in places like Santa Cruz in Seville and Barri Goti in Barcelona and anyplace in Paris. Love wondering through small villages that make me feel like I've stepped back in time. Love great architecture, operas, ballets, concerts,wonderful experiences with people who live in these places (and their dogs and cats as well) and love trying new and delicious restaurants.

Am leaving in 3 days for Paris...then Spain...oh am I excited!
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:45 PM
  #19  
 
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Tropicalkerry,

I think it was about 6 by 6 inches. No, I don't remember a price, but the ones I saw were in a cheap little souvenir store, so I don't think they'd be very expensive. When you see the actual mosaic in Pompeii, it's pretty large. I'm wouldn't be surprised if you could get the tile in other sizes. Just a guess.

While I didn't buy one, I did buy a guidebook which has a full color picture of the mosaic, and I hope to copy it in cross stitch one of these days.
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Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:59 PM
  #20  
 
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Aside from seeing cathedrals, castles (we have been to about 120), etc. our favourite things to do in Europe are:

Sitting in the town square in the evening.

Participating in cooking classes. I actually miss cooking when on vacation as I love it so much!

Browsing/salivating in grocery/food specialty stores.

Attending symphonies, plays, concerts in castles, theatre...

Getting to know B&B owners and obtain suggestions from them on things to see that others don't know about.

Finding ways to converse with locals, even if you don't know the language.

Enjoying local cuisine.

Walking, walking, walking. Deliberately getting lost.
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