Where oh where shall we go next?

Jun 29th, 2000, 04:54 PM
the turnip
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Where oh where shall we go next?

Greetings oh wise and all knowing Fodorites. I have an easy question for you all.
All I really want is your opinion.

Where to go???

My wife and I are in our mid 30's and live in a small town in the midwest. We love the "must see's" in the big cities but can take only so much of the hustle and bustle, smog and crowds before we need to escape to the smaller towns. For example, we loved Vienna but had just as much fun in Halstatt. I know some people can spend their whole life in NYC or the like but not us. We are budget travelers who save and save so that we can travel. We enjoy good food and drink but not haute cusine and prefer B&B's to 5 star hotels. We enjoy museums, architecture, light hiking and are willing to drive or use the train.

Where have we been? London and Paris. Most of Germany including Bavaria, Northern and the Mosel Valley. Most of Austria. Some of Switzerland, mostly the Berner Oberland. Some of the Czech Republic, including Prague. Italy was our most recent stop stretching from the Amalfi Coast to Venice.

When do we want to go? Preferably shoulder season. May and September have seemed to work the best for us with a preference to April and May over the fall.

Where do we want to go? Oh the choices! Several destinations have been kicked around but we're definately open to new suggestions. Spain - see the Moorish historical things? Belgium/Netherlands - fly into Amsterdam then explore as many new beers and chocolate places as we can find in Belgium? Poland - Have heard it's beautiful but the language barrier? France other than Paris?

What I'd really like to hear are your heartfelt opinions on why I should go here.

Many thanks in advance from the turnip.
Jun 29th, 2000, 05:07 PM
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Wales or Yorkshire!
Jun 29th, 2000, 05:09 PM
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Even though you might not want to go back to Italy right away - I would suggest Puglia (the heel of the boot). Wonderful food, fabulous history (Norman, Greek, Moors, German - everybody owned it at one time or another) and it's incredibly reasonable. We stayed at a great agriturismo in a one bedroom apartment for 7 days for $500USD including breakfast delivered to your room; one dinner; and several trips to the bar. Email me directly if you would like more information.
Jun 29th, 2000, 06:12 PM
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I haven't personally been, but how about -- Morocco (you could even extend your Spanish trip, take a ferry across to N. Africa)...or Israel (seems very spiritual to the soul).
Jun 29th, 2000, 08:42 PM
mariana kerr
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Scotland is WONDERFUL....the higlands, isle of Skye, isle of Mull etc. then slip down through the lake district of northwest England and over to north WAles. WAles is great for hiking , around the snowdonia....sightseeing, and driving the countryside...castles, mountains, green, green, green etc.
How about Belgium, northern germany, on up to Denmark,and there is a bridge now opened over to Sweden.
Portugal is great (we lived there for 2 years ago) 20 yrs. ago...and on over to Spain.
Northern FRance, Normandy, Loire Valley, and very interesting and fun to drive.
(We usually have a car, but all the above places are great by train also.)
Southern France.....Provence area is also VERY nice......
Jun 29th, 2000, 09:00 PM
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Barcelona, then north along the coast and into France as far as Perpignan.

Bordeaux, then on to the Dordogne Valley or the west coast into Basque region.

Athens, and then onto the Greek islands

I second the suggestion for Morocco.
Jun 30th, 2000, 04:41 AM
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If you have to have a back-up, I would suggest Scotland.

For a first timer to Spain, I would suggest the Andalucia Region- Seville, Granada, Cordova, Pueblos Blancos. BTW, May is a perfect month to visit Spain (the earlier in May, the better). perfect region to explore by car, the roads are very good. Spain is definitely a very inexpensive destination as far as food, car rental, hotel.
Jun 30th, 2000, 04:52 AM
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I've never been there, but I keep reading/hearing great things about the Alsace region of France. I know I love the wines and food of that region. (We in the metro Washington, DC area are lucky to have a fantastic Alsatian-French restaurant in Northern Virginia, L'Auberge Chez Francois.) Any Fodorites have info on Alsace?
Jun 30th, 2000, 04:54 AM
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Well, I love all things French, and France is such a lovely country to explore. Why not one of the wine areas - Loire Valley, Burgundy, Chablis, Bordeaux, the Coast. I never tire of France, each area is different. Also, may I suggest Rome and work your way south. Italy is wonderful as well. Good Luck and enjoy the planning.
Jun 30th, 2000, 11:12 AM
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Turnip, You sound like my kind of traveler. Let me suggest Portugal as the
last unspoiled destination in Western
Europe---the real thing. It also makes
a great combo with Andalusia---the best
of Spain. The price is right and it all
makes a wonderful 2 week trip. Contact
me if you want details.
Jun 30th, 2000, 12:14 PM
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Heresy will be forthcoming. Perhaps this should not be said on the Europe board.

Think East and Southeast.

#1 Australia - super place, great people and they speak English (sort of)

#2 Singapore - spotless, great food but tending to be competely sanitized, great place to visit for a week or so

#3 Japan - Incredibly varied and quite different. Very modern but also very traditional. Check out the amazingly efficient use of space.

Jun 30th, 2000, 12:35 PM
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Scotland....beautiful scenery, cool climate, magnificently wonderfully, nice people!!!
Jun 30th, 2000, 01:27 PM
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I agree with elvira, but I would add
the Loire River Valley. We did a trip of Renaissance castles in the Loire then drove down to St Etienne and drove the Dordogne - Medievil catles. We canoed on the river, saw the caves and did some hiking - the views were great.

Another option would be Ireland - off peak season - the pubs and sites are much less crowded and the people are even more friendly. I went in November and it was great even thought the weather was wet and cool.
Jun 30th, 2000, 01:44 PM
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Dear Neep,
A lot of good suggestions already.
May I volunteer that Britain in the spring is pretty special? A nation of gardeners, lambs frolicking, sometimes it feels like nature is erupting under your feet. Great walking, drives, villages, B&Bs, all the elements.
From south to north - the west country or East Anglia for thatchy roofy villages and pubs, wild flowers and hedgerows, Yorkshire for dales, moors, churches and stone villages, Northumberland for the beautiful coast, castles and open vistas, then into Scotland for mountains, coasts, windy walks through heather and gorse, or a ferry to the western isles...
The weather may be changable and certainly not as warm as Andalusia or Greece, but you'd have a great time, I predict.
Jun 30th, 2000, 07:20 PM
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I'm English and I don't think the weather is great anywhere around there, even in the summer, let alone off season, one of my favorite places in the world is the Greek Islands, there's loads to choose from, the weather is pleasant into October, it's cheap and it's a whole different culture. It's so laid back, If you need to know more e-mail me, I'll be happy to give you more info.
Jun 30th, 2000, 11:00 PM
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Israel, Israel, Israel.
Just love it, can't stop going back. You can't beat it for history, great beaches, markets, ruins, museums, etc. The people are friendly and you have every kind of landscape in one small country. Lots of cheap places to stay and eat, and you can take short side trips to Jordan and Egypt, what more could you ask.
Good luck and happy planning : )
Jul 1st, 2000, 03:28 AM
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Hi Ever considered Turkey.Istanbul is a great city.Great places to see and a trip up the Bosphorus is not to be missed.There is a great long distance bus network and some good air connections.Keep away from the package tour hordes and you will have a great time
Jul 1st, 2000, 03:40 AM
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Dear Turnip

How can you resist the land of your birth- haggis neeps and tatties is clearly what you were made for. Scotland in June ( rather than May- tho late May is OK) can be rather special. And we can give you a few must sees as well as off the beaten track. As to cuisine, who could resisit the deep fried mars bar?
Jul 2nd, 2000, 03:49 PM
the turnip
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I love love love it!!!

I must admit I was rather surprised by the number and vehemence of the Scotland suggestions.

amg - you suggested the Loire River Valley. You're intinerary sounded wonderful. Could you please share with me some more details?

Jul 2nd, 2000, 06:57 PM
Brenda Cool
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And my question to you, oh wise Fodorite! We're headed Amalfi way this Oct. Do you have ssuggestions about lodging in the Sorrento area? And on your way up the coast, did you visit Sperlonga area. Thoughts about staying there? We are also attracted to small, friendly areas. Would love to hear your comments. Thanx, bcool

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