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April, outside U.S., @ 11 days, where?

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Aug 27th, 2012, 07:13 PM
  #1
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April, outside U.S., @ 11 days, where?

I'm itching to get out of the country (U.S.) and finally we'll have both the time and money together, to do so! Might be traveling with friends (which would need its own thread). So we'd be two couples in our early fifties and sixties, who enjoy food, music, farm markets and crafts, architecture, history, art, but more than anything just walking around and making discoveries. Enjoy beautiful scenery too, doesn't have to all be urban. Embarrassed to say that amongst four of us, only one other language, Spanish, and a pre-101 level Italian. But I could learn a traveler's level of another language, between now and April!

The others are interested in Barcelona but I've already been there and while I loved it, there are SO many places I've yet to go that I'm reluctant to go back (tho' I might, and if I do, what would you pair it with?)

Other places I've already been are Rome, London, west coast of Mexico (small town of Melaque), and many parts of Canada.

Starting out from Philadelphia. The 11 days don't count travel days. My husband and I (not so much the other couple) are rather slow travelers...when we hear about all the places other people went on their trips, we know we'd not do half the amount, as it would feel tiring rather than enjoyable to us. We're in fine shape and love to explore, but we also love to savor. Plus, time just being together...it IS vacation!

Beginning thoughts have been about Paris (in which case, stay there whole time?), about Scandinavian countries, Portugal, Guatemala...all very different options, obviously. So would love to hear your recommendations....please share your passion for places you love! I'm a little overwhelmed by so many choices.
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Aug 27th, 2012, 07:36 PM
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Also should add interested in gardens,and different spiritual paths.
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Aug 27th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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If the local language is a concern, in Belize they speak English. Tell us a little more about what you want to see.
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Aug 28th, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Don't worry about the lack of language. That has never been a problem, especially when you're talking major cities of Europe.

Where do YOU want to go?

Paris and Guatemala are pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum for travel experiences! We could list a million great places.

Do you have a good world map? Pin that up on the wall and stare at it for awhile, seriously
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Aug 28th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Thanks for the responses, I know this is way too vague. That's my exact problem, there are SO many places I want to go, that I'm overwhelmed. Good problem to have, I guess. Funny you should say that, Suze, that's exactly what I did, I stared at a world map, and that's how I came up with the vastly different list of Paris, Scandinavian countries, Portugal and Guatemala, for no particular reason (I've actually always wanted to go to New Zealand but don't have enough time for that one yet). Maybe I need to go read somewhere about the world's wonders and see which ones are calling to me. I thought maybe if I heard about other people's passions it might help...probably I have to browse here a little more, and I'll find that.
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Aug 29th, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Our only trip across the Atlantic was to Lisbon and then back to Terciera (Azores). I still wish we had made it to the Algarve on the south coast of Portugal.
Good luck on your choice.
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Aug 29th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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OK then, sure I'll share my passions....

For Europe, I love Switzerland. But that's in part because I'm lucky enough to have friends living there in Vevey/Montreux and gotten to know it well (5x). I have visited and loved also Venice (2x), Amsterdam (1x), Paris (1x).

My go-to place for relaxation is Puerto Vallarta (20x) Mexico. I'd move there tomorrow if I could figure out how. I've also been to La Paz (1x) and Cabo (1x) in Mexico. For the Caribbean I've been to Jamaica (3x), Dominican Republic (2x), USVI (1x). I also love Waikiki, Oahu (4x) and Maui (1x) in Hawaii and since I'm in Seattle it's relatively easy and quick to get to.

Go to the library and check out a big stack of guidebooks of all your "finalist" destinations and look thru at the maps, photos, and what's up there. Watch travel TV shows. Read travel magazines for more ideas.
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Aug 29th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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I used to go regularly to New Zealand until the dollar weakened, and now I go regularly to Peru.

It has a combination of spectacular scenery in the Andes, indigenous cultures, food markets and fantastic cuisine, archaeology, colonial architecture, and a good range of accommodation price points.

Eleven days is a good amount of time for a visit that includes 7 to 8 days in the Sacred Valley (including Cusco and Machu Picchu), a few days in Lima at the back end.
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Aug 29th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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In April, I would avoid mountain areas and northern Europe as if will still be pretty cold..at least it was when we traveled in London and France in early April. Portugal is a lovely country, friendliest people we've encountered on our travels.
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Sep 1st, 2012, 06:00 AM
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Thanks...am intrigued by both Portugal and Peru and will research more. Have become clear that I do want a combo of urban and spectacular scenery, which could either be doing a big city for roughly half the time and then traveling to beautiful surrounding countryside (or mountains, water), or could be going somewhere where urban is also beautiful.
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Sep 1st, 2012, 06:22 AM
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You can take a train from Oriente (East) station in Lisbon to get to southern Portugal. From there you switch to the local train. http://www.algarvebus.info/006.htm
Enjoy your trip wherever you go.
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