The travel thread

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#1
In response to @Khartun's question about suggestions of what to visit in New Orleans I thought we could expand that idea and talk about the places we visited, what we liked, what we didn't and so on.

We can also showcase where we have been, so we might learn about new places.

This summer I'm going to Slovakia with the lady. We stop in the Czech Republic first (in Plzen).
In Slovakia we'll visit the capital Bratislava.

After that we move on to some smaller towns and cities like Nitra
, Banska Bystrica
, Spisska Sobota
, the medieval town of Levoca
, the ice caves of Dobsinka
, the ruines of the biggest castle of central-Europe Spisky Hrad
, the open air museum of Stara Lubovna
, the national park of Pienniny
, the Tatra national park
and the glacier lake of Strbske Pleso.

I'm quite looking forward to it.
 
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ofer

Journeyed there and back again
#3
Ok, here is my travel tip for the day. The next time any of you is thinking of a vacation in Thailand, consider going to Vietnam instead:

1. It's cheaper. Not that Thailand is expensive, but still...
2. Vietnam is currently in what I consider ideal period for tourists - not overly commercialized with tons of tourists, but still toured enough to make it very easy to travel within the country.
3. In terms of scenery, it is one of the most beautiful countries in South-East Asia. If you go there, whatever you do don't miss out on Halong Bay:
halong.jpg
4. You can choose any sort of vacation you prefer - you can either lie down on the beach in Nha Trang, or go trekking in Sapa, or (like I did) both.
5. The food is great. It's a combination of eastern food with French cuisine (the French ruled there for several decades).

And in case you're worried, they don't hate Westerners there. The war is long over with. The Vietnamese are really nice people. When I traveled on the train there I shared a cabin with 3 middle-aged women who, when they saw I had no food (it was only a 12 hours ride) insisted on sharing their hard-boiled eggs with me. The whole experience was a really nice one - for a minute I thought I shared a cabin with Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. :)

I spent there about a month, which is just enough to see most of the country.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#4
Yeah, I'm a sucker for castles. I visited quite a few in England and Wales a couple of years back. So I'm looking forward to that beauty.

Great rec, @ofer. I never really felt any attraction to go to Thailand because of its mass tourism. That and your comments make Vietnam sound like a cool interesting place to visit if I'm ever going to Southeast Asia.
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#5
I'll be leaving for Barcelona this Friday together with my girlfriend; the first time I'm going and I'm really looking forward to it. The weather will be great (28°C) and there's plenty of things to see. Next I'll be visiting Riga with some friends (in August) and in September I have another trip planned to London. My girlfriend lived in Watford for a year and she likes to go back to London occacionally; last time we've been there was end of 2014. She likes the more well known destinations, but I'd like to do something different sometimes, hence the trip to Riga with my friends.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#6
What are you going to visit in Barcelona @Jakyro?

I myself visited Tallinn for a couple of hours three years back. It was fun, so I'm curious how you find the experience.
 

l3gacy

Dr. Awesomesauce
Staff member
#7
I'm going to the Tennessee mountains in July... not quite as sexy as going somewhere in Europe but I got a nice cabin with no internet for a week and I get to drive to Knoxville once or twice for barbecue and stuff.
 

Sir Arthur

Journeyed there and back again
#9
I'm going to the Tennessee mountains in July... not quite as sexy as going somewhere in Europe but I got a nice cabin with no internet for a week and I get to drive to Knoxville once or twice for barbecue and stuff.
Just remember, if you hear banjo music coming from a remote cabin, do not go investigate!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Jakyro

Journeyed there and back again
#11
What are you going to visit in Barcelona @Jakyro?
I myself visited Tallinn for a couple of hours three years back. It was fun, so I'm curious how you find the experience.
We don't have everything planned out yet, but we are definitely visiting Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell.
Sagrada Familia

Parc Guell

I'd also like to visit Camp Nou:

Our hotel is in the center of the town so a lot of interesting places are pretty nearby so we still have time to figure out what to do. We'll probably spend some time as well at the beach, enjoying the good weather. We'll have plenty of that ;)
 

Sneaky Burrito

Crazy Cat Lady
Staff member
#13
We don't have everything planned out yet, but we are definitely visiting Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell.
Both of those are pretty cool. Haven't been in about 15 years but it's all coming back to me with those photos.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#15
Just back (Stone me! About 4 weeks - time flies!) from a guided tour of the archaeology of the Orkney Islands. Not cheap, but pretty good value provided you don't make the mistake I made and eat so much at the hotel that a day off becomes necessary (daren't be more than 10 minutes from a comfy sit-down loo!). Younger readers probably want to do more of their own thing, but this was a good trip for the more mature traveller wanting to learn some history. Do it at the right time of year - Orkney weather is not as enjoyable as the likely weather at various other destinations described in earlier messages!
Off to Suffolk next week - Aldbrough and Constable Country.
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#17
What kind of archaeology is there on the Orkney Islands? Mostly Viking remnants, or Celtic/other as well?
Answering in a bit of a rush . . . Proper 'archaeology' . . . Well, the Orkneys are so far north they never had a 'Roman Period' like happened in the rest of the British Isles. The Roman Period is generally reckoned to follow the Early Iron Age. So the Orkney stuff goes from neolithic early farming settlement (>4000 years ago) through the stone circle builders (Ring of Brodgar, et al) through bronze into iron age at slightly different times from most of Europe. Orkney Iron Age types had a habit of building underground (understandable, given the weather) but occasionally went to extremes - deep pit 20/25 feet almost straight down, with room for two or three people at the bottom (3 if they are good friends!) - not even room to light a fire - usually assumed to have a religious or ritual function (translation: we haven't the faintest idea why!).
From there, not much changes until the arrival of Christian missionaries. The Viking problems that affected the rest of Britain also didn't happen in quite the same way because the islands belonged to Norway at the time. After that we go to Early Mediaeval, the islands were pawned to the British throne to raise money for dowry, and never redeemed - so they are now part of UK. In theory, Norway could ask for them back (for about 10 years GDP - megabucks!)
Then - not exactly archaeology, but Scapa Flow was an important naval base for two World Wars - and a POW camp for captured Italians who built a fantastic little chapel in a couple of Nissen huts.
It's worth a web search!
Cheers
 

Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#19
It certainly seems like it.

I love this stuff (history teacher degree), it's quite extensive, despite saying 'in a bit of a rush'. Big thank you @Nuomer1.
Hi Griffin
Your profile is not very informative . . . History degree from UK university or are you what a friend of mine once described as a "Transatlantic Rebel Colonist"?
I ask (in part) because my co-author is also a history graduate - we spend many happy (and slightly drunken) hours arguing over the importance and relevance of his history background against my general science.
 

Griffin

Journeyed there and back again
#20
History degree from UK university or are you what a friend of mine once described as a "Transatlantic Rebel Colonist"?
Neither I'm afraid. I'm from a surrealistic place called Belgium (commonly mistaken for Brussels). I'm got bachelor of education at Artevelde College in Ghent (history and geography), and mastered in political sciences which I just finished.


we spend many happy (and slightly drunken) hours arguing over the importance and relevance of his history background against my general science.
Must be fun ramblings. I reminds me of some exposition in the Malazan Book of the Fallen about the history of peoples/humanity and how that affects culture, sciences etc. I think it's a great asset your co-author is history graduate. That immediately makes me curious what setting you're exploring with your book.