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Full Version: On the Road Again: The Travel Thread
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ferraro
pink - i'd recommend just getting off the beaten path somewhat in rome and just walking along river and poking into the little shops on the side streets. also, the bathrooms in the mcdonalds across from the tivoli fountain are fuckin' unreal.

also, i lived in a big cruise ship town in alaska for a while and i know that before they left the tourists off the ship they prepped them with this list of "approved businesses" (which of course were cruise ship owned places) and said that all other businesses on that list were ethically questionable and all sorts of other stuff. they might not give out such a list on your cruise since youre going to such big and varied cities, but if they do keep an open mind...

question - i want so study either french of spanish somewhere foreign for about a month in february. hopefully somewhere with a really low cost of living... anyone have any suggestions?

i read the book "the female nomad" about this woman who has a divorce and just decides to sell all of her stuff and take off around the world traveling... i am so inspired right now.
greenbean
Speaking of books...has anyone read "A Year in the World" by Frances Mayes? I havent but
I became interested after hearing her interviewed on NPR.
She wrote "Under the Tuscan Sun", which I havent read either cuz seems to be geared toward
middle-aged women (no offense to middle-aged women, just don't know if its for me..)

Anyway, looks like I may be selling/tossing out most of my earthly possesions and heading to Berlin!
Yikes! Its kinda weird how attached I get to certain objects,,,I've been doing inventory of all my things and I'm like, 'shoot, do I really wanna get rid of THAT?' eventho I hardly appreciate it.
palindrome
hey all...er, it's been a looong time since I posted and was mostly a lurking lurker anyway...
ANYWAY I am going to New Zealand this winter/their summer to bike around and I was wondering if any of you ladies had been there/heard things and had any tips.
It's going to be my first big trip by myself -- or rather without my whole family, I am taking someone with me -- so really, anything would be appreciated, including travel tips in general.
Also I hope everyone is having a LOVELY time, where ever they are...
venetia
I know a couple of things about New Zealand!

heh heh. Maybe I can give you some tips. So, where abouts are you going to go? Flying in via Auckland?
indiechick
@greenbean: i pm'ed you in case you have any more questions. i am a berlin native and spent 24 out of 26 years of my life here. if i could live anywhere, it would either be here (germany-wide), london (europe-wide) or new york (world-wide). but london and nyc are just too expensive. ;-)
palindrome
yep, flying in via Auckland..after that I haven't mapped my route out much....or...at all. The original plan was to go to Portugal and cycle through Spain and France and it only just changed.
mouni4
Hi Greenbean,
here some other suggestions for Germany:

many like the typical university-cities are often told to have a cool feel - for example Heidelberg and Freiburg are very much appreciated for that (don't know the city-names in english though), but they are much, much smaller in size than a metropolitan city like Berlin.

I'm every now and then around Munich and the feel is also ok, the people from the different regions of Germany are also not all alike.

Maybe one could also list as an interesting centre for many things Hamburg, one of the greatest cities in the North of Germany.

And by the way - don't know the book, but the film "Under the Tuscan Sun" is really great!!!!

So far my 2 cents: I'm from Germany and if anyone needs any info let me know:

@Octobersky
You wrote: I will probably be on the taller side of things -
reminds me of "Lost in translation" if you get the chance to see this film which is about an American in Japan you will know the scene I'm speaking of- maybe ta super-yummy way to prepare yourself for Japan is watching this film.Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wink.gif
ferraro
also, greenbean. while poking around/obsessively reading the thorntree message board, i came across people talking about how berlin is the gay mecca of europe. which i think always bodes well about a city.

here is the website. its basically travel porn.

http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/
venetia
Palindrome, you will probably want to spend most of your time in The South Island (Aotearoa is basically two islands, and Auckland is in the top third of the North Island).

Um, I should also come clean and admit I'm a new zealander and you will in fact be flying in to my city! I was just having a little joke below. smile.gif
wombat
Is that Fribourg, actually in Switzerland? Mary Daly studied there.
mandolyn
please forgive the x-post, but i could use some advice asap:

i booked a room directly at a best western and they want freaking $188 for one night. i don't care, but come on, on principle alone, $188 for a best western? meanwhile, if i book thru expedia or hotel.com, i can get it for $90. but the best western person said those rooms aren't guaranteed (which i'm sure they're programmed to say). we really need a room for that night, the mr said not to take any chances - we're going to an evening wedding, 1.5 hrs away, and looking forward to the after-party more than the actual reception. but i'm tempted to take my chances with expedia. how can they NOT guarantee a room when they charge your credit card immediately upon booking?

thanks in advance for any and all help!
greenbean
Thanks guys!
I agree with you ferraro. I live in San Francisco, and yes, gays do liven up a city!
cecilia
Mandolyn - I worked at a hotel for five years, maybe I can help. Whenever you give a credit card number, the reservation is guaranteed. Hotels.com charges the card right away, and Expedia may or may not, depending on their arrangement with the hotel, but even if they don't it's still guaranteed because the cc number goes to the hotel for them to charge it. It sounds like someone on the property level may have screwed up the rate in the computer interface and was trying to keep you from booking it while they fixed it. Also, sometimes if there are no longer rooms available, it will show a rate on the website but then when you go to book it, it will say it's not available. If I were you, I would book it online if the rate is still available, and then call the property about an hour later to confirm. (It takes a while for the reservation to get transmitted to the property.) Just check the cancellation policy first, because you don't want to be charged if you cancel. Once the reservation goes through they can't up the rate on you, unless you lie about how many people you have or something like that. Hope that helps.
mouni4
Wombat, no it's not the same - though it is the near the swiss and french border. Here's a short english introduction for Freiburg in Germany:
www.freiburg.de/6/0/6/index.php
pollystyrene
Has anyone been to Salt Lake City? I'm going there for 8 days in October (18th-26th) for a business conference. I don't know how much free time I'll have, but there will be times when I'll need a meal and I know that I'll have time (a couple of hours) before my plane leaves for home on the 26th. I'm staying at the Grand America Hotel and most of what I'm doing is happening there or the Salt Palace Convention Center. There's a day trip to have breakfast and see a rehearsal of the choir, but it's $70, and I can't really afford that. Is there any good food (anything! I'm adventurous!), or stuff to see around this area? I'm not sure if my company will pay for any additional transportation, so the closer the better.
yuefie
I live in San Diego and would like to visit my grandfather who lives in outside of Detroit, but would also like to see the family I have in 'burbs of Chicago, and my cousin who lives just outside of St Louis. That's an awful lot of flying so I need to figure it out financially. I suppose really it's just the airfare, as I wouldn't need hotels. Anyone here adept with budget travel? Any particular airlines or websites I should check out?
butterfly
Hey Yuefie,

JetBlue is a budget airline that DOESN'T fly where you want to go sad.gif (but worth bearing in mind for other trips!)

Southwest is a budget airline that DOES fly where you want to go. biggrin.gif

If they don't help you, google your airport- it should have a list of airlines that fly out, and you can begin the arduous task of cross referencing!

I'd recommend shopping around a little anyway.
I'd also weigh up sticking with one airline, or it's affliates, so that you can join it's dividend/reward program- even if you can't redeem your miles on these trips, they may help you out in the future.
Also, you can then bunny-hop, rather than buy a bunch of singles.

Thorntree is a forum on the Lonely Planet website, (which doesn't manage the number of threads!). It might come up with something interesting.

My best travel advice regarding flights is: hang out with Cabin Crew. It's what I do! tongue.gif

I hope this helps a little- and that you have a great trip!

The reason I came in here is because I found this site, and I thought it would do more good in here than in Bizarro....taking the subway
faerietails
also don't forget to try expedia and priceline, and definitely play around with the dates you're travelling on, because sometimes it's cheaper to fly on Mon-Thurs. and if you're a student, you might want to also try studentuniverse.com, especially if you're planning on going a few months from now. sometimes they offer really great prices, sometimes they don't. but it's worth checking in to.
mornington
Does anyone (greenbean, indie, I'm looking at you!) know of some cheap hotels in london? Or websites that tell you these things?
indiechick
@mornington: we found our hotel from a german website called hotel reservation services. i don't know if you can use it when you are not from germany. we paid 205 pounds for four nights in a double room in a hotel whose price list (mounted on the wall in our hotel room) claimed that a single night would be 100 pounds. so we saved quite some money.

i think the hotel was called "city hotel and apartments" in osborn lane (aldgate).

ETA: i just took a look at the above-mentioned site again and saw that you can switch the language to english. so there shouldn't be a problem with booking a hotel room.
butterfly
Mornington, lastminute.com usually have some good deals- though sometimes it pays off to call the hotel yourself as well before you book.
Didn't easyjet start up a no frills hotel in London? Not sure I could manage an orange
room though.

ETA Orangie Goodness
sybarite
Mornington, I stayed here: http://www.rushmore-hotel.co.uk/

It was about £60, really well located (2 mins walk from earl's court tube) and clean if a little shabby. You'd probably get a better room now though; I stayed in the summer.
mornington
yay! cheers syb, indie and butterly (omg, so very orange!). I'll pass this on to F!
raisingirl
OMG, that hotel really is no-frills! I've only used their Internet cafes. Wow. Don't think I could handle the no-window rooms.
bunnyb
mornington, travel lodge supposedly quite cheap.
dani837
QUOTE(faerietails @ Sep 30 2006, 09:31 PM) *

also don't forget to try expedia and priceline, and definitely play around with the dates you're travelling on, because sometimes it's cheaper to fly on Mon-Thurs. and if you're a student, you might want to also try studentuniverse.com, especially if you're planning on going a few months from now. sometimes they offer really great prices, sometimes they don't. but it's worth checking in to.

All those website are sooo expensive. You would probably get a better deal if you go and talk with a travel agent.
But if oyu still want to get a ticket online(and you are a student) you should try statravel.com too.
auralpoison
Actually, with the rise of internet self-booking, travel agencies have begun charging exorbitant fees for mere things like issuing a paper ticket. I like airgorilla.com. Got me to England, the Netherlands & the Czech Republic on the krazy cheap.
sybarite
Mornington, I have had to research more LDN hotels today and found these 2, which appear well recommended: http://www.dover-hotel.co.uk/tariffs.html and http://www.thewestminsterhotel.com/index.html
sybarite
Bumping before it disappears!
cecilia
I'm studying in abroad in Tokyo next semester. I've never been there before and am really looking forward to it. If anyone here lives there or has been there, I'd really appreciate any tips you could give me. My school is trying to arrange a trip for us to go to the Sopporo snow festival, which sounds awesome. I'm looking for an apartment in Tokyo right now, I've seen that there are several in my budget that are in the Ikebukuro area. If anyone knows if that's a good area, please let me know. I'm going to be in Tokyo for at least six months, so if anyone knows any great areas or events that shouldn't be missed - in Tokyo, and Japan generally, I would be much obliged. Any recommendations on the best travel guides would also be appreciated. Thank you!!!
zoya
my biggest recommendation for Tokyo is go on Amazon and buy a Tokyo City Atlas. It sounds nuts, but Tokyo is so big, and the addresses so confusing that that book will save your ass. It's the best $18.00 you'll ever spend.
cecilia
Thank you! I will do that.
superscience
Hi all!

I have some Marriott Rewards points (hotel stays for free!) that I gotta use-or-lose, so my friend and I decided to go to Toronto for New Year's (12/29-1/1). Neither of us have ever been there. We're staying at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Toronto, and are looking for fun stuff to do. We're most interested in: dyke bars/clubs, good restaurants (brunch and sushi are our favorites), good bookstores, good any-other-kinda-cool-stores and such, and something fun to do on New Year's Eve. Anyone have any tips?

thanks!
raisingirl
Bumping for the new year so I can continue to armchair travel. ::heaves a heavy le sigh::
mornington
ok then... F has five days in london.

so far... the eye, the tate modern, traf square/westminster/st james/buck house, camden... where else should I take this boy?

evenings especially.
bunnyb
by buck house do you mean buckingham palace? wink.gif

St Paul's, Harrod's, Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Portobello Road

when's he over?
mornington
yup, buckingham palace is in fact buckingham house. true story.

ooh, st paul's. harrods we may well do, if we finish with all the bookshops (we're going to Housemans, Foyles, Waterstones on traf square, then Jarndyces and Quintos, both opposite the British Library, and maybe Hatchards as well... and that place in soho that sells art books in one window and sex toys in the other rolleyes.gif )

actual date to be confirmed, but it looks like the first or second wednesday of feburary.
bunnyb
I knew the bookshops would be a given!

Go to St Paul's then walk across Millenium Bridge to Tate Modern then down to the Eye, remember to turn and look back at St. Paul's from South end of bridge!
mornington
pfft... i was thinking exactly that! i love that view, but i couldn't remember if you could get to the eye from the modern... i clearly spend too much time in north london.



he likes bookshops. what can i say *grin*

bunnyb
not sure (I've never been to the Eye), I know it's a lot further down the Thames than Embankment... would make a nice walk along past South Bank (and a book market) or a short ride on the tube (are you ensuring he invests in an oyster card?)
sybarite
I like the idea of a riverside walk. I'd also hit up the V&A if they have something good on. And the National Gallery. Camden Market (oh wait, you said that already I think).

For evenings: good chinese in chinatown. Theatre if you're into it. If you feel like it you could hit up the chichi Notting Hill pubs or Camden clubs (no specific recs as I'm too uncool to know).

When we were teens my dad took us to see the Tower of London, which we liked at the time. I personally think Madame Tussaud's is overrated...
bunnyb
Madame Tussaud's is definitely overrated.

I love the V&A.

If you're going to take in a show I can't recommend Wicked or The Lion King enough.
teocalli
Hi. I'm looking for advice and information on Richmond, Virginia. I might relocate there for work.

If you know Richmond well, please tell me about the social climate there. Is there any alternative/artsy/queer life there? Is it totally conservative? Is it bicycle friendly?

Thanks for any info you can give me.
fina
Mornington, don't forget the Black Friar's Pub!

Best.pub.ever. But watch out for the cloudy cider. Lovely but debilitating.
tesao
mr hotbuns and i are thinking that our next rendez-vous might be in istanbul. anyone been there? any advice as to what to do, what to avoid?
kids can travel
Living in Italy isn’t just about food and wine

I'm an American living in Italy. Yes the food and wine are great. The
mountains, sea and countryside are all within a two-hour drive. Yet the
weekly trip to the market leaves me a bit unnerved even after 10 years!
While I've learned to fight my way to the front of the horizontal line
that looks more like a mob scene than a queue, after the 10th elbow in
the rib I still wish Italians would learn to say 'excuse me'! But I’ve found a way to turn my pain into humor. I say excuse me and inwardly laugh with each and every blank stare!!!
nickclick
double spam. ick.

thinking about spending all my savings and then some to go to a friend's wedding in peru this summer. any traveler's advice?
mornington
ok... london to new york... suggestions please.

squee
indiechick
mornington, i envy you. cool.gif i highly recommend having knishes at the lower east side (i think... the address is listed on the webpage). i have been to nyc three times and that's where i always go.

then i'd suggest the moma, a walk through central park, canal street jeans (if it still exists), the guggenheim, kitschy strawberry fields and so much more stuff. and venture out of manhattan, there's so much more to nyc than just the skyscrapers. oh, i forgot: sunset on the empire state building. nothing more cheesy than that.
lapis
QUOTE(tesao @ Jan 22 2007, 02:02 PM) *

mr hotbuns and i are thinking that our next rendez-vous might be in istanbul. anyone been there? any advice as to what to do, what to avoid?



Hi, is this still a valid possibility? You have to see the nightlife in Taksim, particularly a bar called Araf. There' s also a great reggae bar there and live music. I would take the ferry to the Asian side and see the Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar. I would probably try to find a Turkish friend for the shopping because it is easier. If you like crowds these locales are an experience. If you like lower key stuff you can eat fish by the water, drink raki with melon and cheese in Taksim, see the blue mosque and Aya Sofia. When would you go? And if you are more of an eating or shopping traveler, I could give some suggestions about that.

It's pretty safe if you keep your money on your body and don't dress so much like a tourist (no tee shirts and khakis or jewelry on every finger). Also, the buses are super easy to use, so you can move around well. The currency's easy to use but sometimes people still put millions on the bills so don't freak out.
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