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Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?  Actions...
Posted: by aquamaureen on Thu. 19 Jul., 2012 at 4:03:33 PM
We had thought of doing the British Isles (Do they still use that term?) this fall, but we have changed our minds and decided that our first foray in that side of the world will be in eastern Europe.   We thought we would fly into Vienna (I know, it's technically in western Europe) and do Prague and some of the other cities/countries in the area.   

I can get a lot of information on-line, but first hand information is often much better. For example, my brother, who worked for NATO in Bosnia years ago, has suggested that we put Split on our itinerary. So, any suggestions as to where to go and what to do (and where not to go and what not to do) would be most appreciated.

aquamaureen
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Europe  Actions...
Posted: by daffodil_ on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 7:29:31 AM
In reply to: aquamaureen "Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?"
Some people might suggest going to a travel agency, lol - see thread below!

There's so much to see in Europe, that you can either see a lot of a few places, or little bits of many places (the if-it's-tuesday-it-must-be-Vienna tour!).   I would definitely plan.  Vienna to Prague is a very popular route, and many people add in a third place.  You might want to look at your flight routes and see where/if you change, and spend time there.

I haven't been to Croatia, but would like to, and we'd likely spend most of the trip there as we like to see all the small places, hike around etc. and that would include Split.  That's also not eastern Europe, but an easy flight from Frankfurt I think.

Have you read any books on Europe, eastern or otherwise?  I would pick some up from the library, or buy a book and decide where to go and how much to see.  Have you checked travel sites?  I don't consider Chatelaine a travel site; try Rick Steves - there's lots including Europe, Eastern Europe etc. Foders also has some good information, and then of course you can look at each country's tourist site and many will send you good information.  Any help?

daffodil_
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Posted: by Carol_cp on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 8:09:21 AM
In reply to: aquamaureen "Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?"
daffodil gave some execellent advice.The Rick Steves site has excellent information and forums.He has wonderful series of DVD's too.I also like the Frommers website.There is a good forum there too.

Again,I will suggest using the services of a travel agent.Ask some of your friends if they have anyone they can recommend.Travel agents have the same access to discounts (or often even better) than those internet travel websites.

Croatia is a hot spot now amd anyone that I've heard speak about Split enjoyed their time there.Of course there is Budapest and Prague and Krakow,Poland is also popular.Both dd and ds have been to that part of Eastern Europe and along with many people I know who have been there,all the comments have been positive.






Carol_cp
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Posted: by Artemis on Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 at 2:00:16 PM
In reply to: Carol_cp "Reply"

I agree about Rick Steves, particularly his TV series. Really gives you a sense of the various places, better than a book. Check your library to see if they have the DVDs.

For a slightly quirkier take on the region, I also recommend Michael Palin's New Europe. I love all his travel documentaries, and in this one he went to all the former "iron curtain" countries. I just googled it and found this site where you can watch all the episodes online. (They're actually YouTube vids but saves you all the searching to find the good quality ones.)

ETA: sure enough, the same site also has the Rick Steves videos.

“I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down.”

Artemis
edited Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 @ 2:00:57 PM by Artemis
edited Fri. 20 Jul., 2012 @ 2:01:35 PM by Artemis
 
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We're taking a riverboat cruise  Actions...
Posted: by Bonita_again_ on Thu. 26 Jul., 2012 at 7:29:20 PM
In reply to: aquamaureen "Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?"

Next year DH and I are cruising from Prague to Budapest along the Danube with stops in Germany and Austria.  We're older and now find the group tours to be the way to go.

Sometimes you can get excellent advice from posters here regarding travel.  Someone gave me a tip on a hotel in Amsterdam a couple of years ago and we loved it.

In the past I always used Rick Steves or went to the library and got books.  We always use a travel agent to help us finalize things.  We're celebrating 50 years of marriage in 2013 so that should tell you how old we are.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, which is why it's called present.

Bonita_again_
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Eastern Europe...  Actions...
Posted: by TheCoho on Tue. 31 Jul., 2012 at 12:55:50 PM
In reply to: aquamaureen "Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?"

AM...my  son was in Croatia and Slovenia earlier this year. He jumped his cruise ship a day early and with friends rented a car so they could tour the region more extensively! I was interested in his reports because I travelled that area pretty intensively when it was all the former nation of Yugoslavia.

Anyway, my son reported positively about the whole experience. Definitely put Split on your itinerary (Diocletian's Palace is worth half a day) and you could also take a side trip to Trogir just up the coast from Split. From Split you will also want to travel south to Dubrovnik...a sort of land version of Venice! As "Ragusa" it was part of the Venetian empire and many of its buildings are reminiscent of Venetian architecture. You might also want to venture out to the islands off the Dalmatian Coast (Hvar and Korcula are the biggest) and make them part of your stay.  OK...that's just Croatia. September is perfect there for weather, by the way. Not too hot but still warm enough to enjoy swimming in the Adriatic.

You could  investigate travelling further south into Montenegro (Crna Gora) which is also independent. The coast line is breathtaking from both the sea and by road (not the best roads and beware of the drivers) and the various towns (Budva, Sveti Stefan) all have something of interest or beauty. You will want to taste the wines!

I've been to both Vienna and Prague. Both are big touristy cities with lots of city type tourism so you could "do" those then head over to the Adriatic Coast for a change.

By the way, I am a big fan of Lonely Planet, both their guidebooks and their website. Google them and start reading. They cater more for the adventurer.

Re using a travel agent and with all due respect to travel agents, my experience with them has not been positive in recent years. Most of them only want to sell you a land package or a cruise to places they don't know first hand. I questioned my neighbour (who IS a travel agent) about this and she confirmed as much. They earn based on commission and they don't make commission on Croatian railway tickets!

 

Coho salmon are prized for their excellent fighting abilities and acrobatics

TheCoho
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aquamaureen  Actions...
Posted: by rusel on Wed. 1 Aug., 2012 at 6:56:05 AM
In reply to: aquamaureen "Specific suggestions re eastern Europe?"
Are you still looking for suggestions?

rusel
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