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Trip to Eastern Europe - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Shankster,
Awesome critique and recommendations. But where are the best hookers yo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shanker View Post
I cannot recommend Croatia and Montenegro enough. The coasts of Split and Dubrovnik, as well as Herceg Novi and Budva are extremely underrated and offer breathtaking beauty with minimal tourists. The Montenegrian cities will meet the demands of even sophisticated travellers. Dubrovnik is a bit of a tourist trap with loads of cruise ship sheep swarming the walled Old Town on a daily basis. Still worth a vist though, but a day - maybe two are more than enough. Time invested in Split or Montenegro will likely prove more satisfying.

Having spent a good deal of time travelling solo to 27 European countries, including all the countries that border the Federation of Russia and the Black Sea except Moldova, in my experience East and "South"-Eastern Europe offer very little in the way of danger. This assuming you have some basic "street smarts" and dont put yourself in dangerous positions (ie soliciting prostitutes, trying to buy drugs, flashing your wealth, etc.). As a tourist, it is very unlikely you will encounter problems.

I should mention that I travel almost exclusively by train, including overnight journeys. Even the "infamous" Prague-Krakow O/N train offered no problems at all. My worst experience was encountered on an overnight Podgorica-Belgrad train. I was stuck on a car whose occupants delighted in chain smoking.

Romania (a bit dull) and Albania (quite dirty) were my least favorite countries, but I am glad I took the time to vist them. Zagreb was nice, but consider spending a day or two max. as I found you can see the city rather quickly. Bulgaria (Sofia) is a gem with some of the most hospitable and warm people I have come across. Bulgarians will take you into their homes w/o hesitation, treat you very well and offer their opinions on everything.

Sarajevo is historically very interesting, but keep in mind the scars of war are ever present. Bullet holes in walls, decimated buildings and "Roses" are all over the place. I was absolutely mesmerized by history you can touch and "taste", but I have talked to other Americans that were disturbed by it.

My opinion is to see E. Europe as soon as possible as things are changing at an alaming pace. Italy will always be Italy, Paris will always be Paris, but see E. Europe now before it "catches up" (not meant to be derogatory btw) with the West. The history and people are still much different than those in the West, but this will change soon.

As much as I enjoyed places like Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, I found them very Western. "True" European experiences will be found in places like Bulgaria, The Baltics and the like.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanker View Post
I cannot recommend Croatia and Montenegro enough. The coasts of Split and Dubrovnik, as well as Herceg Novi and Budva are extremely underrated and offer breathtaking beauty with minimal tourists. The Montenegrian cities will meet the demands of even sophisticated travellers. Dubrovnik is a bit of a tourist trap with loads of cruise ship sheep swarming the walled Old Town on a daily basis. Still worth a vist though, but a day - maybe two are more than enough. Time invested in Split or Montenegro will likely prove more satisfying.

Having spent a good deal of time travelling solo to 27 European countries, including all the countries that border the Federation of Russia and the Black Sea except Moldova, in my experience East and "South"-Eastern Europe offer very little in the way of danger. This assuming you have some basic "street smarts" and dont put yourself in dangerous positions (ie soliciting prostitutes, trying to buy drugs, flashing your wealth, etc.). As a tourist, it is very unlikely you will encounter problems.

I should mention that I travel almost exclusively by train, including overnight journeys. Even the "infamous" Prague-Krakow O/N train offered no problems at all. My worst experience was encountered on an overnight Podgorica-Belgrad train. I was stuck on a car whose occupants delighted in chain smoking.

Romania (a bit dull) and Albania (quite dirty) were my least favorite countries, but I am glad I took the time to vist them. Zagreb was nice, but consider spending a day or two max. as I found you can see the city rather quickly. Bulgaria (Sofia) is a gem with some of the most hospitable and warm people I have come across. Bulgarians will take you into their homes w/o hesitation, treat you very well and offer their opinions on everything.

Sarajevo is historically very interesting, but keep in mind the scars of war are ever present. Bullet holes in walls, decimated buildings and "Roses" are all over the place. I was absolutely mesmerized by history you can touch and "taste", but I have talked to other Americans that were disturbed by it.

My opinion is to see E. Europe as soon as possible as things are changing at an alaming pace. Italy will always be Italy, Paris will always be Paris, but see E. Europe now before it "catches up" (not meant to be derogatory btw) with the West. The history and people are still much different than those in the West, but this will change soon.

As much as I enjoyed places like Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, I found them very Western. "True" European experiences will be found in places like Bulgaria, The Baltics and the like.

Thanks. I really appreciate the response.

Just curious, how do you like traveling solo? I've travelled alone quite a bit for work but that's different. I've never really taken a vacation on my own. I'm certainly looking forward to it.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DucatiCole View Post
Thanks. I really appreciate the response.

Just curious, how do you like traveling solo? I've travelled alone quite a bit for work but that's different. I've never really taken a vacation on my own. I'm certainly looking forward to it.


Glad you got some use from my response.

I love solo travel! But that depends on your personality. I am outgoing and have no problems approaching strangers.

I see people travelling together and they tend to talk to each other and simply see the sites. Nothing wrong w/ that, but the sites are only a small part of travel. Meeting and interacting w/ the locals is the best way to experience the different cultures. Solo travel forces you to talk to people. They can offer tips (food, clubs, lesser known sites, etc.) that you would miss out on if you were simply using a guide book. Or you can really hit it off and spend some serious time w/ them.

My fondest memories are of people I have met and my experiences w/ them, more so than things I have seen.

Also, I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. If I dont like a particular country, I hope on the train and head to the next one. If I am enjoying a country, I can stay for as long as I want.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEARTLESS-531 View Post
Shankster,
Awesome critique and recommendations. But where are the best hookers yo?

I dont know. I have never used 'em.

But many countries have redlight districts.
post #20 of 27
If you go to Ukraine, check out Lviv. Was only there for a few days myself on my short east euro trip a few years ago, but it's an interesting city. Food was pretty horrible though.
post #21 of 27
Something I would like to do as well, always a bit mystic to me.
post #22 of 27
i took tons of night trains, it makes things cheaper as you dont have to pay for a night of accomodations. never had one problem. just be smart. sleep on your bags, i would buy the cheap seats but its never full and i would lay down across the whole thing. id lay down in a way that if someone were to come in theyd have to hit my legs etc to get to my stuff. i did take the over night train from krakow to prague. absolutely no problems. theres a trick which you buy your ticket only to the border of poland in krakow, and when you get the border of czheck buy the ticket to prague. it ended up costing me 26 euros for an over night train isntead of the 80 they wanted to charge to do it the normal way. just talk to people and they can tell you the tricks. also try rideshare. tons of people use it, and it seems great.
post #23 of 27
I would skip Zagreb and go to Belgrade. The night life and cosmopolitan culture beats Zagreb hands down. When it Belgrade at night head down to the pontoons on the Sava and Danube.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post
I would skip Zagreb and go to Belgrade. The night life and cosmopolitan culture beats Zagreb hands down. When it Belgrade at night head down to the pontoons on the Sava and Danube.

plus 1 for belgrade. i just missed it but wished i got to it. everyone in sarajevo was raving of the crazy under ground party scene in belgrade.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanker View Post
I cannot recommend Croatia and Montenegro enough. The coasts of Split and Dubrovnik, as well as Herceg Novi and Budva are extremely underrated and offer breathtaking beauty with minimal tourists. The Montenegrian cities will meet the demands of even sophisticated travellers. Dubrovnik is a bit of a tourist trap with loads of cruise ship sheep swarming the walled Old Town on a daily basis. Still worth a vist though, but a day - maybe two are more than enough. Time invested in Split or Montenegro will likely prove more satisfying.

Having spent a good deal of time travelling solo to 27 European countries, including all the countries that border the Federation of Russia and the Black Sea except Moldova, in my experience East and "South"-Eastern Europe offer very little in the way of danger. This assuming you have some basic "street smarts" and dont put yourself in dangerous positions (ie soliciting prostitutes, trying to buy drugs, flashing your wealth, etc.). As a tourist, it is very unlikely you will encounter problems.

I should mention that I travel almost exclusively by train, including overnight journeys. Even the "infamous" Prague-Krakow O/N train offered no problems at all. My worst experience was encountered on an overnight Podgorica-Belgrad train. I was stuck on a car whose occupants delighted in chain smoking.

Romania (a bit dull) and Albania (quite dirty) were my least favorite countries, but I am glad I took the time to vist them. Zagreb was nice, but consider spending a day or two max. as I found you can see the city rather quickly. Bulgaria (Sofia) is a gem with some of the most hospitable and warm people I have come across. Bulgarians will take you into their homes w/o hesitation, treat you very well and offer their opinions on everything.

Sarajevo is historically very interesting, but keep in mind the scars of war are ever present. Bullet holes in walls, decimated buildings and "Roses" are all over the place. I was absolutely mesmerized by history you can touch and "taste", but I have talked to other Americans that were disturbed by it.

My opinion is to see E. Europe as soon as possible as things are changing at an alaming pace. Italy will always be Italy, Paris will always be Paris, but see E. Europe now before it "catches up" (not meant to be derogatory btw) with the West. The history and people are still much different than those in the West, but this will change soon.

As much as I enjoyed places like Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany, I found them very Western. "True" European experiences will be found in places like Bulgaria, The Baltics and the like.

Perfect post. I'm bookmarking it so I can refer to it next time I plan my travels.

I echo your sentiments about Dubrovnik having jumped the shark. And you nail Belgrade perfectly. I, for one, found the tangibility of its recent history was what made the city so very special to me. It really showed just how fragile civilization is.

Anyway, thanks again. Very succinct and well put overview of that half of the continent.
post #26 of 27
WOW that is awesome you are taking a trip out there.

I wish i had the time and the money.

I do suggest Finland.
Its the most different place on the planet.

If you are into the whole Soviet thing I suggest
checking out:
http://jimmybulgaria.wordpress.com/2.../12/buzludzha/

Have fun Eastern Euro girls are easy & cant wait
to leave to the West
post #27 of 27
Love that big post!

I'm planning a solo vacation in October for Europe and couldn't decide where to go. This will help me decide. (too bad I'm torn about where to go since I still have not seen Paris, London or Italy..)
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