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Touring England, UK and Europe

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 01:02 pm
@ehBeth,
My only knowledge is of traveling in Europe is in Italy, which I did three times over a dozen years, getting better at it each time. My last trip, which was for thirty days to photograph in different cities, involved my having little to carry. That was just a duffle bag and a pretty big purse that I only carried when moving to another city. Usually I put my camera in a plastic or similar bag, and used zippered travel suit pockets for my i.d./credit card stuff.
My present avatar shows what I wore - the washable black travel suit that I wanted to burn when I got home to California but managed not to.

I couldn't help accumulating at least some things, basic information about cities, a few catalogs for art museums, the Palio scarves I couldn't do without, maps I didn't need anymore, and so on. That was pre all the maps being on the internet, but I like paper ones anyway. I think I sent a package home three times during that month, so I didn't have to carry that stuff.

I figure you plan to travel light, but completely light for three years could get to be hard. Since you won't be having a home place even to start with, I'll suggest you see if there is a way to have some kind of storage place - in Europe, or at a friend's place in the US? - to keep your accumulated items out of your travel gear. Nothin' better than not going down several steep flights of stairs to the metro with little to carry.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 01:05 pm
There are as a rule very good public transportation in the European cities and I would not recommend biking for someone who is not used to biking nor to the traffic.
Biking is good for tours around the cities and where it is not too hilly or mountains.
0 Replies
 
PolarBearBob
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 04:27 pm
@saab,
Hello Saab, any information from your neck of the woods would be helpful.

I do have to ask all of you one very important question of which there seems to be a significant measure of debate.

Should we purchase a car to use while we are in the UK and Europe for that matter? If all the planets align properly we'll be in the UK and Ireland for 18 months and Europe proper for 2.5 years.

I have to admit I'm a fully assimilated American and not having a motorized vehicle at my disposal will be strange to say the least.

What are your thoughts group?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 05:38 pm
@PolarBearBob,
My experience is that transportation in general is way better there, at least in Italy, than anything I'm used to in the US, except maybe some east coast US cities.

On my/our first trip, we did rent a car in Florence and spent a week tooling around Tuscany far and wide before we went back to trains and busses and our feet. That's an irreplaceable memory of beauty. I never did that again, it was sort of expensive, but I'm glad we did.

I wouldn't buy a car right away. I think you need to engage in driving slowly and safely at first, learn their ways, which I'm sure differ from country to country and within parts of countries. I'd recconoiter the way things work by observation first. I'm not saying be afraid, but to do careful looking and then driving at first.

I remember that I gradually learned to think italians were good drivers, turn on a dime, they could, but different. At first, just crossing a wide boulevard on foot can be exciting. Until I got "my feet", I used to tuck in behind italians when they decided to cross . Soon enough you get used to it all and get comfortable.
PolarBearBob
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 05:40 pm
@ehBeth,
Hello ehBeth; my wife and I have never been to Europe, the only vehicle I've been in that had a different pilot other than yours truly was a jet airliner.

I can walk, but spending half of my day on my feet will not work, nor will climbing the Pyrenees work either.

It is our intention to rent a flat and home base out of it for six months, making day trips into the city or countryside via train, tube, bus or some other form of transportation.

I've lived with expensive fuel all my life, currently unleaded gasoline in Alaska is going for $4.25 a gallon US or $3.86 euros.

Simply put I'll buy a pair of scooters or motorcycles before I'll peddle my derriere over the length and breath of Europe. When its time to move to another country I'll load them on the same train that's hauling me to my new location. I understand that scooters are very popular in Europe, is this not true?

Walking, hiking or bicycling across Europe for 2.5 years isn't happening. Forgive me but what your suggesting sounds alot like work to me and I'm violently allergic to work because I'm retired and I'm proud of that fact.

However if the budget requires more resources to fuel the ship then that's another matter and it will be given its due.

Me grabbing my Panasonic or Canon cameras and throwing them into their respective backpacks with additional lens and gear then throwing my 60 year old leg over the frame of a bicycle and peddling my ass down the roadway all day long is not going to happen.

There are always alternatives.............
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 05:47 pm
@ossobuco,
I should add that what car you buy, assuming you do, needs to fit their situations, so, again, observation time.
PolarBearBob
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 09:48 pm
@ossobuco,
Thank You ossobuco for your input. Its our intention to get boots on the ground in the UK and make decisions in real time necessity. I'm not making any major decisions regarding the purchase of some form of transportation until I'm in country.
Thanks
0 Replies
 
Lordyaswas
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Jul, 2015 11:21 pm
If you hire a car in the UK, then I would definitely recommend buying a Satnav, which you can now get for about £80.
I have no idea what you call them in the USA, but just pop into any large outlet of our three main Supermarkets ( Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda) or somewhere like a Halfords (supermarket for car parts and bicycles) or John Lewis (UK's most popular Department Stores - they're all over the place) and ask for a Satnav.
If you are travelling here and there through Europe, you should ask for a Satnav that covers the relevant area. They may be £20 or so more expensive, but you can take it with you and in theory, never get lost.

In the UK, when loading in your next destination, all you have to give it is the relevant postcode (you call them zip codes I believe), and the gadget will guide you to within about 30 feet of your destination.

Our postcodes cover the entire UK, and each indivual one covers a very small area, which includes no more than about twenty or so houses in a Street.
All you need is a postcode and the house number, and you should go from a to b without any hassle.







-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a question......have you ever been on vacation in one of these?.........

http://www.williamtaylor.org.uk/images/caravan.jpg


It was just a thought I had last night, because if you are not averse to "caravanning" (they are called Caravans over here), then you can get into every nook and cranny of Britain (and Europe), for very little money (compared to Hotels etc).

My family and I toured right up the east coast of England, round most of Scotland and then right down the West coast of England in one of these, and had a spectacular holiday.

There are two main Clubs that have hundreds of sites all over the UK, and we found them to be immaculate, with very friendly staff and wonderful facilities.
We found the most unusual places with a bit of research, including a few nights right by the water's edge of Loch Lomond.
Another was just round the back from the world famous Edinburgh Woollen Mills in Moffatt, who had a restaurant attached which served an amazing breakfast each day.

Nowadays prices would probably be about £30 a night at one of these sites, and would include electric hookup etc., and the vast majority of sites have full laundry facilities and loads of hot showers (never saw one less than spotless).

The sites are usually well stocked with fellow travellers, and during our time on that trip we met up and spent many a great evening with people from all over Europe.
It's a brilliant way of getting to know the country.

Holland are also into caravans and have many sites, as does France. I've never toured further than that so if you're interested, maybe some of our other members will have more info about their particular country.

Sell the car and caravan at the back end of your trip, and it should work out much better value over all, compared to guest houses and Hotels.

Worth a thought, anyway.

Tip.....make sure your trip ends up each year somewhere near the Spanish Mediterranean Coast for the winter months, seeing as you probably want to keep away from cold weather for a while. Very Happy

If you're interested, here are the websites for the two main clubs in the UK.
Personally I preferred the (1) Caravan and Camping Club out of the two, but that's just my opinion.

1. http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

2. http://www.caravanclub.co.uk
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2015 01:02 am
To buy or not to buy a car. It is up to you and also depending what coutnry you stay in. Germany and Switzerland have excellent trains. ICE in Germany moves with up to 250 kilometres an hour.
Sweden you really need a car when you do not live around or in the bigger cities. My hometown has free transpotation for every resident over 70. For everybody else it is more complicated - you cannot buy tickets any place only over your mobile phone.
You can rent vacation homes all year round and the prices depend on where it is and what time of the year. Of course it is cheaper on the coast in the winter than in the summer.
The Dutch, the Danes and the Swedes are supposed to speak the best English -
according to some survives (?). It is not easy to get contact to Swedes. On the other hand they are quiet and polite and very helpful.
0 Replies
 
PolarBearBob
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Jul, 2015 03:45 pm
@Lordyaswas,
More Good Stuff; I'm not sure my lovely bride will be interested in camping, RV'ing or Caravaning as you put it.

We're in hopes of finding a comfortable flat to rent and then venturing out into the wilds of either the city or countryside. We'll most likely us B&Bs for over-night stays if time becomes an issue.

I'm very intrigued by scooters, in America I'd never be caught dead on one but in the UK are they popular? How aggressive are the drivers in your country or Europe in general?

A scooter is small enough to be transported by train to a new country when the time required and some of them get outrageous fuel economy.

This would be a far better option for me versus a bicycle.

Question: Here in America many of the transit buses have racks on them that can carry a persons bicycle while they ride on the bus and then they take it off at their stop. Do the trains or tubes have any provisions for hauling ones scooters

Let me be clear, say my wife and I are headed to London for the day to sight-see and knock around, my flat is in Winchester, can I load our scooters on the train or tube with us and say off-load them at Waterloo zip around the city all day and load them up and go home on the train that night?

However is it my only option with a scooter is to drive ourselves to London via the Motorways and slug it out with the other poor souls on the roadway?

I also wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for all your help and suggestions, especially Beth, investigated my Health Care materials from Aetna and had to adjust a couple of things to make all the planets align.

Thanks to Everyone
PBB
0 Replies
 
benloy25
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2015 11:45 pm
It was just great idea to spending your vacations in Europe , Many cities you can visit in Europe . I am going in last year with my family in Europe to visit Rome , It was amazing vacations in my life , I can never forgot hose memories .
0 Replies
 
jacksondisuja
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2015 10:22 pm
You can visit Niagara Falls , You can really enjoy your vacations . I am going last year with my friends for spending my vacations .
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Nov, 2015 11:37 pm
@jacksondisuja,
Niagara Falls is not in England, UK or Europe.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2015 12:50 am
@ehBeth,
Other than that, it sounds like fun.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Nov, 2015 12:29 pm
One thing to be aware of - the Schengen countries, that is, most of western Europe, have a limitation on staying there - roughly 3 months in total in any 6 months (90 day in 180 days). Your idea of 6 months in several countries will not work unless you apply for a special visa. Google Schengen to find out more.

Likewise, your 6 months in UK includes Scotland and Wales, as well as England, not 6 months in each. I guess you could try - spend 6 months, say in England (hello Winchester) - then 3 months in, perhaps, France, and back to UK - Scotland for 6 months, then off to Republic of Ireland (don't know what the limitations are here), then off somewhere else.

It sounds a wonderful exercise, though - and I'm very envious.
0 Replies
 
jacksondisuja
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2015 10:09 pm
It was great idea , I am also thinking about that to visiting England in my vacations in next year with my family . Can you suggest to me that which places we can see that in England .
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Nov, 2015 09:18 am
@jacksondisuja,
Buy a book about what to see in UK or London or whatever.
Read it carefully and pick the things that are of interest for you.
0 Replies
 
benloy25
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2015 11:59 pm
It was great idea to visiting Europe , I had also going last year with my family , enjoy lots of things in Europe . Those memories I never forgetting in my life .
0 Replies
 
jacksondisuja
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2015 02:52 am
can you tell me that how much budget can effect while travelling to Europe .
0 Replies
 
 

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