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TheAnalogKid2112

"Moving" to Europe

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I originally came to this thread to ask if you were going to Turkey. It seems to be a very interesting place so if you do decide to go there please take pics and give an overall impression on what you think about the culture, people, food, women, etc. Do that for every country you visit actually if you can.

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I know you said you're going in the Summer, but I'd like to make a suggestion, I would start low in the Southern part of Europe, hell start in Turkey, and make your way North as it gets into the winter months. I had mentioned the Northern lights and you said you'd love to see them, but the only way of doing so would be in the winter North of the arctic circle. Some cities I'd suggest for you would be Tromsø, Norway, Abisko, Sweden, or somewhere in the Finish Lapland. I can tell you one thing, you will not regret vising there. Use the KP-Index to make sure you can get a good idea of when to watch it happen, and keep track of where it is occurring.

Abisko, Sweden

aurora6.jpg

Edit: Also, as it gets colder you will probably find less tourists as you move up into Europe, since most people will be at work or school. Holiday celebrations become a huge thing as winter nears, and there's a lot to do that only the winter months offer.

Lastly, it's off continental Europe, but Iceland is a beautiful country, and really has so much to offer sight wise. Glaciers, cliffs, rock formations, you name it. I'd definitely go there too.

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So I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a Eurail 2-3 month continuous pass for this whole trip.

...

Brindisi to Igoumenista, Greece ...But then I hit a road block. There's no railways anywhere near Igoumenista and (as far as I was able to tell) no flights from Brindisi airport to anywhere in Greece. Massacre, gtagrl, any suggestions on what to do? I'm very unfamiliar with Greece and am at the end of 8+ hours of research for today so I'm not looking it up tonight. Are there any reliable bus services that will allow me to get to the good parts of Greece?

Getting a Eurail pass is the smart choice, you won't regret it.

Disclaimer: It's been quite a few years since I've been out that way...yet somehow I doubt the travel options have changed much since my last visit to Greece, with any luck some of it improved because of the 2004 Olympics...but then knowing the Greeks, probably not by much.

From what I remember, rail within Greece is sad compared to the rest of the EU, that's where you can see how badly organized the Greeks can be (everyone's in charge but no one gets anything done :P )...however the bus system is widespread, reliable, affordable and pretty frequent. You should be able to take a bus from Igoumenista over to Thessaloniki in a half-day at the most. It's worth a day in Thessaloniki, check out the Archeological Museum to see the golden Macedonian treasures from King Philip II's tomb, a breathtaking must-see. There are a few other historical sites you might enjoy as well, and it's a pretty town to stroll through, much less frantic than Athens.

From Thessaloniki, you're gold to take another bus or train connection down south to Athens. See the Parthenon, visit the market, catch a show at the Odeon if something is playing...there's lots to see in Athens but I find it overwhelming there after a couple of days. From Athens you can get down to Crete, give yourself time there, sometimes getting around on the island is tricky. From Crete you can catch a ferry to Turkey.

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I originally came to this thread to ask if you were going to Turkey. It seems to be a very interesting place so if you do decide to go there please take pics and give an overall impression on what you think about the culture, people, food, women, etc. Do that for every country you visit actually if you can.

I'm absolutely keeping a detailed journal with all of my travel experiences for each place I visit. I'm not going to Turkey, though.

I know you said you're going in the Summer, but I'd like to make a suggestion, I would start low in the Southern part of Europe, hell start in Turkey, and make your way North as it gets into the winter months. I had mentioned the Northern lights and you said you'd love to see them, but the only way of doing so would be in the winter North of the arctic circle. Some cities I'd suggest for you would be Tromsø, Norway, Abisko, Sweden, or somewhere in the Finish Lapland.

Edit: Also, as it gets colder you will probably find less tourists as you move up into Europe, since most people will be at work or school. Holiday celebrations become a huge thing as winter nears, and there's a lot to do that only the winter months offer

Shit. That's an amazing suggestion. However, due to the amount of places I plan on visiting and my budget, I've decided to start in Bergen and hit Olso on the way down. But... After reading your post and gtagrl's suggestion of Thessaloniki (a city I wasn't planning on visiting until she sold it) I have this crazy idea to head back north after my stay in Greece. Reason being it will probably be late October by then so I can enjoy Oktoberfest and after that head north to view the northern lights! It's a stretch, especially financially, but considering I'll probably have a 3 month continuous pass with Eurail it's all too tempting! Thanks for the suggestion.

Iceland sounds amazing, but that's just not in the cards this time.

Getting a Eurail pass is the smart choice, you won't regret it.

From what I remember, rail within Greece is sad compared to the rest of the EU, that's where you can see how badly organized the Greeks can be (everyone's in charge but no one gets anything done :P )...however the bus system is widespread, reliable, affordable and pretty frequent. You should be able to take a bus from Igoumenista over to Thessaloniki in a half-day at the most. It's worth a day in Thessaloniki, check out the Archeological Museum to see the golden Macedonian treasures from King Philip II's tomb, a breathtaking must-see. There are a few other historical sites you might enjoy as well, and it's a pretty town to stroll through, much less frantic than Athens.

From Thessaloniki, you're gold to take another bus or train connection down south to Athens. See the Parthenon, visit the market, catch a show at the Odeon if something is playing...there's lots to see in Athens but I find it overwhelming there after a couple of days. From Athens you can get down to Crete, give yourself time there, sometimes getting around on the island is tricky. From Crete you can catch a ferry to Turkey.

Awesome ideas. I hadn't considered Thessaloniki but you sold me on it. Great to hear you vouch for the Eurail service. Figuring out transportation has been a bitch and it seems to be the easiest way, with occasional buses scattered about for visits to local goodies outside of town.

I'm not visiting Turkey this time. Sounds like the kind of country I oughta visit with a friend. See my reply to Brian for my idea following Thessaloniki.

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Honestly, for the trek you're planning, Eurail offers the most convenience and options, if you were doing a smaller trip or sticking to one or two places then other options might make more sense. It also sounds like you're trekking for the experience and not to hit the beach, so there's nothing wrong with enjoying Northern Greece this trip and saving the islands, Athens and Crete for another visit sometime in the spring (don't ever go in summer, you'll cook to death in the sun).

Your trip sounds like so much fun...

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Your trip sounds like so much fun...

It really does, I'm jealous.

When I get older I'm definitely doing something like this, and I'll use this for reference

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By using this as reference I get a first hand account of what he visited and what I'm interested in. Turkey seems like a nice country but it's really got nothing for me that interests me too much, I'd still visit it but not on a first trip.

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Honestly, for the trek you're planning, Eurail offers the most convenience and options, if you were doing a smaller trip or sticking to one or two places then other options might make more sense. It also sounds like you're trekking for the experience and not to hit the beach, so there's nothing wrong with enjoying Northern Greece this trip and saving the islands, Athens and Crete for another visit sometime in the spring (don't ever go in summer, you'll cook to death in the sun).

Your trip sounds like so much fun...

Thanks. I'm really fucking excited. It may seem irresponsible to others quitting my job and spending all my savings on this.. But it's about the experience and living my life to the fullest while I'm young. I can't see it any other way. I have my whole life to save money. I only have so many years with no family and hardly a thing keeping me locked in to this city. I'm so tired of Vegas and this is a perfect opportunity to explore other options.

I'm trying to make a couple days in Athens happen. It's one of my most desired cities.

I have no interest in Turkey. I'm sure it's great, but this trip isn't so much about city experiences so it's pretty unappealing. I want to see mountains, forests, lakes, etc.

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Honestly, for the trek you're planning, Eurail offers the most convenience and options, if you were doing a smaller trip or sticking to one or two places then other options might make more sense. It also sounds like you're trekking for the experience and not to hit the beach, so there's nothing wrong with enjoying Northern Greece this trip and saving the islands, Athens and Crete for another visit sometime in the spring (don't ever go in summer, you'll cook to death in the sun). Your trip sounds like so much fun...
Thanks. I'm really fucking excited. It may seem irresponsible to others quitting my job and spending all my savings on this.. But it's about the experience and living my life to the fullest while I'm young. I can't see it any other way. I have my whole life to save money. I only have so many years with no family and hardly a thing keeping me locked in to this city. I'm so tired of Vegas and this is a perfect opportunity to explore other options. I'm trying to make a couple days in Athens happen. It's one of my most desired cities. I have no interest in Turkey. I'm sure it's great, but this trip isn't so much about city experiences so it's pretty unappealing. I want to see mountains, forests, lakes, etc.

You're doing it at the right time for the right reasons. You'll never regret going, only not going. If Athens is on your wish list you should absolutely go for a few days, your mind will implode. And oh, the food...

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Tromsø, Norway, Abisko, Sweden

I have no idea how I'd get that far north lol. The Eurail map doesn't show tracks going anywhere near those locations. Oh well, I'll figure it out because I really want to make it happen. Even if I can't make it exactly to those locations, I still really want to see these countries further north. Bergen, Oslo, and Stockholm seem great but based on the photos I've seen aren't the breathtaking mountain views I desire.

Also, food.

Fuckin' hummus!!!

You're doing it at the right time for the right reasons. You'll never regret going, only not going. If Athens is on your wish list you should absolutely go for a few days, your mind will implode. And oh, the food...

Oh, yes.. I am a sucker for Greek food. And provided the hostel I find is reasonable, I don't plan on staying in the big cities (Athens, Rome, Florence, Paris, Munich) any less than 5 days to a week each. It all depends on the accommodation... I really hope I can find some reliable couchsurfing connections.. the site couchsurfing.com seems pretty sketchy.

Can I come, OP?

Only if you pay for my Eurail pass.

EDIT:..With the current plan, I've done the math and it adds up to 80 hours spent on trains from the start until I hit Brindisi. Doesn't include the 9 hour ferry to Greece or any of the travel once I'm there. If I do go full circle back up to Norway, that will fucking double my travel time. I'm probably just going to extend my time spent in Northern Europe when I first arrive so I don't have to come all the way back up. It seems unrealistic. That would mean I'd miss the Northern Lights and Oktoberfest.. I didn't want to go through the frustration of completely reversing my route, but it may be worth my while starting from Greece and working my way up North...

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The middle east is fucking awesome, to be quite honest - people are generally nicer there.

Good luck seeing the northern lights, it's always fucking cloudy and shitty up there, people in Norway actually get depressed and need medical help to help them cope with the lack of sun. Fuck that.

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Cuda he wouldn't be there long enough to become depressed... Plus with all the shit he would wind up seeing for the first time in his life it wouldn't even cloud his mind.

Plus I believe he said August, meaning if it was 8-9 months like he planned then he would wind up getting there around the March/April mark, while April is not a good time to view the Aurora Borealis, March is and he will get on average 10 hours of sunlight in the early month and around 14 in April, and it continues to grow each month.

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Have you even been there? If you're lucky, you might see something, but there's a 80% change that all you'll see is fucking clouds and a couple of Norwegians hanging in a tree.

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