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Backpacking Europe

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Posted: 2/11/2013 6:59 PM

Backpacking Europe 


Anyone done it?  I bought a three week ticket to Berlin right after Christmas.  Plan on navigating the rail system through Prague and Vienna but I'm a bit stumped as to where to go from there; either east to Budapest and then back up possibly through Krakow, or west to Switzerland and then back through the heart of Germany.

I welcome any advice or suggestions anyone has about this part of the world and backpacking (i.e. traveling from city to city, just me and my backpack) in general.

Thanks.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 7:21 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 


do it with someone.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson
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Posted: 2/11/2013 9:10 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



DuffyDyer wrote: do it with someone.

Everyone I know tells me I'm crazy for going alone but it's very common.  None of my friends would sign up for 3 weeks in Europe and the one or two that I could stomach three weeks abroad with are tied down.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:12 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



DocK16 wrote: Anyone done it?  I bought a three week ticket to Berlin right after Christmas.  Plan on navigating the rail system through Prague and Vienna but I'm a bit stumped as to where to go from there; either east to Budapest and then back up possibly through Krakow, or west to Switzerland and then back through the heart of Germany.

I welcome any advice or suggestions anyone has about this part of the world and backpacking (i.e. traveling from city to city, just me and my backpack) in general.

Thanks.
That sounds like the worst three weeks of anyone's life.  I wouldn't last 3 days, but  I am not adventurous at all.  I hope you have a great time.

Where do you sleep?  Are you just doing the normal tourist things and traveling from town to town?  No plans... just look for something interesting without the ability to speak the local language and then eventually wind up looking for a room each night?
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:20 PM

RE: Backpacking Europe 


Do it alone. No greater feel.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:23 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 


Sounds fun, def lots of history to see all over.

My adventures involve a surfboard, an ocean and most of the time a 3rd world country.

Closest I came to backpacking was doing part of the Inca Trail in Peru towards MacHu Picchu, good times.

Never been on a trip solo though, good luck and stay safe. A buddy of mine did a Tahiti, Fiji, NZ and Australia 6 month trip by himself....had a lot of fun and met tons of people.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:27 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



oct271986 wrote:
DocK16 wrote: Anyone done it?  I bought a three week ticket to Berlin right after Christmas.  Plan on navigating the rail system through Prague and Vienna but I'm a bit stumped as to where to go from there; either east to Budapest and then back up possibly through Krakow, or west to Switzerland and then back through the heart of Germany.

I welcome any advice or suggestions anyone has about this part of the world and backpacking (i.e. traveling from city to city, just me and my backpack) in general.

Thanks.
That sounds like the worst three weeks of anyone's life.  I wouldn't last 3 days, but  I am not adventurous at all.  I hope you have a great time.

Where do you sleep?  Are you just doing the normal tourist things and traveling from town to town?  No plans... just look for something interesting without the ability to speak the local language and then eventually wind up looking for a room each night?

laugh.gif

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Oct. biggrin

I plan on staying in hostels, possibly even couch surfing a couple times.  Hostels can be booked in advance and I plan to do just that.  Randomly showing up in a city in the heart of tourist season is a recipe for disaster in Europe.  I'll plan ahead, but somewhat loosely.  The good thing about Hostels is they're essentially a network in and of themselves, so I expect to meet some people there.  If I don't like them, I'll move on.  If I do, I'll buddy up.

I've been to Europe on a number of occasions.  Actually lived there when I was young.  I've only been once as a young'ish adult, four years ago, with my mom and brother.  I flew in with my mom, who traveled on to Denmark, and then waited a night by myself in Frankfurt for my brother who was supposed to go with me to Paris.  That night alone in Frankfurt was one of my fondest life memories.  A cab driver recommended I check out a Christmas market, which I did.  It was incredible.  Not just the market itself, but the freedom I felt basically being in a different world all by myself.  I've been wanting to do something like this since.

That said, I'm well aware I could hate every minute of it, which is part of the reason why it's taken me 3 years to pull the trigger on purchasing a ticket.  But it's a chance worth taking.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:35 PM

RE: Backpacking Europe 


Just don't watch the Horror films that go by the name Hostel :P, my cousin actually did something similar on his own years ago and made it back in one piece. He did make the mistake of buying lots of videos though and returning to find out they would not play in his VCR being Pal format.


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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:37 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



DocK16 wrote:
oct271986 wrote:
DocK16 wrote: Anyone done it?  I bought a three week ticket to Berlin right after Christmas.  Plan on navigating the rail system through Prague and Vienna but I'm a bit stumped as to where to go from there; either east to Budapest and then back up possibly through Krakow, or west to Switzerland and then back through the heart of Germany.

I welcome any advice or suggestions anyone has about this part of the world and backpacking (i.e. traveling from city to city, just me and my backpack) in general.

Thanks.
That sounds like the worst three weeks of anyone's life.  I wouldn't last 3 days, but  I am not adventurous at all.  I hope you have a great time.

Where do you sleep?  Are you just doing the normal tourist things and traveling from town to town?  No plans... just look for something interesting without the ability to speak the local language and then eventually wind up looking for a room each night?

laugh.gif

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Oct. biggrin

I plan on staying in hostels, possibly even couch surfing a couple times.  Hostels can be booked in advance and I plan to do just that.  Randomly showing up in a city in the heart of tourist season is a recipe for disaster in Europe.  I'll plan ahead, but somewhat loosely.  The good thing about Hostels is they're essentially a network in and of themselves, so I expect to meet some people there.  If I don't like them, I'll move on.  If I do, I'll buddy up.

I've been to Europe on a number of occasions.  Actually lived there when I was young.  I've only been once as a young'ish adult, four years ago, with my mom and brother.  I flew in with my mom, who traveled on to Denmark, and then waited a night by myself in Frankfurt for my brother who was supposed to go with me to Paris.  That night alone in Frankfurt was one of my fondest life memories.  A cab driver recommended I check out a Christmas market, which I did.  It was incredible.  Not just the market itself, but the freedom I felt basically being in a different world all by myself.  I've been wanting to do something like this since.

That said, I'm well aware I could hate every minute of it, which is part of the reason why it's taken me 3 years to pull the trigger on purchasing a ticket.  But it's a chance worth taking.

I love that you have the adventurousness to do something like that.  It's not for me, as I extremely disinterested by anything outside of the US.  Admittedly, I have a limited amount of curiosity for the rest of the world and I need some order and direction.

My goal for the summer is to go to Chicago, possibly to Wrigley for Mets/Cubs... That's about as crazy I get.

I also cant stand being in a place where I don't speak the language.  How the hell do you communicate in Frankfurt or Krakow?  Good for you.  I wish I had some of this in me.

Although when you wake up in a hostel in Munich with some dude's schlong on your leg...well then you will probably wish you stayed home.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:41 PM

RE: Backpacking Europe 


You'd be surprised how much people speak English everywhere. Especially a place like Krakow. Heck, there was an American dude running a long bike tour when my wife and I went there. It was pretty funny because he started telling the story of Oskar Schlinder when we went to the factory, but he was recapping scenes from the movie :)
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Posted: 2/11/2013 10:49 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



oct271986 wrote:
DocK16 wrote:
oct271986 wrote:
DocK16 wrote: Anyone done it?  I bought a three week ticket to Berlin right after Christmas.  Plan on navigating the rail system through Prague and Vienna but I'm a bit stumped as to where to go from there; either east to Budapest and then back up possibly through Krakow, or west to Switzerland and then back through the heart of Germany.

I welcome any advice or suggestions anyone has about this part of the world and backpacking (i.e. traveling from city to city, just me and my backpack) in general.

Thanks.
That sounds like the worst three weeks of anyone's life.  I wouldn't last 3 days, but  I am not adventurous at all.  I hope you have a great time.

Where do you sleep?  Are you just doing the normal tourist things and traveling from town to town?  No plans... just look for something interesting without the ability to speak the local language and then eventually wind up looking for a room each night?

laugh.gif

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Oct. biggrin

I plan on staying in hostels, possibly even couch surfing a couple times.  Hostels can be booked in advance and I plan to do just that.  Randomly showing up in a city in the heart of tourist season is a recipe for disaster in Europe.  I'll plan ahead, but somewhat loosely.  The good thing about Hostels is they're essentially a network in and of themselves, so I expect to meet some people there.  If I don't like them, I'll move on.  If I do, I'll buddy up.

I've been to Europe on a number of occasions.  Actually lived there when I was young.  I've only been once as a young'ish adult, four years ago, with my mom and brother.  I flew in with my mom, who traveled on to Denmark, and then waited a night by myself in Frankfurt for my brother who was supposed to go with me to Paris.  That night alone in Frankfurt was one of my fondest life memories.  A cab driver recommended I check out a Christmas market, which I did.  It was incredible.  Not just the market itself, but the freedom I felt basically being in a different world all by myself.  I've been wanting to do something like this since.

That said, I'm well aware I could hate every minute of it, which is part of the reason why it's taken me 3 years to pull the trigger on purchasing a ticket.  But it's a chance worth taking.

I love that you have the adventurousness to do something like that.  It's not for me, as I extremely disinterested by anything outside of the US.  Admittedly, I have a limited amount of curiosity for the rest of the world and I need some order and direction.

My goal for the summer is to go to Chicago, possibly to Wrigley for Mets/Cubs... That's about as crazy I get.

I also cant stand being in a place where I don't speak the language.  How the hell do you communicate in Frankfurt or Krakow?  Good for you.  I wish I had some of this in me.

Although when you wake up in a hostel in Munich with some dude's schlong on your leg...well then you will probably wish you stayed home.

roll.gif

I do have a couple safety nets while there.  My uncle (mom's brother) and several others will be vacationing in France around the same time and my aunt (mom's sister) and her family will be in Italy.  So if I've been spit out into a gutter a week in, I can also meet up with them.

Or I could catch a quick flight to the Isle of Mann and see what TM's life is all about. biggrin

Like DC said, pretty much everyone in Western and Central Europe speaks English nowadays.  The older generations are the lone exception.  I had no problems with that back in '08.  My biggest issue was with eccentric Parisians and a couple Nigerian immigrants. mad
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:20 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 


I would father illegitimate children up and down the hills Europe.  That's me though.
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Posted: 2/11/2013 11:24 PM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



tooker77 wrote: Sounds fun, def lots of history to see all over.

My adventures involve a surfboard, an ocean and most of the time a 3rd world country.

Closest I came to backpacking was doing part of the Inca Trail in Peru towards MacHu Picchu, good times.

Never been on a trip solo though, good luck and stay safe. A buddy of mine did a Tahiti, Fiji, NZ and Australia 6 month trip by himself....had a lot of fun and met tons of people.

That had to have been amazing.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:12 AM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



DocK16 wrote:
DuffyDyer wrote: do it with someone.

Everyone I know tells me I'm crazy for going alone but it's very common.  None of my friends would sign up for 3 weeks in Europe and the one or two that I could stomach three weeks abroad with are tied down.
actually I was planning to do Europe with someone but he bailed and I did end up doing a month by myself so I take back what said but it was more bc I got the impression that you were going to be doing more camping when you said "backpacking."  I stayed in a hotel every night.  There are advantages to going alone but I was more in Western Europe that EE.  It is somewhat easier to be adventurous or go outside your comfort zone when you don't have friends with you to rely on.  Good luck.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson

Last edited 2/12/2013 10:35 AM by DuffyDyer

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Posted: 2/12/2013 7:35 AM

Re: Backpacking Europe 


Where's you go?
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Posted: 2/12/2013 8:03 AM

Re: Backpacking Europe 




---------------------------------------------
--- DocK16 wrote:



That had to have been amazing.

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

Indeed it was. Machu Picchu was a magnificent place. Actually was in Peru on a surf trip and decided to fly into Cuzco to make it to MP. Some of the ancient ruins around Cuzco were awesome as well. Took a horse ride tour with a tour guidethat didn't speak a lick of English....meanwhile me and my buddy spoke very little Spanish. Didn't matter tho, it was really cool.

I would recommend a trip to Peru to anyone, it was really great....once you got out of Lima.

You're gonna have a great time by yourself.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:52 AM

Re: Backpacking Europe 



DocK16 wrote: Where's you go?
France, Italy & Switzerland.  My advice to you would be to get a Best Western guide and stay in hotels some nights (usually reservations aren't critical).  You're not 24 anymore.  Not that there is an age limit for most hostels but you'll appreciate the comforts of a hotel a couple nights a week and you'll be surprised that in many places BWs aren't expensive and from my experience are always clean and well kept.
"Maybe it's time to make some moves."  - Sandy Alderson

Last edited 2/12/2013 10:34 AM by DuffyDyer

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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:14 AM

RE: Backpacking Europe 


I've long mulled over a trip like this but I never pulled the trigger. I'm gonna be 30 this year, so I think my window is pretty much closed on a "backpacking" trip. If anything I'll do a much costlier trip.

I'm crossing one off my list this year, planning to road trip a large portion of the PCH this June. I'm taking 5 days to slowly meander my way from San Diego to San Francisco (along with a couple of friends), culminating with 4 days in the Bay Area. Haven't planned a lot of it yet, but we'd like to stay on or close to the beach if possible almost every night, and aren't going to venture very far in-land for the entire drive. I originally wanted to do the full trip all the way to Seattle, but I have several friends in SF and I just know we'd never make it out of there, so I'm not even going to bother trying. I may do a Vancouver-to-Bay Area trip in the future.

Last edited 2/12/2013 10:29 AM by shhaggy

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Posted: 2/12/2013 10:42 AM

RE: Backpacking Europe 



shhaggy wrote: I've long mulled over a trip like this but I never pulled the trigger. I'm gonna be 30 this year, so I think my window is pretty much closed on a "backpacking" trip. If anything I'll do a much costlier trip.

I'm crossing one off my list this year, planning to road trip a large portion of the PCH this June. I'm taking 5 days to slowly meander my way from San Diego to San Francisco (along with a couple of friends), culminating with 4 days in the Bay Area. Haven't planned a lot of it yet, but we'd like to stay on or close to the beach if possible almost every night, and aren't going to venture very far in-land for the entire drive. I originally wanted to do the full trip all the way to Seattle, but I have several friends in SF and I just know we'd never make it out of there, so I'm not even going to bother trying. I may do a Vancouver-to-Bay Area trip in the future.

Now, that sounds like fun.
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Posted: 2/12/2013 11:27 AM

RE: Backpacking Europe 



shhaggy wrote: I've long mulled over a trip like this but I never pulled the trigger. I'm gonna be 30 this year, so I think my window is pretty much closed on a "backpacking" trip. If anything I'll do a much costlier trip.

I'm crossing one off my list this year, planning to road trip a large portion of the PCH this June. I'm taking 5 days to slowly meander my way from San Diego to San Francisco (along with a couple of friends), culminating with 4 days in the Bay Area. Haven't planned a lot of it yet, but we'd like to stay on or close to the beach if possible almost every night, and aren't going to venture very far in-land for the entire drive. I originally wanted to do the full trip all the way to Seattle, but I have several friends in SF and I just know we'd never make it out of there, so I'm not even going to bother trying. I may do a Vancouver-to-Bay Area trip in the future.
Stay on the coast for as long as you can.  We stayed inland from SD up to LA (we were going to see a show that night and only had so much time we could be on the road), and then from LA to SF stayed on the 1.  We pulled off a number of times to take pictures, because each bend you go around is more beautiful than the last.  We pulled off at a scenic overlook because it was crowded to see what the fuss was about, and it was a bunch of elephant seals warming up on the beach.  An amazing sight!!!

I spent a week between SD and SF, saw the Redwoods, met some Mets when they played the Padres, had Wright sign a ball I got at the game, did a brewery tour in SD, went to Alcatraz, but that drive was hands down the best part of the trip.
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