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4801 Topic: I'm planning on...
Denny

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1634
I'm planning on...
May 13, 2013, 12:59:30

visiting the RWC and I thought it a good idea of tapping into the wisdom of the resident expats with regard to travel and accomodation. I'm not fussed about the Bok pool games and may only watch them play Scotland instead I'll  spend the rest of the time visiting  Europe while I await the quarterfinal.. This being my first visit to the north I'm thinking of visiting places of interest in London and other parts of the UK and also take in nearby countries like Spain, Portugal and France etc.

I want to be flexible about where I stay and how long I stay and I'm thinking of booking my accomodation on the move. My question is, do I hire a car or do I use public transport.?...I believe there are various travel passes which are inexpensive and good value?  With regards to accomodation, will travel be a problem if   I need to get to the main stadiums like Twickers if I decide to stay miles out of town? My next door neighbour who has recently travelled Europe reckons I should use a combination of public and aerial transport?

 


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8484
RE: I'm planning on...
May 13, 2013, 13:14:17

Public transport in the UK is very good and a must when it comes to London. Trains into London are frequent from all directions and the London underground and trains will get you anywhere you want to go to and in good time. You dont want to be driving in London. Getting to any RWC venue from anywhere via public transport will be easy.

 

Public transport in all the major European cities are up there with London and far cheaper. Paris, Rome and Barcelona are a must.


Denny

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1634
RE: I'm planning on...
May 13, 2013, 13:16:41

Thanks Dave, much appreciated.


Sharkbok

Status: Senior player
Posts: 3404
RE: I'm planning on...
May 13, 2013, 13:25:22

Bring an umbrella for England!


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11889
RE: I'm planning on...
May 13, 2013, 14:26:30

Denny

I have been to Europe more often than I can count.  During the 2007 EC I went to France and also visited Slovakia, Austria, Italy, Scotland and England in the process.   It is always wise to go on the websites of various cities and see what accommodation is available at what prices and also what the various cities can offer.

Previously I was in visits to virtually every country in Europe.   So the advice on the website issue is really valuable.  

However, I would strongly recommend a visit to Vienna.   There is an hotel where I stayed repeatedly in Vienna called the Alt Wienerhof.   A smallish place near the Western underground station.   Vienna is fascinating - both from an entertainment and historical perspective.   For centuries it was by far the most important citty in the world and it is classical from a historic point of view.   I booked a trip comprising a visit to the Schonbrunn palace, dinner at the palace and a performance by the Imperial Orchestra - really phenominal if you like that kind of thing.   

Paris is also a must visit for anyone and do not rule out Amsterdam completely.   It is charming to take a cruise on the canals (grachts), but do not take your wife for a walk in the city - you may end up walking through the Walletjies - Die Wahle - the large red light area with a giant monument dedicated to a penis.    However, there are the Rijksmuseum and Royal Palace - which is worth a visit.   The art exhibits are phenominal.  Germany as a whle is not wortht a visit - but for Bavaria and especially the Berchtesgarten area definitely is.   A visit to Neuschwaenstein and Hohenswangau is really a treat. 

You can lease vehices relatively cheaply in Europe - decide on the destinations and plan your trips accordingly.   

If you have a week - take the train to Munchen and from there to Vienna. Stay three of four days in each city and plan your recreational trips through careful  computer-based analysis and then proceed.   From Vienna you can travel to Venice and from there to Milan and then to the French Riviera.   Avoid Marseilles  if you can help it.  From there you can travel by bullet train to Paris - stopping over in places like Montpellier, Toulouse and then after staying in Paris a few days - can then take the channel train back to England.  beware though - i the case of the channel train there is no one-way tickets only return tickets.  A one-way trip costs as much as a return trip - at least that was the case in 2007.

A two and a half week break is to my mind essential.   

Just something else - there are consession ticket systems on trains in Europe that can save a lot of money - check that on the internet as well.   Lastly - certain budget flights are very cheap - but can also be unreliable.

You have an opportunity to plan a wonderful trip and the computer can help you do so.   However, be careful about credit card usage.   I ended up with spending R250 000 on the trip in 2007 - so be careful .   Unless you plan very carefully - it is very expensive.   For instance I took my nephew and his wife to a musical in London -" We will Rock You"  preceeded by a dinner for the three of us and the acoount came to over R10 000.

I can only say - use the opportunity and plan carefully - using the computer - and beware of the credit card issue.  You may - like me - regret abuse afterwards.   

 


Denny

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1634
RE: I'm planning on...
May 14, 2013, 13:36:11

Tx Mike, much appreciated.


MO(NH)

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 138
RE: I'm planning on...
May 14, 2013, 16:05:47

If you are thinking of coming to one of the games in Cardiff always a welcome for you here!!


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 7784
RE: I'm planning on...
May 14, 2013, 16:31:40

Hi Denny, this should be a great adventure. You have lots of good advice from other posters already. All I would say is, after keeping a car in London for two years, I stopped using it except for country trips. Driving around London is painful. I found the Tube was completely practical to get to Olympic Games events....even the taxis were balked. If you are within the Tube system....just use that option.

 

As far as places to go in Europe, I spent some time in Berlin a few years back and found that very interesting. The contrast between the West and the old Communist sector....is stark. And visying the Gate and all the other historical locations was very interesting. But I'm a bit of a WW2 student.

 

Oom Maaik is right about Amsterdam.....a lovely city. And you can visit the Kröller-Müller Museum. This fabulous place is about an hour's drive outside Amsterdam and has a world class art collection and small crowds. You can spend twenty minutes looking at a painting and never be disturbed.

 

Above all, avoid driving in Florence!

 

 


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11889
RE: I'm planning on...
May 14, 2013, 17:40:01

Denny

Mozart is 100% correct about car usage in London and Florence - as well as other inner cities.   Even when arriving at Heathrow - find out the nearest underground station to where you are going to stay and take the Underground train to that destination.   The only time that I would lease a car is if for instance you want to visit Berchtesgarten in Bavaria - then lease a car In Munich and go on the country roads - there are ample maps available.  However, be careful and make sure you get both the leasing record and other records of the car - before you depart.   The local roads often cross the Austrian and German border and I had 1000 problems when I was stopped at one such crossing on the German side and they were virtually on the point of arresting me for car theft.  My German swearwords probably prevented that one.

As Mozart said do not use any car inside of cities.   Lease them for rural trips - like one to Loch Ness and even games at Murrayfield.   For the rest use public transport.

Maybe I am prejudiced about Berlin.  The only time I went there was when the wall was still standing and I hated it.   I went to East germany three times on organized tours and found the experience nauseating.  The difference between East and West Berlin was massive.   But the people would not talk and even the one our guide's only regret was that he could not get a passport to go to Greece to see Athens and other  destinations of historical value.   Poor guy applied three years previously and there was no response at the time he spoke to me. 

What was funny was when he asked me about how I managed to get a pass port.  My response was that I applied for one and if it was not provided within three weeks I would scream at the Department and tell them they are bloody useless.   The man was utterly amazed at that and asked me "Can you do that?" 

.   


Rooinek

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1487
RE: I'm planning on...
May 14, 2013, 19:12:32

Dense, I agree with what everyone seems to be saying about the excellent public transport in most European cities, but one word of caution over and above what everyone else is telling you, there are also plenty of bus and rail strikes so be prepared for your travel plans to be disrupted. You can usually swap your train tickets for bus tickets if there is a rail strike and vice versa, but be warned, they do seem to go on strikes at the drop of a hat and strikes are probably even more likely during an event like the RWC.

 

Other than that, my advice would be to go for rail wherever possible. You avoid traffic jams and if you're like me, you also don't get travel sickness as you do on a bus or a taxi. Travelling on the underground is very efficient in cities like London and Paris while inter-city travel is also very easy by train, even if you're visiting small towns and villages. 

 


Denny

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1634
RE: I'm planning on...
May 15, 2013, 12:55:17

Wow!...thanks guys that's mighty helpful....public transport it will be, incidentlly I've passed on your comments to wifey, who unlike me has travelled Europe but that was yonks ago. The aim is to be as flexible as possible, we really don't want to be locked into a place/city we don't like but to linger around the places or cities of interest and then to move on. So thanks Rooi, Mike and Moz....many thanks to Lady Mo, gracious and accomodating as per normal, it would be great to catchup again... your sound advice is highly appreciated.

And Moz, talking about Florence it's been the one city I've always dreamt of visiting.

 


Saffex

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8484
RE: I'm planning on...
May 15, 2013, 13:03:29
Denny, my favourites are Rome and Barcelona. Rome is small and there is history around every corner. The history is second to none. Food and ice-cream is awesome.

Barcelona has just such a nice vibe to it and you cant beat the quirkiness of the Guadi architecture.


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