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The Travel Experiences Thread

  • 20-08-2010 4:00pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    I'm always reading about C&Hers travels around Ireland, Europe and elsewhere. So here's a spot to share all your travel experiences - photos, anecdotes, favourite place you've ever been, where you want to go, travel advice etc. It'd be awesome to hear of the places people have been and to even share tips on where to go/what to do etc.

    My best ever holiday was last Summer when I went interrailing across Europe for a month. We visited Budapest, Krakow, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels and it was an incredible experience. I could go on at length about all the places but I'll save that for later posts :P

    My favourite city was Krakow. I was very skeptical about going to Poland - I think I envisaged some dark, dreary country but it totally exceeded all my expectations! The weather was beautiful - hot but less humid than the desperate heat of Budapest. Krakow is a students city and there are hundreds of bars, clubs, restuarants and hostels so the night life was very enjoyable. We went to the Salt Mines and Auschwitz which were fantastic experiences (although the salt mines were a tad tedious). Food, drink and accomodation were SO CHEAP which was pretty damn awesome :D


    The giant sideways head in the town square which some drunken students attempted to steal a few years ago. They were found by the police who assisted them in getting it into a truck... they did this because everyone in Krakow hates this statue :P


    Not a great picture but this is inside the salt mines. The entire room is made out of salt - the floor, the walls, the furniture, the stairs, the statues, the carvings on the walls - everything! Pretty impressive :eek:


    On the way to a club one night a fiddle playing crazy man invited us onto his little hippie bus parked in one of the city squares. This is a photo from inside the bus. It was quite an awesome bus :D



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,089 ✭✭✭ jefreywithonef

    Hotaru wrote: »


    On the way to a club one night a fiddle playing crazy man invited us onto his little hippie bus parked in one of the city squares. This is a photo from inside the bus. It was quite an awesome bus :D

    Did someone lay an egg in the cubicle? :eek:

    That's pretty weird about Krakow btw, one of my friends was trying to persuade me to head there next year.

    Went to some music festival in Germany last year and met lots of awesome German people, including a strange but utterly hilarious Captain Beefheart-like person. Best part of the trip (besides seeing two of my favourite band in one evening) was watching some drunk German guy singing along to Emilia's Big Big World. :D:D:D

  • Registered Users Posts: 780 cheesefiend

    So jealous right now! I can't wait to go interailing, hopefully next summer if I can get the cash together.

    I've been to Paris and London for a couple of days each but I have to say my favourite place is probably West Cork. My Dad's family live there but I only go about once a year. It's so nice though, the scenery is gorgeous and the people are just so friendly!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    Monzo wrote: »
    Did someone lay an egg in the cubicle? :eek:

    It was quite a WTF? moment :p

    Crazy Polish fiddle man's bus:


    Crazy fiddle man's session on the streets:


    Good times :D

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,148 KnifeWRENCH

    I've always wanted to go interrailing. I'm all jealous now. :(

    Anyway, places of note I've been to are Munich, Paris (both on school tours), London (with my sisters and bro. in law) and Geneva (with the college Physics society)

    Munich I don't really remember too much of - there wasn't a whole lot to do there tbh (though I was only 13 so I assume I'd enjoy it a lot more if I went there now.) I was amazed at how clean the city was though, compared to any city in Ireland. And it was snowing, so it was all nice and picturesque.

    Paris was great except for the horrible organisation; among the things we missed were The Louvre, L'Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Champs Elysees :mad: Definitely going back to Paris someday to catch up on all the stuff we missed.

    London was cool, we did most of the touristy things. We stayed away from the major shopping areas though, as it was so close to Christmas and they would have been packed. We also didn't get to experience any of the nightlife. I'll probably go back someday - it isn't too far away, after all.

    Geneva is a nice but sleepy city. It's the only foreign city I've ever been on a night out in and it was a rip-off; the price of entry fee and two drinks amounted to somewhere between €30-€40! :eek: I'd love to explore other parts of Switzerland though; shame the country is so dear because it seems like a really beautiful place.

    Other than that, been to Wales a few times and always enjoyed it. My favourite spots around Ireland would be on the east - had many nice holidays in Wexford and Wicklow as a kid.

    As for the future, I wanna visit every country in Europe at least once, and I have a big list of cities I really wanna go to. Top of my list are Amsterdam, Berlin, Reykjavik, Copenhagen and Stockholm. Hopefully I'll get to them someday.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    .Geneva is a nice but sleepy city. It's the only foreign city I've ever been on a night out in and it was a rip-off; the price of entry fee and two drinks amounted to somewhere between €30-€40! :eek: I'd love to explore other parts of Switzerland though; shame the country is so dear because it seems like a really beautiful place.

    Bloody hell that's expensive! :eek:

    In comparison, half a litre of Smirnoff is about 4/5 euro in the supermarkets in Krakow - and you can get cheaper brands than that. The alcohol there is ridiculously cheap >_< Most of the bars were free entry while the clubs were about 3-6 euro to enter. Drink prices are more expensive than in the supermarkets but still a hell of a lot cheaper than here.

    Always wanted to go to Switzerland though. There and Italy are my main European priorities atm. Japan of course is the country I MOST want to visit in the entire world.

    *dreams of Japan*


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,148 KnifeWRENCH

    Hotaru wrote: »
    Bloody hell that's expensive! :eek:

    I think it was 20 Francs to get in but you got a free drink (a cocktail - I went with Kamikaze). Then when I went to get another one that was another 20 Francs.

    So 40 CHF all together, which works out to €30.4375 (just checked it there)
    Hmmm not as bad as I remember actually but still pretty expensive. They might have ripped us off because we were foreign though :p
    Japan of course is the country I MOST want to visit in the entire world.

    *dreams of Japan*


    Oh yes, I'd love to go to Japan too. My other ambition, other than the one to visit every country in Europe, is to visit at least one country in every continent.

    So Japan, South Korea, China, UAE (Dubai), Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada are all on my list of countries I want to visit. (haven't decided where in South America I wanna go yet.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,779 ✭✭✭ A Neurotic

    Bumped into a bunch of classmates in college the other day, chatting away, blah de blah, when one of the guys comes out with:

    "Ye've all had such cool summers, everyone's been in Canada or India or Africa or something..."

    *cue me getting ready to nod and co-whine that summer had been decidedly domestic*

    "...all I did was go to Turkey :/"

    The most annoying part being, when I exclaimed sarcastically/indignantly that I'd only been in Cork for a couple of days (first place that sprang to mind), they all took a polite interest and asked me where I'd stayed and for how long.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,231 Fad

    I have been in China, Vietnam, Russia, Estonia, Finland, England, Wales, France, Spain, Portugal, America..... sure there's another one or two :S

    Vietnam is a beautiful country. People are friendly, money is amusingly worthless, scenery is lovely. Food is hideous.

    China is lovely, people aren't as nice as they are in Vietnam. Food is better, and there is more to see, such a huge country.

    I was in Vyborg in Russia, which is a teeny tiny bit of Western Russia, which I did not enjoy at all. I plan to go back, but I would not be going near Vyborg again! Wanna take the Trans Siberian Railway.

    Estonia was an unexpected beautiful country. I was only there for a day while I was staying in Finland. Loved it!

    Finland was weird. Stayed in the weirdest house with a cinema in the basement, country was generally odd. People have no concept of small talk.

    Yeah.....too tired to post in anyway lengthy summaries of places >_<.

    Places I want to see: Iceland, Japan, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Antartica, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Faroe Islands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Vatican City, Greenland, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Bermuda, Argentina...... Probably left out a few East Asian ones...... wanna see them all!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,361 bythewoods

    I was in Croatia for a week this Summer with my best friend, and it was wonderful.

    We booked cheap flights, but no accommodation, and us being, well, us ended up in some very weird and wonderful situations.
    An American backpacker who sat next to us on the plane ended up becoming a really weird tag along for a few days, following us to our hotel, getting us drunk and eventually talking us into jumping into the sea, completely wasted at like... 1am or something. He was naked. Super naked.
    We took an 8 hour bus to Dubrovnik from Zadar, and went to Bosnia. We took lifts with random Croatian strangers in strange places, we accepted 14 drinks off an old man in a club, we (well, I) made friends with a barman who gave me a whole bottle of Marachino (a random cherry liquor) in shot form for a night... for free! Also, my friend's Visa card got cancelled and many other very odd and rapey things happened to us.

    Also, we fitted in much cultural things. Visited a National park, Krka, which was the most beautiful place in the world. Pottered around beautiful towns and villages, went to art galleries, museums, took an island cruise and lobbed ourselves into the sea at every chance. We dined in some awesome places, and tried just about everything. We drank in a student bar attached to a Croatia university and I had great banter with a rake of Science students... and Philosophy ones. Too much. I also sent Craguls a postcard at one point. Personal highlight. I'll attach some awesome photos.
    The country was unreal cheap. Like, so cheap. And so beautiful.







    (Sorry for extreme amount of photos. I took millions...)

    I've never been outside Europe. I've been to France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Germany, The Canary Islands, Minorca and now Croatia and Bosnia. C'est tout. I think. I plan on going somewhere awesome next Summer. Hopefully India, as I have a place over there I can stay for free. The place I want to visit most is defo South America. Not exactly sure where, but I'd LOVE to go. Also, Iceland.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    Wow, that looks amazing!

    *put Croatia on the list of places to go*

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,842 seanbmc

    That looks really nice bythewoods! Making me more excited to go now :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,109 QueenOfLeon

    Ooooh this is shiny and new! I cannot wait until I haz moneys to go travelling more, my list of countries is quite small but after 3rd and 4th year we get to go volunteering in hospitals around Africa and Asia, cannot wait :)

    Paris in January of this year with the bf, it was snowing, around -12 degrees at times, but still gorgeous:


    (his photo not mine unfortunately!)

    We couldn't resist:



    View of the Champs-Elysses from the top of the Eiffel Tower:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 11,148 KnifeWRENCH

    ^ Those are really beautiful pics. Almost like postcards. :)

    Oh yeah when I went on that schooltour to Paris we went to Disneyland too. Myself and my friend were stuck in the middle of a queue for almost two hours when one of the rides broke >.<

    Disneyland was cool, but don't go around Halloween - WAY too crowded.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    Woah Queenie, those are gorgeous pictures! Specially the first one!

    Good job challenegmaster, at least you're useful for something :p

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,109 QueenOfLeon

    Hotaru wrote: »
    Woah Queenie, those are gorgeous pictures! Specially the first one!

    Good job challenegmaster, at least you're useful for something :p

    Compliment the only one I didn't take eh?? :P

    ChallenEGmaster? Master of eggs? :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,973 ✭✭✭✭ challengemaster

    ^ Those are really beautiful pics. Almost like postcards. :)
    Hotaru wrote: »
    Woah Queenie, those are gorgeous pictures! Specially the first one!

    Good job challenegmaster, at least you're useful for something :p

    Hehe, thanks guys. I'll post some more later when I dig them up :D

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,164 Konata

    Compliment the only one I didn't take eh?? :P

    ChallenEGmaster? Master of eggs? :D


    He is the master of eggs.

    Glad we've cleared that up anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,013 ✭✭✭ ironictoaster

    I have been lucky to travelled quite a bit. I have been to Jamaica, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Sweden, US, Spain and Germany. I don't have pics of any of the Carribbean countries and Sweden on this laptop, using my old computer while my laptop is being fixed. Will try to dig up pics when I get it back.

    I was lucky enough to represent Ireland in a FIFA video game tournment in 2006. I got quarter final World Cup in 2006 in Berlin. Really like the city, shame I didn't get to see enough of it as I surrounded by football constantly. I went with my dad, were both interested in WW2 history, we went to a few WW2 muesuems and the Reichstag. However in Berlin they're incredible strict with cameras, I was frisked going into the Reichstag! This left me just with football related pics :mad: :mad: :mad:. I am dying to go back, I missed alot of stuff due only being 16 at the time. Anyways here's some boring football pics my dad took...




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,590 ✭✭✭ Pigwidgeon

    I love travelling. Have been to a fair bit of Europe; Belgium, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Menorca, Majorca, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, England, Scotland and Wales.

    Most of them were with my family. Apart from Germany/Switzerland/Austria which was a skiing trip with Girl Guides, Paris with school, Belgium, London, Gran Canaria with friends.

    One of the most spectacular places I've been has to have been Penang in Malaysia. It was completely not what I was expecting. Going from the nice hotels section of the island to the city, was such a contrast. We were told not to bring any bags with us, in case they would get robbed. We went the most obscure day trip ever, a taxi driver brought us on a tour of the island which included, a fruit farm, a butterfly farm, a national park, various Buddhist temples and driving around the island. It was an incredibly beautiful place.



    That was followed by a trip to Sydney for my cousins wedding. It was somewhere I'd always wanted to go, and it was amazing. We went on a day trip to the Blue Mountains which were unbelievable.





  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,109 QueenOfLeon

    Also went to Amsterdam in February with my class. Again, freezing and snowing but its a lovely (if not very strange) city :) A lot of the pics are, lets say, not all that suitable for the innocent minds of C&H, but these should be ok :p

    Really pretty houses:


    This was hilarious:

    Theres also a random boob in the ground:

    Went to Italy in TY, visited Rome, Florence, Pisa, Bologna and a few small towns but it was back in the days of normal camera so all I have is printed photos! (Plus I'm way too snap happy, should stop posting photos now :o)

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,973 ✭✭✭✭ challengemaster

    Ok.... as I happened to leave my laptop charger at home like the idiot I am, i can't edit/upload more pics from recent travellings. I will however put up what's already online.... unfortunately, they may not ALL be from outside of Ireland >_>

    Salthill, Galway (****ing freezing to jump off that, even more craic when you can't swim :D )

    Poolbeg, Dublin. Was really part of my first exploration of Dublin as part of work experience oh so long ago...




    Beijing, China

    Great wall of China

    Hong Kong

    All of the above were part of taken when I got my first "Proper" camera. Was quite a short stay over there, but I really enjoyed it. So different over there, and you'd be amazed at the cost of things, and the ways of life....people CYCLING around the place with full sitting room suites attached every which way to the bike...Pure madness. I'd love to go back at some stage, but I think America is first on the list of places to re-visit. It's been about 6 years now and I've really no pics to show from that....

    When I manage to get a charger for my laptop I'll get more pics up :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,973 ✭✭✭✭ challengemaster

    Some more from Paris earlier on this year - I've loads more than this, I'll get around to editing them later :) I only got my laptop charger back earlier so that's what I blame :D

    Eiffel Tower

    l'Arc de Triomph

    The Louvre

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,973 ✭✭✭✭ challengemaster

    Few more from Paris




  • Registered Users Posts: 212 ✭✭ PKen

    I've been to the United States, Cuba, Jamaica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. I haven't seen too much of Europe to date. After seeing all the fantastic (European) pictures posted, I think it's about time I started holidaying on my own continent. Thanks everybody for the pictures and tips. So many places - so little time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,444 Piste

    bythewoods wrote: »
    I was in Croatia for a week...[stories of awesomeness]

    You, missy, are my hero. That sounds like the Summer I should have had!

    I'll be going to Berlin next month before college and hopefully Amsterdam around Halloween, hopefully I'll have interesting photos/stories to share!

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,713 Novella

    No amazing stories of travel-ness from me, just have to say that challengemasters pics are so good! :) I'll be back sometime with pics of my own from places I've been, I'm just a bit too lazy atm!

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,965 SarahBeep!

    Forget about the Eiffel Tower, this is the view from Le Tour Du Montparnasse

    And behind Notre Damme there's an amazing underground marble chamber that was built as a memorial to all the Jews killed in the seconf World War;


    And OR COURSE the Louvre, my favourite section has to be the Ancient Egyptian collegtion because of....


    Coolest thing I've ever seen. Ever. Like, seriously.

    Munich Zoo is savage, especially when it's Easter Sunday and you're four years of age :D

    There's a really cool Dinosaur Park in Britanny in France somewhere, can't remember off the top of my head. Life size models of all different scenes from prehistoric times! Something I found kind of funny was there was loads of tiny newts and lizards running around the place, mini-dinosaurs :D

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,109 QueenOfLeon

    SarahBeep! wrote: »
    And OR COURSE the Louvre, my favourite section has to be the Ancient Egyptian collegtion because of....
    Coolest thing I've ever seen. Ever. Like, seriously.

    Wish I saw all of the Louvre. We spent hours there but only got through 1 wing of it (out of 4!). Listening to the audio tour was really really good :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,427 ✭✭✭ highlydebased

    Finland, Iceland, Russia and Greenland are at the top of my to-do list. Now if only I had the funds to do it....

    Have not been to terribly exciting places- particularly when I've only been on silly sun holidays with the parents. Canaries/spain/portugal carry on. Went to wales once (last year). Been to America good few times- was my first ever holiday actually, when I was 10 weeks old! On an old aer lingus jumbo jet- apparently I slept in a cardboard box the entire way over. Odd!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,973 ✭✭✭✭ challengemaster