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Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Printable Version

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Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Weeto - 09-21-2017

I’m thinking of going for a short weekend break to somewhere in Europe next year. I’ve never left Scotland before, mainly due to never having really needed to and often been tied down due to personal commitments.

It has become obvious it would be possible to go for between 2-4 days with the right forward thinking applied.

I’ve a few ideas and they’re as follows...

Copenhagen, Denmark...
Denmark has a great reputation, the people speak very good English and are noted as being friendly. Pretty expensive though.

Paris, France...
I speak half reasonable basic French but could practice, I am a bit of a Francophile and I’d love to see a lot of the sights of France. Concerned about the recent amount of violent random terrorism in France though.

London, England...
One of the greatest cities in the world, no passports or anything needed, an hour away by plane from my nearby airport which is about three miles away, dirt cheap flights, no passports or special health insurance required, most of the locals speak English unless they’re Chelsea or Millwall fans (bad soccer joke) and lots of touristy stuff to see. Maybe a chance of going to see Arsenal live (my favourite English soccer club) and the majority of things are fairly familiar to me, as the only major differences between Scotland and England are accents and minor legal technicalities. And banknotes. Scottish ones tend to look Australian or Canadian nowadays while the English ones are a little more old fashioned. We do see them here too nowadays though.

Reykjavík, Iceland...
Gail has been hinting she might be possibly going back to a country she visited in the past that she was not previously invited to but had visited and in Europe this was narrowed down to Iceland or Ireland and she mentioned watching a murder mystery based in that country. I think she might have also visited Norway but I’m not sure but I think it could be Iceland. If she did go to a con for a couple of days in Reykjavik, it would be pretty reasonable financially to visit Iceland to go to the con. It is quite expensive compared to the already expensive UK but I don’t drink and Nordic countries tend to get the reputation of ultra expensive mainly due to their high alcohol taxation where drinks can cost three times what they do here at times. They are pricey for meals, etc but not earth shattering if you are there for two or three days. It is a nice country and has some interesting sights and Reykjavík is apparently very nice and modern itself.

Berlin, Germany...
I don’t speak German terribly well and never formally learned any but can just about make myself understood. Most Germans speak at least basic English but not at Nordic or Dutch standards. An interesting city also.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pretty easy to get to and the Dutch nearly all speak reasonable English. I have several friends and family who have worked or visited the Netherlands and it seems pretty easy to cope with. I know some basic Dutch and I’ve heard it is quite simple despite seeming a little strange at first but language lecturers have actually stated that along with Afrikaans it is just about the simplest language for native English speakers to cope with (Frisian, a regional language in the Netherlands is apparently even easier and is very close to English, to the extent that it can be possible to speak to a non English speaker and make a reasonable amount of sense to them and vice versa) but I’m not a drinker and the party culture in Amsterdam probably wouldn’t be my thing but there are other things that would interest me and apparently the food, sights and events are interesting.

Brussels, Belgium...
Outside possibility. Basically like Holland only French speaking (unless you go to the Flemish Dutch speaking bit but I think I’d stick to the Waloon French speaking area) and it looks like a nice city. Some terrorism there too though.

Real outside options could include...

Madrid, Barcelona, Lyon, Zurich or Geneva, Oslo, Helsinki, somewhere in the Highlands.

For personal reasons, I wouldn’t consider visiting Ireland although I have friends and relatives who have been there and some relatives in Northern Ireland, as well as a cousin that lives in the South. Belfast in Northern Ireland would be the preferred option if I had to travel there but I would not even be terribly attracted to that option.

Edit: In saying I wouldn’t be inclined to visit Ireland, I mean this more on my own although I would be willing to go as part of a group.


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Weeto - 09-23-2017

Has anyone here been to any of the places I mentioned?

I'm really thinking it over but London, Copenhagen and Paris are probably frontrunners.

I don't want to go to somewhere like Spain, Portugal, Greece or Turkey with a warm climate as I don't cope well as I'm asthmatic and quite heavy. Often can't cope with the climate here never mind somewhere regularly over 30C.

North America is out because of cost and the fact I couldn't go for a week or more, it would be four days max, I think.

The likes of London or even Dublin (although that is somewhere I'd be more likely to go on with family or friends and not on my own, partly because the culture seems to be inclined for group activities and not solo trips and I'd feel a little intimidated on my own there and I'd probably prefer someone with local knowledge) are possible to visit without a passport (for Brits, although Ireland might require a passport after Brexit although the common travel area is likely to survive. Apparently the Irish authorities are asking for ID more than in the past so having a passport is probably for the best there even though it isn't officially needed. This obviously didn't apply to anyone else from the EU, US, Canada, Australia etc and is a UK / Irish thing only.)

Maybe London would be a good option. Flights to London take slightly the same time from the local airport than the bus to Glasgow from here takes! About 450 miles and 70 minutes.

I don't have family in London really (although I do have family in the North and on the South Coast of England) but I'm pretty sure I'd manage OK as I wouldn't have any concerns about things like passports (UK passports were pricey, take 6+ weeks and require a trip to a passport centre for a long interview in most cases) money ( other than banknote appearance, the same) although the language might be an issue guv'nor.


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - JBK405 - 09-23-2017

I've been to Iceland, but only did a relatively quick stopover in Reykjavík.

We did the Ring Road -- the road which encircles the whole island -- and only stayed in the city for the last two days. What I saw of it was great though. We did the tourist spots, and also managed to hit the historical areas.

If you do go, make sure you stop by the Phallological Museum. It's almost worth the trip alone.


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - AndrewCrossett - 09-23-2017

I've never been to any of those places. All of them sound interesting but I'd probably choose London first, just because of the language issue and the sense of familiarity. I wouldn't try to go anywhere on my own where English wasn't spoken... but you probably wouldn't have any trouble with that regard in Amsterdam or any of the Nordic countries.

Couldn't you get a train to London a lot cheaper than flying?


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Weeto - 09-23-2017

(09-23-2017, 02:44 AM)AndrewCrossett Wrote:  I've never been to any of those places. All of them sound interesting but I'd probably choose London first, just because of the language issue and the sense of familiarity. I wouldn't try to go anywhere on my own where English wasn't spoken... but you probably wouldn't have any trouble with that regard in Amsterdam or any of the Nordic countries.

Couldn't you get a train to London a lot cheaper than flying?

The train is more expensive than a plane and takes six times longer. There is a pretty cheap bus option but it takes ages.


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Weeto - 09-23-2017

The Megabus can be booked for as little as £13 return!

It takes about 8 hours though...


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - AndrewCrossett - 09-23-2017

(09-23-2017, 11:08 AM)Weeto Wrote:  The train is more expensive than a plane and takes six times longer. There is a pretty cheap bus option but it takes ages.

Huh... I thought the rail service in the UK was publicly funded.


RE: Thinking of going on holiday next year... - Weeto - 09-23-2017

(09-23-2017, 12:41 PM)AndrewCrossett Wrote:  Huh... I thought the rail service in the UK was publicly funded.

Nope. Not for years. And it was never cheap.