The New Travel Thread: Now with write ups in the OP

Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. Pasta88

    Pasta88 Canes, Bruins, Raps, Jays and Sunderland.
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    I think it was ITT that recommended (via Rick Steves) to pretend you’re part of a group tour at the Vatican so you can skip the line to the Basilica via the special entrance tunnel.

    That turned out to be the most thrilling five minutes of my acting career, where you have to simultaneously convince security you’re in a group tour and that group tour that you’re in a different tour.
     
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  2. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    Try to book the earliest tour in advance that you can at the Vatican. They sell out and the oversell.

    We stood shoulder to shoulder like we were walking through a concourse after a football game in the Sistine Chapel.
     
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  3. AptosDuck

    AptosDuck Pedantic Hausfrau
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    Valuable Rick Steves Rome tip: if you have a reservation for the Vatican Museums but aren't part of an actual tour: when you get to the Sistine Chapel, which is the end, there are two exits, the one to the left is for regulars and it takes you out of the complex and you then have to stand in line again to get into St. Peter's. The exit to the right is reserved for tour groups, and it takes you directly into St. Peter's. When the time comes to exit, "join" a tour group and follow them through the right exit so you don't have to wait in line again. We "joined" a Korean tour group* and followed them right into the basilica, saving valuable time that otherwise would have been spent in yet another line.

    * we would definitely not pass for Koreans; my wife thought we were going to wait for a group that would help us blend in better, but I was ready to go. One of my kids said "Dad, that's the exit over there, what are you doing?!?" and I curtly replied "Shh. Come on, let's go." I've never felt so alive

    edit: shit, Pasta beat me to it, and I'm pretty sure I mentioned it ITT a few years ago but it bears repeating
     
    #24903 AptosDuck, Apr 28, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
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  4. Lyrtch

    Lyrtch My second favorite meat is hamburger
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    I didn't even tell my wife what I was doing because I knew she'd get freaked out about breaking the rules

    Was very easy though
     
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  5. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia Thought Leader in Posting
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    Do the tour guides police that at all? I haven't been to Italy in 15 years but I remember (in many museums but not necessarily The Vatican) if someone got even a little close to their group and appeared to hear what they were saying they'd shame the person for trying to freeload a tour.
     
  6. AptosDuck

    AptosDuck Pedantic Hausfrau
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    It's damn near impossible to do in the Sistine Chapel where everybody is crammed in together. The only policing they were effective at was photography, and even that was hit&miss. My oldest took a sweeping video of the ceiling right next to me even though he knew it was forbidden, and I was waiting for him to get yelled at. Nothing happened. A few minutes later a guy next to me was trying to do something similar but kept his phone down by his chest while doing it, and was berated loudly and forcefully in English by one of the security guards.
     
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  7. BamaNug

    BamaNug Half is a lie, but the good part's true
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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. BamaNug

    BamaNug Half is a lie, but the good part's true
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    Just giving you a hard time old man.
     
  9. bwi2

    bwi2 Not affiliated with BWI
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    straight to hell
     
  10. Pasta88

    Pasta88 Canes, Bruins, Raps, Jays and Sunderland.
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    Reminds me of the time I went to my first “free” walking tour without any cash because I didn’t know they operated on tips/donations. It’s a steep learning curve out there.
     
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  11. BamaNug

    BamaNug Half is a lie, but the good part's true
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    Flights to Nepal booked. Think I'm doing the 3-passes trek. 3 passes over 15,000 ft, detours to Everest Base Camp and other Himalayan peaks.
     
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  12. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
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    Love the Rome tour tips. I already booked a Vatican tour but would love to try the pretend I’m in a tour group and see my wife’s reaction. She’s such a scaredy-cat in situations like that
     
  13. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
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    Mix made it to positano yesterday. shockingly east going from the airport to Roma termini then Naples and then positano. Never waited more than 15 mins. Weather is great so far. 65 degrees but warm in the sun.

    Positano is beautiful. View from our room is decent. I about died walking back up yesterday tho.

    2D0965B5-999A-450C-BDD0-FB65598935C3.jpeg
     
  14. Mix

    Mix I own a Fuddruckers with Scottie Pippen
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    Looks amazing. On my way to Miami Airport now and get in tomorrow morning to Rome.
     
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  15. TDintheCorner

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    Wife and I booked our first trip to Ireland last night. On a scale of 1 - :ohholkyfuck: how nervous should I be about driving over there? :ohdear:
     
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  16. pianoman

    pianoman my drinks are free
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    It takes like an hour to get used to. Make sure you get an automatic though if you’re not comfortable with a stick as their cars are normally manuals.
     
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  17. TDintheCorner

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    Yeah I read about the prevalence of manuals over there. I’m pretty comfortable with a stick; drove one all through high school. Doing it with my left hand will definitely be a new experience though. Is it worth it to rent a car as opposed to trying to do all traveling via train/bus?
     
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  18. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    we just drove around Ireland for 2 weeks in March/April. Central Dublin is awful to drive around with all their unmarked and one way streets. Besides that its not bad and you’ll get the hang of it quickly. After the first day I felt fine, but my wife never got used to the narrow roads. We drove Dublin over to the west coast, to galway, donegal and belfast. The roads are pretty tight though and even if you are driving around the country you’ll be surprised how often you are on small country roads for long distances rather than highways. I second the idea to spring for an automatic though. I drove a stick for years but was so glad to have an automatic there as you do have to really concentrate while driving and thats one less big thing to worry about.
     
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  19. TDintheCorner

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    Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. I’d definitely prefer an automatic just to have one less thing to worry about like you said. It may just depend on the cost. Everything I’ve seen so far is like $400-$500 more for an automatic for the week.
     
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  20. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    If you’re doing a lot of driving i’d still recommend it, I was in the same boat of saving the money and after a few days I was so happy I got an auto. In a thousand km of driving over 2 weeks we were only on what you would consider a highway maybe 100km. everything else was tighter roads, stop and go, having to pull off to let people pass at tight junctions, etc. when you’re in any of the big cities just park the car and leave it and uber or walk around. Check w your hotels too on parking/luggage drop off because a lot of places in the city don’t have parking or places to pull into the hotel. You kinda have to pull over, block traffic for a second and hurry to load/unload bags and then go to a parking garage. Still worth it to drive over taking buses imo though.
     
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  21. TDintheCorner

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    Thanks so much. :beerchug:
     
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  22. WC

    WC Bad Company, ‘til the day I die.
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    European cities can be super stressful to drive in, even the modern ones, because they’re just all so fucking old and tight. We rented a car in Mallorca and most of the time it was open road stuff and was fine, but occasionally we ended up in some tiny little villages and even I was puckering, and I do stressed driving for a living.
     
  23. WhiskeyDelta

    WhiskeyDelta Well-Known Member
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    Are you traveling all over or mostly staying in Dublin? Honestly unless you’re trying to visit some of the more rural sites, you could almost skip a car and take trains between the major cities and Uber/public transport/walk within the city itself. Driving in between cities isn’t all that bad; look up some YouTube videos about round-about rules and you’ll be ok. Inner cities can get a bit harrowing because roads are narrow, it’s usually not even close to a grid, and street signs suuuuuck, so you’re likely to accidentally go into a bus only lane or down a one way. Like others said, you get used to it quickly, but I’d recommend an automatic if you NEED a car, and skip a car altogether if you can. Most city centers it’s easier to walk anyway, instead of finding parking, paying for parking, and paying like $9/gal for fuel

    source: live in England, been to Dublin twice and Cork/Kinsale once, and my boomer parents managed to figure out the train from Dublin to Cork so anyone can
     
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  24. TDintheCorner

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    Right now we're looking at Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Killarney as our main places to visit. Been trying to plan a route this morning and I think we might potentially try to stay around Kilkenny as well since it's a good bit cheaper than staying in Cork. We don't plan on spending more than a day or two in Dublin; neither one of us are fans of big cities in general but I feel like we need to at least experience a little bit of Dublin. After looking at everything further this morning it does seem like a car is our best bet. We actually arrive in Dublin at like 5:00am on Sunday and I'm thinking that might give us a chance to get out of the city and get accustomed to driving before it gets too crowded that morning and then we can hit Dublin the last day or so before we fly back.
     
  25. WhiskeyDelta

    WhiskeyDelta Well-Known Member
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    Id almost suggest doing train from Dublin/Cork/Killarney, and renting a car to drive from Killarney to Galway, and then train to Dublin. The West Country is very sparsely populated so driving will be a lot less stressful, and the train is about the same travel time between everything else. Train also lets you take pictures, take a nap, eat a snack, and just relax and (if you haven’t done trains in Europe before) you just need to get to the station 5 minutes before departure, and they mostly drop you in the city center. Just my opinion, if you feel like cars are a better option go for it.
     
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  26. DuffandMuff

    DuffandMuff Well-Known Member
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    I did the earliest Vatican tour and it was great. Our guide took us to directly to the Sistine chapel to start the morning. Peaceful. Quiet. We were the only people in there. She then took us back at the end of the tour and showed us how crazy it can be. Exactly like you said- shoulder to shoulder walking through a packed stadium concourse.
    Judging by the view it seems you’re close to both Da Vincenzo and Il Tridente. I think I mentioned those to you before in here. Vincenzo was great for lunch and Il Tridente is awesome spot for a patio drink with a great view.
    I did a ton of driving last year on a 7 country European road trip. I was surprised how well I took to the road, but we didn’t go to many big cities. Milan and Munich were probably the busiest but not bad.

    Driving opposite side in the UK is a different beast IMO. I don’t know if I could do that.
     
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  27. DuffandMuff

    DuffandMuff Well-Known Member
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    How many days is that trek? Are you going to stock up on the knock off North Face and Arcteryx gear in Kathmandu?
     
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  28. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
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    hit up both of those spots. our hotel was at the top and the stairs down went basically right to da vincenzo. had dinner there one night after grabbing drinks at il tridente during the sunset. both great spots :beerchug:
     
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  29. BamaNug

    BamaNug Half is a lie, but the good part's true
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    15 or 16 days on the trail, but staying in teahouses. Had thought about going faster, but everything I read about hiking at that altitude says take it slow, so won't risk it. Sleep like 4-5 nights above 15,000 ft.

    Got enough gear to fir every PNW stereotype there is, so good there.
     
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  30. AptosDuck

    AptosDuck Pedantic Hausfrau
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    We picked up a Range Rover at the Gare du Nord in Paris in 2016, and I didn't realize that it was the kind of car that turns itself off when you stop at an intersection. Absolutely freaked out when it turned off as we exited the station I'm like GODDAMMIT WHAT DID I DO HOW DO I GET THIS THING STARTED AGAIN I'M IN PARIS AND MY CAR JUST DIED FUUUUUUUCK and then it started again and we drove to Bruges
     
    #24930 AptosDuck, May 3, 2022
    Last edited: May 3, 2022
  31. NC Wolfpack

    NC Wolfpack Go Pack Go
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    Wife and I just booked a week long vacation in Banff for July. Was surprised to find that there are almost no rental cars available in Calgary and surrounding areas. As such, I will let the group know of my experience with Turo post trip.
     
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  32. WC

    WC Bad Company, ‘til the day I die.
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    fucking bruges
     
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  33. WC

    WC Bad Company, ‘til the day I die.
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    You pay for the coverage through Turo? CC's not covering it is super dumb.
     
  34. AptosDuck

    AptosDuck Pedantic Hausfrau
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    [​IMG]
     
  35. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    I think we were talking about travel shows in here a while back. Just watched the first episode of Nomad on CNN. I think it has potential. Host seems decent so far and episode was all about the suburbs of Paris most people never visit so looks like they'll focus on more off the beaten track places.
     
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  36. NC Wolfpack

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    I chose the lower coverage option, $2k max out of pocket. They give you the option to decline which is kind of insane.
     
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  37. Fran Tarkenton

    Fran Tarkenton Well-Known Member
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    We are going for a week in July as well. All I could get was a Turo in Banff. Saw some in Canmore as well.
     
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  38. NC Wolfpack

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    Yeah, our Turo is supposed to be delivered to the Calgary airport, but then we’re supposed to drive the owner back home ‍♂️. With the km limit (2100km), going to have to be cognizant to map out our driving.

    We are actually staying in Canmore. A lot more Airbnb options at a more reasonable price.
     
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  39. pianoman

    pianoman my drinks are free
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    I’ve got a Turo fleet in Denver. As long as you have a highly rated host you should be fine.
     
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  40. Lawnole23

    Lawnole23 FSU Seminoles 2020 National Champions
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    Seville was an absolute nightmare. We rented an 8 person Mercedes van to drive around Spain and I don't think it would even fit down most of the streets. We couldn't even get it out of the parking garage in Malaga. Some locals had to sit on the front so it would even make it up the ramp and it still scratched the fuck out of it. The walls were padded it happens so often.
     
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  41. Mix

    Mix I own a Fuddruckers with Scottie Pippen
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    Did Vatican today. Pretty great actually. Got shoved out of the way in the sistine by security for some Asian country leader. Then almost got run over by the damn motorcade.
    The craziest thing to me that's really just sad America shit is how cars always stop at crosswalks with pedestrians. It's stunning to me every time.
     
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  42. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Thoughts on Montevideo or Santiago? Lots of killer flights to SA from Atlanta on Secret Flying lately.

    Santiago, Montevideo, Suriname, Guyana, etc. Basically all over SA outside of Paraguay and Bolivia.
     
  43. BamaNug

    BamaNug Half is a lie, but the good part's true
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    Go to Bahia!
     
  44. Room 15

    Room 15 Mi equipo esta Los Tigres
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    Santiago > bus to Valparaiso

    Montevideo was a cool city, not sure I’d only go there. It could be a cheaper way to get to BsAs
     
  45. letan

    letan Just looking for the gator board
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    I did the Vatican today. I enjoyed it a lot as well. Glad we had a guided tour bc I wouldn’t have appreciated all of the artwork nearly as much. Sistine chapel was real cool as was the map room. I found it pretty funny that Michelangelo didn’t know what a whale looked like so when painting the story of Jonah and the whale he just made the whale a big fucking trout.

    it’s also been hard to convince my wife that we can just go out in the cross walks. She’s always afraid to jump out there and then I’ll point out some little old Italian lady just going right into traffic.

    7F4D0D23-F883-49FE-AB41-B45F4B9D3C55.jpeg
     
  46. Mix

    Mix I own a Fuddruckers with Scottie Pippen
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    Went to imàgo at Hessler hotel on top of Spanish steps. Holy shit that was awesome. It was $550 for us both and we got the wine and cheese pairings and all that jazz. Highly recommend for special occasions.
    Tomorrow train to Naples then ferry to Sorrento then shuttle to our hotel in Vico Equense. Excited for a more casual vibe and the storms are about to come through Rome the next few days so timing is good.
     
  47. PJP3

    PJP3 Well-Known Member
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    Montevideo was kinda meh to me. I’d immediately catch the ferry to BA and thats one of my favorite places on earth.
     
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  48. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Good to know. That's a legit option. I found a flight to BA for $767 from ATL, which is actually better than usual. It's in consideration.

    Also, getting from Quito to Galapagos is how hard? Expense wise, is it better to book direct to Galapagos from the US, or book a flight to Quito and then find something from Quito to there?
     
  49. THEBLUERAIDER

    THEBLUERAIDER Well-Known Member
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    I’m hoping the deaths at the all inclusive in the Bahamas is not a sign of things to come. Reminiscent of a few years ago when the DR had all those deaths due to bad booze. We are headed to Punta Cana in October.
     
  50. herb.burdette

    herb.burdette Meet me at the corner of 8th and Worthington
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    There is no way of knowing. My wife and I stayed at the Iberostar in Playa Del Carmen where there were allegations of bad alcohol in a death a few years ago and it was an incredibly nice place.

    We were there before it happened, but I would never have imagined it would happen there.
     
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