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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 8:45 am
It's about time we had a GH thread about travelling - advice, stories, general discussion of places to go and things to do.

As some of you are aware, I'm heading to Europe during the mid-year Uni break. For those who have done Europe before, any advice would be gratefully accepted, particularly as I'm on a limited time-schedule, and I'm more-or-less broke. As it stands, we're going to the following places (in no particular order):

- Flying in Frankfurt
- Berlin
- Prague
- Amsterdam
- Barcelona
- Paris
- London
- Possibly Vienna
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Ricky Stuart
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 9:02 am
The British museum is an absolute must, its right next to oxford street in the middle of London and is a day you will never forget.

Sorry i'm old but you will remember this long after another day on the p#ss, the ancient roman and egyptian stuff are outstanding.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 9:05 am
Shadow Boxer wrote:The British museum is an absolute must, its right next to oxford street in the middle of London and is a day you will never forget.

Sorry i'm old but you will remember this long after another day on the p#ss, the ancient roman and egyptian stuff are outstanding.


Cheers man, I'm pretty sure the plan is to see the sights during the day, then get loose at night - absolutely no drinking before dusk. I learned that lesson the hard way a few times in Laos.
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 12:45 pm
Good thread.

You've chosen some awesome cities to visit.

London is obviously a super popular place to visit. I've been there a few times, but never done the British Museum. Must do it next time and get some good brain food. London is awesome though. Obviously there is a hell of lot of tourist stuff to do (it's all pretty cool), lots of sports and great pubs. Half of Australia is there though. All the stuff like the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Churchill's Cabinet War Room, etc, is all very touristy and bog standard, but I still like it a lot.

I went to Amsterdam last year with a couple of mates for the first time and thought it was cool. Obviously it is a party city and you gotta embrace its seediness (which I'm sure you will), but I found it attracts a lot of tools. Had an awesome time, though. Anne Frank's House is a must as well. Pretty moving place.

Barcelona rules. One of the best places I've been to. I wish I had of seen more of Spain actually, as I had five days in Barcelona only. La Rambla is very touristy but has a great vibe. If you like architecture, la Sagrada Família and Park Guell are essential. If you can get down to the Costa Brava you should. I went to Tosser de Mar and it was a cool and laid-back, although many of the coastal regions of Spain are famous for package holidays and cater to uncultured Pommy scrubbers. I'd look up which places to avoid first, but I'm not sure which ones they are. I'm sure someone who has spent more time in Spain could advise more non-touristy things. Also, for some reason, I saw a lot of MILFs in Barcelona. :lol:

Paris is sensational. People say the French are rude, but I've mostly found them to be the opposite (except on their motorways where they are aggressive as all hell). I found that if you attempt to speak their language (I did French at school but have forgotten most of it) they respond well and will then speak English if they can. I can understand why they don't like people blasting into a shop and just ordering in broad English without even trying.

At the top of the Eiffel Tower they have a host of international flags and it says how far it is to different cities. Canberra is on there, so as the place I grew up in I got a photo under it, but some woman paid me out about how crap Canberra is. Is asked her where she was from and she responsded in a condescending tone, "Um, Sydney". You go to the other side of the world and still can't escape being paid out about Canberra. :lol:

I'm also going to Berlin this year (early August). Never been there before, but I'm looking forward it. Also doing Hamburg (and the Wacken Festival) and Copenhagen. Spending the rest of the time in the north of England visiting the girlfriend's olds.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 1:59 pm
Thanks heaps man, that's awesome. I'll pretty much only be going to places I specified, as we've only got a month between Uni semesters, and that was the longest I could talk work into giving me off. I'm going to try and at least attempt to learn some of the native tongues, so hopefully I won't reveal myself to be the uneducated redneck that I clearly am. I think I'll be in Berlin for my birthday, which should be pretty sweet - I've heard nothing but good things about the place.

Thankfully, the girl I'm travelling with has no interest in going to crappy Euro dance clubs to catch the latest sick beats from DJ Schadenfredue, so I think many of our nights will consist of sitting in huge, open-air parks, pounding beers and watching the World Cup on the big screens, which is absolutely fine by me. Also, she has friends in London, Berlin and Barcelona we can stay with, which'll certainly cut down on the cost.

I'm probably most excited for Paris to be honest, I've heard its just the most amazing city - also, a mate from Uni has lived and worked there before, and he'll be over there at the same time as me. And his brother owns a bar there, so free drinks! I could die, but at least I'll go out in style...

Also dude, I can't believe you're going to the Wacken Festival - that'll be crazy. Check out the Ruthlessreviews.com's '10 most ridiculous Wacken festival pics' :lol:
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John Ferguson
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:03 pm
How on earth do you manage to spend so much time overseas? Especially since being a uni student, you have no financial right to do so. :lol:
:!: Warning: poster is incapable of humour, engage with at your own risk. Symptoms of engagement may include frustration, mental imbalance and temporary insanity.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:09 pm
Sterlk wrote:How on earth do you manage to spend so much time overseas? Especially since being a uni student, you have no financial right to do so. :lol:


Asia last year was the first time I've gone overseas on my own dime - and I'd been working for the best part of 4-5 years before then. Since I got back from Asia I basically haven't spent any money on unecessary items, I've been out on the town maybe 4-5 times, and only when I've had friends from overseas come to stay. I've begged, borrowed, and stolen in order to get drunk, and haven't touched anything better than cask wine in 4 months. And I'm on Centrelink.

So, in short, I decided I'd rather spent my money travelling and just live like Rodman in the meantime.
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:37 pm
Michael wrote:
Sterlk wrote:How on earth do you manage to spend so much time overseas? Especially since being a uni student, you have no financial right to do so. :lol:


Asia last year was the first time I've gone overseas on my own dime - and I'd been working for the best part of 4-5 years before then. Since I got back from Asia I basically haven't spent any money on unecessary items, I've been out on the town maybe 4-5 times, and only when I've had friends from overseas come to stay. I've begged, borrowed, and stolen in order to get drunk, and haven't touched anything better than cask wine in 4 months. And I'm on Centrelink.

So, in short, I decided I'd rather spent my money travelling and just live like Rodman in the meantime.


The best thing to spend it on, in my opnion (apart from big stuff like buying your own home, etc). It's the best way to learn. You gotta see the world. I feel I've only just scratched the surface.
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Ricky Stuart
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:48 pm
Michael wrote:
Sterlk wrote:How on earth do you manage to spend so much time overseas? Especially since being a uni student, you have no financial right to do so. :lol:


Asia last year was the first time I've gone overseas on my own dime - and I'd been working for the best part of 4-5 years before then. Since I got back from Asia I basically haven't spent any money on unecessary items, I've been out on the town maybe 4-5 times, and only when I've had friends from overseas come to stay. I've begged, borrowed, and stolen in order to get drunk, and haven't touched anything better than cask wine in 4 months. And I'm on Centrelink.

So, in short, I decided I'd rather spent my money travelling and just live like Rodman in the meantime.


Cask wine! That stuff is horrible haha. Where in Asia did you go? Im heading to Bali in July during the uni break too. First time ill be away form the eatern side of Australia in my life
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:55 pm
Michael wrote:Thanks heaps man, that's awesome. I'll pretty much only be going to places I specified, as we've only got a month between Uni semesters, and that was the longest I could talk work into giving me off. I'm going to try and at least attempt to learn some of the native tongues, so hopefully I won't reveal myself to be the uneducated redneck that I clearly am. I think I'll be in Berlin for my birthday, which should be pretty sweet - I've heard nothing but good things about the place.

Thankfully, the girl I'm travelling with has no interest in going to crappy Euro dance clubs to catch the latest sick beats from DJ Schadenfredue, so I think many of our nights will consist of sitting in huge, open-air parks, pounding beers and watching the World Cup on the big screens, which is absolutely fine by me. Also, she has friends in London, Berlin and Barcelona we can stay with, which'll certainly cut down on the cost.

I'm probably most excited for Paris to be honest, I've heard its just the most amazing city - also, a mate from Uni has lived and worked there before, and he'll be over there at the same time as me. And his brother owns a bar there, so free drinks! I could die, but at least I'll go out in style...

Also dude, I can't believe you're going to the Wacken Festival - that'll be crazy. Check out the Ruthlessreviews.com's '10 most ridiculous Wacken festival pics' :lol:


It's funny you mention not wanting to see some crappy Euro dance music, as the weekend we arrived in Amsterdam there was this massive cheesy rave thing called Sensation on. Apparently it's quite a massive global thing - it was in Melbourne last New Year's Eve - and every person there wears all white. So we arrived from the airport and the whole city was just swarming with packs of (mainly) blokes wearing all white. They were everywhere. A lot of knobs amongst 'em.

At the other extreme end of the spectrum, yeah, Wacken will be insane. Those pics are hilarious (I love Ruthless Reviews - their top 10 metal pics are legendary). I can't believe I'm going either. It attracts some of Europe's biggest oddballs and can be pretty feral, but hopefully it's not all like those pics :lol: . I can understand why people who like Sensation would think it is hell on earth as it is pretty insane. There is absolutely no way I would camp there. I am gonna stay in Hamburg, hire a car and drive there each day as it's not that far. I'm anticipating a very ugly crowd. I might be the only bloke there with short hair. :lol:

It's pretty good that you have people to stay with as a) they can give you excellent local advice and b) save you money on accommodation. Paris is such a cool place. I've been there a couple of times and there is still so much I want to see.

I’ve heard Prague is also awesome. Never been myself, but apparently booze is cheap and it has a ripping nightlife.

And drinking in German beer halls/gardens is the best. Actually, drinking abroad is awesome anywhere.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 2:57 pm
But its cheap and gets you nicely toasted...

I went to Asia with two mates - we flew to Bangkok, then went up through Laos (Vientiane, Vang Vieng), then down Vietnam (Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City), the across Cambodia (Phnom Penh and Siem Reap) and then back to Bangkok. It was amazing, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see the world on the cheap.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 5:07 pm
I lived in Paris for four years, and went to all of those places, did a lot of travelling.

Paris - Obviously you can spend years exploring this city. If you go to one museum, go to Musee d'Orsay - the place to go for Impressionism. That said, hard to miss the Louvre as well. The best thing about Paris is some of the districts you can walk round. Save some time for the less well known areas, as Latin Quarter etc can be very touristy. Michellin has a great book on Paris, with walking tours. Cafes... Les Deux Magots or Cafe de Flore the most famous old literary cafes. Stay out of tourist restaurants, there are some really well reputed bistros etc which are worth searching out.

Frankfurt... not my favourite city, but Berlin is one of them. Fantastic place. Get to the Checkpoint Charlie museum and the Pergamon museum in the old east Berlin. It has a very decadent feel to the place... the parks in summer especially. I saw the place when east and west were very different places, so fascinating from that perspective. A day trip out to Potsdam for the palaces is interesting if you like that sort of thing... huge parklands and a number of them.

Prague... one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all due to the architecture. The old town square, the Charles Bridge, the Prague Castle... it is fantastic atmosphere whereever you go, plus beer cafes.

Barcelona... liked it, but liked Madrid much more for some reason.

Vienna... worth going to, tortes and cafes etc, but it seemed like a very conservative city, somehow very staid.

Amsterdam... an amazing city. Beautiful architecturally, the canals etc etc etc... the "brown cafes", the red light district, the whole place has an amazing feel to it. Some of it pretty dirty and too modern, but stay somewhere in a hotel on a canal if you can. Indonesian food is the thing to have, Dutch food is terrible!

London... the easiest for Australians due to the language. It opens up things like theatre, if you're interested in that. Plus so much in common... sport etc etc. You'll already know the tourist things to do.
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Ricky Stuart
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 6:18 pm
So you didnt go to Bali then Michael? trying to find the best places to near that are near good surf spots. Any1?
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 26, 2010, 7:00 pm
i'm off to vegas this time next year.

anyone on here been before?
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John Ferguson
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PostPosted: March 27, 2010, 3:43 am
Michael wrote:It's about time we had a GH thread about travelling - advice, stories, general discussion of places to go and things to do.

As some of you are aware, I'm heading to Europe during the mid-year Uni break. For those who have done Europe before, any advice would be gratefully accepted, particularly as I'm on a limited time-schedule, and I'm more-or-less broke. As it stands, we're going to the following places (in no particular order):

- Flying in Frankfurt
- Berlin
- Prague
- Amsterdam
- Barcelona
- Paris
- London
- Possibly Vienna

Hey michael,

I just wrote a message that was about 1000 words detailing stuff for you to do and then deleted it( so dissapointed because i had crammed all my awsome knowledge in there)......it is friday afternoon and im not going to start again... it is beer time, but one day next work whilst im ment to be working ill write another one with some good tips.
cheers
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Gary Belcher
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PostPosted: March 27, 2010, 8:26 am
viking wrote:i'm off to vegas this time next year.

anyone on here been before?


Went in January this year for a few days. Seedy place but a lot of fun.

We stayed mainly on the strip since we were only there for a short time. The hotels are massive and walking what your head thinks are short distances takes a long time because the buildings are like the size of a normal block. Did my head in. The big hotels are great just to walk through and check out the themes, like the Venetian with the canals running through it! If you don't like people trying to hand you stuff then you'll be driven nuts by the hundreds of people lining the streets flicking their hooker cards at you. Doesn't seem to matter who you are man, woman or child they'll try and thrust them at you everywhere you go. It's legal to walk from place to place with your alcohol which is cool. Hotel rooms are generally pretty big and cheap since they make the money from the casino, the buffets are good. There's always like 5 different cirque du soleil shows on at any time. You much of a gambler?
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 27, 2010, 8:42 am
gangrenous wrote:
viking wrote:i'm off to vegas this time next year.

anyone on here been before?


Went in January this year for a few days. Seedy place but a lot of fun.

We stayed mainly on the strip since we were only there for a short time. The hotels are massive and walking what your head thinks are short distances takes a long time because the buildings are like the size of a normal block. Did my head in. The big hotels are great just to walk through and check out the themes, like the Venetian with the canals running through it! If you don't like people trying to hand you stuff then you'll be driven nuts by the hundreds of people lining the streets flicking their hooker cards at you. Doesn't seem to matter who you are man, woman or child they'll try and thrust them at you everywhere you go. It's legal to walk from place to place with your alcohol which is cool. Hotel rooms are generally pretty big and cheap since they make the money from the casino, the buffets are good. There's always like 5 different cirque du soleil shows on at any time. You much of a gambler?


i'm looking at going for about a week.yes,to say i'm a keen gambler would be an understatement :lol:
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Gary Belcher
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PostPosted: March 27, 2010, 8:44 am
viking wrote:i'm looking at going for about a week.yes,to say i'm a keen gambler would be an understatement :lol:


What's your game? You a texas hold'em guy or like the tables?
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Peter Jackson
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PostPosted: March 27, 2010, 5:06 pm
I've been to Las Vegas, It was only for 3 days, I was on a contiki tour. There is sooo much to do there, lots of performances you can go see. I went and saw David Copperfield and Wayne Brady. Also did helicopter ride & lunch to the Grand Canyon.
The Venetian is amazing, with the canals inside. Totally agree with Gangrenous the casinos are huge, and it does get confusing.
Drinks are everywhere, you can get huge drinks in huge Footballs, or huge yard glasses - be very wary of them lol from experience.
Gambling, ahh the gambling, everywhere, had to laugh when I got off the plane, there were "slot machines" occupied as far as the eye could see in the airport.

I stayed on the strip, very easy to get to everywhere, found it very smelly though, like there was a sewerage issue in the street or maybe it was just the heat or something. I found the people who are flicking adult services cards annoying and its every 10 metres, and the cards are littered in the street.
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Steve Walters
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 1:14 am
GE - we're heading down to Provence for Easter, we only have 5 days so wondering (presuming you've been) what you would prioritise?

We're arriving in Aix-en-Provence on the TGV.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 9:01 am
Kit Walker wrote:GE - we're heading down to Provence for Easter, we only have 5 days so wondering (presuming you've been) what you would prioritise?

We're arriving in Aix-en-Provence on the TGV.


Mate, best advice I can offer on this is just go to ground. Eat the bread, drink the wine, breathe the air. We had a brilliant holiday in France last year by doing jsut that. We hired a couple of houses (one in Azzay le Ferron, the other in Le Moustier) and just hit the markets, wandered a few tourist sites but basically just slowed down and enjoyed the pace of the French countryside.

So, my advice is to chuck the Lonely Planet in the bin. Nothing like the French countryside...you'll love it.

We're going to try the same thing this year, but in Italy instead.

Great thread, by the way.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 11:03 am
Aix, I loved the place, the old city centre is beautiful, with plane trees and fountains, spend some time in the cafes. Cezanne's studio. There's a nice nice drive you can do around the hills where Cezanne painted.

If you get a car, it's a bit out of the way, but I loved the area to the north of Aix, the Luberon Valley. The small villages like Gordes, Roussillon, Lacoste, Menerbes, its a great area, very beautiful - and they are on any list of most beautiful villages of France. Gordes is especially spectacular, small village perched on the top of a hill. Lourmarin is on the way to the Luberon. You can do a day trip from Aix, but it'd be rushing it. It'd be 50-60kms from Aix. I based myself in the Luberon a couple of times in B&Bs. Fontaine de Vaucluse is also very beautiful... river springs from the mountainside, the clearest sparkling water you'll ever see, nice small town. If you don't do it this trip, I'd recommend doing a trip to Avignon and exploring the Luberon from there.

Never went to Marsailles, always told how awful it was (dirty, crime), but I've more recently heard people say parts of it near the port are interesting.

Lived a month in Nice and enjoyed that, but that is really a city on the water, probably too far to get to from Aix in the time.
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 9:44 pm
gangrenous wrote:
viking wrote:i'm looking at going for about a week.yes,to say i'm a keen gambler would be an understatement :lol:


What's your game? You a texas hold'em guy or like the tables?


i used to be right in to texas hold'em and play all the time,but i havn't played in ages.
i will get back into it for the trip though.so that and blackjack will probably be the main things i will do over there.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 10:50 pm
greeneyed wrote:
Never went to Marsailles, always told how awful it was (dirty, crime), but I've more recently heard people say parts of it near the port are interesting.


Marsailles is sensational, just an awesome place. Best food I've had in France, by a mile (especially the seafood). But for God's sake, if you go out at night learn the arabic for "Please stop kicking me now, I'm bleeding profusely".
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 28, 2010, 10:55 pm
Impossible for Marseilles to have better food than Robuchon or a number of other chefs.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 7:59 am
Thank you everyone for your advice/contributions - especially Travelling Ringo for his ultimately unsuccessful attempt :lol: .
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 8:06 am
- Flying in Frankfurt - Never been
- Berlin - Never Been
- Prague - Never Been
- Amsterdam - You'll love it. The Rijksmuseum is pretty cool.
- Barcelona - Didn't rate it though everyone seems to rave about it. Familia Sagrada was ace though - they're still building it!
- Paris - Is rad. And ignore what people say to you about the French being rude, it's a myth. You MUST see the Louvre, simply because it houses some famous works and is just a magnificent example of Baroque architechture. Possibly my favourite building in Paris. Climb the Arc de Triomph for some awesome views of the City and then walk down the Champs Elysees. If you only visit one Cathedral, theh visit Notre Dame, it's setting is amazing and it's just a mind blowing work of 12th century architecture. You gotta do the Eiffel Tower too, it's just not a complete trip to Paris if you don't. I could go on... God I <3 Paris. Enjoy the queues :)
- London - Do some of the walking tours eg The Jack the Ripper tour. Try and get out of town a bit too. Visit Bath and Oxford. If you're in the UK long enough you should make your way up to Edinburgh too.
- Possibly Vienna - Vienna is OK, but if I were you I'd swap this for Rome or Florence.

PM me if you wanna know more about anything.
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Ricky Stuart
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 8:10 am
Visit Bath and Oxford


:thumbsup definately...
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Brett Mullins
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 10:58 am
Shadow Boxer wrote:
Visit Bath and Oxford


:thumbsup definately...


Two awesome, beautiful places. Many UK spa towns are wonderful, but Bath is the most stunning I've been to. Cambridge and Canterbury are also two towns I'd recommend. Cambridge University is spectacular.
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Mal Meninga
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 11:15 am
dugan=mullins wrote:So you didnt go to Bali then Michael? trying to find the best places to near that are near good surf spots. Any1?


Nah mate, to be honest nothing about Bali really appeals to me that much - I went there a long time ago, and it was just like the ugliest elements of Australia transported overseas - kinda like how Thailand is becoming now from the sounds of it. If you're going to spend the money going to Asia I'd definitely recommend going to Vietnam or Laos - there's a million back-packers over there, so its not like there's any shortage of people to party with, but you also really get the sense of being somewhere foreign, if you know what I mean. Plus Vietnam in particular is ridiculously cheap. But if you're going on a surfing holiday, then I couldn't really recommend anywhere that I've been, the 'beaches' consisted of rancid water with filthy shore-dumpers washing garbage up onto the sand.
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John Ferguson
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 11:55 am
If anyone comes down to Tasmania make sure you go on the Spirit of Tasmania. One hell of a ride. :lol:
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John Ferguson
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 8:26 pm
Michael wrote:It's about time we had a GH thread about travelling - advice, stories, general discussion of places to go and things to do.

As some of you are aware, I'm heading to Europe during the mid-year Uni break. For those who have done Europe before, any advice would be gratefully accepted, particularly as I'm on a limited time-schedule, and I'm more-or-less broke. As it stands, we're going to the following places (in no particular order):

- Flying in Frankfurt
- Berlin
- Prague
- Amsterdam
- Barcelona
- Paris
- London
- Possibly Vienna


Gday Michael,
I have been to all of these places a number of times so I will give you my tips of things to do/see.

Frankfurt- If you are flying into Frankfurt hahn on ryanair from London then be prepared for a long bus ride when you get there, it is about an hour an a half to Frankfurt but there are plenty of buses about 12 euro from memory. Frankfurt as a city doesnt really apeal to me but I had a friend who lived there so I spent a week there in 08, It is a business hub so not that exciting. Having said that there are a fair few museums and a cool little pub area (ask one of the locals they will tell you how to get to it) I watched the Manly v Melbourne grand Final and had a huge day on the piss in the pub district, I also caught a game of local rugby which was totally unexpected.

Berlin is probablly my favourite city in Europe, it has a real different feal about it. This is the one city where i would say ditch the tourist pubs and really try and find out what the locals are up to, I spent one night at a hoola hoop dance party in an emptied out swimming pool another in a penthouse in an apartment block with firewroks shooting off the roof. I would recomend that you take the free walking tour that leaves from the brandenburg gate (it is free if you want but the guides dont get paid so you give them a tip if you feel they deserve it) look for the guides in red shirts. there are also some cool underground bunker tours that I have been on. I would buy a berlin pass when you get there which includes all travel and discounts to heaps of toursit stuff. check out potsdam if you get time because it is pretty cool. there is a really cool bar called Zapata cafe in east berlin that is right next to a squaters art gallery, they have free internet there as well. It is a wierd bar where you can get anything you may want and see some really funky shows, i saw a guy put on a show where he rides like an exercise bike that shoots fire out everywhere.

Prague- Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in europe but both times i have been there it has somehow ended in a boozy few days. There is a free walking tour there as well that meets under the big clock (I think it is the new europe free walking tour or lindemans or something like that if you want to google it). There is several companies that do pub crawls they are all pretty similar so just barter with them to get the best deal if you feel like getting extremely drunk one night. One of the pub crawls is run by the aussie bar there, the owner of the bar is a champion except for the fact that he is a massive bunnies supporter. Prague is a great city for walking around and checking out all the tiny streets. Be carefull of the street vendours they sell good cheap food but they will sometimes try to short change you. Prague also has a 5 story club that they try to entice all the tourists into, I think its crap far too touristy but it is up to you to find out. Oh if your on a budget in prague you can buy a single fair for the trams, you need to validate it by punching a hole in it on the tram, I dodgily didnt validate it but just sat next to the machine that validates it and was going to punch it in if a conductor hopped on, saved me about 10euro (its amazing how dogy you become when you are travelling on a budget).

Amsterdam- You will be able to get yourself in enough trouble without my advice, one thing I would definately do is hire a bike and check out the city that way (I would recoment that in most cities in europe). Amsterdam is a beautiful city with all the canals and bridges definately ride around them and get yourself lost, definately ride out to Vondell park and relax with all the people there, throw a frisbee around or just it in the sun and people watch. there will be lots of people chilling and smoking and eating mushrooms there so it is a good laugh or you can partake in those extra curricular activities....if you do then I recomend you visit the zoo. For some reason i found monkeys hillarious there. I would also check out the van gogh museum but I would give the Heineken museum a miss it is pretty boring.

Paris- Paris is another beautiful city but very expensive, if you go to the leurve go to the main entrance where the big glass pyramid is turn around 180 degrees and walk back towards the grass area you will walk under a mini arc de triumph to the left and right of that there are entrances if you go in one of these entrances you will save yourself at least an hour in line-ups, you can also walk straight into the exhibition here without paying some times ( if you are on a strict budget). do all the other things I would recomend going up the eifel tower at night time. see the notre dam, I checke out the moulin rouge it is pretty expensive but I think you said you were travelling with a girl so you might get dragged along. I'm sure you will find heaps of stuff to do in Paris without my advice.

Vienna- One of my best mates lives in Vienna so I have been there a few times, he has a mate who runs a tour company there so if you want the details i can get them for you. I havent done much touristy stuff there due to just hanging out with my mate and his austrian friends, I had news years there this year which was pretty awsome. I would suggest doing the snaps tour, you get free samles at the end. Eat at a schnitzel restuarant called centimetre. We got a group meal that bought out 6 schnitzels and 6 pork steaks on a massive medievil sword with chips, chilli con carne and chicken wings underneath it. I also played in a touch comp there which was fun but no real help to you.

London- well I live in London at the moment and have done for nearly 2 years, there is so much stuff to do here I wouldnt know where to start. If your here on a thursday -saturday get down to borough markets in london bridge it has the best food. walk along the thames and check out the street performers. go to one of the meuseums natural hstory or brittish or science museum....not sure what else to put down about London and I should get back to work.

If you have any questions about any of these places or any other europe advice feel free to ask

Cheers Ringo
(oh and excuse any speling or grammatical errors, I couldn't be bothered reading over this.)
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John Ferguson
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 8:37 pm
I left out Barcelona,

Barca is another place I would hire a bike and check out the city that way, people say you either love Barca or Madrid but not both, Ive been to Barca three times it is a pretty fun place. without doubt check out Gaudi park it is awsome and def a must see. Go look at the Lafamilia but as someone said it is unfinished but a real cool building all the same. The bikes are cool to check out all the little tiny winding streets in. if you want a good night out there are some touristy bars along the street but i would reccomend just taking cash out with you, wallets are a target for pickpocketers which i found out on my way home at 8:30 in the morning (it was a massive night and i had no cash left so it was all good). If you want to go clubbing they really dont get started until 2-3 in the morning so dont do the aussie thing and start drinking early or you will never make it. The beaches in town are pretty crap I think compared to home but there is heaps of topless spanish chicks which kind of makes up for the lack of waves. There is a food market off of la rambles that has awsome tappas in a sought of bar that you sit along the baby octopus was awsome.
The olympic area is pretty cool to check out the pool is awsome.

Anyway like I said if you have any questions feel free to ask, it gets me out of working.

oh and ftr record i also would probablly go to rome or florence over vienna.
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Don Furner
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PostPosted: March 29, 2010, 8:50 pm
Yep, the way to enter the Louvre is via the metro, get out at the underground shopping centre/mall, and you can generally just walk straight in from the "Carousel du Louvre". This is the one with the upside down glass pyramid, under the IM Pey pyramid on the outside.
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Steve Walters
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PostPosted: March 30, 2010, 2:37 am
Thanks for the info on Provence T_R and GE, very much appreciated.

We will have a car, picking it up at the train station.

Definitely looking forward to the food. Mind you I look forward to the food every time I leave the culinary wasteland that is the Netherlands (so yes Michael, heed GE's advice when you're in Amsterdam and avoid native Dutch food like the plague! :lol:) Dutch staples include raw herring, fries with mayonnaise (yes it's nice the first few times, but one starts putting on the kilos if one indulges too often!) and fried donut hole things.

I've been to Paris stacks since I've been over here Michael - GE's advice is very good. St Germain de Pres is where it's at, the cafes are awesome. And the Musee d'Orsay is outstanding, I preferred it to the Louvre too (make sure you pick up an audio guide, it's well worth it if you're not too well versed in art). Personally I'd avoid spending too much time near the Eiffel Tower, there are crap loads of gypsies pimping various scams, and hordes of American tourists. It's a bit of a cultural Disneyland in summer, that part of Paris.
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