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Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sat, 29th Mar '08 7:47 AM


Well, I started the group, so I'd better start the discussions!

How about each new group member giving us all a precis of their travel/geography interests etc.?

My main travel knowledge and love is probably the deserts - from Morocco in the west, through North Africa, into the Middle East. Favourite areas would be Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey.
Being UK-based, I can also cover most of Western Europe, of course. I especially know the Netherlands & Spain (and Wales, my ancestral turf!).
And I've a lesser knowledge through some trips to West & South Africa (and a few different bits of the USA, although most Sploofers will know far more than I!).

I usually manage two or three trips somewhere each year. Next booked is a re-visit to Venice (first enjoyed 40 years ago!) in May, 2008, with Belgium/Netherlands (where I lived for a time) and Sicily (first visit) on the cards later in the year.

Geography-wise, geomorphology is a major interest. And through background and hobbies, I can expound ad nauseam on the history & geography of what was the British Empire!

I am a bit of an 'enthusiast' - read "nut", "bore", etc.!
Which means if anyone wants any advice etc. on 'my' areas/subjects, no problem at all from this end - if you're willing to read a 5-page email!

Kaufman  (Level: 270.3 - Posts: 3942)
Sun, 30th Mar '08 3:37 PM

Hi there. I'm here in the Eastern United States, so much of my travel has been in this part of the world. I've had fairly extensive experiences in the U.S., and a few well-chosen spots elsewhere. Among my most memorable destinations have been Alaska, Israel, the Galapagos Islands, Bryce Canyon in Utah, Churchill, Manitoba during polar bear season and the "theme park" cities of New York and Las Vegas.

No major trips planned this year, though we're looking at a few quick trips west. I was in Vegas in January, going to Phoenix next week, and planning on heading out to Denver in the summer. There's a possibility of Costa Rica/Panama in '09, but we will see.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Mon, 31st Mar '08 3:43 AM

Yep - I've managed NY a couple of times, and LA/Vegas/Grand Canyon.
One of my future hopes is a year with a campervan in the US!
What was your Israel experience? We know the south, from Jerusalem to Eilat, well, but not north of Jerusalem at all.
Love the Negev and Sinai! The south Sinai (now in Egypt) must be one of the most beautiful deserts.

Kaufman  (Level: 270.3 - Posts: 3942)
Tue, 1st Apr '08 3:38 PM

I was in Tel Aviv for a conference in 1996, and before that began, I spent a few days touring, based out of Jerusalem. On the first day we saw Nazareth and the Galilee area, on the second day we went to the Dead Sea and Masada (the latter was truly amazing), and on the third day we explored the Jerusalem area, including Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) and the Old City.

We also visited Bethlehem that morning. It was right before hostilities were escalated between the Israelis and Palestinians, and so we had fairly free access to some of the sites on the West Bank. After the visit to such sites as the Church of the Nativity, we were herded into one of those big cheesy gift shops that no doubt pays the tour company for the privilege of hosting its patrons. We were resisting the temptations within pretty well, when in came a busload of what were obviously young college students from a very Christian school in the southern U.S., and it was like lambs to the slaughter. Not a single lousy piece of olive wood was immune to their credit card-feuled ecstasy.

The next day was Saturday, so everything in Jerusalem was basically closed down for the Sabbath. For the want of anything else to do, we walked to a nearby synagogue and attended the morning service. Granted, we had not walked into an Orthodox service, but I was taken aback by how much it resembled the Saturday services I'd attended here, right down to the American accents for the reading and talking in English. A lot of ex-pats have settled there!

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Fri, 4th Apr '08 5:29 AM

We also discovered - a surprise to us - that Gentiles could also gather at the Wailing Wall. That was an experience that took me right back into the millennia, and hit me between the eyeballs far more than the (so-called) Christian sites.
If I had to pick just one site to visit amongst this mass of sights within such a relatively small area, Masada would also be it. Unbelievable.
We also much liked the Judean Desert and down to Jericho.

Kaufman  (Level: 270.3 - Posts: 3942)
Sat, 5th Apr '08 10:27 PM

JJ was too intimidated by the Wall to get up close to it. I went, and left a note for a friend. I have a photo somewhere from as we first approached it of a couple of Uzi-armed young soldiers watching over the area.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Mon, 7th Apr '08 4:32 AM

It was the bikinis sunbathing with the Uzis on the beaches that threw us!
Another 'reminder' was in the Sinai, when we were there recently exchanged from Israel to Egypt. As a result of the previous conflict there was a notice by a road - "Please place found mines in box"!!

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3847)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 1:14 PM

Why am I not surprised by the membership list of this group?

Luvnmexsun  (Level: 147.4 - Posts: 711)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 9:32 PM

I was just thinking the same thing!

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 3:09 AM

Hi people!
Thought Allena would be along too - is he on 2.0?
How's about your 'new member' intros?

Allena  (Level: 269.0 - Posts: 1434)
Tue, 6th May '08 12:13 PM

We love learning and adventure ... but not Timbuktu. We have been to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Hawaii, Kauaʻi, Maui, Oahu, and all US states except Alaska and N. Dakota. Mexico City, Acapulco, and several border cities, Santa Domingo and Bermuda. Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, St. Petersburg Russia, Denmark, Germany, France, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, Austra, Prague Czech Rep. Italy, Hungary, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia (Dubrovnik is unique) Greece, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Troy, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Galapolli, Istanbul, Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbal, Nile Cruise, Jordan (Petra is unique) and one city in Morocco (Tangier) as a taste. I can share recent pictures from the digital camera but the USA was before digital when we took our kids in a camper for education and fun.

We expecially love New England and Great Britain. We have been to London six times and will be going again July, 2008. It is a very easy vacation. Cornwell and Scotland offer in depth learning experiences. We have relatives in Ireland and friends in UK. We have yet to visit more than half of the pubs in London! We have time left and plan on furnishing our minds while there is still time. We look forward to going down under and including South Africa and perhaps Rio. Maybe in three years.

On our recent trip to Windsor we met Surryman. He was very generous with his time and earned a 75 pound parking ticket... Ugh. We have met Tuzilla here in Washington D.C. and had a great time in Philly with sploofusers who made the trip during 1.0. I think traveling and meeting is a great idea. It is not possible to get local culture from a tour book ... one needs to share a pint and listen, laugh and learn.
Allena (and Dona)

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Wed, 7th May '08 11:56 AM

Talk of the devil .......................!

Allena  (Level: 269.0 - Posts: 1434)
Thu, 8th May '08 11:10 AM

My goodness ... the Cloven Hoof Cockney Welshman logged in at 6:00 AM ... right early for a man with so much money and so many pubs to keep afloat.

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2402)
Sat, 17th May '08 1:46 AM

Howdy folks....nice to see some familiar faces here!

I currently live on the east coast of Australia, about 100 miles north of Sydney, on the shores of the beautiful Lake Macquarie.....part of the city of Newcastle.

I have lived in various locations in eastern Oz.

I have bounced thru a few as well: Oahu, Hawaii (twice) Taipei, Taiwan (four times), Incheon, Korea (twice). and St.Louis, Missouri (twice)
Places visited for extended periods: New Zealand (both Islands), Vancouver, BC and environs, Alaska (three spent the winter of 2002/3 there).I lived in Los Angeles for a while too.

Places visited: Washington state, Pittsburgh PA..........I've got friends there.

Oh.....the places I WANT to go!!

Jeremiah and I dream of backpacking thru Kenya and Tanzania. We want to see the Serengeti Plain, Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kenya, Mt Kilimanjaro and Olduvai Gorge.
We have a dear friend who lives and works in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.....would love to see that, and catch up with her!

The Great Wall of China has always drawn us.......the Trans-Siberian rail journey, plus I have always yearned for farflung places like Kamchatka and Machu Picchu........and Antarctica!!!

If our bodies would co-operate, we would love to do a thru-hike in America....The Appalachian, the Trans-Continental or the Pacific Crest trail would be such a "Wow!" for us. I have always dreamed of seeing Yellowstone and Yosemite ....and perhaps Lake Tahoe........giant Sequoias, too please!

Some dollars to do all of this would be real nice too???


Allena  (Level: 269.0 - Posts: 1434)
Sat, 17th May '08 7:57 PM

You have great wisdom ... I think the American National Parks are a Treasure and the ones you mention top the list. We took our children to all ... it is a permanent resource for them as they raise our grand kids. should you need ideas ... just ask.

We plan on visiting you ... not sure when, but within two years. Stay in touch. Allena

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Mon, 19th May '08 3:57 AM

Welcome, Bushy!
I reckon with your Oz/Alaska trips you've probably put in more mileage than most of us!

Maurlin  (Level: 221.6 - Posts: 2720)
Mon, 19th May '08 8:24 PM

Hi y'all, I've just joined. I've been to London 1999 and again in 2006, stopping for a few days after a visit to friends in Spain. I've done a bunch of eastern and western Caribbean cruises (running bridge games on cruise ships twice a year). Now that I've retired, I'm open to pretty much anything.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Tue, 20th May '08 3:28 AM

Hey - you've been to London more times more recently than I!

Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2402)
Thu, 29th May '08 8:17 AM

We need Alice Bigbird and Jeanne Jeannarie here too!!!


Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sun, 8th Jun '08 5:34 AM

Hi ive been to kent in england once in 1983.
In 1999 going to 2000 I went to paris,lyon,beaune,zurich,then to england stratford upon avon,leicester and london.
In 2001 I went to ibiza
2002 to italy
2007 french riviera, nice,cannes,montecarlo,gourdon,eze,st jean cap ferrat .

I loved my holidays but South of France is magical for me.

Achad  (Level: 213.9 - Posts: 661)
Tue, 1st Jul '08 3:37 PM

Hi to all you fellow travellers!
Just found you all now we all have our big new island to explore!
I've been wandering around this old planet since the 70's and really haven't seen that much of it.
Places visited so far: France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain including Menorca and Fuerteventura, Portugal, Malta, Greece including Kos and Zante, Turkey, Yugoslavia before it broke apart, Monaco, Denmark, Sweden, about 35 of the states of the USA, Mexico, Canada, Bahamas, Cuba, Brasil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Madagascar, Tunisia, Gambia, Senegal and most recently Morocco.
I've started uploading some photos and have a few more to add!
We have three flights booked for upcoming trips, Sweden in October, Italy in December and France in January.
I'd love to hear each and everyone's stories of their travels.
Cheers, Andy.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Wed, 2nd Jul '08 5:15 AM

Welcome Andy!

We've just returned from Venice, living IN the city this time, in an apartment right by St. Mark's, which is so different (and far, far more enjoyable) than 'just visiting'.

At the end of this month we have a week or two in Belgium and Holland with Dutch friends - old ground for me since I used to live in the Netherlands for a bit.

A first trip to Sicily is on the cards for the autumn, but not yet sorted.

Meanwhile, am summoning the energy to walk up to the village pub!

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 6:30 AM

Hi has anyone been to the place where I live Malta?

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 7:25 AM

Hi, I'm Sandy. No Bruno, never been there, but have read that it was once part of the Byzantine Empire. I've been to Turkey a couple of times--I have a good friend in Istanbul and stay with him. I'm lucky, as Turkey can be difficult for women travelers but it's a fascinating country. Steve speaks fairly fluent Turkish so it's all good as they say. Last spring we drove from Antalya up the coast to a little fishing village on the Mediterranean called Kekova. Thousands of years ago a large earthquake dropped this fairly large city into the sea and it's ruins are still visible through the clear blue water. It's not far from Kas which Steve tells me was once a fairly hippie spot, hard to imagine in Turkey these days, now mainly touristic but still beautiful.

Surreyman, I travel to the Netherlands often as I have good friends who have lived In Amsterdam for about 30 yrs. Love it, hate all the obnoxious overnight two-stop shoppers (coffeshops and redlight district). But maybe I'm just old huh?

Enjoy reading everyone's posts.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 7:32 AM

Bruno, just saw the pics of your restaurant--wow, beautiful! Oh, and on your profile I liked your comment about humor. Sure gets me through most days.

Achad  (Level: 213.9 - Posts: 661)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 7:40 AM

Hi Bruno,
Visited Malta in 1987, staying in Rabat and in 1992, staying in St.Julians. Have been to most parts of the island plus Gozo and Comino. I like Marsaxlokk: is the Harbour Lights restaurant still there? I also remember the Bacchus restaurant in the Mdina in Rabat.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 8:20 AM

Yep, Bruno, have been in Malta. Must have covered most places - where are you?

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 8:33 AM

Hi Sandracam,

Yep, we love Turkey, too. Largely the 'unknown' most amazing country!
Have been through most areas from Istanbul, through Kusadasi round to Side and into the Taurus, Silk Road areas & Coppodocia.
Largely looking at the ruins!
We'll always remember 9/11. That morning we were crossing the border from Turkey into Syria., en route to Iraq. Suddenly all hell let loose! We were bundled back into Turkey and the border was closed - went into a nearby cafe and saw it all happening live on the TV.
Still therefore haven't made it back to Iraq since!!
Re the Netherlands I lived in the Hague for a bit and know most of the country. Speak a bit of Dutch well enough to get served the wrong stuff! We still have many friends there, and visit - about to be there again at the end of this month, in De Lier.

Achad  (Level: 213.9 - Posts: 661)
Sat, 5th Jul '08 3:18 PM

Hey 'Turkophiles',
I've been to Turkey a few times: Istanbul, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Marmaris, Turunc, Datca, Knidos, Cavuskoy, Side, Alanya, Perge and Aspendos. We've had more than a few glasses of Efes!, but I prefer the Marmara beers. Love the people and the food and hope to have a week there fairly soon!

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sun, 6th Jul '08 3:56 PM

Hi Andy,

Yes they are still there those restaurants you've mentioned.

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sun, 6th Jul '08 3:57 PM

Hello Surreyman,

Have you been to Mosta?

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sun, 6th Jul '08 4:01 PM

Thanks Sand

It's my father's restaurant. Before it was a pub then we changed it to a fine dining restaurant. Its a family run buisiness.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Mon, 7th Jul '08 6:03 AM

Yep, Bruno, mainly to see the remarkable Rotunda, of course, and the Victoria Lines, although I'm sure there must be much else there of note!

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sat, 12th Jul '08 6:19 AM

Has anyone visited the french riviera?

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sat, 12th Jul '08 7:09 AM

Several times - which part? - that coast changes greatly re scenery etc. from Spain to Monaco.

Brunosexy77  (Level: 68.9 - Posts: 215)
Sat, 12th Jul '08 12:03 PM

I have been to Gourdon and Eze,Menton,Monaco and Montecarlo,Nice,San Remo,Cannes , San Jean Cap Ferrat,antibes,gorges des loup,st paul de vence,

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sat, 12th Jul '08 4:17 PM

So why are you asking - you're already the expert!

Sonofsurrey  (Level: 241.5 - Posts: 5)
Fri, 25th Jul '08 10:32 AM

Since I am my father's (Surreyman's) son I suppose I had better tag along here.

My earlier trips were obviously as a child with my parents, but as soon as I could escape the leash I went off in different directions.

Dad's desert and ruins stuff is a bit too weird and hot for me!

He did put the travel bug into me though, but I'm more for city breaks, mainly European, different ways of life but with reasonable coffee at hand!

I did get around Canada and fhe USA a bit during uni days, and had a year out 'doing' Australia and New Zealand.

These days I'm a bit mortgage & partner-bound, so it's largely UK stuff currently.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Tue, 5th Aug '08 7:20 AM

Why is this topic missing from the Group's home page?

Or maybe this post will bump it up there again!

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Wed, 6th Aug '08 7:20 PM

Hi Son of Surrey! Welcome to the group, though we don't talk much. I'm pretty well grounded. due to a family illness I'll be traveling only to Florida for a while. Maybe there'll be a hurricane and I'll have something to report.

Mmyers2  (Level: 95.5 - Posts: 1)
Thu, 7th Aug '08 5:31 PM

Bite your tongue! NO HURRICANES!!!!!
I've had plenty.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Thu, 7th Aug '08 7:11 PM

Really just kidding. You're right, 2006 was enough for anyone!

Histomimi  (Level: 221.6 - Posts: 13)
Thu, 7th Aug '08 9:26 PM

I've done a bit of travel in the US, most recently Alaska. I have also been to England to visit a friend for a few days before going on a Baltic cruise. Hope to get more stamps on my passport next year.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4183)
Fri, 8th Aug '08 9:30 AM

hi little kitty!

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Sat, 18th Oct '08 12:41 PM

Hi all.. good to be here.. I've done some travelling but wow.. you guys are serious!

Allena, my dream trip is Greece... Santorini specifically. Have I romanticized this place and given it too much credit or will I be completely justified in holding it up on a pedestal? lol From the archaeological sites of Akrotiri and Mesa Vouno to the black beaches of Perissa and Perivolos and the night life of Fira and sunsets in Oia. Is it true that you can't rent a private house on the cliff anymore?

I also want to sail around these islands.. any good tips for this? I want to see Mykonos as well.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Sun, 19th Oct '08 4:14 AM

We were in Santorini not so long back - maybe 3 or 4 years ago. It's everything you hope for, I promise!
Absolutely bloody glorious.
We were mainly there for the archeo and volcanic stuff rather than the beaches. But those views!!!!!!! .............
I wrote a short piece for some mag or another at the time.
If you're interested send me your email address to and I'll send a pdf.

Henshav  (Level: 143.1 - Posts: 2)
Fri, 31st Oct '08 11:34 PM

Hello All, İ am from Turkey, living in İzmir at the moment and a real traveller. İ studied in Germany between 1962-1966 and by chance visited every possible corner with a Motorrad- Motorcycle. Later as a salesman of yeast İ have been more than 108 countries of the world, mainly not very rich ones (rich countries use not yeast but additives, poor use yeast to gain more bread from less quantity of flour)Between 1994-2000 İ spent 6 years in Kyrgyzstan and looked for my roots (We Turks are from Central Asia) from Azerbaycan to China. İ am still working and travelling a lot but mainly to Europe and Middle-East. My youngest daughter (İ have 2) is marrying a French younger man on 15th November, so İ will have another place to visit very often in Bordeaux France, because they will live there. Any help İ can make about Turkey, Middle-east, Balkans and Central Asia İ will try my best to answer your questions. Have a nice day. Demir

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Mon, 24th Nov '08 9:56 AM


Good to see you here as well as in the PMs!

Pierre  (Level: 205.6 - Posts: 25)
Mon, 13th Apr '09 6:14 PM

Hi, no-one's posted here for a while so I'll chip in.
My wife and I love to travel. Last year as our joint retirement present we did a round-the-world trip for 3 months. Starting in London, we did Rio (for New Year 2008), The Amazon, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Santiago, Easter Island, Tahiti, New Zealand (drove around for a month), Australia (drove from Melbourne to Adelaide then had a rest for a few days north of Cairns), Japan, Malaysia and India. This year we went to Cambodia and Vietnam. We're off to Scotland next month for a week on a canal boat. I suspect the UK Pound being worth diddley squat at the moment will keep us out of Europe and the USA for a year or two (this is the first year in about ten that I haven't been cycling in France), but we hope to go to Africa before long.

Diolica  (Level: 56.8 - Posts: 5)
Sat, 22nd Aug '09 5:51 AM

Hello everybody!

I have just joined the group so here is my introduction. I am from Romania and in my early thirties and these two things combined mean I have not travelled abroad as much as I would have liked. Before 1989 (the fall of the communist regime) we did not have passports, in the 90s it was hard to get a visa and money were also a problem, so actually my travelling abroad started only 10 years ago and most of it is business related and in Europe. I've been to (West to East): England, Spain, France, Monaco, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Finland, Turkey, and the strangest one - Georgia (a two day conference up in the mountains, in Gudauri, during which I have not seen anything except for darkness and fog!). Outside Europe I have only been to the US (a one month tour of 5 cities - Washington, New York, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Philadelphia) and in Sharm-el-Sheik, in Egypt (that meant also a trip up the Sinai mountain - very beautiful). So, I have many other destinations in my head for the future. Unlike most of my compatriots, I have also visited most of my country (those years of communism, with nowhere to go but your country, helped), so if you ever consider coming around here I will be more than glad to provide information.


Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Thu, 27th Aug '09 7:55 AM

Hi - looks like you could tell us all a lot!
Yep - Southern Sinai is one of our favourite areas (away from the coastal plastic!).

Ashgarth  (Level: 76.4 - Posts: 2)
Sun, 11th Oct '09 6:04 PM

Hi everyone - I have just logged in to 'Travellers'. Reading all your posts makes me feel considerably under-travelled! I live on a small island in the UK - the Isle of Man. For us, getting off the island can be a bit of an adventure, especially in the winter and spring. It is also expensive - having to get to the UK before we even start our travelling. Consequently, we have travelled extensively in the UK - Scotland, Wales, England and Ireland, but my favourite place, apart from home, has got to be the Isles of Scilly - they are magical and almost make you fell that you are part of an Enid Blyton "Famous Five" book!!

Our 'foreign' travels have only really become more extensive since the children have left home and we have been able to travel without them.

In the last few years, we have been to: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, St Petersberg, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, Canaries, South Africa, Hong Kong, China, Jamaica, Cuba, many parts of the USA but especially including Alaska, many parts of Canada.

My big problem is that I don't "do" heat!

There is so much of the world to see, it is hard to know where to go next! At the same time, the world is becoming smaller all the time!

With that profundity, I will stop now - happy travelling and sploofusing to all!!

Allena  (Level: 269.0 - Posts: 1434)
Sun, 22nd Jan '12 1:40 PM

Probably all know this but:

There is a Golden Eagle Pass that allows seniors (over 61) into all National Parks for life ... yes, forever. In addition, three of your closest friends in your car can get in as well. It is not transferrable and it must be signed in front of the ranger who sold it to you.

My savings visiting Jamestown and Yorktown was $40 as I took my wife and we only paid $10 for the pass. Yes ... the last of the red hot government bargains. I fear by posting this that there will be a run and the price will surely increase. Now go take allena's quiz on National Parks ... it is really cheap.

Wiseoldowl  (Level: 32.0 - Posts: 479)
Thu, 19th Apr '12 2:14 PM

Hello! I am so glad to have found this group which I just happened to stumble upon.

I was born in Germany, lived in Canada for 30+ years, and in Northeast Florida for the past 21.

Much of my traveling took place from the mid-60's through the late 80's. Since then, my husband and I have taken many cruises including visits to the majority of the Caribbean Islands, as well as Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama. Business-related travel has taken me to the major cities in the USA, inluding Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC, New Orleans and, of course, Orlando and Miami.

We will be crossing the pond again soon (another 'elementary school' reunion of mine) and I have a question for those of you who exchange currency on a regular basis. Is it better to do so locally ( in my case, here in the US, through a financial institution, or at either of the departure or arrival airport? What I mean is, which is more economical? Thanks for any info you might be able to share with me.

Again ... I'm so glad to have found this group and look forward to sharing with you all.

By the way, thanks for the tip regarding the lifetime National Park pass availability!!!!!!!

Wiseoldowl  (Level: 32.0 - Posts: 479)
Thu, 19th Apr '12 2:18 PM

Looks like one cannot edit posts here, so please 'imagine' a closing bracket after US .... ( in my case, here in the US), Thanks.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Fri, 4th May '12 7:23 AM

In the UK it's almost always cheapest to buy in advance off the internet services.
We usually take the risk of carrying lots of this 'cheap' cash between us, maybe enough to cover the trip, usually depositing it in our base hotels' safes wherever en route, so the actual time carrying it 'at risk' is minimal.

Wiseoldowl  (Level: 32.0 - Posts: 479)
Tue, 15th May '12 10:33 PM

Thanks for your response, Surreyman! I ended up buying Euros at a bank in the U.S. and at one overseas.

We just returned from an amazing 3-week trip to Germany (one day in Paris, too). Much to our surprise, our Euros went a lot further than we had anticipated.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Wed, 16th May '12 4:47 AM

Yep, the Euro's going down and down currently.
Great if you're buying & visiting now.
But we go to Europe so often (we can day trip from our home) that we don't change spare Euros back (incurring exchange charges) but just keep a stockpile at home.
Consequently, the recent reductions in the Euro's value have just cost my stockpile arounf $150!
But no problem. Our 'stockpile' system over the years has saved us many times that.

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Wed, 16th May '12 5:04 AM

Incidentally, for those of you maybe visiting Europe this year, don't assume that the Eurozone also evens out costs as well as Euro rates.
As when each nation had its own currency, some areas cost rather less to visit than others, in Euros or in 'old money'.
So still do your homework!
I suspect the cheapest European areas currently are around the old Yugoslavia (Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Slovenia etc.), which is also a wonderful area to visit if you haven't yet been.
And rather cheaper again are the (non-Euro) relatively nearby N. Africa & Middle East countries (especially Jordan), which is also happily our favourite and much re-visited region.
But costs ain't all.
We'll always return to Venice whenever in the area, one of the most horrendously over-priced cities going!

Surreyman  (Level: 275.0 - Posts: 2776)
Wed, 16th May '12 5:17 AM

And, whilst I'm in writing mode ...

If you're in Europe for any length of time and fancy a cheap week out with a difference, take a look at the Gambia (an ex-British colony).
A relatively short flight from the UK and all the fascination of 'black' Africa with guaranteed sun, jungle & crocodiles, and English as she is spoke!
With good hotels & security maybe not always found elsewhere sub-Sahara.
And a week from London, including flights & hotels, can be as low as £300+ - rather less than your potential London hotel bills for a week!

Wiseoldowl  (Level: 32.0 - Posts: 479)
Wed, 16th May '12 3:27 PM

@Surreyman: Stockpiling seems to be a good idea for us, as well, since we'll likely return to Europe before too long. You're certainly right about the Euro falling. As a result, we've lost some value also, but as with stocks or real estate ... prices are irrelevant unless you have to sell ... although, who knows, with the European financial crisis that's going on, maybe the Euro will become history.

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