Where to next?

2006-05-18

in Travel

While peeking at the Ryanair website the other day, I was startled to see that they have flights to Dublin for nothing but the price of taxes. You need to book two weeks in advance, but can do so for any time between the end of this month and mid-October. Similarly inexpesive flights can be had to Berlin, Krakow, Rome, and a great many other places I would like to visit.

If at all possible, I would like to work three or four week-long European trips into the time period between the end of Trinity Term and the start of the next Michealmas Term. Istanbul is my top choice of destination at the moment. I am not particularly keen on travelling alone, so I am hoping that similarly inclined people will emerge and I will have the chance to travel with them. As the experiences in Tallinn with Sarah and in Malta with my mother demonstrate, it is much more satisfying to travel with company. Doing so deepens the extent to which you engage with what you’re seeing, provided the other person is similarly interested.

If people were going to choose four European cities to spend a week in, staying in hostels and adopting the museums-and-wandering school of inexpensive tourism, which would they be? Photogenic cities are especially welcome. Of the ones listed above, I’ve only been to Rome. I’ve also never been to Paris, despite having spent brief periods of time in France on several occassions. Of course, going somewhere where I know someone is definitely preferable; such local knowledge is generally invaluable for a traveller.

PS. Yes, my newfound and abiding interest in getting out of here is related to having to write an essay on the topic “What today defines a ‘great power’? Are we living in a unipolar world?” as well as my research design essay in the next week or so. I have an increasingly scary looking annotated bibliography that I mean to put at the end, instead of just a generic alphabetical listing of sources.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

esther May 18, 2006 at 7:38 pm

MADRID MADRID MADRID AND MADRID.
me and dave went around the south of spain last year, stayed in a beach resort for a week (classy) then went on to seville, madrid, and cordoba.
I just think madrid is the coolest city in the world! granded whilst there we didn’t really visit museums etc. and its main appeal is the atmosphere, the shopping, the food and the sun.
I loved the south of spain, it’s all too often that you go travelling during holidays for an experience, yes, bt also as a bit of a break. but it can be so stressful – although we had to get used to shops NEVER being open once you get into the feel of it you just get so relaxed.
in madrid they all just hang out on the street from about 5pm to after we went to bed. they all just chat, and they eat late, and they play music and its so light and such a nice temperature in the evening.
ahhhhhhh.
saville is frustrating at first, we did seem to get lost a lot and always ended up on the same road (!?!) but one day we took a walk near this lake, and ended up being persuaded to get a rowing boat. it was heaven reading my book, under the sun, on this little lake with scary fish trying to bite off my toes. afterwards we sat and had icecreams and watched some flamenco dancers. seville cathedral is pretty amazing, and the giralda.
anyway, paris is also amazing- but try to avoid crossing the roads the drivers are all maniacs. lots of art, gotta visit the rodin museum.
barcelona i would love to visit.
florence i thought was loevly, lots of church towers to climb!
i want to go to prague!

Milan May 18, 2006 at 7:43 pm

Esther,

Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I’ve been to Prague and Florence fairly recently, but I will definitely add Madrid to the ‘strong maybe’ list, contingent on finding someone else who is interested in going with me.

Anonymous May 18, 2006 at 7:57 pm

Wow

London to Dublin (return): (RyanAir – leaving July 19, returning July 29)
Cost: £16.63 including tax
Distance: 463km
Cost per kilometre: 3p per km

Oxford to London (return by train) (First Great Western – leaving July 19, returning July 29)
Cost: £26 including tax
Distance: 83km
Cost per kilometre: 31p per km

Transportation is an insane industry.

B May 19, 2006 at 7:03 pm

If you’ve not been to Paris, you must go. It’s expensive, certainly, but it’s one of the world’s great cities, like London, New York, or Hong Kong.

Someone so interested in the USA also needs to see and know France. The two always strike me as being like a particularly volatile couple, who don’t realize the extent to which they fascinate as well as provoke one another.

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