Replies: 23 - Last Post: Jul 30, 2012 1:30 AM Last Post By: Helen0104
Jul 28, 2012 10:04 AM
15It's an easy enough question to answer, what YOUR favorite European cities are and takes less time to do than making other comments. I'm always reminded asking a similar question on a travel group dealing with Namibia, what other people had found to be the best things to do and see. Of course, I got the usual worthless answers to do your homework before asking a question. That question was asked after repeatedly re-reading three travel guides on the country and a stack of travel brochures over 30cm high. I simply didn't know what to do or where to start as I had done or seen better in other countries around the world. After persisting, I finally got a few useful answers which I had never even really considered such as participating in volunteer programs, and my favorite which discussed the music in the country. Unfortunately, we couldn't make the trip, but I had some useful answers that I could begin my planning.
The same is true of Europe, it's even larger and a continent with lots to see and do. It's almost an impossible task to plan the best trip for someone, especially someone that is confused by all there is to see and do (and there's even several times more which isn't in the guidebooks equally good or better). Given a few favorite cities of others, someone can investigate whether they would be of interest, then select a few nearby places to make an enjoyable trip without excessive expensive travel. For me, I'm interested in everything, interacting with the local people, and discovering and learning new interesting things is enjoyable, not following the usual tourist guide selections.
Personally, when selecting places to visit I like to look at picture books of countries, regions of them, cities, medieval castles, palaces, churches and cathedrals of various styles, etc. and also excellent large scale maps that show hundreds or thousands of places of interest to a tourist. The public library is your friend. I can't imagine someone not wanting to visit the rock-top monasteries of Meteora, Greece after seeing their photos, for me, something more interesting than almost all large European cities.
As I stated before in #9, my two favorite cities in Europe are Istanbul and Torshavn, completely different from one another and far apart, but extremely enjoyable, different in all respects except the wonderful people in each.
Jul 28, 2012 10:19 AM
Jul 29, 2012 1:34 AM
17Sushi, I'm curious as to why you didn't enjoy Ljubljana. I've never been there but it is on my list of places I'd like to visit one day. Interested to hear a different point of view. What's it like?
Jul 29, 2012 1:40 AM
Jul 29, 2012 1:57 AM
19Our "must-see" list so far:
Cashel, Le Havre, Draguignan, Melilla, Pforzheim, Minden, Pula, Mistras, Istanbul, Torshavn, London, Paris, Rome, Venice, Florence, Ravenna, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Cologne, Geneva, Glasgow, Milan, Genoa, Padua, Toledo, Turin, Helsinki, Naantali, Kotka, Seville, Avlakia, Granada, a smal village in the Alps, Meteora, and rural villages in Italy and Greece.
I hope this helps you plan your trip, as it is the information you requested.
If it doesn't help you plan your trip, it suggests there is a problem with your question.
Jul 29, 2012 2:02 AM
Jul 29, 2012 5:44 AM
Jul 29, 2012 6:02 AM
22Sushi, I'm curious as to why you didn't enjoy Ljubljana. I've never been there but it is on my list of places I'd like to visit one day. Interested to hear a different point of view. What's it like?
Thanks for your question, which brings me back to the point that often it's all a matter of subjective factors that make us like or dislike a place - in this case, three in particular.
First, we only spent one afternoon in Ljubljana. I have learnt from experience that (with very few exceptions), the quickest I visit a place, the least I'm going to enjoy it. I remember rushing from one place to another without really enjoying any.
Second, and this is the other vivid memory I have, I don't remember having ever seen so many drunk people around in day time (except maybe in Milan before a football match, typically with a German team). I don't know whether there had just been a festival or a celebration, but it wasn't pleasant anyway.
Third, the impact of our own expectations, when they are nourished by 'popular wisdom', can be devastating. I had heard so many people saying so many great things about this place, that when I finally saw it I felt underwhelmed. Now I try to avoid visiting places which have gained a reputation of a 'must-see', unless there are reasons why I really want to see them. Otherwise I know I'll be disappointed.
In short, my memory of Ljubljuana is that of an overrated place, with few sights appealing to my interests. Unfortunately, to my experience first impressions are also hard to erase, so I feel no desire to go back there, but I always want to stress this is based on my personal subjective experience, and I fully appreciate that for dozens of other persons this may be one of their favourite cities. For example, two brillliant students I know spent three months each in Ljubljana, and they both fell in love with the place. (And I know the reason wasn't that, for example, they spent all their time drinking or having a party).
The same reasons (quantity and quality of the time spent in a place, and people I met) explain why I have great memories of two places which the average tourist/traveller hardly like, that is, Glasgow and Geneva.
I hope this answers your question.
PS: I'm not sure it can be regarded as a 'rutal village', but one place in Slovenia that I loved was Ptuj. But then when I recommended it to a dear friend, he felt outraged for wasting precious time of his holiday in such a horrible place! See, different people, different opinions :)
Jul 30, 2012 1:30 AM
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