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'[OT]: Travelling to Europe'
2004\06\22@054154 by Lindy Mayfield

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>
> I'm heading to Europe for my honeymoon this August, and I was
> wondering if I could get some advice from residents and fellow
> travellers.
>
> 1) Is it better to get Euros or native currency?  We'll be in Paris
> for a few days, then down to Malaga, Spain and Estoril, Portugal.

All European Union countries use the Euro as the local currency except for UK, Denmark, and Sweden (I think).  Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU, so they don't either.

Using only Euros is VERY nice, because changing money from country to country is a pain and expensive.

By the way, one side of the Euro coins are all the same, but the back side is different for each country.  You can start a collection.

> 2) What is the typical dress code for young people (24-25 yrs old)
> during the summer?  For going to restaurants or clubs, will they be
> mostly formal?  I'm a jeans and t-shirt guy mostly.

You should be all set with jeans and t-shirts.  Remember, it's gonna be hot down there.  You want to be comfortable.  If you don't want to stand out too much as an American, then any comfortable shoes except for sneakers would be fine.  If you really want to be safe, bring only one button-up shirt and a pair of Docker's-like trousers.  You never know if you want to go into a fancier place with some sort of dress code.

I was just in Lisbon for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  Lots of outdoor restaurants and pubs near the water, lots of young people your age, that sort of thing.  
> 4) Would it be more economical to get flights on local carriers for
> getting around Europe, or taking the train?  And any recommendations
> on booking tickets over the net?

The trains in Europe are wonderful and romantic.  For example, you could take the TGV (train of great speed) from Paris to Marseille or Barcelona.  That's about 900 or so kilometers.  I usually figure about one hour per 100 for the fast trains (including stops and connections).  So you are looking at about 10 hours or so from Paris to Spain, more to Madrid.  Maybe consider taking a night train.  Just guessing, a night train with a nice sleeping compartment for 2 people from Paris to Marseille should cost less than $180 each.

But if time is important, taking a plane isn't very expensive.  My wife flies now and again from Frankfurt to Milan from around $150 or so round trip.  I don't like airports so for me the break-even or cut-off point for flying versus taking the train is about 5 or 6 hours by train.  Figure an hour to get to the airport, another hour and half to wait, then the one to two hours in the air, etc.  In other words, with the exception of night trains, I usually fly if going by train is over 6 hours.

The trains here are very impressive, clean and comfortable.  Night and day difference between riding on Amtrak, believe me.  

>
> 5) Are web cafes with the ability to upload pictures taken on our
> digital camera available and cheap?  I'm worried that our 256mb card
> won't last the two weeks.  I'll probably buy another 512mb card closer
> to when we leave, but I'd still like to have the option of dumping
> them onto my FTP server just in case.

I just checked with my colleague from Spain.  First of all, Spain is one of the least in Europe for internet usage.  You will find some internet cafés there, but not a lot.  Better to buy some more flash cards.

Less than 50% of people in Spain use the internet.  Compared to like, 99.99% in Finland where you never have to walk more than 2 minutes to find a connection.

He also clarified the club scene in Spain.  Two things that will prevent you from getting into most clubs:  sport shoes (sneakers, tennis shoes) and white socks.  With jeans, it depends on the club.

Given my track record on this list concerning electricity, I won't comment much on that except to say this:  210 volts, 50 Hz.

One more thing about France:  They have a different keyboard, not even QWERTY, so if you are like me and type with all your fingers, using one could cause an aneurism.  
I'm living in Heidelberg and travel a bit now and then for work.  So if you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to help.

Cheers and Bon Voyage!
Lindy

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2004\06\22@071051 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Given my track record on this list concerning electricity, I
>won't comment much on that except to say this:  210 volts, 50 Hz.

If you have equipment with a universal supply, like most laptops have these
days, this will not be a problem. Your biggest problem in this area will be
finding a suitable conversion plug for your equipment. Check out your
airport shops for suitable universal adapters.


>I'm living in Heidelberg and travel a bit now and then for work.
>So if you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to help.

and a very pretty place it is too. Remember going up the cliff railway there
back in '97.

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2004\06\22@071509 by Amaury Jacquot

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>>Given my track record on this list concerning electricity, I
>>won't comment much on that except to say this:  210 volts, 50 Hz.
>
>
> If you have equipment with a universal supply, like most laptops have these
> days, this will not be a problem. Your biggest problem in this area will be
> finding a suitable conversion plug for your equipment. Check out your
> airport shops for suitable universal adapters.

Adapters for 3 prong US plugs are available at local 'castorama' or
'leroy Merlin' in France

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2004\06\22@072356 by Lindy Mayfield

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> On Behalf Of Amaury Jacquot
> Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 13:15

> Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> >>Given my track record on this list concerning electricity, I
> >>won't comment much on that except to say this:  210 volts, 50 Hz.
> >
> >
> > If you have equipment with a universal supply, like most laptops have
> these
> > days, this will not be a problem. Your biggest problem in this area will
> be
> > finding a suitable conversion plug for your equipment. Check out your
> > airport shops for suitable universal adapters.
>
> Adapters for 3 prong US plugs are available at local 'castorama' or
> 'leroy Merlin' in France
>
I would suggest getting it in the states if possible.  I searched high and low for one in Germany.  None of the places I expected to find one -- Media Mart, computer stores, hardware stores -- carried them.  I finally found it at a Conrad Electronics in Mannheim.

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2004\06\22@074850 by Moises Cambra

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> 1) Is it better to get Euros or native currency?  We'll be in
> Paris for a few days, then down to Malaga, Spain and Estoril,
> Portugal.

I can talk about Spain ;)
By using credit cards you can pay without worrying about exchanging. Only
remember that lately 100 Euro is more money than 100 US$. I would only have
a limited amount of cash for small payments (ice creams, teas, etc.). And
you could always go to an ATM and get Euros, but with some fees.

There are places with a sign saying 'Tax Refund', meaning you can get the
taxes paid back by the time you leave the EU. I suppose they print some type
of invoice that later you present to the customs at the airport when
leaving.

> 2) What is the typical dress code for young people (24-25 yrs
> old) during the summer?  For going to restaurants or clubs,
> will they be mostly formal?  I'm a jeans and t-shirt guy mostly.

There is some tendency to formal dressing, specially on the evenings when
people go out.

> 3) Has anyone been successful with booking hotels online?
> http://www.hotelclub.com looked good but I'm a bit nervous about
> booking something this important over the net, especially
> with the language barrier.  My French is ok, but my Spanish
> and Portuguese are very poor.

I would also ask any local travel agency near where you live. They can make
reservations ahead and have some ideas of prices and qualities.
There should not be a problem to find someone talking some English or
Spanglish.

> 4) Would it be more economical to get flights on local
> carriers for getting around Europe, or taking the train?  And
> any recommendations on booking tickets over the net?

Malaga airport has lots of European tourist originated traffic. I think the
cheapest way to go from Paris to Malaga will be by plane. In Spain, the only
fast train going full speed goes from Madrid to Sevilla. The one from Madrid
to Barcelona is not finished and doesn't go full speed yet. Get more
information on renfe.es. There are some cards for travelling during a
limited amount of time all over Europe. You can check that too, for example
eurail.com.

> 5) Are web cafes with the ability to upload pictures taken on
> our digital camera available and cheap?

I think it would be slow and expensive to do it that way. An alternative
could be going to a photography shop where they let you save the card
pictures onto CD.

Regards,
Moises

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2004\06\22@083247 by Ake Hedman

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This can be an option to use if one is traveling and want to dump
photos.

http://www.swedeltaco.se/info/fotobar.pdf


Regards
/Ake


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[spam_OUTPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]För Lindy Mayfield
Skickat: den 22 juni 2004 11:41
Till: .....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU
Ämne: Re: [OT]: Travelling to Europe


>
> I'm heading to Europe for my honeymoon this August, and I was
> wondering if I could get some advice from residents and fellow
> travellers.
>
> 1) Is it better to get Euros or native currency?  We'll be in Paris
> for a few days, then down to Malaga, Spain and Estoril, Portugal.

All European Union countries use the Euro as the local currency except
for UK, Denmark, and Sweden (I think).  Norway and Switzerland are not
part of the EU, so they don't either.

Using only Euros is VERY nice, because changing money from country to
country is a pain and expensive.

By the way, one side of the Euro coins are all the same, but the back
side is different for each country.  You can start a collection.

> 2) What is the typical dress code for young people (24-25 yrs old)
> during the summer?  For going to restaurants or clubs, will they be
> mostly formal?  I'm a jeans and t-shirt guy mostly.

You should be all set with jeans and t-shirts.  Remember, it's gonna be
hot down there.  You want to be comfortable.  If you don't want to stand
out too much as an American, then any comfortable shoes except for
sneakers would be fine.  If you really want to be safe, bring only one
button-up shirt and a pair of Docker's-like trousers.  You never know if
you want to go into a fancier place with some sort of dress code.

I was just in Lisbon for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  Lots of
outdoor restaurants and pubs near the water, lots of young people your
age, that sort of thing.

> 4) Would it be more economical to get flights on local carriers for
> getting around Europe, or taking the train?  And any recommendations
> on booking tickets over the net?

The trains in Europe are wonderful and romantic.  For example, you could
take the TGV (train of great speed) from Paris to Marseille or
Barcelona.  That's about 900 or so kilometers.  I usually figure about
one hour per 100 for the fast trains (including stops and connections).
So you are looking at about 10 hours or so from Paris to Spain, more to
Madrid.  Maybe consider taking a night train.  Just guessing, a night
train with a nice sleeping compartment for 2 people from Paris to
Marseille should cost less than $180 each.

But if time is important, taking a plane isn't very expensive.  My wife
flies now and again from Frankfurt to Milan from around $150 or so round
trip.  I don't like airports so for me the break-even or cut-off point
for flying versus taking the train is about 5 or 6 hours by train.
Figure an hour to get to the airport, another hour and half to wait,
then the one to two hours in the air, etc.  In other words, with the
exception of night trains, I usually fly if going by train is over 6
hours.

The trains here are very impressive, clean and comfortable.  Night and
day difference between riding on Amtrak, believe me.


>
> 5) Are web cafes with the ability to upload pictures taken on our
> digital camera available and cheap?  I'm worried that our 256mb card
> won't last the two weeks.  I'll probably buy another 512mb card closer
> to when we leave, but I'd still like to have the option of dumping
> them onto my FTP server just in case.

I just checked with my colleague from Spain.  First of all, Spain is one
of the least in Europe for internet usage.  You will find some internet
cafés there, but not a lot.  Better to buy some more flash cards.

Less than 50% of people in Spain use the internet.  Compared to like,
99.99% in Finland where you never have to walk more than 2 minutes to
find a connection.

He also clarified the club scene in Spain.  Two things that will prevent
you from getting into most clubs:  sport shoes (sneakers, tennis shoes)
and white socks.  With jeans, it depends on the club.

Given my track record on this list concerning electricity, I won't
comment much on that except to say this:  210 volts, 50 Hz.

One more thing about France:  They have a different keyboard, not even
QWERTY, so if you are like me and type with all your fingers, using one
could cause an aneurism.

I'm living in Heidelberg and travel a bit now and then for work.  So if
you have any more specific questions, I'd be happy to help.

Cheers and Bon Voyage!
Lindy

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2004\06\22@092910 by Alex Harford

face picon face
Thanks for all the replies!  I didn't expect them to come so quickly,
so I haven't had a chance to reply to all of them.

First of all, y'all are assuming that I'm American. :)  Think further north. :P

A few specifics below.

||
V

On Tue, 22 Jun 2004 13:48:56 +0200, Moises Cambra <mcambraspamKILLspambitmed.com> wrote:
>
>
> > 4) Would it be more economical to get flights on local
> > carriers for getting around Europe, or taking the train?  And
> > any recommendations on booking tickets over the net?
>
> Malaga airport has lots of European tourist originated traffic. I think the
> cheapest way to go from Paris to Malaga will be by plane.

I've been finding some cheap flights for London->Paris and
Lisbon->London where we fly in and out, but the Paris->Malaga flights
are in the range of $1000 GBP!  But I think we will take the train
from Malaga to Lisbon to get an idea of the scenery.  This is all a
bit different from travelling in Canada, where taking a car from
Vancouver to Kelowna (~400km) is an easy day trip.

> > 5) Are web cafes with the ability to upload pictures taken on
> > our digital camera available and cheap?
>
> I think it would be slow and expensive to do it that way. An alternative
> could be going to a photography shop where they let you save the card
> pictures onto CD.

Great idea!  And would this sort of thing be common in Europe?  I
haven't been in a web cafe around here lately, maybe that would be a
good business opportunity... make a kiosk type computer running Linux
with a touchscreen, compact flash reader and cd burner... :)

I might also start shopping for the CF->cd burner but that would just
be something else that I'd have to worry about carting around.  If I
understood the web cafe details, burning a CD costs about 1.5 euros,
I'm not sure if that includes reading the CF card.  Well within the
budget!

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2004\06\22@101001 by Lindy Mayfield

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> I've been finding some cheap flights for London->Paris and
> Lisbon->London where we fly in and out, but the Paris->Malaga flights
> are in the range of $1000 GBP!  But I think we will take the train
> from Malaga to Lisbon to get an idea of the scenery.  This is all a
> bit different from travelling in Canada, where taking a car from
> Vancouver to Kelowna (~400km) is an easy day trip.

I didn't know you would be in London.  Try Ryan Air http://www.ryanair.com.  From London to Milan is about $1.50, yep one dollar fitty.  The seats don't lean back and you have to bring your own nuts, but you cannot beat the price!  
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2004\06\22@101835 by Russell McMahon

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> Thanks for all the replies!  I didn't expect them to come so quickly,
> so I haven't had a chance to reply to all of them.
>
> First of all, y'all are assuming that I'm American. :)  Think further
north. :P

Watch the cost of getting money.
Banks charge about ?US7? per VISA cash withdrawal and similar on EFTPOS.

Credit cash on VISA can be bad I'm told.
We ran VISA in credit and got out largish sums at a time to keep cost low as
a %..

Avoid money changers like the plague - even the official ones at airports
etc .
They show rate charts (usually electronic) which look OK BUT they also add
commissions and may have a flat rate up front fee. Smallish sums can attract
a vast percentage cost. Far better to establish exactly what VISA etc costs
to use your own money and stick with that.

We found VISA was accepted everywhere in Europe and USA. Some places may not
like some EFTPOS cards.

We were warned about pick pockets, bag and pack snatchers, strap cutters and
more. Saw none of this except one incident on outside restaurant by Thames
in London. Children at work. (And I had a water bottle stolen while queuing
for Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day - super hot day.)

Some advise to carry packs on front for security. I had steel wire in camera
strap and in belt. Never tested in anger.

       RM

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2004\06\22@103330 by Russell McMahon

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> I've been finding some cheap flights for London->Paris and
> Lisbon->London where we fly in and out, but the Paris->Malaga flights
> are in the range of $1000 GBP!  But I think we will take the train
> from Malaga to Lisbon to get an idea of the scenery.  This is all a
> bit different from travelling in Canada, where taking a car from
> Vancouver to Kelowna (~400km) is an easy day trip.

I didn't know you would be in London.  Try Ryan Air http://www.ryanair.com.  From
London to Milan is about $1.50, yep one dollar fitty.  The seats don't lean
back and you have to bring your own nuts, but you cannot beat the price!


Watch Ryan Air's REAL prices. There are various taxes and expenses and
levies and costs and .... . Our trips to and from Ireland costs several
times as much as they quoted on the web when we booked. They have a
massively sliding scale based on seat availability when you book. I imagine
that if you pay full fare that the extras aren't much %age wise BUT if you
get their cheap fares expect them to be expanded many times over. I'd guess
(perhaps incorrectly) that that $1.50 flight would end up in the $30-$50
region. Still cheap, but... .

Ryan Air seemed competent but do they move the passengers through. At Dublin
they turned off the runway while travelling many times faster than I've ever
seen an aircraft taxi before. You could feel the plane cornering. Woosh,
gone, next please ... . Very exciting.



       RM

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2004\06\22@105249 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2004-06-22 at 09:28, Alex Harford wrote:

> >
> > Malaga airport has lots of European tourist originated traffic. I think the
> > cheapest way to go from Paris to Malaga will be by plane.
>
> I've been finding some cheap flights for London->Paris and
> Lisbon->London where we fly in and out, but the Paris->Malaga flights
> are in the range of $1000 GBP!  But I think we will take the train
> from Malaga to Lisbon to get an idea of the scenery.  This is all a
> bit different from travelling in Canada, where taking a car from
> Vancouver to Kelowna (~400km) is an easy day trip.

       Yes, I found that to on my trip to Austria last year. In Canada a trip
by car for 500km isn't much of a big deal, over there it is considered a
very long distance to drive! :)

       Heck, the trip to the air port from where I was staying was about 1
hour, I always joke that it takes me 1 hour to cross the city I live in
over here! :) TTYL

---------------------------
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2004\06\22@110703 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I didn't know you would be in London.  Try Ryan Air http://www.ryanair.com.  From
>London to Milan is about $1.50, yep one dollar fitty.  The seats don't lean
>back and you have to bring your own nuts, but you cannot beat the price!
>
>
>Watch Ryan Air's REAL prices. There are various taxes and expenses and
>levies and costs and .... . Our trips to and from Ireland costs several

Also find out exactly what airport they are using. Ryanair has a very bad
reputation for using an airport that is miles out in the sticks, to get
cheap airport fees for themselves, but then the passenger has to pay a
horrendous amount to travel from the airport to the town or city of their
destination. Several tens of miles is not an unknown distance to travel once
at the end of a Ryanair flight. My preference would be Easyjet, but bmibaby
is another possible one.
http://www.easyjet.com/
http://www.bmibaby.com/bmibaby/en-gb/index.aspx

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2004\06\22@111534 by John J. McDonough

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Harford" <.....harfordKILLspamspam.....GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [OT]: Travelling to Europe


> First of all, y'all are assuming that I'm American. :)  Think further
north. :P

OK, so you're a NORTH American <g>

> from Malaga to Lisbon to get an idea of the scenery.  This is all a
> bit different from travelling in Canada, where taking a car from
> Vancouver to Kelowna (~400km) is an easy day trip.

I wouldn't write off the idea of a car.  Although Europeans rarely travel
great distances by car, the roads are good through most of Europe, and
except in a few cities, driving really isn't that much of a chore.  The main
thing is the price of gas.  Also, the cost of a one-way rental can be kind
of breathtaking.  But there is a lot to be said for renting a car.  Parking
isn't like it is on this side of the pond, however.  In most cities, you are
doing well if you can park with 10 or 20 blocks of where you want to be.
The good news is that the walk will be interesting and enjoyable.  If you
are the high-strung type, however, I would avoid driving through the center
of Paris or Milan.

Driving directions are something else, however.  On this side of the pond we
say to get on the 410 east, in Europe they say to go in the direction of
Strasborg.  You need to carry a map of Europe around in your head.

A few comments about hotels.  It rarely seems to be a problem to find a
hotel when you are ready to stop.  Also, check ahead on specific cities.  In
some cities in Europe, a hotel reservation means nothing.  All it does is
delay you from looking for a room while you fight with the place you thought
you were going to stay.  Doesn't seem to matter whether it's a big chain or
a small hotel, either.  It seems to be a characteristic of the city.

It is customary in Europe to ask to see the room before you accept it.  I
have noticed that in some places, the longer you examine the room the
cheaper it gets.

Be open minded!  There is a lot of difference between Europe and BC.  If you
go with the wrong attitude, those differences are a problem.  With the right
point of view, they are part of the fun.

--McD

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2004\06\22@120922 by Alex Harford

face picon face
On Tue, 22 Jun 2004 11:16:20 -0400, John J. McDonough <EraseMEwb8rcrspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTarrl.net> wrote:
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Alex Harford" <harfordspamspam_OUTGMAIL.COM>
> Subject: Re: [OT]: Travelling to Europe
>
> > First of all, y'all are assuming that I'm American. :)  Think further
> north. :P
>
> OK, so you're a NORTH American <g>

Thank you.

> It is customary in Europe to ask to see the room before you accept it.  I
> have noticed that in some places, the longer you examine the room the
> cheaper it gets.

Excellent, thank you!

Would it be out of the ordinary in a Paris hotel to check out, but
request that we keep our bags checked there until later that day
(16:00) when we have a flight?

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2004\06\22@123501 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 09:08 AM 6/22/2004 -0700, you wrote:


>Would it be out of the ordinary in a Paris hotel to check out, but
>request that we keep our bags checked there until later that day
>(16:00) when we have a flight?

Absolutely no problem at any hotel anywhere in the world, and it will be
free. Security varies (typically worse at smaller, cheaper places)-- don't
leave small valuable things if you can avoid it.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
@spam@speffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

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2004\06\22@125542 by Lindy Mayfield

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> Would it be out of the ordinary in a Paris hotel to check out,
> but
> request that we keep our bags checked there until later that day
> (16:00) when we have a flight?

Not at all. I do that almost every time.  They put your things in a safe room until you come for them.

Also there are pay lockers at the larger train stations, if for example you wanted to leave your luggage and roam about before your train leaves.

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2004\06\22@201814 by Russell McMahon

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> I wouldn't write off the idea of a car.  Although Europeans rarely travel
> great distances by car, the roads are good through most of Europe, and
> except in a few cities, driving really isn't that much of a chore.

If you don't mind driving then there is a superb hire deal available
throughout Europe.

There are special "hire" offers by the major French car makers. These are an
utter bargain. You effectively "buy" a  brand new car tailored to your
requirements (within limits) and sell it back at a prearranged price at the
end of your trip. This is a tax swindle arranged by the French government to
assist tourism etc and no doubt their car makers. The cost for other than
short periods is LESS than comparable rentals. You get full insurance cover
(NO excesses) and there are NO hidden costs. Car hire companies hide costs
all over* . Proper insurance can vastly increase a hire bill and there are
still excesses. You can pick up and return at many centres. Extra cost in
some cases but still  reasonable. If I know then what I know now I would
have Chunnelled our car into the UK and returned it in London. We started
with it in Paris.

Peugeot Eurolease, Renault Eurodrive (or have I got those backwards) and I
think Citroen as well.

We were EXTREMELY happy with the deal that we got from Peugeot. We had a
manual diesel Peugeot 306 Skywagon for 4 weeks in Europe mainland. Full
glass roof allowed superb views in city and country. Passengers were much
better off. A nice car - not super powerful being diesel but well up to the
task of touring at full legal speeds with 4 people and too much luggage. 100
mph/160 kph on autobahns without apparent effort (we mainly sat at 130/140k
on autobahns) and let the Mercs sail past at 220+.

The 4 week hire above cost us less than 2 weeks in UK and than 2 weeks in US
afair.

I'll happily buy a 306 diesel skywagon once they get old an cheap here :-)


       Russell McMahon

Britain - can't remember.
USA was "(remember the) _ _ _ _ _ " car hire.
I consider that they effectively ripped us off in two major ways.
No doubt their opinion would vary.

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2004\06\22@222836 by Russell McMahon

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> Also there are pay lockers at the larger train stations,

These are less common than they used to be. In  number of places when we
asked we were told that they used to have them, but no longer. Apparently
they started taking them out in many places after about 11 September a few
years ago :-(


       RM

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2004\06\23@012605 by Buehler, Martin

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i think i have some corrections...
- electricity is 230v 50hz
- there are different keyboards in Europe. each language (and there are many) has it's own keyboard, but mostly based on qwertz instead of qwerty. the differences are only the language specific characters as well as some signs (I use both, qwertz and qwerty. that's no problem)
tino

******************************************************************************************************

>{Original Message removed}

2004\06\23@012807 by Russell McMahon

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My wife points out that our car in Europe was a Peugeot 307 Skywagon (not
306).
Either way it was great :-)
As well as the all glass roof which I mentioned (which had a sliding shutter
to cover it internally if required), the rear passenger seats were somewhat
higher than the fron seats, allowing a better than usual field of view. It
was a stationwagon with 3 rear seats. These could be individually removed,
or have the backs folded flat to act as tables or working surfaces. I was in
the back a lot of the time taking photos (you have easier access to both
sides of the car that way) and was happy with the long distance comfort
level. We visited about 14 mainland European countries - from as far North
as Netherlands, south as far as Rome, East as far as the western edges of
Hungry/Slovenia/Slovakia.



       RM

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2004\06\23@014924 by Russell McMahon

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> electricity is 230v 50hz

Universal 110-240 power supplies handle anything you are liable to meet.

> there are different keyboards in Europe. each language (and there are
many) has it's own keyboard, but mostly based on qwertz instead of qwerty.
the differences are only the language specific characters as well as some
signs (I use both, qwertz and qwerty. that's no problem)

There are more differences than you may wish for. Quite a lot of punctuation
goes to strange places - you end up sending home email with no punctuation
:-) (or wrong punctuation). The Germans have an extra function key to the
right of the space bar and add extra accented characters PLUS some standard
ones using it. I bought an HP laptop in Vienna, with German Windows thereon.
You get used to remembering where the unmarked characters are after a while.
Little things like     \ @ ~ / ; ~  etc have to be hunted down by trial and
much error at first :-).

In quite a few cafes the markings on the keyboard are getting a bit rubbed
off, which makes life interesting. In some cafes they have several different
types of keyboards in use at once. "Oh. You want a QWERTY PC - sorry,
they're all in use at the moment".

Be sure you have a means of charging camera etc batteries. We had a NiMH AA
fast charger (1.2 hours for 4 x 2000 mAh) which used 12v in so could be run
from a wall-wart, or in car with a suitable cord. Marvellous. Used a small
inverter to drive the camcorder charger. SOME inverters will not run some
laptops even though the power rating should be adequate. (Ask me how I
know).


       RM

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2004\06\23@024704 by Lindy Mayfield

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>
> > Also there are pay lockers at the larger train stations,
>
> These are less common than they used to be. In  number of places
> when we
> asked we were told that they used to have them, but no longer.
> Apparently
> they started taking them out in many places after about 11
> September a few
> years ago :-(
>
I hadn't really noticed that, but I believe you.  Maybe more in the south of Europe this happened?

Along the same lines, I was in Helsinki a couple weeks ago.  Every single taxi I rode in had a camera in it. And as far as safety and crime goes, I haven't been anywhere safer than Finland.  (Iceland maybe, but I've not been there yet.)

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2004\06\23@025739 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Russell McMahon [TakeThisOuTapptechEraseMEspamspam_OUTPARADISE.NET.NZ]
>We had a manual diesel Peugeot 306 Skywagon for 4
>weeks in Europe mainland.

I think that would have been a 307 Sykwagon, the 306 went out of production
in 2002.  The Hdi diesel engines are really very good (this from someone who
really dislikes diesels!), and very economic.

Regards

Mike




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2004\06\23@032512 by Amaury Jacquot

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Alex Harford wrote:

> Great idea!  And would this sort of thing be common in Europe?  I
> haven't been in a web cafe around here lately, maybe that would be a
> good business opportunity... make a kiosk type computer running Linux
> with a touchscreen, compact flash reader and cd burner... :)

(in France) the company making the automatic ID pics machine is
installing self-serve PCs with touchscreen and photo printers in malls,
train stations and the like

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2004\06\23@044345 by Howard Winter

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On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 07:20:21 +0200, Buehler, Martin
wrote:

> there are different keyboards in Europe. each language
(and there are many) has it's own keyboard, but mostly
based on qwertz instead of qwerty.

There's also AZERTY.

Non-US keyboards also have at least one more key than
the US ones (UK has the backslash to the left of "Z",
and the left-shift is narrower as a result).  And the
<Enter> key tends to be two rows deep, narrower than the
US one, a sort-of inverted-L shape.

It all makes it fun when you're trying to type quickly!
:-)


Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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2004\06\23@050944 by Lindy Mayfield

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>
> There's also AZERTY.
>
> Howard Winter
> St.Albans, England

Who has AZERTY?  I haven't run across that one.  And I've had to adjust to keyboards from Finland to Croatia and all between.

And you're right, it is a pain when you touch type.  However, with the non-Qwerty it is nearly impossible (for me).

Ciao, Lindy

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2004\06\23@063506 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 01:58 PM 6/23/2004 +1200, you wrote:
> > Also there are pay lockers at the larger train stations,
>
>These are less common than they used to be. In  number of places when we
>asked we were told that they used to have them, but no longer. Apparently
>they started taking them out in many places after about 11 September a few
>years ago :-(

They got rid of them in France after terrorism that started in the
mid-1980s. Many bombs in public places (cinemas, shopping centers, etc.,
a bomb in the Tour Eiffel in 1986 (defused successfully) etc.
Terrorism did not begin on 9/11.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffTakeThisOuTspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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2004\06\25@064559 by Howard Winter

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On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 11:08:45 +0200, Lindy Mayfield
wrote:

> >
> > There's also AZERTY.
> >
> > Howard Winter
> > St.Albans, England
>
> Who has AZERTY?  I haven't run across that one.  And
I've had to adjust to keyboards from Finland to Croatia
and all between.

France, if I remember rightly.  And the pattern is
different, too, with 10-10-6 alpha keys per row, rather
than 10-9-7 that QWERTY has ("M" moves up to the end of
the middle row).

> And you're right, it is a pain when you touch type.
However, with the non-Qwerty it is nearly impossible
(for me).

Indeed!  I had to file a flight plan at a french
airfield once, by typing it into a PC.  Nearly did my
head in trying to get it right!  :-)

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

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