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Europe: Eastern From Russia to Croatia, the Danube, Iron Curtain era vestiges, Pilzner beer, Czech it out!

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Old 06-08-2006, 10:57 PM   #1
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I am planning a fairly long, wandering trip of Europe, and I am really intersted in finding some beautiful, smaller towns (maybe off the beaten path, think the town in the movie Chocolat) with old architecture, local flavor and the opportunity for some great pictures.. A relaxed atmosphere as a change from the party-ish themes in the bigger tourist centers.. I'm realling interested in any kind of a traditional music scene, old churches, and just beautiful scenery in general... Anyone have any suggestions? :D
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:24 PM   #2
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I answered this under the Western Europe forum, but depending on where you want to go in Eastern Europe, there are tons of great places there, too. If you're going to Poland, Szczecin is an off-the-beaten track place, as is Wroclaw.

A much smaller town, known mostly for its centuries old pottery tradition (and a popular destination for marauding bands of German and American shopping tours) is Boleslawiec. The nice thing is, that the tourists don't spend much time in the actual village, they just tramp from factory to factory, but there is quite a lovely little old town square, and we had the best meal of a 6 week long trip in a little restaurant there.

Vilnius, Lithuania is my favourite "off the path" capital city - it's gorgeous and there's tons to do, and while it's becoming steadily more popular, it's still a great place to spend a week or two - or two years, as we did...

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Old 06-09-2006, 01:36 PM   #3
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Yeah Wroclaw (pronounced Vrotswav) is gorgeous
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:17 PM   #4
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I hope beergal (Bri) sees this topic so she can correct my horrible spelling...

Szendre' which is a small village just outside Budapest.

It was small and nice with some nice chruches and such around. It was a VERY cheap ride from Budapest to there and back and the whole town can be covered in under 3 hours (at a snails pace). The food was also good.

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Old 06-11-2006, 05:36 PM   #5
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In Romania, think of Sighisoara and the surroundings, and two regions : the Maramures -very authentic traditional Romania, where even some of the young people wear traditional clothes daily- and Moldavia, where you'll find gorgeous orthodoxe churches. Romania is probably the place to go for traditional live music. I was invited to a wedding party, in the Maramures, and the local band played traditional music and everyone knew the traditional songs and dances, even the children.

In Hungary, I found Eger to be beautiful, and there's a castle and a 40m turkish minaret (you can get both in one picture !). I think Foofiter is talking of Szentendre.

But even in capitals, if you walk away from the tourist zones, you'll get the local flavor.
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