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Old 07-18-2006, 12:40 PM   #1
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Aside from the obvious, does anyone have an educated opinion on safety concerns for travelers (which countries) concerning the fighiting between Lebanon and Israel? I wasn’t too worried for traveling to Greece, Croatia and Bosnia, but my friend who actually lived through a war has started to get concerned! –So that makes me a little worried because she’s the most laid back, unconcerned person ever! She’s mainly worried that we’ll get stuck over there in some kind of lockdown.

What does everyone think?
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Old 07-18-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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Well, for any foreign nationals/expats in Lebanon, they're being evacuated. Americans are under "volunteer evacuation," meaning the guv'ment will charge you $2000 to get out on a ship. I believe other countries are providing sea transport for free. You have to take a ship because the airport and highways have been bombed out. Some got out on buses provided by their countries already, though...

As far as your own safety goes in any war-torn area, be cautious, understand what the procedure is if there are air raid sirens, restricted areas, etc.

I'm sure Goy has the ultimate perspective on this, so if he happens to get online before he gets the f- outta Israel, he'll have the most up-to-date info.
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Old 07-18-2006, 04:08 PM   #3
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I don't know what the situation is like in Greece, but do try to stay away from Cyprus. Not because it's a dangerous country, it's not right now, but because A LOT of refugees and evacuated people are lead out of the Middle East through that island. They go by ship and try to relocate them to the rest of the world from there. The same happens with Syria and Turkey. I don't think it's safe to go to Syria right now. The situation is pretty tight and I've read reports that a lot of young people are actually pretty exited about responding to Israel, should they attack first (keep in mind that children over there go to a sort of military school with military training when they are about 12... they even have military uniforms as regular high school clothing).

I'd try to avoid that whole area all together... eventually it will be possible to visit it again, but the worries and the danger are just not worth it right now. Specially with Hezbolla attacking just about anything, they're known for attacking hotels and other touristy places.
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:54 PM   #4
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I have a personal policy to avoid countries that are active war zones (I leave that to my husband), but I don't think you should have any problems visiting the countries on your list. As Flo pointed out, Cyprus will be a zoo for a while trying to deal with all the evacuees, but I don't think you'll notice a significant change most places you plan on traveling.

The chances of getting stuck in Europe because of the situation in the Middle East are fairly slim, I'd imagine - unless someone throws nukes into the mix, and then all bets are off. Wars in the region are sadly not uncommon, and even the war in the former Yugoslavia didn't prevent travel on the continent. (I actually had an opportunity to travel to then Yugoslavia during the war there, but that's when I formulated my war zone policy and just looked over the mountains from Austria instead.)

Your best bet for peace of mind is to continue your travels as planned, but do keep an eye on the news to be aware of trouble spots that it might be wise to avoid (recent civil unrest in Paris put a dent in travel there for a while, but all's well now...) for a short time.

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