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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:42 PM   #1
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A couple of friends and I are going to Europe next year and are planning on a one-way indefinante stay. I am an experienced backpacker in the States but have yet to try my hand in Europe.

I am good at climate planning, load decisions, and trail routes. My problem and inexperience come into play the longer I wish to stay.

we have decided to start in Shannon, Ireland and wander through the British Isles for a while before starting into to mainland Europe. We would like to see a great mix of landscape and city life. Our plan is see both W. and E. Europe before ending up in Amsterdam and staying until deported.

We have considered Eurorail passes and the like but could use some advice on how to make money and any suggestions of language familiarizations besides the conversational books you can find at most stores. Any advice would be hot and any suggestions appreciated. Thanks...
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:45 AM   #2
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For language familiarization, see if your local library has any "Teach Yourself ______" CDs you can borrow. Just listening to them for an hour or two a day can really help you pick up a couple of useful words, and the roughly correct pronunciation, so that you can at least understand a bit and make yourself understood. If you're planning on going to a lot of different places, it would probably serve you well to have one of those little multi-language phrase books, so at least you can point to words if you can't figure out how to say it. Also, you can get "pocket translators" which are just a folded card with lots of pictograms that you can pull out when you're absolutely desperate for something and can't come up with the word.

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Old 06-27-2006, 08:53 AM   #3
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You could get away with thumbing in Ireland if you really want to save money. I wouldn't relie on it but some English guy wrote a book about how he thumbed around Ireland with a fridge and never had any problems getting a lift.

There won't be many jobs here during the summer as all the collage students are off now. Busking is permited just about everywhere as far as I can see.
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Old 06-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Busking is permited just about everywhere as far as I can see.
[snapback]128252[/snapback]
Busking???
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Old 06-27-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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Thumbing a ride is not a bad idea. If I were to have no luck with it would it be expensive to buy an EuroRail pass up to Scotland at a moments notice?

I have also heard of people getting jobs at farms and the like in rural France and Deutchland. Has anyone done this or know of anybody else that has?

OH yea, one other thing. I have an American flag sown on my pack. It has never been a problem in Canada, Equador, Mexico or Costa Rica. However, I have never been to Central or Eastern Europe. Should I remove this? I want to be the type that says F it and shows my pride, but I don't feel like trashing my trip of a lifetime for a patch either.

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Old 06-27-2006, 11:16 PM   #6
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You can't buy Eurrail passes in Europe, and you have to be a resident of Europe to qualify for the discount fares available here (Interrail for example). However, you can buy point to point tickets anywhere, if you find yourself without transportation. Sometimes there are cheaper deals (taking slower trains, traveling 2nd class, or sometimes there are weekend passes), or you can take buses which are *sometimes* cheaper than the train.

There is at least one tpunk who has arranged farm work stays during a trip - check out the "Working Abroad" forum for some suggestions, there may be links in there as well.

Busking is performing street entertainment - playing an instrument, singing, doing puppet shows, etc. We were delighted one day on the metro in Paris, a guy got on and set up a little puppet show at one end of the car. Just puppets and music, very simple. The kids were entertained, and then amazed that the guy scooped up his equipment, passed a hat, and got off the train in seconds flat. It's probably illegal, but it sure was fun.

I dunno about the flag issue - to be honest, I haven't noticed a lot of people with flags (of any country) on their packs the past couple of years. Based on our experiences living/traveling in Eastern/Western Europe these past three years, I'd guess you're more likely to get a negative reaction to being American in some parts of western than in eastern Europe, though I wouldn't really expect hostility in western Europe, either, unless you get obnoxious in a bar (actually, that would apply in eastern, as well.)

My husband's in the US military, and we occasionally hear stories of service people getting beat up, robbed or whatever, but strangely enough, there always seems to be alcohol involved in the story... Hmmmm.

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Old 06-29-2006, 06:25 AM   #7
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Me obnoxious at a bar........Well, I am an American. That is what we do best.



Thanks for the advice.
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