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Old 12-03-2007, 09:32 AM   #1
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so my best friend is hella jealous of my euro-celine-debauchery extravaganza I am taking in June that she has begun to set money aside and is working 2 jobs this summer so she and I can travel for a week or two in December when she's on break from grad school.

it's going to be her first overseas trip ever (she's only ever been to USA/Canada/Mexico & a few Caribbean islands), and she wants to do a Europe destination. I don't mind cold weather too much, but I'm not trying to go to Russia or something and freeze my ass off or some shit. She wants to see Paris or somewhere in Italy (cliche, I know, but Paris could be nice at Christmas time), but she wanted me to ask around and see what was good in December.

-we don't mind cold, but are not trying to walk around in frigid, miserable weather
-would like something that could be fun in winter
-something not so remote that nothing will be open that's moderately touristy

we are open to suggestions.

edited to say: we are not going in the winter to ski. I cannot ski and I will not drop money to make a fool out of myself in the Swiss Alps or something
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Last edited by pinknic38; 12-03-2007 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:14 AM   #2
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I went to Berlin a few days before Christmas a couple of years ago, and it was so nice. It was freezing cold, I won't lie to you! But at Christmas time, it's great, all these lovely markets to go to, mulled wine to drink, ahhh, so nice!
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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Hitting some of those big touristy cities during the winter would be a good idea. All those lines would be cut in half. I saw got into the Lourve around 11am after waiting about 10 minutes. I also toured in 30 minutes which is a record I am both ashamed and proud of (Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa, Madonna of the Rocks, and Venus de Milo... how can you not be impressed?) during my 8 hour layover in Paris.

Venice during the winter with a layer of fog is pretty cool. The Prague Christmas markets are legendary (I know that is part of your summer trip but it can be interesting to see how cities change their feel according to season...I saw Munich in February and in May...quite the difference :D). Oh and no matter how crappy the weather (I lucked out in Rome/Paris not so much in Florence/Venice) at night it simply doesn't matter I personally find roaming around in the cold kind of invigorating...

Spain is awesome during the winter...but then that is the only time I have seen it...all of Andalucia just has the feel that it would be stiflingly hot during the summer so that might be an option (if SHE wanted to ski, there is a nice resort (and relatively cheap...30Euro lift tickets) in the Sierra Nevada. She can ski and you can apres ski...the views are so spectacular that you probably won't mind)

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Old 12-03-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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yeah I heard prague was amazing during christmastime. she has a real hard on for paris, so I'm game. I want to go mainly for the louvre (and I promise I will spend more than 30 minutes in there! LOL) and monet's house & gardens (which I'm not sure what they will look like in december), but i have this huge thing for monet, so that's just me.

I don't know. I love the cold weather, personally, but I'm not looking for like siberia cold or anything (though there is something to be said about going to moscow and drinking vodka to stay warm haha)... we shall see.

I'm going to give her a call tomorrow after we've both done a little research. we've got a minute or two to think about it though.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:22 AM   #5
 
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London is pretty nice around christmas time and never seems to dip below the 40 degree mark during the day. It's definitely bearable, and a perfect European city for someone who has never been out of North America. But of course expensive as ever thanks to the exchange rate.
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:51 AM   #6
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30 minutes in the Louvre, Joey? I can beat that. I spent 5 days in Paris, and never even went there, oops. I know it's terrible.

Seriously, London is a good idea actually, I always like London, and in winter you can go ice skating outside the Natural History Museum or at Hampton Court Palace, see the lights along Oxford Street, see the Trafalgur Square Christmas tree, you could catch a show, ummm, not sure what else, you get the jist.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:07 PM   #7
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Iceland! A lot cheaper than other times of the year, it's not actually THAT cold, its got the jet stream and all that. And it makes lounging in the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon that much more sweeter...2 weeks would probably be a lot there unless you were going all over the country, but maybe do a stopover there for a few days.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:21 PM   #8
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would love nothing more than to go to Iceland, but isn't there only like 2 hours of light in Iceland in December?
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:53 PM   #9
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^^^Yep! But you get the Northern Lights
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marc873 View Post
^^^Yep! But you get the Northern Lights
oh god I forgot about that! hmm...
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:41 PM   #11
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I found this at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldcloc...omy.html?n=211

Date Sunrise Sunset This day
4-Dec-07 10:53 AM 3:42 PM 4h 49m 09s
5-Dec-07 10:56 AM 3:41 PM 4h 44m 51s
6-Dec-07 10:58 AM 3:39 PM 4h 40m 44s
7-Dec-07 11:01 AM 3:37 PM 4h 36m 49s
8-Dec-07 11:03 AM 3:36 PM 4h 33m 05s
9-Dec-07 11:05 AM 3:35 PM 4h 29m 33s
10-Dec-07 11:07 AM 3:34 PM 4h 26m 15s

So you can extrapolate out and see what kinda sunlight you'd get. But Marc is right about the Aurora Borealis.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:54 PM   #12
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wow that's not a lot of sunlight at all but seeing the auroras would be amazing. are a lot of places in Iceland shutdown in the winter? do businesses hold normal hours despite the no sunlight thing??
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:00 PM   #13
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Iceland is OK. Reykjavik is pretty nice, had I spent more time there I probably would have enjoyed Iceland more. The blue lagoon is pretty neat though! If you want some touristy I would stick to big cities mainly Berlin (as Lauren said). Paris could be nice in winter it depends on what you want to do.
If you want Italy maybe Roma could be fun?
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:01 PM   #14
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At that latitude the sunrises and sunsets are slow. When I was in Norway, the sunset lasted hours. In Tampa, you can literally see it dipping under the horizon.

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Old 12-04-2007, 05:50 PM   #15
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If it's her first time abroad, I wouldn't suggest Paris, because it looks too grey and sad during this time of year. Why not Spain or Portugal ?
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:12 PM   #16
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Why not avoid the cold weather all together and come and experience and Aussie summer
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
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Quebec City Carnival!!! Soooo awesome!
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:26 PM   #18
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^I think she wants to go to a real foreign country

:ducks:

--Joey
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Old 12-05-2007, 04:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
are a lot of places in Iceland shutdown in the winter? do businesses hold normal hours despite the no sunlight thing??
Not that I noticed. Some things outside of Reykjavik are but thats where I stayed the whole time. Museums and some stores might have more limited hours, but nothing drastic. Its just that in their long summer stuff is open really late, like regular shopping stores open past 10pm so when they close at 6 or 7 is a difference. I know that late (well 11ish) on a Sunday night I had a hankering for some food and the little pizza place down the street was still open. Coffee shops are open early too. Other things open a little later, its a nice little laziness that comes with the territory i guess.
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Old 12-05-2007, 06:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
^I think she wants to go to a real foreign country

:ducks:

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...and someplace that brews REAL beer

:runs for cover:

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