i'm polish so i can tell you a bit about my country as i hear you want to visit it this summer. first thing you should be prepared for is that the roads here are in terrible condition so if you are planning travelling by car you should be aware of this disadvantage.
if you want to start crossing Poland fromthe north-east part you will cross Mazurian District (in Polish: Warmia & Mazury) it is a part of Poland which is just covered with lakes and rivers, the landscape is just beautiful, bou it's mostly a village part of Poland (in bigger cities like Olsztyn you may find a lot of hotels, many german people come here for summer, it's very cheap part of Poland in comparison to Warsaw which is the capital city).
other cities worth seeing are Torun and Krakow (my favourite ones). there are beautiful old towns, adn the athmosphere is just great, these are cities often visited by foregin tourist.
if you wanted to go to south the whole south board is covered with mouintains. most popular are Tatra Mountains (polish: Tatry) They are beautiful every season of the year.
if you need any more information do not hesitate to ask.
Thanks to BritHockey, Nickla and Kamila for all the info there.
I know that taking all the language courses seems a little foolish as we are unlikely to be able to learn them all but I did do French and German at school and can speak both of those to a reasonable level, I have also spent some time learning Italian and can get by in that, being that there is some connection between the romance languages then I think that picking up Spanish and Portuguese should not be too difficult. For the others I will take your advice and learn one of them and hope to get by (I have ordered a copy of Lonely Planets Baltic States phrasebooks and also the Scandinavian one - by the way found those on amazon and bought throuugh the new/used bit and they were only a couple of pounds each). It is always a time consuming process learning a foreign language but so very satisfying when you can get to the point of reasonable communication. I always find that learning phrases like "How do you say?" and "What does 'insert word' mean?" lol.
We will be a Poland for a while so will try to visit as many places as possible including Krakow and other attractions.
We should indeed be entering Poland from the North East which sounds like a very beautiful and picturesque part of the country (cheap is always good too, especially after we have been in Scandinavia for most of the summer!). We will then probably work our way south and into the Czech republic via the cities which you recommend such as Torun and Krakow, and into the Tatra Mountains - are there roads through these mountains I guess? Will also be a great place for walking and hiking. If we get it right (which we should be getting pretty good at by then) we should be able to stock up our motorhome and be fairly self sufficient for a while. We have extra water tanks and a generator so can probably do 2 weeks self sufficiency in reasonable comfort.
one more thing i forgot to tell you: polish is rather hard to learn. buying a phrase book is a good idea though most of young people can speak english (probably not to good at the country side, but in bigger cities i am sure you will find a way to comunicate, hehe)
you asked about roads thru the mountains - for sure there are some (i remember crossing south board some time ago, but can't tell you nothing specific, map should solve all your problems).
Thanks for the advice, I have ordered a phrase book and will try to learn as much as possible, but like you say I'm sure that we will manage somehow.......
We will also get a map for the roads through the mountains and will probably cross into Czech at some point.
[quote=andrwcris]Thanks to BritHockey for all the info, I think we shall try and get some phrase books maybe even one for each country.
I plan to go to Krakow, Prague and Budapest in May and I've got out the library a Berlitz phrase book that has essentail phrases in 10 East European languages.
I really look forward to visiting Poland, I meet lots of Polish people at work so it will be nice to say that I have visited their country. That reminds me I should practice saying a few words of Polish next time I'm at work!
Hi, I visited Lithuania a couple of years ago - July 2003. It was really great. We arrived on a Monday, rented a car and toured for the 4 days, arriving back into Vilnius Friday afternoon.
We were 3 adults and 3 kids and we had no problems whatsoever. We stayed at camping sites, rented cabins there, it was very easy and very cheap. At the camping sites most people knew a bit of English but around the country most people didn't understand a word of English, but everybody asked us if we knew some Russian. So I guess a bit of knowledge of Russian might be good.
But, honestly I don't think it was any problem at all not knowing the language. Sign language is great and normally works and also might be good for a few laughs.
Btw the camping sites at the lakes in Lithuania are great, the lakes are freezing cold but they had the cleanest water I've seen for ages, so they're well worth a try.
Back in Vilnius for one night before returning to Denmark we had a great dinner, it cost us no more than about 6-7 £ pp, and we had beers, lots of cokes, 3 courses. We also had dinners that week for less than that, out in the countryside we passed a small cafeteria-like restaurant. We paid about 2£ for a meal. Ice cream is VERY cheap, so we'd promised the kids they could have as many as they wanted, very popular :-)
Hope you'll enjoy the holiday.
Very best regards
Cheers to Bluenose and Sole for the info, place sounds great, should be a nice 'offset' pricewise to spending a couple of months in Scandinavia before going there lol
Cant wait to get on our way now, not too long to wait
I want to go to lithuania, letonia and estonia this summer but i would like info about wich cities are the most important to go ( to go out at nights) and what kind of cheap acommodation can we have, like rent bedrooms to a particular person and how much can it cost.
I would like also any relanted link about this countries to look a further info.
thank you very much