Where wouldn't you go again?

Travel Forums General Talk Where wouldn't you go again?

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41. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1911 posts) 2y 1 Star this if you like it!

I can see how some people will hate "post-Soviet drab" because places aren't shiny clean and geared up for easy tourist sights, but for me it's fascinating, tells a story, and you're seeing how people live.

Looking forward to reading about your Kamchatka trip, Bob.

42. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3969 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

Looking forward to reading about your Kamchatka trip, Bob.

Likewise - I saw a documentary about it recently and it looked amazing.

43. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1497 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Kathrin_E

I would never again do a day trip to Capri. The island has been totally ruined by the effects of mass tourism and become a horrible tourist trap. In case I ever return, I'd want to stay overnight. When the hordes of day trippers are gone and the tedious tour guides and crap merchants are off work, in the evening and early morning, there may be a chance to experience the beauty of the island.

It was that way 50 years ago, and I think it has always been a tourist trap for almost as long as there have been people there. I went long ago, but I do not really remember it and apparently I took no photos, so I'd like to go back to see what I saw. Probably not going to happen though as I doubt it is at all handicapped accessible

Post 44 was removed by a moderator
45. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1497 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andyf

I can see how some people will hate "post-Soviet drab" because places aren't shiny clean and geared up for easy tourist sights, but for me it's fascinating, tells a story, and you're seeing how people live.

Looking forward to reading about your Kamchatka trip, Bob.

Some people dislike places in the Caribbean, because the buildings are old and decrepit. They see the blue tarps as a sign of sloth - not understanding that there's no possibility of getting a fixer-upper loan - the people have to earn the money to fix the place up as they go. They see trash on the shore as a sign of slovenliness - not understanding that there's no trash pick-up in most of these places, and no street cleaners. My granddaughter was told by her mother that there wouldn't be any graffiti or vandalism in Europe. (I don't know where she got that information from.) So we had a discussion about it - I think vandalism is more than just painting pictures on the walls (not talking about swastikas or hate messages).

46. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 878 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

I can see how some people will hate "post-Soviet drab" because places aren't shiny clean

Some people dislike places in the Caribbean, because the buildings are old and decrepit.

There does seem to be an association with run down and "bad". When I was telling people we were going to drive through Bosnia the response was "but it's run down and nasty, why would you go there?" First of all it is not nearly as rundown as people think it is otherwise it is a beautiful country and why should a few run down buildings negate the positives of a destination? The same thing happened when I mentioned we were doing a stop over in St Thomas. Someone actually said to me "they're bad people they don't even paint their houses" I was thinking maybe they have more pressing concerns to be spending money on then the asthetics of their house. Turned out the locals were the most friendly and helpful people we came across, they helped us with directions, showed us how to navigate the streets and on our last night when we couldn't find parking, the neighbour to our accommodation was so generous he let us use his private parking spot. The peeling paint proved to have little bearing on the peoples' character. On the flipside when I first drove through France I was surprised by how run down a lot of towns were. I mentioned this to a friend who lived in France at one point and her response "but that's what makes it charming!"We live in a weird world.

47. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1497 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

We got a note from our insurance company that said they would refuse to insure our house unless we painted it or put on siding (among other things - most of which were equally ridiculous). I said what does some peeling paint have to do with your liability? And she said it indicated that we might be neglecting maintenance. The inspector that submitted that report did not even know that there were such things as working shutters - ones that were not purely decorative.

I think Disney has a lot to answer for.

48. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1290 posts) 2y 2 Star this if you like it!

Vladivostok is pleasant. It's a city built on hills overlooking the port. On a sunny day you can see people catching some rays along the shore. There are quite a few visitors from Korea and China, so there are Asian restaurants, too.

If you're flying to Vladivostock, bus No. 107 (more like a Sprinter van than a bus) that goes to the train station in the city center sometimes is full, so you might have to catch the next one an hour or 90 minutes later, depending on time of day. When I arrived at the stop in front of the terminal, the bus already was full. On the advice of an Aurora Airlines employee I caught a local bus to the nearby town of Artem, then caught three additional buses into the city center. The journey took three hours ... about the same time amount of time had I waited for the next 107 bus for the estimated 90-minute ride into town.

People were helpful; and so was Google Maps on my smartphone. It told me the bus fares; and where to get off. I know some travelers pooh-pooh the idea of carrying a smartphone and/or laptop, but I find they are essential if you travel overseas for extended periods. Google's Project Fi allows me to access data worldwide without a SIM card. That's helpful, too.

There is rail service to/from the train station and the airport (55 minutes). But service is limited: only five roundtrips daily. Even so, it might make sense in early morning or late afternoon as the roads can be jammed.

You might get a better rate by exchanging currency instead of using an ATM, some of which can dispense both rubles and US$. Rates can vary among banks, so check.

I'll be here another day before flying to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

P.S. The Aurora Airlines employee told me that if you need to take a taxi from the city center to the airport (my flight is at 7:00, there's no bus nor train service in the wee hours), not to pay more than 2,000 rubles, even though drivers may ask 5,000. The receptionists at my hotel say it should be no more than 1,100 rubles.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Aug-2017, at 01:48 by berner256 ]

49. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1290 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

If you're taking the Trans-Siberian from Vladivostok to Moscow, there's a supermarket near the train station. It's located in the area below the Lenin statue. It even sells processed cheese similar to the Laughing Cow brand that doesn't require refrigeration (you can even buy it in the Sahara).

Looking for cheap eats? The "Eight Minutes" cafeterias/canteens have good food at very good prices. The business lunch special, for 119 rubles, or US$2, includes a large piece of roast/baked chicken, potatoes, bread, borscht, etc. I decided on a pork cutlet, seaweed/green pepper salad, tomato-cucumber salad, two slices of bread and a large slice of cake for 294 rubles, or just under US$5. Lots of Russians dining there. Watching what they were eating, the chicken and beef stroganoff were popular, as was an Uzbek-style rice pilaf, borscht; and a salad mix of mackeral, potatoes and onion.

A bus ride in town costs 21 rubles. The current exchange rate is about 59 rubles to US$1. You enter the bus from the middle; and pay the driver when you leave.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Aug-2017, at 03:56 by berner256 ]

50. Posted by puppa17 (Budding Member 66 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

South of France!.
Too similar to ITaly in landscape but worse people, worse food and worse things to see and do.