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European PDFers! I'm travelling around Europe for 5 months!

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  • European PDFers! I'm travelling around Europe for 5 months!

    starting february 7th I'm coming flying into Gatwick Airport, and then staying at a hostel in London. I'll be in london until the 11th when I plan to fly out to Seville in Spain. I have nothing planned in London so far, aside from getting a phone with GPS/Wifi capabilities. any Brits up for meeting me for a beer or something? any good music stores to check out, or venues or shows going on from the 8th-10th?

    I'll be updating this thread as my trip progresses- where I plan to stay, possibly pictures, stories etc. I'm going to be doing some WWOOFing while I'm travelling. I'd love to hear some advice from Europeans on what to look out for, customs, courtesies, etc. I've heard hitch hiking is relatively safe in Europe- is it common for people to pick up travellers?



    Update(february 2nd): will be staying in London until the 15th of February and then flying into Spain. PM me if you'd like to meet up for a drink or something! progress and plans from now until the end of february, page 2
    Last edited by Healthie; 02-12-2012, 01:16 PM.
    Ludwig WMP Concert Toms: 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16/18/20/24, 15" custom snare. Zildjian.

  • #2
    WWOOFing?
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Big King View Post
      WWOOFing?

      WWOOFing- Willing Workers On Organic Farms. the deal is you work 4-5 days a week for 4-6 hours, and they pay for your room and board. the people I've talked to who've done it have had amazing stories from it. I'm trying to find other organizations that have similar programs, cut down on the hostelling expenses!
      Ludwig WMP Concert Toms: 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16/18/20/24, 15" custom snare. Zildjian.

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      • #4
        You'll have a job WWOOFing in London!
        And how dare you pass the occasion of a beer with me in a small lost town in Northern France?

        Anyhow, you'll be fine hitchhiking yeah.
        Other than that
        If ya meet someone you have to talk to as in work with or something, over here it's shake the hand
        If it's less official (farmer's wife) in France it's cheek to cheek double or triple kiss (yeah weird, I know.)
        Spain is the same I think and Italy too
        you'll want to check that
        You can try a thing called couch surfing
        http://www.couchsurfing.org/
        you go to that website, sign up, plan out your trip! I have a friend who is signed up as having a free couch, you basically say in advance, and they'll give you a bed for the night and feed ya. Great program, they've had people from serbia, russia, trucs, greeks and many other people!

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        • #5
          Sounds awesome! Have fun man.


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          • #6
            That's awesome, man. A friend and I are organizing a European trip at the moment. I just stared a travel thread and there's already a ton of good advice in there you can check out. http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...-Travel-Thread

            If you don't mind me asking, what's your airfare running?
            "Why is that mirror sneezing?"

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            • #7
              Aah I'll still be out here in Texas in February, otherwise I'd have joined you and shown you the sights of London haha. I'll be quite happy to give any advice on London/England if you need it, just let me know!
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              • #8
                Originally posted by TheElectricCompany View Post
                That's awesome, man. A friend and I are organizing a European trip at the moment. I just stared a travel thread and there's already a ton of good advice in there you can check out. http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...-Travel-Thread

                If you don't mind me asking, what's your airfare running?
                I read a bit of yours- really ambitious! sounds like a really cool trip, I like the idea of travelling via freight, reminds me of pushes to immigrate to Canada in the 1800's

                I got an okay deal on my airfare- to Gatwick Airport from Vancouver is $320 one way, but my friend pointed out to me a deal at a travel agent near my work and it was something like $650 return, but I don't know if I could have gotten a return 5 months from now, or if I could change the date if I wanted to stay longer/shorter.

                Originally posted by gaffro View Post
                Aah I'll still be out here in Texas in February, otherwise I'd have joined you and shown you the sights of London haha. I'll be quite happy to give any advice on London/England if you need it, just let me know!
                oooh you might be able to be helpful- my hostel is the Green Man hostel at 308 Edgware Road. Can you recommend cheap restaurants for breakfast? any good live music venues I should check out? also, I hear theres lots of curry in England (which I love) any particular curry places I should try?

                Originally posted by frenchy drums View Post
                You'll have a job WWOOFing in London!
                And how dare you pass the occasion of a beer with me in a small lost town in Northern France?

                Anyhow, you'll be fine hitchhiking yeah.
                Other than that
                If ya meet someone you have to talk to as in work with or something, over here it's shake the hand
                If it's less official (farmer's wife) in France it's cheek to cheek double or triple kiss (yeah weird, I know.)
                Spain is the same I think and Italy too
                you'll want to check that
                You can try a thing called couch surfing
                http://www.couchsurfing.org/
                you go to that website, sign up, plan out your trip! I have a friend who is signed up as having a free couch, you basically say in advance, and they'll give you a bed for the night and feed ya. Great program, they've had people from serbia, russia, trucs, greeks and many other people!

                haha I won't be WWOOFing in London- way too cold right now! where would the farms be?! I think I'm going to be WWOOFing in spain- I just signed up for a membership and I've got to wait 2 weeks to check out the WWOOF's in more detail, but the one I found sounds amazing- close to Seville, and it's a bed & breakfast, sounds like it's not all vegetarian (like many WWOOF locations), AND there's a pool and hot tub!

                If I happen to be in Northern France at any point I'll shoot you a message for sure! I've heard hand shaking is really big, I've got a wicked handshake so thats okay. really? you kiss them? even if they're strangers? I guess I'll find out more about that one, haha. I've read it's good manners to say hello/goodbye to bar/cafe owners, is this accurate? and that most places say you should tip pretty much everywhere, accurate? I wouldn't necessarily tip at a coffee shop, but is this the norm in most places in Europe?
                Ludwig WMP Concert Toms: 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16/18/20/24, 15" custom snare. Zildjian.

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                • #9
                  wait, you want to have a good beer, and NOT pass through Belgium?
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                  • #10
                    Definitely hit up couchsurfing.org.
                    I've hosted a lot of people from all over and it's the best way to get to know local culture.
                    I wouldn't always provide meals for my couchsurfers, but I would always show them the live music and nightlife around town.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Healthie View Post
                      oooh you might be able to be helpful- my hostel is the Green Man hostel at 308 Edgware Road. Can you recommend cheap restaurants for breakfast? any good live music venues I should check out? also, I hear theres lots of curry in England (which I love) any particular curry places I should try?
                      Ah that's not an area I go to a lot, but I know where abouts you mean. Just checked out the Green Man hostel, by the looks of it you'll be on top of a pub, so make the most of proper English pub food, it's one of the things I miss the most while I'm out here haha. You'll be relatively central while you're over there if you're at Edgware Road, so you'll be within walking distance of a lot of nice places or a short tube journey if not, so you'll find tons to do I'll do my best to think of good breakfast places and I'll ask my mates, I'm not usually up and in central London for breakfast, so I haven't done that in a long time! I'm sure I'll remember something though

                      You're right that curries are pretty big in England, don't worry, no matter where you are you'll always be able to find a good Indian restaurant! I'm pretty sure there'll be a good one pretty close to you, but in London it might cost a bit more than you'd expect... I'll have a google later and see what's close. Oh and if you wanted to know, in England tipping staff isn't nearly as big as anywhere else, so unless you're in a really nice place you won't be expected to tip at all. Some places might suggest it, but it still won't be compulsory and no one will get pissed off if you don't and if you do decide to tip it doesn't need to be more than a few quid, it's not like it has to be 10 or 20% or anything specific.

                      Music wise... Well one of my favourite places is Ronnie Scott's, but that's really quite expensive, google it so you know about it, you might find it worth a visit! I've heard good things about the 100 club too, should be a bit cheaper so you might want to check that out, that's on Oxford Street, which really isn't that far away from you on the tube.

                      Anywhere in particular you're thinking of visiting?
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                      • #12
                        If you have any questions about Seville, let me know, I lived there for a summer. I didn't party a whole lot, so I'm not the best at those recommendations, but I spent a lot of time just wandering the streets and El Centro.

                        For kissing on the cheeks, you only need to do that if you are introduced to someone. So Juan is like "Hola, me llamo Juan, cómo se llama?" and you will shake hands and kiss cheeks. You're not really doing anything more than making some contact, not a real smackeroo.

                        For tipping, I would get a book that has a guide on how to tip in different countries. In Spain (and most places in Europe), the service charge is included in the bill, so you don't usually have to tip, but what I would do is round up to the nearest euro. (Unless the bill was 5.05 and then I really wanted to use the change for maybe a drink or something later) For other services, you'd really need to consult a guidebook. I am pretty stingy unless the service is exceptional, and a lot of times taxis would try to charge me more. OH! Important, make sure to ask for a receipt if you take a cab anywhere. That will keep you from getting ripped off because you can call their agency, etc.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah when you walk into a small shop/bar/café it's polite to say hello to the owner, just quickly no need to go shake their hand though. As for tips you would tip a restaurant since you've demanded some attention and service, if you have a just a beer, no need to tip, unless you're in a really good mood, they won't frown if you don't.

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                          • #14
                            Hey buddy. I'd be happy to show you around if you come to Scotland. You'll have a great time here
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by erwinner View Post
                              Definitely hit up couchsurfing.org.
                              I've hosted a lot of people from all over and it's the best way to get to know local culture.
                              I wouldn't always provide meals for my couchsurfers, but I would always show them the live music and nightlife around town.
                              I've heard from multiple people this is a great resource. I may try to extend my stay in London by a few days by couch surfing. can you tell me about your experiences? do they bring their own food, etc? how does it work?

                              Originally posted by Talon View Post
                              If you have any questions about Seville, let me know, I lived there for a summer. I didn't party a whole lot, so I'm not the best at those recommendations, but I spent a lot of time just wandering the streets and El Centro.

                              For kissing on the cheeks, you only need to do that if you are introduced to someone. So Juan is like "Hola, me llamo Juan, cómo se llama?" and you will shake hands and kiss cheeks. You're not really doing anything more than making some contact, not a real smackeroo.

                              For tipping, I would get a book that has a guide on how to tip in different countries. In Spain (and most places in Europe), the service charge is included in the bill, so you don't usually have to tip, but what I would do is round up to the nearest euro. (Unless the bill was 5.05 and then I really wanted to use the change for maybe a drink or something later) For other services, you'd really need to consult a guidebook. I am pretty stingy unless the service is exceptional, and a lot of times taxis would try to charge me more. OH! Important, make sure to ask for a receipt if you take a cab anywhere. That will keep you from getting ripped off because you can call their agency, etc.
                              oooh awesome, I might need to pick your brain. I decided against the WWOOFing place I was originally going to stay at, as the minimum stay was 7 weeks and I couldn't find any reviews on the place. great advice for the cab, thank you- I wouldn't have thought of that. I'm not much of a partier myself, I don't plan on doing huge amounts of drinking- one of my goals on this trip is to slim down, keep up with my exercises and start running again. being somewhere warm will make that more appealing, and working on farms will keep me active too. thanks for the heads up about the kissing, hopefully they realize I'm from Canada. I really like the idea of that kind of affectionate hello.

                              Originally posted by griffix View Post
                              Hey buddy. I'd be happy to show you around if you come to Scotland. You'll have a great time here
                              wicked! I'm thinking I may be in scotland near the end of my trip. I'll definitely send you a message if it turns out I'm up there!
                              Ludwig WMP Concert Toms: 6/8/10/12/13/14/15/16/18/20/24, 15" custom snare. Zildjian.

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