View Full Version here: : Year long journey through Europe ...
05-08-2012, 12:32 AM
So, I'm heading to Europe to 12 months. I will be continuing my post grad studies at Swinburne since it's all done online. I'm hoping to visit a few interesting observatories, other members, perhaps even get up north to capture an aurora.
Any ideas, thoughts, or places I should put on my list?
I'm starting off in Italy for a few months, UK over Christmas/New Years, and then heading eastwards through to Prague, etc.
Keen for ideas. :question:
Oh, sooooo jealous Carl, keep us up to date please.
Love Europe, though didnt do anything very astronomical, apart from taking a few image of the stars. Quite hard to get your head around as to what star is what up there, luckily Orion always gave me a start.
Love Italy - 4 years ago we spent a few weeks between Rome, a week in Florence then up to beautiful Venice. Head to Cinque Terre - stunning too.
Other places loved - Paris, Annecy, Carnac (amazing place in NW Frnace with KM of standing stones - older than Stonehenge), Colloire in S france and all of Provence. Florence and surrounding areas and Cinque Terre, Pompeii blew my mind. Switz was bful - we stayed at Lucerne and went up to Mt Pillates - WOW, all tbe other usual suspects of Vienna, Bruges in Belgium, Prague, Cesky Krumlov was gorgeous. Stayed a couple of days at Zell Am See in Austria - bful country too.
Did I tell you I was jealous.;)
05-08-2012, 01:43 PM
Try to get off the beaten path and big cities. There's a lot more to see there IMHO.
05-08-2012, 02:33 PM
Thanks for the tips. Sounds like you visited quite a few places Liz. Will definitely be getting off the beaten track. My family lives in Southern Italy so will be nice to head down there too. Dark skies hopefully!
Wondering if there are any particular astronomical related places I should visit?
no other astronomical idea, sorry.
But you'll be having a grrrreat time!!
Try visiting Malta if you are going down there, anyway. Lots of ruins...
I guess some of it depends on budget too, I can thoroughly reccomend Crete and if I was in Italy I would be wanting to see Etna and the volcanoes.
There is a good B&B in Provence in France that you can stay at and do astronomy too, you can do a little course or just try your hand at observing and imaging plus they offer more than just astronomy related activities.
Plus there are some good observatories around that area.
Belgium is nice I guess, maybe. Not much in the way of astro related things but lots of beer and that suits me fine :D
06-08-2012, 05:56 PM
Marcs advice is sound, tho I'm very partial to Rome.
Europe's got zillions of places of interest. One I haven't 'done' is the Al Hambra palace in Spain - it looks awsome!
I can heartily recommend some river-boating or canal adventures.
You get to see the most amazing little towns and cities especially in France which is still -IMHO- the food capital of the world, Lyon in particular.
Tho' crowded, Venice, Florence and Siena are beautiful.
Ditto Paris, Buda-Pest (pronounced 'pescht' I'm told) and Bruge.
The Amalfi coast - 'Italian Riveira' - is where I'm gonna live out my dotage it's so beautiful, but it's VERY expensive so getting a sugar-mama is a good idea.
Lunnun of course, but also Bath and environs, the entire county of Kent, Gloustershire (p. "Gloster") - where I used to live - in a village called Tetbury which is very scenic tho' only about 3 miles (the UK has a thing called a mile which is about 1.6 kms) from HRH Charles who's a bit of a damp squib.
Also the villages of Guiting Power, Broadway, Burton-on-the-water, Stow-on-the-wold, Malmsbury in Wiltshire, Hey-on-Wye in Shropshire I think or Woodstock in Oxfordshire (abbreviated to 'Oxon' but not pronounced that way), Oxford of Course, Cambridge naturally and that great, big domed eco-thing thay have in Cornwall, although people down there are still surprised by horseless carriages and wireless telephony. :D
I'm told the Balkan side of the Adriatic is stunning, but they always seem to fighting so I've avoided it.
Avoid also Rotterdam, Naples, Birmingham, Manchester, Zeebrugge, Vienna (Vienna I hear you cry) as really there's only about two sqare miles of enchanting old stuff and the rest is just a post-war industrial wasteland.
That's all I got for the moment but if you are prepared to fund a tour guide, I'm happy to tag along!
I don't know about some of those, it depends on your interests. Rotterdam isn't much really but if you like your clubbing there is no better place. Kind of a niche but at least it's something. But I kind of agree.
Amsterdam on the other hand is a lovely place, I was geniunely taken aback by it as I wasn't prepared for how pretty it is amongst other things.
Naples, personally I would make a bee line for that place. It's the home of Pizza. It has Vesuvius and Pompeii, things that I would be interested in anyway. There is loads to do and see around there.
Manchester is worth at least an afternoon trip to go see Old Trafford and take the tour and visit the museum there.
I can't speak for the others though.
06-08-2012, 06:14 PM
Oh yes. One more thing.
All the stereotypes you've heard about - the English being pompous and aloof, the Scots being dour and tight-fisted, the French being arrogant and unhelpful, the Germans being bad-tempered and demanding, the Italians, Greeks and Spanish being excitable and lazy - they're all true.
You just learn to live with it!
I speek not only from experience but from blood.
I'm a mixture of English, German, Italian, Scots and Sphardic (Spanish) Jew.
I'm bad-temepred, excitable, lazy, pompous, tight fisted and aloof.
I'm usually pretty helpful however, so I guess Ive no French in me.:whistle:
06-08-2012, 06:27 PM
I forget that not everyone here is 52 year-old grump with a bad back.
I'm told that Berlin has an excellent clubbing scene and has surpassed Lodon.
I find this hard to believe as you can't put a cardbox outside your door in London without someone opening a club in it.
One more note of caution (perhaps now unwarranted)
It used to be common practise in central London for pubs and clubs to clear out the late-stayers by lobbing tear-gas into the crowds.
Everyone seemed to think it normal but those of a sensitive dispostion might want to leave at promptly at last call.
Good luck on your travels.
Peter has much of it right....but
... be aware, that's not ALL they say about Greeks. Apparently it's so bad, their women don't know which way to turn ?? :lol:
Actually, the French cooking bit isn't true either. I had a bucket of unspectacular muscles with limp spinach - far from world class.
And if you go to Italy, remember that Italia Post is regarded as pretty much the worst in all of Europe. A friend of mine at my local Woolies has a daughter who works in a posh hotel on Capri. Mum sent her a box a clothing, food and assorted bits and pieces. Weeks later, daughter reports it still hasn't arrived. Eventually, they decide togo down to the local Ufficio Postale, who have the box, but won't release it until she's handed over a hundred euros.
Whatever you do, don't watch "Hostel" before visiting anywhere in eastern Europe. If you do, you won't sleep easy at night.
Apparently, if you share a hotel anywhere with Germans, be prepared to get up before 4 in the morning if you plan on using a lounge by the swimming pool. Word is they get up really early and 'reserve' all the lounges by throwing their towels or clothes on them. I recommend you keep a supply of matches and just toss a lighted match onto them as you pass by - lol (the clothes, not the people!).
Finally, the Spanish can no longer afford to be excitable. They're settling for waving personal handbag sized flags demanding Gibraltar back (whilst conveniently forgetting that they lay claim to Ceuta across the straights in Morocco).
In fact, the only bit not true is the English, who are generous and wonderful people to a man, and who's only fault was to try and share it with the world's less fortunate at a time when, to be honest, it wasn't truly appreciated. Ingrates... humph!
Just my 2 euro cents. Hope it helps :)
08-08-2012, 07:21 PM
Haha, you guys are hilarious. Thanks again for the tips and ideas. I have watched Hostel before, loved it actually. Eastern Europe doesn't worry me too much though, I've travelled there before and quite enjoyed it to be honest.
Now that place looks awesome. I'll definitely contact them and see if I can work my way there for a week. Thanks for the idea.
Less than 2 weeks to go before I fly out! :eyepop:
Anyone know of a list of observatories around Europe, or star parties, or anything like that?
Also, anyone ever done any of those Aurora tours up north or heard any feedback of which ones are better, which to avoid, etc.?
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