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OfflinePeacheMan
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Registered: 05/17/05
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Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Planning a trip to Europe...
    #4188257 - 05/17/05 08:26 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Well, i'm back again (sort of... can't remember my password or get a new one mailed to me, oh well). I come here seeking guidance and suggestions from those of you who reside in/have visited the land across the pond.

When my current stint as a member of the normal world runs out at the end of the summer, i'm planning on heading to northern europe for an extended stay (2 to 6 months... or maybe longer, i dunno). I'm not really wanting to do the typical tourist-e bullshit, nor do i want to try to cram an entire continent into a few short months.

So i'm thinking i'll stick with Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and part of Scandanavia... I want to do a good deal of backpacking and camping and that sort of thing.

Obviously Amsterdam is a major point of interest for me. Completely out of curiosity, what is the situation on harder drugs there? I'm assuming with such a lax attitude on the issue, coke and smack would be pretty available but of course i could be way off target. What of lucy or special K?

Any ideas, tips, locales, experiences whatever would be much appreciated. I've got three or four months to ponder and plan on this... its little more than a notion at the moment.

And one final question, how hard is basic Dutch? I want to learn a usable language for the journey and i'm guessing Dutch (or German?) would be the most practical for the region i intend on visiting.

thanks to all.


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OfflinePeacheMan
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4190002 - 05/18/05 07:23 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Wow, no ideas or experiences from anyone here on Amsterdam?


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4190105 - 05/18/05 09:09 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

i'm at work now, so don't have time to be original, but i'll quote myself.

Quote:

England - Camden Town, London - great outdoor market, sure to be wonderful in the summertime!
Scandinavia -
Bergen, Norway - absolutely beautiful town, a bit small, but a tour up the western coast, along all the fjords, is simply amazing.
Gothenburg, Sweden - a bit posh for my tastes, but nice nonetheless
Malmo, Sweden - guaranteed to find Europe's cheapest falafal
K?benhavn, Denmark - my personal favorite city. go to Christiania while you're there, and if you are there on a sunday, go to a club called Stengade 30, in N?rrebro for great reggae music.
?rhus, Denmark - where i live - a big university town with quite a few nice concerts and large festivities.

Germany - Berlin is a very cool town, be sure to visit a place called Tacheles while you are there.

France - Paris, of course. I could talk for a very long time about that city, but ask me if you have any specific questions.
Provence - rent a small summer cabin, drink cheap red wine, and play bocci ball with old french men
Cote D'Azure - everywhere is very expensive. but the beaches (and women) are certainly amazing. cannes, st tropez, nice, etc.

Holland - Amsterdam is a wonderful city, but a bit too touristy for my own tastes. The Hague is the only other place i've been, and only for a day at that.

Hope it helps a bit...




from http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/4139858#Post4139858


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Offlineshnakboozy
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: Krishna]
    #4190461 - 05/18/05 12:29 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

as for the language, well its a nice idea to learn a few words here and there, but really it's not gonna help much except to give you a few brownypoints with the locals for "making an effort" you will find that most dutch, swedish, danish, norwegian adults under the age of about 50 will speak english better than you probably - seriously! the germans and belgians are not far behind. if you want browny points then a smattering of words from each country is a better bet - most locals would rather speak english than german (excepting the germans of course!!) theres often not much love lost between the germans and their near neighbours, english is a more neutral language.

as for top travel tips, well you are asking a very ver broad question - the countries you meantion have populations totally about 100million so it's hard to advice you without a more specific question. you could try posting somethin on www.lonelyplanet.com

but i will say this - if you like camping in the wilderness then head to norway and sweden (norway has the better scenery in my view, by a mile). northern germany, netherlands and belgium have plenty of impressive cultural stuff, historical buildings and the like but are much more densely populated and without the stunning natural scenery of norway.


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OfflinePeacheMan
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: shnakboozy]
    #4191609 - 05/18/05 05:28 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

thanks krishna and snack!

I guess for more specific questions...

-I've never travelled abroad...

1) As for currency, i'm assuming i should exchange my USD for Euros before i depart to avoid extra charges?
2) would it be wiser to pack my supplies (sleeping bag, tent, cook pak, etc) across the Atlantic or purchase them once i arrive?
3) Is it possible to book a room at a youth hostel same day? Most of what i've read seems to indicate reservations need to be made in advance, but i don't really intend on having much of a travel itinerary... i want to have the freedom of going where i want when i want...

I'm sure that the answer varies and will have to be researched further, but if anyone has any general (or specific) info/advice on the availability of scenic camping (especially in Norway, Sweden, Netherlands)... in the States national park regulations can make it a bitch finding a legal place to build a camp fire in the wilderness and such... i'm wondering what the situation is in the above mentioned countries.

Specific club suggestions for cutting edge electronic type music/djs (anything along the lines of Kruder and Dorfmeister, the Theivery Corp, etc) would be much appreciated.

Specific (particularly belgian) micro brews that must be sampled would be much great!

Any tips or info on the Amsterdam (hard) drug scene would be much appreciated.

Thanks!


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4194123 - 05/19/05 05:14 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

in norway, if you're looking for camping, i'd recommend somewhere along Sogn og Fjordane, north of bergen, along the west-coast. looks kinda like this



i don't know the name of any official camping grounds - when i lived there i would always just take a canoe down the fjord till i found a nice spot. now that i think about it, it probably wasn't legal, but it was way out in the middle of nowhere so i didn't run into any problems. - but i'm sure there are a ton of "official" camping areas - just do a websearch for it.

in sweden, northern sweden is quite scenic (falun, that area). also the archipelgios are supposed to be simply amazing, esp if you like to sail - but i've never been there.

holland i dunno about scenery - but there are quite a few dutch shroomerites here so maybe one of them can help?

denmark is really boring scenery wise compared to norway. very flat and filled with a lot of farms. eh. some people really enjoy the charm of mid-jylland (where ?rhus is) so it might be worth checking out - esp if you go from norway/sweden to the rest of europe, via copenhagen.

as to your questions - i'd probably exchange some money beforehand, have some in travellers cheques (but they can be a pain in the ass to cash in, esp if you are a bit off the beaten path), and bring a visa card. norway, sweden, and denmark all have their own currencies - none of them use the euro - so if you are planning to be in scandinavia, don't exchange it all to euros!

probably would be wiser to pack your camping supplies (or as much as possible) before you come over. i've found those things to be a bit more expensive in europe - esp now when the dollar sucks big time.

and with hostels, you might run into trouble, but i've never really booked a hostel beforehand. when they say reservations need to be made  in advance, calling the hostel the day of is probably good enough. again, depends on where you are - amsterdam, copenhagen, berlin, etc - its easy as hell to find a relatively cheap place to crash - but you might have more trouble in bergen, ?rhus, gothenburg - and significantly more trouble anywhere in the countryside.

specific club recomendations... i'm really not an electronic music fan at all (although i really like both K&D and thievery corp) but can ask friends for suggestions. i know berlin is literally filled with electronic music - and i'm sure there are quite a few places in copenhagen as well. now, if it's reggae music you are looking for - then i can help you out. :rasta:

specific micro-brews - i only really know danish beer here, but i'd highly recommend anything from Refsvindinge Brewery, from Fyn, Denmark. esp Ale No 16 and Mors Stout. http://www.goodbeer.dk/dk/refsvindinge.php for info about their beers.

amsterdam (hard) drug scene - i was offered coke/heroin/speed/meth/xtc/younameit a hundred thousand times in the few days i was there. then again, i tend to stay away from those types of drugs - and most definitely wouldn't buy them from some sketchy dude on the street-corner, but that's just me. keep in mind they are illegal - and it would really suck to get arrested for drug charges in a foreign land.

hope this helps a bit!
let me know if you have more questions


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OfflineKamek
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: Krishna]
    #4194206 - 05/19/05 06:29 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

I would not buy hard-drugs on a street corner in Amsterdam. These people are very unreliable at best...


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OfflinePeacheMan
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: Kamek]
    #4194237 - 05/19/05 07:17 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Krishna, thanks again! I had no idea that Scandinavia wasn't on the Euro-- definitely needed to know that! I'm not so worried about the (il)legality of where i choose to camp, more of the liklihood of reprecussions. So as long as i'm far enough off the beaten path, all should be well? I hoped to stay as far in the wilderness as my navigational skills allowed.

I'm not a huge electronic music fan either, but i like the few artists i've been exposed to and was hoping to broaden my horizons with some authentic djs and such while i was there. I do like reggae too; what would you suggest?

As for the hard drugs... hmm... i don't really know what i was hoping for/expecting on that... but, as long as they're around, i don't think i'd have much trouble sniffing them out and procuring them as wisely as possible... i definitely don't intend on any street corner acquisitions. I guess i was hoping that, like in certain areas of NYC, Chicago, ATL here in that States, that cabbies tend to be able to broker such exchanges...

Anyhow, thanks again!


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OfflinePeacheMan
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4194239 - 05/19/05 07:19 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Oh, and i was under the impression (well, had read on this BB a post from a resident of the Netherlands) that possession of any illegal drug in consumer amounts was confiscation and ticket in Amsterdam. Any idea on the validity of this statement? Not that i intend on getting pickedup, but still good to know the possible outcomes when weighing a decision.


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Offlineshnakboozy
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4194255 - 05/19/05 07:41 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

a few points:

money:
norway does indeed have its own currency. sweden and denmark are both in the euro-zone, ie use euros. even in norway it will be easier to change euros than to change dollars (though dollars are not hard to change). the easiest thing, though is to use your cash card to get money out of ATMs. all major cards will work - VISA, mastercard, cirrus, etc etc. just make sure you know your pin number and check with your bank at home what the charges/restrictions are etc.

camping:
one of the great things about norway/sweden/finland and iceland is that you are legally entitled to camp almost anywhere. as long as it isnt someone's garden, is more than 150metres (i think) from a house, is not cultivated then you are free and legally entitled to set up camp anywhere for a few days. wilderness areas are fine for this of course. the same law does not apply in other, more crowded, european countries. oh, except scotland has a similar law now too.


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OfflineKamek
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: PeacheMan]
    #4194259 - 05/19/05 07:45 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Yeah you won't get into much trouble if you're caught with small amounts


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Offlineshnakboozy
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: shnakboozy]
    #4194261 - 05/19/05 07:48 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

oh, think i might be mistaken about the currencies, think maybe previous poster was right! sorry for the confusion. but te camping bit of advice still stands!!!


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: shnakboozy]
    #4194332 - 05/19/05 08:31 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

shnakboozy said:
oh, think i might be mistaken about the currencies, think maybe previous poster was right! sorry for the confusion. but te camping bit of advice still stands!!!




yep. we've had many a vote here in DK to switch to the euro but it keeps getting rejected. same with sweden. norway isn't even a member of the EU, so i think it's a long time before they'll get it there.


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OfflinePeacheMan
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Re: Planning a trip to Europe... [Re: Krishna]
    #4196425 - 05/19/05 05:46 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Again, thanks for the information! The news about camping is great!!

As for the whole me learning a foreign language... i want to undertake a new language simply to learn a second language, and this seems like a good opportunity/motivation to do so. I know each country has its own language, but what is the most universally spoken in northern europe? i've got a feeling it may well be English, but is their another close behind?


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