Outdoor Adventures: 2005
A good European trip includes more than a series of castles and museums. Europeans are into outdoor adventure, and many American travelers are finding fun ways to get wet, windblown and out of breath too. Any tips on outdoor thrills for mild-mannered back door tourists not packing ice axes? Share your favorite outdoor activity.
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Have you walked Santiago de Compostela?
I am planning a trip to walk Santiago de Compostela in Sept 2006. I am looking for a tour from Leon to SdC. Anybody have suggestions, experiences with good travel companies? I would like to find a company that handles the hotel and food so I can concentrate on the pilgrammage. Thanks in advance for any help and commments. There will be 2 of us together, we are seniors but young at heart! ;o) Looking forward to hearing about other's pilgrammage or travels
Chicago, IL USA Tue 12/27/2005
We took a day trip from Rome in March to visit this great sight. We were surprised at just how huge it is. Defenitely a place to bring a picnic lunch. The ruins are amazing. You can wander for hours through 2,000 year old shops, baths, homes; every aspect of a Roman town of 100,000 inhabitants. It is easy to get to and not crowded at all.
Everett, Washington USA Fri 10/07/2005
Rafting in Scotland
Just got back from a driving trip through England and Scotland. We spent one afternoon white water rafting the River Tummel near Dunkeld, Scotland. This was one of the highlights of our trip and I highly recommend it. We booked through this website: www.naelimits.com
Portland, OR USA Fri 09/30/2005
I stayed in the Ballsridge section of Dublin so it was a toss-up between Bray to the South and Howth to the North for an afternoon trip via the Dart. My waiter said Howth was by far the nicer. Well the Dart was down in the south direction anyway due to renovatons Sept. 2005. So we went to Howth. I can't see what the attraction is unless you have never seen water before. I didn't find it picturesque at all. The fishing "village" is an industrail dock with fish boats. Nothing to brag about in the way of shops or eateries. If you're looking for a Martha's vineyard atmosphere, you will be disappointed.
Verona, NJ USA Wed 09/28/2005
I haven't read the whole Graffiti wall, but haven't yet seen a mention of the Freilichtmuseum (open-air museum) Neuhausen. It consists of forty or so 100 to 300 year old buildings arranged in several "village" of "farmstead" groupings. The museum is just outside of the Baden-Wurttemberg town of Neuhausen ob Eck which is just east of Tuttlingen and about 30km northwest of the northwest arm of Bodensee (Lake Constance.) We found it practically deserted in October. There were some old-timed crops growing around the area, a saw mill and several residential or working areas. It was very authentic and enlightening. Due to the season we missed all of the many craft or "industrial" demonstrations except a potter and a wheel wright. The other demonstrators & the restaurant were only in operation on weekends. Entrance cost €4.50 each and €1.00 for a map.
USA Tue 09/27/2005
We recently spent some time in Britain and discovered an aspect of the Cotswolds not touched on in Rick's books: walking. With its prestigious Ramblers' Association, the Cotswolds are something like the center of walking in England. There are countless public footpaths, and local law proclaims that they are all open to the public, despite farmers doing everything legal they can to drive tourists off (foreboding fences and signs warning of raging bulls are common!) Nonetheless if you are a hiker you cannot pass this up. The villages are so numerous that you can walk between many in one day. There is good signposting too. All you need is a detailed local map. It's a perfect way to discover new villages and get close to the sheep, cows, flowers, farmsteads, rabbits, kissing gates and the atmosphere of the Cotswolds - a magical ambience unattainable by car. But look out - by the end of a few walks you'll know why all the locals are wearing green galoshes!
Bay area, CA USA Fri 09/02/2005
Just came back from a worldwind of a trip in Europe.. but we did stop in Interlaken, Switzerland and went paragliding, along with canyoning (scary but fun) and water rafting. Paragliding was amazing.. we were sort of disappointed that it wasn't a clear day that morning but it was actually pretty cool to sail through the clouds. All you have to do is jog off a hill and then you are sailing in the air... it really was amazing. But if you want a little adventure then you should try canyoning!! Have fun!
Ocean City, NJ USA Wed 08/24/2005
Orvieto, Italy bike rental
Rented a bike in Orvieto for 5 euro a day. Was a great investment allowing me to bike to Lake Bolsano through the vineyard villas and olive orchards before my family was even awake. We also biked the connecting path to the isolate town of Civita. Was definitely a highlight of our trip, and very do-able. Rental store was in Orvieto-scala on main street.
San Diego, ca USA Mon 08/22/2005
This Spring, I bought a bicycle (Ritchey Break Away) which packs in a suitcase. What an outstanding thing to have during travel. Of course in Europe where most airlines have a 20 kilo weight restriction, it means that I have to cut back on my other packing to accomodate my bike (packed in its suitcase, it comes in at about 11 kilos).
I picked it up when I was back in the US - since then, it's been around Greece, to Switzerland and France (for a few days at the Tour), and in a few weeks to Bulgaria.
Larissa, Thessaly Greece Tue 08/02/2005
Walking in Bruges
Ideas for walking in the Bruges area.( not the city centre, please. Thanking you in anticipation for your help Ronald John Saunders
Ronald John Saunders
Llanelli, U.K. Fri 07/15/2005
Walking in Andalucia
I posted rather vaguely a while back about a little-known valley perfect for hiking or biking that I discovered in Andalucia. I received several requests for more information so am reposting. The area is called the Alto Genal valley and it's really close to Ronda which is kind of touristy these days. The valley has 7 small villages each about 1 hour walk from each other. It's surrounded by sweet chestnut trees and some craggy mountains. Magnificent countryside and no tourists in sight. I stayed at a couple of places, a rural hotel in Juzcar one of the villages and a luxury inn in Cartajima, another of the villages. I have found a website that has all the info on the valley which hopefully will answer any questions but if you need anything else, do email me. www.altogenal.com is the site for the valley
Arlington, VA USA Sun 07/10/2005
Glen Affric, Scotland
Glen Affric wilderness area near Inverness, Scotland is one of the most beautiful wilderness places I have seen in the world--the guide said that it is the only remaining virgin Caldonian forest. I recommend the "Discover Loch Ness" bus tour with the guide Tony (www.discoverlochness.com). The tour goes to loch ness in the morning and you get a boat tour to see the Urqhart castle, and in the afternoon they take you to Glen Affric (on certain days). The loch ness tour was great, but the Glen Affric part of the tour was amazing. It was the highlight of my trip to the UK.
Ames, IA USA Sat 07/09/2005
My wife and I spent a considerable amount of time in Berner Oberland thanks to Rick's great recommendations. Our home base was Bonigen, which has much more of a local flavor then its neighbor Interlaken. We highly recommend taking a half day excursion to the small village of Gimmmelwald. In Gimmmelwald you will experience the Swiss Alps you often see in old pictures. Amazing scenery as well.
Nashville, USA Fri 07/08/2005
Paragliding in Switzerland
I'm heading out to the Berner Oberland area and am looking into paragliding. Just curious if anyone has done this...your experience...recommendations....etc? Thanks!
Chicago, IL USA Fri 07/01/2005
Scenery in Innsbruck, Austria
I went to Austria and Germany last year for my first trip to Europe. A goal/dream that was finally achieved. And now, i am planning a trip back to Europe. Anyways, i just had to recommend backpacking and hiking through Innsbruck, Austria. It is absolutely amazing scenery, beautiful mountains hovering over the town, green hills everywhere, and culture scene on the decoration of the houses. It is just amazing scenery there. The first words out of my mouth when seeing the mountains hovering was "Wow!" Just beautiful. We backpacked, hiked, and took trams around Innsbruck to neighboring small towns of Igle and Kreit. Just endless..beautiful scenery. Truly an experience to remember.
Fresno, CA USA Wed 06/29/2005
Biking on cobblestones in Bolzano
Our best deal in Italy -- and believe me, we were looking with the exchange rate the way it is -- turned out to be a six-hour bike rental in Bolzano for only 1 Euro per bike. We took the bikes up Fiume Talvera to the Castle Roncolo, and wrapped up the journey with a thrilling sprint down the old streets by the duomo and into Walther Platz. The bike rental is located just off Walther Platz on the way to the train station. Red bikes line the sidewalk...you can't miss it.
Denver, CO USA Thu 05/26/2005
bike riding in paris
We rented bikes in Paris and had a ball. You can see everything by riding a bike. We even when on the trains and took side trips with them. The French people loved the fact that we Americans were riding bikes in Paris. They are very bike friendly. Most streets have bike lanes and you can also ride on the sidewalks almost anywhere. It really saved our legs and our feet.
memphis, tn USA Thu 05/05/2005
Dutch Open Air Museum
The Dutch Open Air Museum in Arnhem is well worth a visit! It has many windmills, and typical tradtional Dutch homes throughout history. Also, the interactive movie, shown in the visitor center, on Dutch history is fascinating and very entertaining. The room actually moves and transports the viewer into diffent Dutch scenes- wonderful!!!
Ellicott City, MD USA Wed 05/04/2005
I want to recommend work holidays with the National Trust in the UK. Just got back from a week long holiday living and working on a massive garden estate in Somerset and I had the most amazing time and met 12 really excellent people. It was hard outdoor work, but very rewarding to see the positive effect we were having on the garden. I have been doing quite a bit of traveling this past year and this was the best trip so far. Very near the perfect holiday.
GLasgow, Scotland Sun 04/17/2005
Near Venice: natural pyramids
In the rural areas near Venice there are "natural pyramids." I saw these many years ago and found them quite fascinating. You can hike through many trails in the forest to see these pyramids. They are formed by erosion: a large rock has stopped the erosion below it so a tall spire of land remains. They were nothing that I could ever see here at home!
Vancouver, BC Canada Thu 04/14/2005
Hadrian's Wall Walk
Walked Hadrian's Wall trail with my wife, in September, 04 and loved it! Celebrated my 60th birthday doing something other than blowing out candles and cannot recommend the 84 mile hike enough! Will gladly shared our experiences if you are interested!
Arnold, Md USA Sun 04/03/2005
Nature in Norway
A good way to experience nature in Norway is on a Den Norske Tursetforening (Norwegian touring association) tour. The DNT tours are reasonably priced and a number of tours have English speaking guide.
We experienced a ski tour in the Jotunheimen area on a DNT tour. Not only did we enjoy the spectacular scenery, but enjoyed it in the company of Norwegian, Dutch, Danish, English, and Canadian skiers. The DNT huts (lodges) and private mountain lodges had hot showers and good Norwegian food (salmon, moose, and other Norwegian items).
DNT web site: http://www.turistforeningen.no/index.php?fo_id=782
Medford, OR USA Tue 03/29/2005