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Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017
Pending moderation

I am planning my trip to Europe , Spain and France to be exact
Can natives share some tips of what to do and not to do?
And what to say and not to say?
And where to eat? ;D

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Go in Greece and eat souvlaki. It's delicious.

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017
Black Mamba wrote:

Go in Greece and eat souvlaki. It's delicious.

What is made of?

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Meat, pork. It's like kebhab (l don't know if l say it right).

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017

Sound delicious
Do you make those things in the way Russins make pirogi, Ukrainians - varenniki, Italians - pizza?

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Yes.. kind of..

Moderator and earthbound misfit
تاريخ الانضمام: 05.04.2013

Well, as for "dos and don'ts", it depends a lot on the country you're going to. I am Italian and I moved to Sweden a few months ago and there are tons of things I haven't quite got the hang of yet x)

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017
Icey wrote:

Well, as for "dos and don'ts", it depends a lot on the country you're going to. I am Italian and I moved to Sweden a few months ago and there are tons of things I haven't quite got the hang of yet x)

Good point. I am Russian living in USA , and I am kind of nervous going to 🇪🇸 and 🇫🇷 because I was told they don’t like Americans (in general) , and who likes Russians?? Regular smile

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 21.02.2015

If you ever come to Sarajevo, execpt the common things everyone will advise you (like visiting the famous churches, mosques and synagogues or eating ćevapi and burek etc.), by all means
 
 DO:
- Go to the part of the city called Zmajevac (it has a view of the city that is unmatched)
- Visit some less famous, but culturally and historically highly important places like Hadži Sinanova tekija, the Jewish cemetry, the Brewery and so on
- Eat and/or stay at hotel "Kulin Dvor", it's a bit away from the city center, but you'll find no better Bosnian cuisine and service and it's very cheap for someone coming from western Europe or Scandinavia too
- Ask around to find a place to drink Bosnian coffee, since sadly many better known cafés don't serve it anymore
 
 DON'T:
- Buy anything in the Brusa bezistan or the main streets of Baščaršija, those vendors are tourist deathtraps
- Take a taxi before researching where the location of your destination is, since the drivers might outright scam tourists. (Most of the places to see aren't that for from eachother anyway)
- Ever turn off your headlights if you're driving a car, even if it's daylight, otherwise you will have to pay a fine

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Greece has also beautiful beaches, you can go there if you like... on summer of course...

Keep To Yourself
تاريخ الانضمام: 31.05.2014

Called gyro/ gyros (greek γύρος):

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyro_(food)

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 01.07.2018

Here is a nice place  to discover in Greece : imagine, there are trees, waterfalls, some lonely beaches, therms, mountains (even a Moon Moutain !), ruins of ancient mysterious temples, and no airport ! But please don't repeat it, or it will soon be wasted. Omg smile

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Gyros and souvlaki is not the same. Don't confuse her, Makis.

Banned User The Bride
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.11.2018

Islands and villages are beautiful in Greece. All tourists say that. It's the best place for vacation.

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 01.07.2018

Sure, but many islands are very dry and without trees. On Samothraki there are trees and water !

Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 23.12.2018

If you need a lot of people, you have to go south to the beach, if you get silence, go north! (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lativa, Russian) Beautiful culture in the middle and in the south but also in the east Baltic. Life is more expensive in the north, except the Baltic states. There are also many Russians living there. You need warm sun, south. They want to see the endless sun or Borelia Auroris in the north. I have seen many places. Every country has beautiful places. And nice people are everywhere. (Assholes too.) I prefer the baltic states estonia, and latvia.

Keep To Yourself
تاريخ الانضمام: 31.05.2014

Pardon me, ma'am! Give rose

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 01.07.2018

Norway is the most beautiful (European) northern country, IMO, but it's way expensive... and the Norwegians (the richest people in Europe) look somehow... ehm... mingy. Sweden looks more friendly to me. Finland is nice, but after a while it might get a little boring (woods, lakes, woods, lakes...) Iceland is great, but it has become very fashionable by now, and all touristic places are quite crowdy, especially during the 3 summer months. I don't know the Baltic states yet, but I would love to go there. The farthest north I went was the Norwegian island of Sørøya, which strangely enough means "The Southern Island" (I guess that people from Spitzberg called it so, everything being relative  Wink smile   ).

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017
Black Mamba wrote:

Gyros and souvlaki is not the same. Don't confuse her, Makis.

I knew gyros, they are actually very popular in California, but not my choice
I grabbed some “spanocopitia” it’s supposed to be Greek, maybe i misspelt it, sorry, but we had them on Greek festival they are awesome

Senior Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 19.02.2018

If you come to Belarus, Minsk you will feel welcome Regular smile It's a colorful city with many parks to walk. Apart from Misnk Mogiliev and Brest are beautiful too. I recomend you Białowieża Forest, is a nature reserve with European bisons. I think is 70 km from Brest. Tea is popular in Belarus we drink it with every meal. My grandmother has a samovar to keep tea. We drunk beer -which we sometimes add smetana. Vodka we call Harelka is drunk on holidays and special occasions. Very popular food in belarus are a similar pancake called Nalistniki. Karavai (“Karavai, Karavai, choose the one you want!” – it’s the well-known children’s game, familiar to all Belarusians since our childhood) It is a symbol of hospitality and respect for those people for whom this loaf has been baked. It’s the well-known children’s game) is not only a bread, It is a symbol of hospitality and respect for those people for whom this loaf has been baked. Belarus is a country of contrast, a mix between the Soviet and the modern combining communism and capitalism in the same system (my opinion)

I see you mention Spain and France. Spain I love this country. Paella is the popular food but in Catalonia there's a dessert called crema catalana which is typical. I recommend you Madrid, Seville and Barcelona. Very beautiful cities.

I also recomend you Poland, my grandmother is from there. Warsaw and Cracow are beautiful cities. The salt mines of Wieliczka, located about 15 km from Krakow, are also beautiful.

I've been living in Romania 5 years and I'm in love with this country. Brasov is (for me) the most beautiful Romanian city. Also Monasteries of Bucovina, The palace of Vlad Tepes, Bucarest...

Refering money I think Spain is the most expensive contry of all this four.

Hope I've helped you.

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017

Belarus is awesome, I’ve been there
Хатынь is devastating though but so is history

If you can - go to Ukraine

Keep To Yourself
تاريخ الانضمام: 31.05.2014

Do you mean spinach pie (spanakopita/σπανακόπιτα)?
I think it isn't an authentic Greek food (but I'm not sure).
Made of spinach and feta cheese and sell in the bakery about 2€ a piece (approximately 300g).
It's very tasty, especially when they put a little pepper.
Souvlaki with pita must be Black Mamba's favorite food because she can sure put them away! Omg smile Tongue smile

Senior Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 19.02.2018

Yes Хатынь is devastating. Only one man survived, there's a statue of him holding his dead son. Too sad. Vítebsk also, where I live, a lot of people were massacred by the Germans for having collaborated with partisans. There is a movie called Defiance based on
Bielski brothers. The Bielski partisans. They helped a lot of Jewish (polish/Belarusian) to scape. Ukraine it's difficult for me to go. It took me bad memories, because of Chernobyl, my mother died and I have radiation sequels - pulmonar. I'm from Bagrain, in the province of Gomel about 50 km from Pripyat and I was took to Gomel and after to Minsk for a thyroid operation. Also Crimea. I wish one day I could visit Armenian, Georgia and Azerbaijan. People said it's beautiful.

Nil
Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 19.04.2018

I guess I've seen that movie. With Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber, right? Great movie!

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 01.07.2018
Dora Ivanova wrote:

I also recomend you Poland, my grandmother is from there. Warsaw and Cracow are beautiful cities. The salt mines of Wieliczka, located about 15 km from Krakow, are also beautiful.

Krakow is quite touristic by now (especially the Wawel...). But where should we go to find a nice and quiet place ? Actually, we found one : we hired a car in Krakow, and drove to the Bieszczady. There is a parking place at the very end (south-east) of the country, from there you can get by foot, on nice mountain paths, to the source of the San River, which delimits the border between Poland and Ukraine. From there you can look over what once was USSR and stretched all along till the Japan Sea : there are still sentry posts and border polls, but no more armed guards, in fact, nobody will care about what you're doing there. You'll be feeling like standing on the edge of the world, well, of our world anyway. And you'll be glad that the hords of tourists stayed stomping at the Wawel.
The (less pleasant) surprise is that when you come back to your car, a Polish employee approaches you and charges you for car parking... Nothing is perfect.

Senior Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 19.02.2018

Yes! Tuva is Daniel and Zus Lev. One of my favourite movies. Bielski brothers are my heroes. Glad you like)

Nil
Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 19.04.2018

At least your heroes have a decent movie about them. When the nazis sank our merchant ships, we sent thousands of men to help the allies in Italy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Expeditionary_Force

There are some good documentaries about them, but nothing like Defiance.

Editor
تاريخ الانضمام: 29.04.2017

As a French, that's not really true.
It's quite a generality among Americans (USA) than something else. There are lots of differences between the US and France. For example, the way to salute someone (Faire la bise > Kissing someone else's cheeks, something we French do and that seems to trouble lots of tourists ahah). They are so much differencies between the mentality and everything else.
I'm following a group of traveller on Facebook, and lots of Americans think "Europe" as a country because theirs is so big. But don't forget... Europe is made of thousands of countries ! French don't have the same habits as Italian, or Swedish, or Polish people. Everyone has its culture, its language (sometimes it's not even the same language in the same country : I'm thinking about Spain, where you speak Catalan in Catalonia, Castillano in Madrid for example. In France, we have those languages groups too, don't tell a Normand he's a Breton, you'll be up the creek without a paddle !).
Behaviour is something really strong in France -well where I live though. When an American traveller comes and tells me all about my city, that he has done better things than anyone, that he has done it all, everything life could offer to him, yes, that's not something a french will say usually. Even less if you're a stranger Wink smile That way of being friend with everyone right away seems to be something that annoys us a lot. But, if you're lost in Paris or wherever you are, if you ask politely your way nobody will shut you down. They will even appreciate some french effort (even if it's 2 words spoken brokenly).
We have so much clichés among each other...

Also, if you're fond of forest and wild nature, consider travelling in Slovakia.
I've travelled there with 2 friends of mine, we rented a car for a week and you've done a road trip. Man, those sights... Forest everywhere, wild bears and wolves (that frightened us a bit, I admit), lakes for as far as the eye can see. People are so welcoming, and life is very cheap (with a french salary). Really, that was the travel that amazed me the most.

Romania is really nice also, there are lots of castles (Peles, Bran, Hunedoara) and people are very nice too. Transylvania and the Carpathians are terrific !

I've traveled in Greece too (Roadtrip from Thessaloniki to Athens, via Meteora, Vergina, Mt Olympus, Skiathos island and we've been in Aegina island too), and that was nice. I'm really impressed by architecture so it was really my heart that has talked ^^.
In the same "love-architecture-and-history" I've visited Roma (Vatican also) and Firenze. Man, those architectures, those churches ! And all this food... Mamma mia... I think I gained like 3kg in 14 days.
I've done Madrid (and Toledo), Sevilla & Barcelona too. That was nice, but it was in august with my little brother so it was more a child-care than anything else ahah !

I'd like to visit Norway and Iceland but that's sooooo expensive. I've been thinking about Sápmi lately. But my list is really long... I'd like to travel to Israël, Japan, Nepal, Vietnam, Canada, Ireland (It's on its way ! Probably next summer), Georgia, Armenia (well in that all this caucasian area), these little islands in the Polynesian area, ... One day !

If you're visiting France, you may visit :
-> Paris : Le Louvre, la Tour Eiffel, l'Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, … (maybe Disneyland in Marne-la-Vallée ahah)
-> Versaille and its castle
-> Alsace : it's a vast region of France but it's beautiful... Make your way through Colmar and Strasbourg.
-> If you like nature, consider walking through the Vosges : forests, lakes (There's an area called "Les Mille Étangs" > "The thousand lakes")
-> Carcassonne and its medieval city
-> Avignon, "la cité des Papes" ("Pope's city"), beautiful architectures
-> La Côte d'Azur "French Riviera", but NOT IN SUMMER. Full of french tourist coming from the north. In June, mostly student, July-August its families and in September, retired people... May is a good deal in my opinion.
-> Bretagne... Land of fairytales and legends. And man, those coasts and shores !
-> In the north of France, take a look at Cassel and Lille (my hometown héhé). It's beautiful, full of history, and close to Belgium. And we eat, very, very, veeeery well. French fries, french or belgian beers (it's up to you), welsh, mussels ("Moules"), Potjevleesch (kind of... hum... terrine ? It's 3 or 4 different meats -usually pork, rabbit, chicken and veal, held by gelatin and carrots), carbonades flamandes (beef or pork cooked into a beer stew), fricandelles (sort of deep fried chicken sausage), rollmops (fish rolled with pepper and green olive), petit salé (pork and lentils slowly cooked during 2 days), waterzooi (fish soup, sometimes with chicken but it's pretty occasional), gaufres à la cassonade (flemish waffles), chocolate, crêpes à la biere ("beer crepes"), Spéculoos (little crispy biscuits, hell I'm love in love with these), … (aaaand NOW I'm hungry). And we don't use oil or butter to cook but Saindoux mostly ! It's made of pork fat.
Enough to gain 5kg before you fly back to your home Wink smile

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 01.07.2018

True, I always thought it was a pity that foreign tourists always rush to the same crowded places... Of course, they have little time, but why not just forget about Tour Eiffel and Louvre and go to beautiful and calm places in the country ? (you will need a car, but you can rent one for one week for example, it's not that expensive).

If you go to Alsace : just forget about the "Plaine d'Alsace", it's getting more and more awful every year (commercial and industrial zones everywhere). Colmar and Strasbourg are worth the trip, but I even more like the small places along the Vosges Mountains, be they on the "Route des vins" (Wine Road) or not. And the moutains themselves are nice (max. height 1.426m at the Grand Ballon). Well, they are plenty of places to discover in France! (550.000 km2)

And usually people have nothing against Russians, as far as they can sing Kalinka and play on the balalaika (and leave their tanks at home...) Wink smile

Super Member
تاريخ الانضمام: 16.12.2017

Ha-ha balalaika, garmoshka, matryoshka, Cheburashka, and who sings Kalinka now days Teeth smile

I really want to go to French country site...
And I hope I will some day Regular smile

Editor .
تاريخ الانضمام: 09.10.2018

From the freezing Vosges to the sun-scorched Camargue, from high peaks of the Alps to the endless flatlands of the Landes, our country has been blessed with enough different landscapes for years of sightseeing.

Editor
تاريخ الانضمام: 18.10.2015

Masha, you shouldn't think twice about going to France. You'll love it! It's the most beautiful country in the world in my opinion and the French are the sweetest people on earth. Just start all your conversations with a sincere smile and a few phrases in French to show respect to your hosts. Then you can easily shift to English or Russian (you'll be surprised how many French people can actually understand Russian).

If you see the image of rural France as vineyards, vineyards, vineyards and a lone chateau on the horizon go to Aquitaine and Bordeau where I used to live. Visit local wineries where a hospitable owner will treat you to premium red wines. Here you can have the wine bottled for you. It's way cheaper than in a store.

If you fancy eating out spare yourself a couple of hours to enjoy delicious food and the atmosphere. And mind you, order modestly even if you're hungry. It's better to order extra later than to leave food on your plate. You'll make the restaurant people feel absolutely miserable. On the contrary, everybody will be happy if you take a piece of bread and make your plate shining clean.

And one more thing. Floppylou must be kidding about extra kgs. French food is the best diet. It's so fresh and good that your body will say a big thank you. Mine did.

Bon voyage! Regular smile

Editor .
تاريخ الانضمام: 09.10.2018

French food can be a bit rich though. Lots of delicious sauces but most of them loaded with carbohydrates. Indulging in too much of our delicious bread, cheese and pastries can be heavy on your waistline too. Not to mention all the sugar in these peerless wines Regular smile

Novice
تاريخ الانضمام: 10.02.2019

I'm planning a trip to France too
Thanks for the tips here :3

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