Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 96702 times)

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Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Mediterranean climate - it can (ie, does) rain a lot in the winter, especially close to the coast.  Every cafe in the country has fantastic food, so having to take frequent indoor breaks is not too onerous  :D

Offline OldChelsea

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We're considering going in January. It will be cold in Madrid, but moderate in the south, and crowds are light.

I went to Barcelona in January 2017 and it wasn't bad at all weather-wise - coolish with occasional rain. I also went to Estonia in March 2015 and got a little of everything, from almost-balmy clear days to full-on snow.

If all continues to go well I'm off to Lithuania this coming Wednesday - for a week, and yesterday I checked weather.com and they've got showers predicted for every day I'm there...thing is though, they said the same thing about an earlier trip I took there and it turned out there was rain on only one day of the six I was there.

Offline Natsinpwc

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I went to Barcelona in January 2017 and it wasn't bad at all weather-wise - coolish with occasional rain. I also went to Estonia in March 2015 and got a little of everything, from almost-balmy clear days to full-on snow.

If all continues to go well I'm off to Lithuania this coming Wednesday - for a week, and yesterday I checked weather.com and they've got showers predicted for every day I'm there...thing is though, they said the same thing about an earlier trip I took there and it turned out there was rain on only one day of the six I was there.
Bon voyage. Sounds like fun.

Online Count Walewski

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Barcelona is beautiful, it reminds me a lot of San Diego in terms of feel/climate. You will have plenty to do / see to keep you busy over five days: Park Guell, Sagrada, and so much more. Museu Marítim is well worth a day. When I was there we took a short train to Ventimgilia Italy just to say we had been in Italy. There are several Roman-era ruins to visit in Ventimiglia as well.

Near far as I can tell, there is a standard "3 countries in 1 day" tour that multiple tour companies offer that pick you up in central Barcelona, take you up to the town of Baga in Catalonia, then up to Ax-Les-Thermes in southern France (seems to be to southern France what Berkeley Springs is to the West Virginia panhandle), then down through Andorra on the way back. If I go, I will definitely be taking that so I can say I've been to Andorra: if Baga and Ax-Les-Thermes end up being interesting that's gravy on top.

My wife and I are big fans of the city building board game Carcassonne, and the French city that the board game is based on is only a 3 hour train ride away from Barcelona. You have to change trains in Narbonne to get there, so why not visit Narbonne too, which seems to have most of its attractions a 10 minute walk from the train station.

Of course this assumes I can simply go from Spain into France and not sure that is true with COVID, or would be true in Dec. If France is closed off, I suppose the alternative for day trips would be Zaragoza and other Spanish cities.

Overall all these places are suitable for "gawk at architecture from outdoors" type tourism that is fairly COVID-safe.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Near far as I can tell, there is a standard "3 countries in 1 day" tour that multiple tour companies offer that pick you up in central Barcelona, take you up to the town of Baga in Catalonia, then up to Ax-Les-Thermes in southern France (seems to be to southern France what Berkeley Springs is to the West Virginia panhandle), then down through Andorra on the way back. If I go, I will definitely be taking that so I can say I've been to Andorra: if Baga and Ax-Les-Thermes end up being interesting that's gravy on top.

My wife and I are big fans of the city building board game Carcassonne, and the French city that the board game is based on is only a 3 hour train ride away from Barcelona. You have to change trains in Narbonne to get there, so why not visit Narbonne too, which seems to have most of its attractions a 10 minute walk from the train station.

Of course this assumes I can simply go from Spain into France and not sure that is true with COVID, or would be true in Dec. If France is closed off, I suppose the alternative for day trips would be Zaragoza and other Spanish cities.

Overall all these places are suitable for "gawk at architecture from outdoors" type tourism that is fairly COVID-safe.
I need to get to Spain someday. And Catalonia! 

Offline OldChelsea

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Near far as I can tell, there is a standard "3 countries in 1 day" tour that multiple tour companies offer that pick you up in central Barcelona, take you up to the town of Baga in Catalonia, then up to Ax-Les-Thermes in southern France (seems to be to southern France what Berkeley Springs is to the West Virginia panhandle), then down through Andorra on the way back. If I go, I will definitely be taking that so I can say I've been to Andorra: if Baga and Ax-Les-Thermes end up being interesting that's gravy on top.

My wife and I are big fans of the city building board game Carcassonne, and the French city that the board game is based on is only a 3 hour train ride away from Barcelona. You have to change trains in Narbonne to get there, so why not visit Narbonne too, which seems to have most of its attractions a 10 minute walk from the train station.

Of course this assumes I can simply go from Spain into France and not sure that is true with COVID, or would be true in Dec. If France is closed off, I suppose the alternative for day trips would be Zaragoza and other Spanish cities.

Overall all these places are suitable for "gawk at architecture from outdoors" type tourism that is fairly COVID-safe.

One thing about Barcelona - at its airport (El Prat), if you're using the non-Schengen gates (concourses D and E) and you're into duty-free shopping and/or getting food/drinks at the airport, get those done before you go through security. The passenger terminal is strangely laid out, with almost all the shopping and eating/drinking spots serving the aforementioned concourses located landside - there's hardly anything post-security, just one cafeteria*, a burger joint (formerly Mickey D's, now Burger King) and that's about it.


*which at least offered ice-cold half-litre cans of Estrella Damm when I was there in 2017 - thank goodness for small favours.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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The mere sight of a Burger King in Catalonia should drive one to despair. 

Offline OldChelsea

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European Union to announce later today that it will recommend that member states re-impose the old limits on non-essential travel from the US and five other countries: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/eu-travel-restrictions-intl-hnk/index.html

I've got three bookings there in September, including one for Lithuania this coming Wednesday - I'll probably re-book it for sometime in March (Vilnius, unlike the other Baltic capitals, is well inland and gets pretty nasty winters).

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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European Union to announce later today that it will recommend that member states re-impose the old limits on non-essential travel from the US and five other countries: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/eu-travel-restrictions-intl-hnk/index.html

I've got three bookings there in September, including one for Lithuania this coming Wednesday - I'll probably re-book it for sometime in March (Vilnius, unlike the other Baltic capitals, is well inland and gets pretty nasty winters).
OC - in my mind, your travel is essential.  Without your visits, I'd think the Baltic states run the risk of not being noticed, and Chelski football would be without a key component of its base.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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An Estonian dude led the Vuelta a Espana for a couple of days...not sure what they do for hill training (mountain bikes on stairs?)

Offline OldChelsea

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An Estonian dude led the Vuelta a Espana for a couple of days...not sure what they do for hill training (mountain bikes on stairs?)

They must go outside Estonia, I would think. The highest point in Estonia is Suur Munamägi (Great Egg Hill), just 318 metres (1043 feet) above sea level. (And Latvia to the south is so flat their language doesn't have a word for 'mountain' - they just say kalns which is their word for 'hill'.)
,

Offline imref

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Offline English Natsie

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They must go outside Estonia, I would think. The highest point in Estonia is Suur Munamägi (Great Egg Hill), just 318 metres (1043 feet) above sea level. (And Latvia to the south is so flat their language doesn't have a word for 'mountain' - they just say kalns which is their word for 'hill'.)
,

The senior Pro teams generally undertake their high altitude training in Colombia, during the off-season.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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The senior Pro teams generally undertake their high altitude training in Colombia, during the off-season.
tenerife is Sky/Ineos training site. 

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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I spent some time in Girona during the late winter some years back and there were quite a few pro teams out on the roads on training rides. 

Offline wj73

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3015: September 12, 2021, 07:29:10 PM »
Went up to Harrisburg this week to catch some Senators games before the season ends. While there, we toured the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. It’s an amazing building - absolutely beautiful. Built in the early 1900’s, no expense was spared, and it shows. We’re still talking about it days later. If you’re ever in Harrisburg, a visit to the Capitol building is well worth your time.

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3016: September 12, 2021, 07:41:15 PM »
Went up to Harrisburg this week to catch some Senators games before the season ends. While there, we toured the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. It’s an amazing building - absolutely beautiful. Built in the early 1900’s, no expense was spared, and it shows. We’re still talking about it days later. If you’re ever in Harrisburg, a visit to the Capitol building is well worth your time.

City Island and the Capitol. Not much else worth looking into.

Offline skippy1999

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3017: September 12, 2021, 07:56:55 PM »
Wj are you coming to the meet n greet Saturday?

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3018: September 12, 2021, 08:14:48 PM »
Went up to Harrisburg this week to catch some Senators games before the season ends. While there, we toured the Pennsylvania State Capitol building. It’s an amazing building - absolutely beautiful. Built in the early 1900’s, no expense was spared, and it shows. We’re still talking about it days later. If you’re ever in Harrisburg, a visit to the Capitol building is well worth your time.
I was there TDY some weeks in the early 1980s.  Saw the Capitol.  Nice town but they roll up the sidewalks at night.  Or at least they used to.  We used to go to this place.  Good steaks.  And fish bowls of beer.  Unfortunately it closed years ago.  Looks like they have returned.  Sort of.

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2154103180738/a-taste-of-harry-s-tavern-returns-to-harrisburg-with-fish-bowls-jukebox-and-sausage-with-honey


Offline wj73

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3020: September 13, 2021, 08:26:29 PM »
Wj are you coming to the meet n greet Saturday?

Regretfully no, it just doesn’t work out this year.  :icon_frown: Hugs to you and everyone else!

Offline wj73

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3021: September 13, 2021, 08:31:31 PM »
City Island and the Capitol. Not much else worth looking into.


The Pennsylvania Museum is nice, and we did a lot of walking along the river at Riverfront Park. We had a VRBO right in town so could walk to everything. Hit an Irish pub, a great Mexican place, and a lovely Italian bistro (not on the same night). But yeah, there’s not a whole lot else going on.


Also saw tons of lantern flies. They were all over Harrisburg. They’re invasive, and are on their way to the DC area.

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3022: September 13, 2021, 08:36:50 PM »
Any of you ever been down to the Nelson 151 area near wintergreen resort in Virginia?  We just booked a place to check out the wine/beer/cider strip.

Offline Natsinpwc

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3023: September 13, 2021, 08:40:25 PM »
Maybe I could get into fishing after all
Those were very filling for a young man on $50 per diem (Including the motel). 

Offline skippy1999

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3024: September 13, 2021, 08:58:08 PM »
Regretfully no, it just doesn’t work out this year.  :icon_frown: Hugs to you and everyone else!
Aw man, we’ll miss ya!