Traveling in Central Europe....


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zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#1
i had a hard time thinking if i should post in the gallery subforum or in kopitiam but in terms of participants, i think this sub-forum should be more suitable.... if unsuitable, mod, pls move accordingly....

i'm planning a holiday for europe, say perhaps greece for photography. but all my gf think of is - would it cover milan? as such i've narrowed down my vision to northern italy, vienna (in nearby austria) and prague (deeper into czech). i'm thinking of going in september as milan is practically closed in august and thinking september might be in autumn with great scenaries. likely to cover 2-3 weeks but as my gf is that type that wakes up late between 10am-12pm, my itinerary will be very slow with minimal distant transport and lots of rest. 2 days for each city, plus minus 1 day excursion at very near outskirt location in that two day, plus 1 day reserved for traveling and rest. so each city i will have about 3 days.

considering perhaps a 15 days + 2 days to-&-fro sg trip, i'm planning to go

1. milan
2. venice
3. vienna
4. prague

i'm not sure if it would be more expensive to fly milan instead of rome and would it be too rushed to squeeze in flying to rome, going south to naples before going up to milan, considering the slow pace i intended. and if she wanted paris, i would quit vienna.

my priority is photgraphy and prefer budget travel with more ground experience. my gf however need more rest and some "basics" in terms of "gd" bed and "decent" food. a gd mix of activity would be good for her, so as not to be bored by the same old shopping though she still need a regular dose of it.

anyone had experience or opinions to share with regards to the above initial setting? what is good for photography along the route but not in the above 4 cities cos i think i need at least one less urbanised travel point to ease and balanced off the urbaness of the cities. as i hope to be able to go out early to shoot something nice while she is still sleeping in the morning. i wonder if there is cheaper alternative to "auto-roam" with our mobile phone - mine and hers while we are at different location - me outside while she is in the hotel or b&b.

i'll be posting also in hwz to harness more travel orientated viewpoints apart from travel photography. pls join in there if you are also a backpacker.
http://forums.hardwarezone.com/showthread.php?t=1299430
 

Clown

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#2
think u can skip vienna and spend more time in prague and venice or maybe paris.
oh and prague is a photographer's heaven at all times of the day, even when it's raining..
and use motorolla UHF radios for cheap communications.
we had a lot of fun with the locals (policeforce) there with our tiny radios that time. hehxx
if radios dun work, use sms.
change money to primarily euros and use credit cards in countries with non-euro currencies when possible.
bring monopod if u're gonna take train (optional) for defence against gypsies. and pls do stay in first class carriage.
 

nuts

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#3
Hi!
You may wanna post in a website I've setup together with a friend for travellers :
http://www.wookup.com/travelnet/

There is 1 or 2 who've been to Europe, so there should be some response. Also, we've compiled a super-link for all your travelling preparation needs :)
http://www.wookup.com/resources.php

Check it out! :)
 

zoossh

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#4
Clown said:
think u can skip vienna and spend more time in prague and venice or maybe paris.
oh and prague is a photographer's heaven at all times of the day, even when it's raining..
and use motorolla UHF radios for cheap communications.
we had a lot of fun with the locals (policeforce) there with our tiny radios that time. hehxx
if radios dun work, use sms.
change money to primarily euros and use credit cards in countries with non-euro currencies when possible.
bring monopod if u're gonna take train (optional) for defence against gypsies. and pls do stay in first class carriage.
i'm considering between my light tripod (gitzo G1058 0.7kg) v.s. my heavier tripod (manfrotto 190MF3, 2.2kg). most likely the lighter one although i like the heavier sturdier one with more flexibility. probably not using a monopod cos will want better support for evening shots and monopod may not make it. how slow can the monopod help to bring down the shutter speed? many times i have experienced indoor or low light shots that requires abt 1sec to 1/30sec and that i need a tripod.

and great. will start looking for walkie-talkies.... ;)
 

zoossh

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#5
nuts said:
Hi!
You may wanna post in a website I've setup together with a friend for travellers :
http://www.wookup.com/travelnet/

There is 1 or 2 who've been to Europe, so there should be some response. Also, we've compiled a super-link for all your travelling preparation needs :)
http://www.wookup.com/resources.php

Check it out! :)
just briefly read thru it just now, will read thru further when i read up more also (just got my lonely planet europe on a shoestring. the pity abt most travel forums are that participation are often low (i tried checking out on korea last time), and more questions are asked and little are ever answered - maybe i will see how i can contribute to your forum too with some of my little past experience.

travelling is a big thing - it covers needs from honeymooners, photographers, journalist to trekkers. if only there are a forum that concentrates all backpackers together, like spug, like clubsnap, like hwz, like sgbride - than that will be great!
 

Clown

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#6
monopod is to whack gypsies.. bleah.
bring light tripod with hook and use ur camera bag as a stabiliser.
walkies u can find at simlim. get those export sets without IDA sticker cuz they work better but ida not approve for local usage.

OT: was walking past simlim the other day and it suddenly struck me that simlim towers actually meant jungle plaza. o_O"""
 

nuts

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#7
zoossh said:
just briefly read thru it just now, will read thru further when i read up more also (just got my lonely planet europe on a shoestring. the pity abt most travel forums are that participation are often low (i tried checking out on korea last time), and more questions are asked and little are ever answered - maybe i will see how i can contribute to your forum too with some of my little past experience.

travelling is a big thing - it covers needs from honeymooners, photographers, journalist to trekkers. if only there are a forum that concentrates all backpackers together, like spug, like clubsnap, like hwz, like sgbride - than that will be great!
Exactly, participation is often low and scattered. Thats why I hope to garner more support. Does not matter if the experience is little or not; as long as its something to share, it'll benefit travellers.
I hope its a forum that not just concentrates all backpackers, but travellers in general :)
 

waileong

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#8
I think you'll be disappointed if you expect great pictures, because you're bringing a non-photographer girlfriend whose priority is not getting up to chase the morning light or waiting for the perfect composition.

There can also be a lot of frustration and exasperation if your demands and needs start to clash.

My suggestion is you either go alone (or with likeminded photographers) or else resign yourself to less than optimum pictures.

Think of it this way: is your relationship more important or is your photography more important?

Wai Leong
===
BTW: If your girlfriend sleeps late, that's a good thing, you can have a few hours every morning to catch the best shots in the best light before she wakes up. You could even arrange to meet for lunch somewhere, so you can have half a day to photography for yourself.
 

#9
Just got back from 16days Europe - Vienna(2nite)/Salzburg(2nite)/Brno/Prague(3nite)/Linz/Bratislava/Budapest(many nites, used as base to travel countryside)/Eger/LakeBalaton/Budapest/Vienna(1nite).

3 of us started in Vienna, (TIP#1) booked a car for euro40 a day and drove to places mentioned earlier. Its more value for money because (TIP#2) we stayed at places that are a just a bit out of the city - its much cheaper and but not so easy on public tpt. There are many clean and cheap rooms at "PENSIONS" a term used for bed&breakfast type that are run by familes - but please make internet reservations EARLY (Tip#3)- start googling for places to stay at the places you go.

With the car, we could get out late at night for drinks & night shoots of buildings/famous places. But parking can be expensive in the city.

September would be great time to visit central/eastern europe - do try to get to vineyards for grape harvesting celebrations ..... and do make grape juice too!

Your itinery looks good ..... wish I had time to get to milan, rome ......

I was warned about gypsies and to avoid knocking into ppl (normal ruse of pickpockets). I doubt a monopod can help you much ..... keep most cash safely away.
 

w.s

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Mar 15, 2004
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#10
hi zoossh,

havent been to those places u mentioned. but i think clown is right... be careful of ur belongings. a light tripod is good... especially if u r going to walk ard with all ur gear for the entire day. from my experience, light slingback/backpacks for carrying ur equipments ard. crumpler slingbags are good, but very heavy...

as for trains, i'm not too sure abt the places u r going to (altho i heard some places in prague can be dangerous at night), but when i was in germany, no probs with 2nd class carriages. it's as safe as singapore i tot:)
 

wind30

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Mar 14, 2004
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#11
if you taking public transport, don't put your wallet in your back pocket. My tourmate was kenna pickpocketed the first few nights. but he got a chain tied to his wallet, so the pickpocket was holding the wallet which was chained to my friend.... :bsmilie:
 

AReality

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Jun 9, 2003
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#12
I think u can dump her. ;p
She's hindering your progress. If she's not willing to accomodate a little, then next time u sure die.


.
 

boroangel

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Apr 23, 2005
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#13
Zooosh have you tried the Thorntree Lonely planet forum...think you can get lots of quick answers from others there...

Nuts...think your forum will pick up in terms of members and participation over time...starting is like tat lah...
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#14
Clown said:
monopod is to whack gypsies.. bleah.
bring light tripod with hook and use ur camera bag as a stabiliser.
walkies u can find at simlim. get those export sets without IDA sticker cuz they work better but ida not approve for local usage.

OT: was walking past simlim the other day and it suddenly struck me that simlim towers actually meant jungle plaza. o_O"""
then can we trial test using those unapproved sets in sg before we set off? how far can these sets reached reliably?
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#15
waileong said:
I think you'll be disappointed if you expect great pictures, because you're bringing a non-photographer girlfriend whose priority is not getting up to chase the morning light or waiting for the perfect composition.

There can also be a lot of frustration and exasperation if your demands and needs start to clash.

My suggestion is you either go alone (or with likeminded photographers) or else resign yourself to less than optimum pictures.

Think of it this way: is your relationship more important or is your photography more important?

Wai Leong
===
BTW: If your girlfriend sleeps late, that's a good thing, you can have a few hours every morning to catch the best shots in the best light before she wakes up. You could even arrange to meet for lunch somewhere, so you can have half a day to photography for yourself.
i've resigned to a certain extent to my gf and my job. be realistic but not to lose spirit, i will make best use of what i have and what i can. i'm not an insistent man who will get mad if i miss that hard to get shot, gf's happiness still more impt.

if not i would definitely have considered doing trips to spain and russia instead.
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#16
MLSK said:
Just got back from 16days Europe - Vienna(2nite)/Salzburg(2nite)/Brno/Prague(3nite)/Linz/Bratislava/Budapest(many nites, used as base to travel countryside)/Eger/LakeBalaton/Budapest/Vienna(1nite).

3 of us started in Vienna, (TIP#1) booked a car for euro40 a day and drove to places mentioned earlier. Its more value for money because (TIP#2) we stayed at places that are a just a bit out of the city - its much cheaper and but not so easy on public tpt. There are many clean and cheap rooms at "PENSIONS" a term used for bed&breakfast type that are run by familes - but please make internet reservations EARLY (Tip#3)- start googling for places to stay at the places you go.

With the car, we could get out late at night for drinks & night shoots of buildings/famous places. But parking can be expensive in the city.

September would be great time to visit central/eastern europe - do try to get to vineyards for grape harvesting celebrations ..... and do make grape juice too!

Your itinery looks good ..... wish I had time to get to milan, rome ......

I was warned about gypsies and to avoid knocking into ppl (normal ruse of pickpockets). I doubt a monopod can help you much ..... keep most cash safely away.
a guy called jarvis advice me to make the trip ending in milan as that would be the shopping time, but i thought most people flew to and fro to the same place, rather than from sg-pt a, then pt-b back to sg. if the latter is possible, i think i can save time by avoiding doing a loop but to do a simple line.

i think i might consider this route.

a 20 days plan. (Sg-Rome-Paris-Prague-Venice-Milan-Tuscany-Rome-Sg)
1 day - sg-rome
1 day - rome
1 day - rome to paris
2 day - paris
1 day - paris to prague
3 day - prague (include 1 day as reserve/break)
1 day - prague to venice
2 day - venice
1 day - venice to milan
2 day - milan
1 day - milan to tuscany
1 day - tuscany (grapevine)
1 day - tuscany to rome
1 day - rest in rome
1 day - rome to sg

a 14 days plan. (Sg-milan-venice-prague-rome-tuscany-milan-sg)
1 day - sg-milan
1 day - milan
1 day - milan to venice
2 day - venice
1 day - venice to prague
2 day - prague (include 1 day as reserve/break)
1 day - prague to rome
1 day - rome
1 day - tuscany (grapevine)
1 day - tuscany to milan
1 day - rest in milan
1 day - milan to sg
 

zoossh

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Nov 29, 2005
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#17
w.s said:
hi zoossh,

havent been to those places u mentioned. but i think clown is right... be careful of ur belongings. a light tripod is good... especially if u r going to walk ard with all ur gear for the entire day. from my experience, light slingback/backpacks for carrying ur equipments ard. crumpler slingbags are good, but very heavy...

as for trains, i'm not too sure abt the places u r going to (altho i heard some places in prague can be dangerous at night), but when i was in germany, no probs with 2nd class carriages. it's as safe as singapore i tot:)
thinking of getting billingham hadley pro to keep
1. nikon D50 without flash
2. nikkor 18-200mm
3. sigma 10-20mm
4. nikkor 50mm
dunno can fit or not.....
 

zoossh

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2005
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Singapore
#18
boroangel said:
Zooosh have you tried the Thorntree Lonely planet forum...think you can get lots of quick answers from others there...

Nuts...think your forum will pick up in terms of members and participation over time...starting is like tat lah...
briefly screen thru, but as usual more question than answers and most impt things are often the exact details such as train schedules that is a bit difficult to find and arrange.

anyway i'm still at the initial stage of doing general mapping of duration and route in terms of what to concentrate and what to skip becos i want a slow and safe trip.
 

waileong

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#19
Yes, can fit, I have Hadley Pro.

zoossh said:
thinking of getting billingham hadley pro to keep
1. nikon D50 without flash
2. nikkor 18-200mm
3. sigma 10-20mm
4. nikkor 50mm
dunno can fit or not.....
 

Clown

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Mar 24, 2003
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#20
zoossh said:
then can we trial test using those unapproved sets in sg before we set off? how far can these sets reached reliably?
can.. i think 10 km is no problem when there is line of sight. but in built up areas probably about 400m or so.

if milan is shopping time, better leave it for the end of the trip to prevent lugging too much stuffs around and also conserve cash. hehxx

get a haversack instead of a slingbag.. actually any camera bag other than a slingbag is good cuz u'll not want to kill your shoulders. spread the load evenly and if you can, use ur hips to carry the load, not shoulders. i used a lowepro micro 200 all throughout europe.

oh and dont forget ur compactdrive to backup pictures..
 

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