Athens to london 25 day - 8 june 2009


#1

Hey guys and gals, Is anyone doing the athens to london 25 day tour on the 8th June. My girlfriend aND I are doing it. Looking forward to it. Anyone got any tips for that tour that have done the eurocamping thing before?


#2

hey![br]im not on this tour but i did the eurocamping thing last april/may. what a great time! camping is the best time! tips??? have a warm sleeping bag even though it will be summer, if it rains and the ground is damp, one can get quite cold…brrrrr…even so, i had the best time of life! have a pair of thong sandals handy just outside your tent for those night trips to the toilet! oh and also, im not sure where you are from, but im canadian and had NO IDEA what a torch was (i know, im an idiot, but in my defense it is a flashlight here! lol) so make sure you bring one each because finding your stuff late at night just wont be pleasant without one! [br]you and your girlfriend will have a fantastic time![br]if you have any other q’s just let me know :)[br]-Tam[br]Istanbul - London 2008 [br]Red Star Special 2009


#3

Hi Dan,[br][br]Is the tour you’re doing the second half of the Mega European? If so, then you’re on the same tour as me and my sister, because we will be in Athens on 8 June!![br]Which country are you coming from?[br][br]Not long to go before we go! (for us anyway) 8-)[br][br][br]- Jolien -[br]Mega European 17 May 2009[br]Britain & Ireland independantly


#4

hi miss tam, i’m doing the london to athens trip departing 30th march 09. was traveling in April really cold? i want to be prepared for the climate as i’m a summer person. also, how much was your budget for the trip? is 70euros enough?[br][br]marina [br]london to athens 30 march 09 [br][br][br][quote]Originally posted by Miss_Tam[br]
hey![br]im not on this tour but i did the eurocamping thing last april/may. what a great time! camping is the best time! tips??? have a warm sleeping bag even though it will be summer, if it rains and the ground is damp, one can get quite cold…brrrrr…even so, i had the best time of life! have a pair of thong sandals handy just outside your tent for those night trips to the toilet! oh and also, im not sure where you are from, but im canadian and had NO IDEA what a torch was (i know, im an idiot, but in my defense it is a flashlight here! lol) so make sure you bring one each because finding your stuff late at night just wont be pleasant without one! [br]you and your girlfriend will have a fantastic time![br]if you have any other q’s just let me know :)[br]-Tam[br]Istanbul - London 2008 [br]Red Star Special 2009[br][/quote]


#5

hi marina![br]you will have a great time. i did the second half of the trip and it was chilly at night - make sure you have a warm rated sleeping bag. i heard that a lot of the campsites for the first part of the mega european last year were upgraded to cabins so that may help but it is pretty cold at night as the ground is either damp or still defrosting. [br]during the day, i wore jeans most of the time with tees and always had a hoodie on me or on the bus i could grab. it didnt get warm until may so i would definitely go on the warmer side of things. layers are best, that way you can always remove a layer. but it will be chilly until you get down to rome…not freezing but not really warm. i hope that helps. i have been to barcelona and paris in april and it is temperate, a light jacket or so is very useful in paris and in barcelona it should be t-shirt weather.[br]as for budget, 70euros a day will be fine i think. somedays you spend very very little and going out nights you blow your budget. just keep your budget in mind. i dont really buy a lot while i am away specially on a camping trip because you have to carry it and have room and stuff. i am going on the red star special in july and am trying to budget for 60euros a day. [br]hope this helps! ;D[br]have a great time, i know you will! :slight_smile: [br]if you have any other questions let me know![br]Tam [br]Istanbul - London 2008[br]Red Star Special 2009


#6

Hiss Miss Tam,[br]I am doing the Mega European starting May 17, and I was wondering what Topdeck does with our stuff during the day while you’re sightseeing?? Do they lock it up on the bus, make you take it with you, or they have you leave it at the campsite? [br][br]Also what were the bathroom/shower facilites like at the campsites? I am thinking about bringing a pair of shower of shoes, and putting them in zip lock bag to stay seperate from the rest of my stuff.[br][br]One more question-- in some of the Eastern European countries like Bulgaria and Turkey did you feel safe? [br][br]Thanks for any feedback you might have!! =)


#7

hey allison![br]if you are staying at the campsite you leave your stuff in the tent. dont leave money or your passport in your tent. nothing went missing on my tour. :)[br]the bathroom and shower facilities were all fine. i made sure to get up about 15 mins before everyone else (you get to know when ppl set their alarms) to shower and i always had a hot shower which was good. DEFINITELY bring shower shows or just a pair of flip flops…also have a quick dry towel. dont forget a roll of toilet paper and keep a small pack of kleenex in your day bag or purse for the toilets when you are out and about. [br]yes, i felt pretty safe, i was traveling alone but met people and was never by myself. as long as you are with someone else you are all good. we had fights with the sketchy taxi drivers in romania but aside from that, very little problems. i had been to prague before with a friend so i knew how to handle the czech cab drivers. in turkey definitely watch your purse and stuff, the usual. personal safety was never an issue. dont wonder by yourself and make sure you share a taxi with someone else from your tour. :)[br]have a wicked time! you will LOVE it![br]any other q’s? just ask! [br]-Tam [br]Istanbul-London 2008[br]Red Star Special 2009


#8

Hi Tam,[br]Thanks for the feedback!! I have a couple more questions for ya if you don’t mind? =) [br][br]What did you use for your daypack?? I bought one of the big backpacks from REI, but I am thinking for day sightseeing I will just bring my purse, and put stuff in there. I don’t want to be walking around with a backpack or fanny pack (lol) or pretty much anything that screams tourist![br][br]Did the bus stop at rest stops so people could get bottled water and snacks? [br][br]What kind of food did the ‘on the road chef’ prepare for you guys?[br][br]How far away were the campsites from the actual cities?? [br][br]And are the tents a pretty comfy size? I am thinking about buying one of those mummy sleeping bags, and then bringing my yoga mat to put underneath me for extra warmth. Any additional tips on how to stay warm?? [br][br]Thanks so much!!! [br]-Allison[br][br]


#9

hi allison! [br]no problem, i like to help! last year I had NO IDEA really what to bring. i had traveled loads in Europe before but never camping(always hostels! lol) [br][br]i used a giant purse as my daypack as i also hate screaming tourist! lol but i have also used a small sling bag from mountain equipment co-op (mec.ca) http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT<>prd_id=845524442419239&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302699713&bmUID=1235322712571[br][br]they are good to use and small and not too ridiculous looking. [br][br]yeah, the bus stopped at stops so you could pee and buy drinks and chips and snacks and stuff. tho, being a girl you have to run to the toilets bc most people on the tour are girls and the stops (except for lunch) are only 15 minutes long.[br][br]our on road chef was AWESOME! her name is rachel and i think she is working for topdeck again but i am not sure. she made things like pasta carbonara, lasagne, tacos, stir fry…all kinds of good stuff. and the lunches you get are really good too. really chicken breasts on buns, sausages, salads (potato, garden, and/or fruit), hamburgers, baked potatos. it was really great. no soggy sandwiches or anything of the sort. [br][br]as for the distance from the campsites to the cities some were closer than others so i cant really say. most are accessible by public transportation tho so it is easy. your tour guide will tell you which stop you have to get off at and stuff. in hungary, prague, krakow, amsterdam, sofia, and bucharest the accommodations were right off public transportation and really easy to get too. the furthest away was berlin and it would have cost like 30 euro cab ride which isnt that cool…but 3/4 of the time it was great. [br][br]yeah, the tents are decent sized. can fit you and your roomy and your bags (between you two usually) easily. the air matresses are good too (they call them laylows (pronouced lie-lows)…i dunno!) and they blow up by using the air compressor on the bus. i had a mummy sleeping bag too. just make sure yours is a really good warm rating. mine was only for 7 degrees celcius and it was too cold for some nights because of the dampness. i had a fleece blanket with me that i brought for the long flights, bus days, and to put under me. because you have an air mattress, i dunno if it is worth taking your yoga mat with you. make sure you have warm jammies like long johns or flannels or something with you and keep your flip flops handy for the night trips to the toilets. :slight_smile: [br][br]remember to bring a flashlight which is called a torch on the packing list. (i didnt know what a torch was since we call it a flashlight in canada ;))[br][br]just a note, Prague is one of my favourite cities in the world (i have been there twice) and it is so gorgeous and lovely. not as well known as paris but just fabulous! in turkey be sure to check out the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, it is the one of the coolest places.[br][br]hope i helped a bit![br][br]im glad to help so just ask away ;D [br]where are you from anyway?[br][br]Tam [br]Istanbul - London 2008 [br]Red Star Special 2009 [br][br]


#10

Hi Tam,[br]Okay great, your advice helps a lot!!! Thank you so much, it really helps to get a better idea of some of the logistics of the trip!! I never would have thought about a roll of toilet paper, but that makes total sense, lol![br][br]So would you say that on the days you are in a city for an entire day that you had enough time to sightsee? Did the tour guide give you guys a map of the city or anything? Was there a general time that people got up and headed into the city, or did people just do their own thing? Did you have preplanned idea of what you were going to see in each city? There is like a million spots that I want to hit so I am thinking I should try to organize the spots I want to see before I get to each destination. [br][br]Also how much did you budget each day? I am thinking like 50 euros should be enough?? Oh! And how were you able to get money?are there ATMs and stuff at the rest stops? Or did you just use a credit card?I am worried that some of the Eastern European countries will only take cash? [br][br]I am thinking about getting some cash before I leave, like some pounds/euros/ and maybe some of the Turkish currency just so I can already have it handy. The rest of the Eastern European countries take Euros, right? [br][br]Oh! One more question ? did you also bring a convertor for your digital camera battery charger? I am thinking about bringing like a million memory cards and just turning the camera off whenever I?m not using it.[br][br]I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. This will be my first trip to Europe, so prob. why I have soo many questions, lol! =) I am used to it being really HOT (it gets like up to 115 Fahrenheit here in the summer) so I am a little worried that I am going to freeze my ass off, lol![br][br]Where are you at in Canada?? My boyfriend?s dad does a lot of business in Toronto and I have family that live in Guelph, Ontario. =)[br][br]Thanks again!! 8-)[br]-Allison


#11

Hi Allison, [br]No bother at all! I lived in Europe for a year and my family lives in Amsterdam so that is maybe why I’m a bit more comfortable. I would have tons of questions if I were you too! ;D [br][br]A roll of toilet paper is key for at a lot of the campsites (just in case, and it was definitely needed at times) and some kleenex in your purse. Also, had sanitizer is good to have during the day. Sometimes you may prefer to use that over the sinks in some city washrooms. Ick! :([br][br]Hmmm, I wouldnt say that the full days in the city were enough (i have been to paris 3 times for a total of about 1 month and still could go back!) but it gives you a good taste and you can get A LOT in. The tour guide does give you this photocopied map but they arent great. try investing in a Lonely Planet book of Europe or pick up maps while you are out and about in the city. Some cites the photocopied map is fine and others not so much. Everyday there is breakfast so people usually were dressed and stuff in time for breakfast and head out right after: either the bus would drive you in or you could take your public transport (free from topdeck if your driver has a day off). Just a word of advice: if you and 7 girls head in, you will split up. Dont try to please everyone. Instead take the, “I really wanna head to (insert place here and here) today does anyone wanna come?” Approach. That way people can break off and stuff and you see what you want to see. Someone will always want to come with you. A large group for a day rarely works out. You spent too much time negotiating where you are going to go. I did have an idea of what to see plus the tour normally gives you a quick drive around and you can see what you wanna see more of and stuff. Also, your tour guide will suggest places. Again, I heart Lonely Planets and I never leave home without one. [br][br]I budgeted for about 50euro a day. Some days youll spend way more (ie: PRAGUE ALL NIGHTER) and others youll spend very very little. I got Turkish, Polish, Czech, and I think Hungarian money but I can’t remember what it was before I left. About 50 euros worth of each. It was easier than going to an exchange place all the time. Just Wikipedia the countries currency you are going to bc while they are in the european union, many have yet to change their currency. I couldnt get Romanian and Bulgarian currency in Canada so I exchanged with Euro. While most of the places to have ATMs I tried to stay away from them in the Eastern block just in case it ate my card (fluke but still worrisome) or something, plus the fee for taking out foreign currency is HUGE. I would stay away from travellers cheques but there really arent a lot of places that cash them and it can be a real pain. Just be vigilent with your money. I had my money on me and several different hidden places and nobody knew and nothing went missing at all. I have been all over Western Europe a number of times and have never had a problem with an ATM there. Also, have Euros since they are easiest to exchange in the Eastern Countries. [br][br]Yeah, I did bring a converter for my digital camera battery, you would hate to not be able to take photos and on nights out turning off the camera never really happens! lol :stuck_out_tongue: [br][br]Nevada??? Haha, we DREAM of living there this time of year! lol I live in Ontario about 30 mins East outside of Toronto. I think termperature wise in May you will be okay even if you are more climatised to the heat. It is good because it is before the massive summer rush of tourists too. [br][br]I think that answers your q’s. If I think of anything else I will throw it your way. Little tips and stuff :slight_smile: If you want, I can add you to face book and you can look at my pics of last years tour? My profile is hidden (Im a young highschool teacher! lol) but I will add you if you want. :)[br][br]Anything else, just ask away!;D[br]Tam


#12

Yea that sounds great, I have a link to my facebook on my profile on this website. [br][br]Oh and about the torch, we call it a flashlight too! Down here a torch is something you light on fire! haha!


#13

Hey Jolien, [br][br]Im from South Africa my girlfriend is an ozzy, but we are living in London at the moment. We are gonna be doing the tour before heading home. Ye, it is the 2nd part of the mega europe, so we will be joining you guys on the 8th in Athens. Where are you and your sister from? [br][br]Really looking forward to the trip, its coming up pretty soon. Hoping it will be warm coz the london weather isnt much to go by. [br][br]Appreciate all the tips everyone is giving.[br][br][br]


#14

Hi Dan,[br][br]We are from New Zealand, so a long flight over to Europe!! [br][br]We are both looking forward to the tour too… we start in London on 17 May, so just over 2 months to go!![br][br]Looking forward to meeting everyone![br][br][br]- Jolien -[br]Mega European 17 May 2009[br]Britain & Ireland independantly


#15

Hey Dan! Nice to meet ya guys!! Sorry I kinda highjacked this thread, lol…but hopefully I was throwing out questions other people had too! =) [br][br]Thanks again Tam!! [br][br]Can’t wait til May!!! :sunglasses:


#16

hey allison, [br][br]No problem. I think we’ll be catchin up with you guys on the 8th June in athens. Who you travelling with? where you from


#17

Hey Dan,[br]I am from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This will be my first to Europe, so I am pretty excited!! I am traveling by myself! But it sounds like there were be a bunch of solo travelers on the trip so I am not tooo worried! =) [br][br]That is awesome that you and your girlfriend get to do this together! My boyfriend will be meeting me in London after the tour is over, as he can only take so much time off of work. [br][br]Hey question for ya, since you are currently living in London. Do you have any tips on how to get from Victoria Station to the Generator Hostel in Bloomsbury?? I mapquested it but it said to take like five different buses, and it’s kinda confusing…lol. Any tips would be appreciated, also do you think the Oyster card is worth the money?? [br][br]Thanks! Look forward to meeting ya guys!! [br]


#18

Hi Allison,[br][br]To answer your question re the Generator: take the Victoria Line from Victoria Station to the next stop in Green Park and change to the Piccadilly Line - the 5th stop from Green Park is Russell Square which is a few minutes’ walk to the Generator. All in all, it should take you about 15-20 minutes.[br][br]Alternatively, if you are landing at Heathrow Airport, you can take the Piccadilly Line all the way to Russell Square.[br][br]Have a fab trip![br][br]Anita


#19

Hey, [br][br]How long wil you be in London for? The oyster is probably only worth it if you gonna be in london for more than 4 days, otherwise a 7 day oyster is cheaper than buying a day pass everyday. You really only need an oyster for zones 1 and 2. [br][br][quote]Originally posted by admin[br]
Hi Allison,[br][br]To answer your question re the Generator: take the Victoria Line from Victoria Station to the next stop in Green Park and change to the Piccadilly Line - the 5th stop from Green Park is Russell Square which is a few minutes’ walk to the Generator. All in all, it should take you about 15-20 minutes.[br][br]Alternatively, if you are landing at Heathrow Airport, you can take the Piccadilly Line all the way to Russell Square.[br][br]Have a fab trip![br][br]Anita[br][/quote]


#20

Hi Dan,[br][br]Thanks for the tips!![br]I was thinking of getting a 3 day London Travel Card, not sure if that’s the same as an Oyster Card? Do you thing it would be worth it or would you say it’s not neccessary to take the tube enough to be worth it?[br][br][br]- Jolien -[br]Mega European 17 May 2009[br]Britain & Ireland independantly