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JR and Emilie become EuroFreaks for 4 Months
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jumpingrock


Sep 15, 2006, 1:42 PM
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JR and Emilie become EuroFreaks for 4 Months
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Hello everybody from across the big pond (and half a continent). Using my broken Italian and my Fiance's French, My Fiance and I are planning on spending 4 months traveling through western Europe next summer.

I wanted to use this thread to bounce ideas off some of you. The first idea/question is relates to travel and accomidations. With regards to travel, it seems that the train system, while extensive, is neither extensive enough (ie Arco) nor particularly convinient for a 4 month climbing trip. Therefore, we were considering buying a vehicle (a Van) into which we could throw a matress (or crashpad) and sleep most of the time. How feasable is it for a furaner to buy a van and sell it at the end of the trip? Keep in mind that I have family in Italy and would therefore be able to leverage them for the buying and selling process.

I'll have more questions shortly. Thanks alot for your time. Anybody who wants to help out with the beer selection after a hard day of climbing should speak up as well. I like beer.

Cheers,

David


happyfra


Sep 16, 2006, 2:30 AM
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Re: JR and Emilie become EuroFreaks for 4 Months [In reply to]
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Hi David,
to buy a used van here in Italy is not a specially complex process, but can take some time and must be addressed with care, otherwise you could find yourself in big troubles, and to sell it afterwards without loosing a lot of money could be even more challenging. If you have a member of your family here who could take care of it, my suggestion is that you agree with him or her your needs and your budget and then ask him to take care of it quite before you arrive, and do the same when you leave, so that you don't have to waste your time. In general it is a good idea, and it gives you a lot of flexibility. I would NOT suggest to have the train as your main transportation for a long climbing trip in Europe.

Ciao

HF


Partner heiko


Sep 16, 2006, 10:26 AM
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Heya,

a friend of ours (flipper_loves_rock) did a similar thing last summer. He flew into the Netherlands and bought a campervan there, because for some reasons it seems to be reasonably easy from the administrative side. Maybe try to contact him for details (although I think he's in Thailand right now, so it might take a bit of time for him to reply).

Best,
H.

PS: Welcome ;)


Partner booger


Sep 20, 2006, 12:37 AM
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Here's the link to where Archie got his van:

http://www.dutchcampervans.com/

He had a really good experience with them, and Paolo and I have been planning to buy a van from them as well. They are actually American Xpats living in Amsterdam. They'll buy it back from you at the end of your trip otherwise, hell, we may even buy your van off you when you finish with it! ;-) Get the 4-man... !!!


Taz


overlord


Sep 20, 2006, 12:54 AM
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buying used cars in europe is so-so. unless you have a good source for reliable beta (and you seem to have it), you can get really screwed. but train, for most of the time, sucks even more if youre a climber.

but one really good thing about having a van is not having to pay for hostels and stuff. thats definitely a big plus. so if you can get such a deal (buy it and then sell it back), i say definitely try it out.

and keep us posted with the development of your plans.


uasunflower


Sep 20, 2006, 1:48 AM
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to confuse you even more i would say that camping is still pretty easy in this civilized world - even if you don't have a campervan - and don't mind a little bit less comfort - having any kind of car would do, just buy that 'one second self-setting tent' at Decathlon for 39 euros and go. This super-idea tent sets itself, you just have to throw it out of the car. If you're careful enough, you can find camping spots anywhere around...Leaves the problem of shower, cooking etc. out though.


overlord


Sep 20, 2006, 5:44 AM
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well, you can also sleep in the back of any decent station-wagon.

me and my buddy used to sleep in hes old (now deceased) opel. it was just long enough to sleep comfortably (about 2 inches of room above the head and below the feet). just make sure it has a flat bottom when you collapse the rear seats. if it doesnt, it can be a bit uncomfortable. if you ahve a tent, its easier still. you can either ask for persmission from the landowner (shouldnt be a problem in most places) or just camp somewhere out-of-sight. just dont get caught :wink:

as for shower, you can get a 'sola powered' one really cheap, or even make it yourself. its basicly a black plastic bag with a hose. then theres rivers and stuff, not to mention that you can check in into a hostel or something for a night and clean up there.


uasunflower


Sep 20, 2006, 5:49 AM
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there is this old ukrainian proverb about hutsuls, people living in the mountains - when asked how they wash themselves, they answer in rivers. And what do they do in winter? Oh, winter is not that long!..


jumpingrock


Sep 21, 2006, 1:58 PM
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Thanks alot for the advice so far. I'll be chatting with my family soon to work out the possibilities for a vehicle.

How about internet? We were thinking about bringing along a laptop. Are there plenty of unencrypted wireless networks in Europe?


uasunflower


Sep 22, 2006, 12:22 AM
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hmm don't know about that, but in france the post office usually has internet access - just buy an access card and use it at any post office (not all of them - but the one in Chamonix does). Also there are internet caffees, the usual thing. Probably harder in italy/spain mountain villages...


Partner heiko


Sep 22, 2006, 1:41 AM
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In reply to:
How about internet? We were thinking about bringing along a laptop. Are there plenty of unencrypted wireless networks in Europe?

In the parts of Europe I've been to recently (Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, ...) wireless internet usually has to be paid for. You might be lucky, but I wouldn't rely on it. It's still a business here, not a commodity.


jumpingrock


Sep 22, 2006, 9:41 AM
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What about parking outside apartment buildings or in residential streets with an antenea? I know you can do it here in Canada with some degree of luck. I guess at this point, the question becomes, is it worth it to bring a laptop or better just to go with Internet cafes?


Partner heiko


Sep 23, 2006, 1:35 AM
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Well, as I said, you can try... just don't expect too much, people here sometimes pay by the gigabyte and are usually well able to at least password-protect their networks. Plus, you don't find too many areas with apartment building close to climbing areas... it's certainly very different from the States where you have wireless access at every McDonalds.

If you plan on updating your photoblog every day, a laptop surely is handy, but it's also a risk to carry it around... cars do get broken into occasionally etc. Personally, I wouldn't want to risk that, but that's just me.

Best,
Heiko


overlord


Sep 24, 2006, 6:59 AM
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there are quite a few free internet caffes here. you buy a drink and you can surf for free on wireless. also, some educational institutions have wireless or at least free internet access. theres also a europe-wide network of universities in establishment that will enable you to connect to their wireless if you have the password and username of any of the faculties. so if you find a student willing to loan you hes/hers password, you should have even less problems.


jumpingrock


Jan 22, 2007, 2:01 PM
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Allo again all. After many months of thinking, planning, talking with booger, replanning, talking more with booger, replanning again, thinking, etc... we have finally come to our decisions and have some somewhat solid plans.

The tickets are bought: Flying into Amsterdam May 2nd. Flying out of Amsterdam Aug 31st.
The van is reserved: 1981 Westfalia known as Lucy.

And the plan is: Leave from Amsterdam to Belgium to hang out with Booger and Paulo. Possibly climb in Belgium as well. Drive south into France and head to southern France. Project Realization for a few days. Probably spend another couple weeks in southern France. Take a ferry to Corsica. Spend several weeks in Corsica. Take a ferry to Roma. Spend 4-5 days in Rome with family. Drive up the eastern side of Italy (through cinque terra) up to the alps (Switzerland, France, Italian Border). Spend several weeks hiking in the alps. Head back south to Verona. Use Verona as a home base to climb in Arco and the Dolomites. After this we will likely check out Prague, some cities in Austria and Germany on our way back to Amsterdam to fly home.

Everything is pretty much written in mud and could well end up changing, but I think that's going to be the basic game plan. Rather than hitting everything in Europe, as we do have the time to do, we'd like to actually get to know areas and experience the cultures etc.

We'd like to hook up with as many of the freaks in Europe as possible so I think that as it gets closer to the time to go, I'm going to start soliciting for e-mails and possibly phone numbers.

Cheers,

David


overlord


Jan 23, 2007, 1:47 AM
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hmmm... corsica will probably be too hot for climbing. but i could be wrong offcourse.

and prague is a bit of a long way to austria. but imho worth a visit. it really is a beautifull city.


Partner booger


Jan 23, 2007, 2:07 AM
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Re: [overlord] JR and Emilie become EuroFreaks for 4 Months [In reply to]
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overlord wrote:
hmmm... corsica will probably be too hot for climbing. but i could be wrong offcourse..

Nah, not in May.

In reply to:
and prague is a bit of a long way to austria.

Nah, not for a Canadian. Laugh


thomasribiere


Jan 23, 2007, 3:48 AM
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please PM me when in south France!


seed1ckrunfast


Jan 29, 2007, 9:35 PM
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Hey David,
This may be long so bear w/ me.. Love the idea for the van for your euro trip w/ your ole lady. However, how does it work w/out a european drivers lincense/insurance? Do you even need them? My friends and i are planning a similiar trip for next summer and from the replies i've read to your thread, they're trying to steer you away from trains. and i had THOUGHT that was going to be our main source of transportation but im now reconsidering. i doubt we'll euro tripping it for 4 months, maybe 2 or 3 but along w/ the question about the license/insurance about how much money should we set aside for everything, van, gas, food, etc b/c we're new at this and going at it blind. thanks for your help along w/ all the euro freaks out there reading this..

Richard


(This post was edited by seed1ckrunfast on Jan 30, 2007, 12:53 PM)


overlord


Jan 31, 2007, 12:23 AM
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you can get an international drivers license, and you can get insurance with the rented vehicle (and i recommend you do).


jumpingrock


Jan 31, 2007, 6:51 AM
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Yep. The insurance is being taken care of by the company that we are buying from. Since we, as non-residents, can't get insurance in our names, they will have everything set up for us. It's all actually pretty convenient.

For the international dl, I simply have to drop by my local registry and they can give me one based on the fact that I have a valid Canadian dl.

Your other options are to lease or rent a vehicle. These will be slightly more expensive than www.dutchcampervans.com, however, it might be slightly more convenient. Emilie and I spent a long time debating the relative merits of each option before settling on the van.


seed1ckrunfast


Jan 31, 2007, 4:34 PM
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What do you mean by local registry? so yall are going through dutchcampervans? where exactly is that located b/c we're trying to figure out if we get a van through them, where we'd be starting out?
one more thing, (for now) if you dont mind me asking, about how much did your plane tickets run you b/c i see that you bought them way in advance which is what we were planning on doing? thanks again..

Richard


jumpingrock


Jan 31, 2007, 5:45 PM
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Maybe it's a canadian thing? The same place I go to get my car registration updated and my regular drivers license.

You'd be starting out in Ultrecht (sp?) about 30 minute train ride from the Amsterdam airport.

We are flying from Calgary to Amsterdam and back and paying approx $2000 CDN for two people both ways.


seed1ckrunfast


Feb 4, 2007, 5:21 PM
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David and anybody else w/ helpful info,
Once again im back w/ questions, hope you dont mind. The trip my friends and i plan on taking is similiar to the one you and your ole lady are taking. If you dont mind could you give us a rough estimate as to how much money we'll need a person for atleast 2-3months or if its easier, the budget you're using..
-van? $5,000 american? and will dutch camper vans buy it back?
-gas?
-plane tickets? do you reccomend we get a round trip and plan on coming back on a certain date or just wing it, go untill we run low on money, get bored or arrested then fly back home on a whim?
-spending money?
-food?
-emergency?
We really are going at this blind, we're clueless.. I know it'll be expensive im just trying to get a rough idea so i can inform my other 3 friends on how much of their lunch money they'll need to be saving in the next year.. It sure does suck being the responsible one.. thanks again..
Richard


jumpingrock


Feb 5, 2007, 9:45 AM
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We are budgeting $20k CDN which is probably $15k USD for four months. It'll be a bit tight but if we are careful we'll be ok.

-Van - $5000 USD is about right. No they will not buy it back. They will sell it for you and you will get about %65 of your initial investment back.
- Gas - Expensive. We are budgeting about $2000 CDN (1500 USD) for gas for the four months.
- We are coming back on a specific day because we have to work on September 3rd.
- I don't remember what we budgeted for this. However, we are pretty tight for space (only allowed 44lbs on BMI flights) so we will be pretty tight about buying souvenirs.
- I think we have about $1000 per month budgeted for food, but I don't remember. We are intending to buy almost all our food from grocery stores and cook it.
- Emergency? Who need emergency money? We will both have travel insurance (2 million) and there will be about $5000 extra at home to deal with Emergencies.

Grab Rick Steve's Europe through the Back door guide book. It has alot of very useful information so you will be less blind and you won't have to take the word of a Yahoo on the internet. :-)

Cheers

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