Sooo.. anyone planning a holiday this/next year?

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TRavine
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Sooo.. anyone planning a holiday this/next year?

Post by TRavine »

Philipaholt wrote: Wed Oct 19, 2022 10:55 pm
In the US, I loved the upper eastcoast (I lived in Boston for a year),
Ohhhhh I love Boston! Been there twice. Once for me honeymoon and once with me brother. I couldn't get enough of it. Love to go back but who knows if I ever will. Why were you there for a year? School? Work?
I was an Au Pair with a host family for one year, took care of their three children, drove them to and from school, stuff like that. And I did a lot of travelling during that year.
I went to Vienna with my dad. A very special trip that. We didn't do too much sight seeing as he was mostly tied up at a medical conference. but I bought a wee little porcelain horse that's says Vien on it. I love it. Sadly it's front legs broke off on our plane back but I still treasure it. What I mostly remember of Vienna (I was only 13 so I remember very little) was a living statue Street performer. I was entranced by him. Also the streets were lovely and old and I liked that.
Oh yeah, we have a lot of those street performers! So sorry about the horse's leg, but it's cool that you still kept it and it means something to you.
"I'm not sure I'd know how to dabble." 8-)
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Post by TRavine »

OC that's really interesting with you living in Germany. I have distant family in Düsseldorf, but I've never been there myself.
I suppose you did learn some German while you were there? Can you still speak any?
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I suppose you did learn some German while you were there? Can you still speak any?
I was 8 when we moved to Dusseldorf and 11 when we came back to the UK. In effect we were living on a British housing estate, and in the NAAFI (the Forces' shop) the staff spoke English. Mum liked the quality of the meat and veg in the village shops in a village called Holt which was not a very long walk away, and she soon learned the names of the various meats and veg. She had been broken into that in Dusseldorf, because we lived a long walk from the NAAFI and when we got Deutschmarks instead of stupid pretend paper money which you could spend only in the NAAFI and other British-run establishments it was much easier to go up the road to the small Otto Mess store and buy food there.

The British aren't much good at learning foreign languages, and I still cringe when I remember a magazine article I read when a teenager in the 1960s. The woman for whom it was ghost-written was a Service wife ie her husband was in the Armed Forces and she had been with her husband in West Germany. What a joke it was when she walked into a shop one day and bellowed 'Does anybody here speak English?!' only to be reminded that she was now in England. What an ambassador for the UK she must have been in West Germany.

That being so, I learned hardly any German words but at secondary school in the UK I chose German as my foreign language and studied it up to O level standard, I got a grade 3 (grade 6 was a pass) in it. I still remember some of it, and I can ask for things in shops in Switzerland. And sometimes make very simple conversation in German as well.

That has reminded me about the time Mum and I went on the Jungfraujoch. Mum had asthma so I told her to move and walk slowly when we arrived at the top station actually inside the Jungfrau. Of course she didn't so by the time we arrived out of the station and out into the daylight, though not outside, she was wheezing merrily away and decided she needed the loos. Within 10 seconds I was surrounded by middle-aged German ladies. 'Ist Ihre Mutter krank?' they demanded. 'Nein, nein,' quoth I, 'Sie ist OK.' But these kindly ladies were not to be put off. 'Ist Ihre Mutter krank?' they asked again. 'Nein, nein, sie ist OK und sie hat ihre medizin,' I replied. One of them delved into her handbag. 'Ich habe medizin!' she exclaimed. Just then Mum emerged, sounding much better; so I told her that these kind ladies were enquiring after her health. 'Oh, I'm quite all right,' said she with a smile. So I repeated that in German and then told the ladies that they were very good ladies and kind, and thank you very much etc. So off they went.

I also found one year that I could phone a taxi firm to take us from our friends' house to the train station, so we could go to Zurich airport and come home, and make that arrangement entirely in German. Ruth, our friend, would have done it for us but Peter had forgotten to take his insulin jabber to work with him so she needed to take it to his workplace in Zurich. So the taxi lady said about her driver 'Er kommt sofort!' Mum asked me 'When is the taxi coming?' 'Now!' replied I and out of the house we went with our hand luggage, our hold luggage having been checked in at the train station the day before.

Considering that I sat my German O level in 1967 I think I did quite well.
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Oh, that is so interesting! And it sounds like you know quite a bit of German actually. I think we all have a lot of stuff stored somewhere in the back of our brains, in case we ever need it again, and whenever the opportunity arises, we realize that we do know more than we gave ourselves credit for.

I think English speakers are likely not worse at learning foreign languages than anyone else, they just don't have as much reason to learn it, because most people understand English anyway. (And are not all human beings somewhat prone to minimal effort - I know I am!) For us foreigners it's really important to learn it. Even here in Austria, I need English on a daily basis, in various life situations, and many of us younger people have actually started texting our friends in English, although our common native language is German. I find that English is a very expressive language, more so than German, in some situations. We also mix it a lot and "germanize" English words (which is actually terrible if you think of it) like: "Ich habe mich gejudged gefühlt." - "I felt judged." or "Er hat literally gesagt..." - "He literally said..."

We also went to Jungfraujoch once, and I had a terrible cold and sniffles, I remember. Already had trouble breathing through my nose, and once we got up there, I almost fainted from the dizzy spell, lol.
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And now I am committed! I have booked a 6 night trip to Iceland for next June, and my great friend Baldur (a member of my very big extended family in Iceland) has offered to both pick me up at the airport when I arrive AND take me to the airport when I leave. Both are very welcome, especially taking me back to the airport because the flight leaves for Heathrow at 07:40 in the morning; so I accepted his generous offer with alacrity. He has also offered to be my taxi in Reykjavík, but I think I shall decide I need my wheels in Reykjavik and hire a car for the last 4 nights of my stay there; I don't really want him to take me to people's apartments and houses and then go home until I ask him to come and get me. I'll tell him before I hire the car.

The last 20 years or so I have got used to staying in the Grand Hotel, but it has become too expensive (cost £2k+ for 6 nights) so I am staying at Hotel Storm instead, quite close to where my bank was when I first opened my accounts there and close to a bus stop. However, when I have got my wheels that will be a secondary consideration unless I decide to not take the car into the city centre. And my bank is still walkable from Hotel Storm if I suddenly decide I need some krónur on the Friday.
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Post by merry »

That sounds absolutely wonderful, OC! I'm so glad you have this to plan for and look forward to. :hugs
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Post by eccles »

Iceland in June is almost 24 hour daylight isn't it?
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It is daylight nearly all the time - the darkest it gets is half an hour's twilight. I hope the hotel curtains are quite heavy to block out the light.

One year we were staying in an apartment in late spring or early summer, and Mum woke up one 'night' at 02:30 am and looked out her bedroom window - there were 2 boys in the garden digging for worms that they were going to sell to the anglers and sport fishermen as bait. They looked up at her and waved cheerfully; she waved back and went back to bed while they carried on digging. We mentioned it to one of my friends, and he told us that he dug for worms early in the morning like that when he was younger.

This was the year when old Oddur lent us his car - a Subaru saloon. At that time his wife's cousin and his lady partner lived in Oddur's house - they had half the downstairs with a lockable internal door for their privacy; but the cousin died so Oddur sorted out all the legal stuff for the surviving partner and got the cousin's Subaru at the price she would have got if selling to a car dealer; the lady moved out elsewhere not long afterwards. I asked Oddur about the car insurance but he was a little evasive so I am sure that he never insured me to drive his car; so thereafter I hired a car, just in case.
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I have booked my car in Iceland with Enterprise. Baldur wants to offer a chauffeur service all the time I am there, but I shall have a car from late Sunday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon - only 2 days but that is just under £400. I hope it is dry weather for those 2 days as I want to go into the country to some of my favourite places.
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Post by Wildrover »

£400 for 2 days car hire :o that's outrageous.
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I agree, WR - but it has always been the case in Iceland. One year Mum and I hired a VW Golf just for a day - I suppose that was around 35-40 years ago. We wanted to do our own version of the Golden Circle trip - Þingvellir (where the Alþing used to meet), Geysir, Gullfoss (a beautiful waterfall), Skalholt (memorial church where a very big church once stood - the southern bishopric) and then back home to return the car. That cost £80 for the day which seemed a fortune at the time.

This car is a small Mazda CX. The roads are much better now compared with when we hired the Golf.
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Post by eccles »

Filling it up with petrol will no doubt double that cost.
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:lol: @ Eccs.

I have to return the car with a full tank of petrol. I'll let you know how much that was when I get home; right now it is US $2.26 a litre, or £1.95.
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MYF is currently luxuriating in the £400 a night Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore which looks stunning - after her £4,000 business class return flight. Oh to work for a not-for-profit organisation - mind you I'm not surprised they don't make a profit! Anyway when she gets back we are going for a long weekend in Norwich with a couple of friends - I know nothing about Norwich apart from Colman's mustard originated there. Anyone got any suggestions for interesting things to do there? Otherwise it will be a 24 hour orgy of eating and drinking which is OK but it would be nice to do something else.
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Post by Furby »

The man in the moon couldn't find his way to Norwich and then burned his mouth on some porridge. You should be ok now we have sat navs amd Google maps but maybe avoid the porridge just in case.
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I visited Norwich once for the annual Iceland Day with the Young Explorers, to fill the already made pancakes with jam and whipped cream - Mum didn't come with me for that one. At the hotel overnight some blackguard stuck a knife in some car tyres - 1 per car - including mine; so Kwikfit did a good trade on going home day.

Norwich claims to be 'A Fine City'; I noticed that on the Norwich signs. The cathedral has one of the tallest spires in England and might be worth a visit just to look around; admission is free according to the cathedral website. Otherwise you could try the Norwich 12 consisting of the city's most iconic buildings.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_12

I didn't have time to do any of this!
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Post by eccles »

If your interests veer towards wildlife and you fancy a bit of exercise I can recommend the RSPB reserve at Strumpshaw Fen, about ten miles east of Norwich. It's famous for the rare swallowtail butterfly and Norfolk hawker dragonfly in the early summer months but Autumn/Winter is good for birds. Cattle egrets, bitterns, bearded reedlings and kingfishers have been seen recently. You'll need binoculars and walking shoes.
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