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Great Cities - Not so visited

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
I'm looking for ideas. What cities around the world surprised you, pleasantly? And why? What places did you find yourself in thinking "Why don't more people come here?" They don't have to be huge cities. Just a place where you could happily spend a week or two (or lifetime?) kicking it about. Would love to hear what you liked about the place, and it's surrounding areas.

Thanks.

Libby

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
I've heard wonderful things about Montreal and Quebec City.

I recommend Halifax. I always have a good time when I go there. Smile

tunk

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
Quebec popped into my head when I first read this. I only spent 2 nights there, thinking I would be able to do everything because the historic area is quite small, and I left thinking I would really like to get to know it more.

I was in The Hague in the Netherlands for a few hours and was pleasantly surprised, especially with the leafy market area. Plus they had an Escher museum, so that automatically made it cool. However, it looked like the place would be kinda dead at night, so I don't know about spending a week there.

Ceske Budejovice in Czech Republic was beautiful...It was a good introduction to the country. I also liked the fact that even though the locals knew we were tourists they would speak to us in German instead of English...they don't get many English speaking visitors. And the ridiculously cheap and great beer only adds to the charm.

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
Hi Libby and Tunk,

That's funny. I "almost" did a Montreal/Quebec City thing just a few months ago. Work got in the way. But I know I'll get there (though probably not in the middle of winter!).

I really appreciate the Ceske Budejovice suggestion, as I've never been to the Czech Republic and I have an itch for that area. AND I've never even heard of it...which is always appealing to me. So thanks.

NTFT

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
Sorry Libby, Halifax is also on my (huge) list. Smile

seraphim

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
When I was on a trans-siberian (sort-of) trip, I was really taken by Ulan Ude, east of Lake Baikal. I just liked the general atmosphere, there were plenty of interesting things to see in and around the city, and the people were really nice.

In Europe, I think Warsaw is rather underrated. I mean it's not like there's no tourists there at all, but most people seem to rate Krakow over Warsaw, and though I can see why (Krakow is prettier, easier to like instantly), I don't agree. Warsaw is so vibrant, it has so many different areas to explore. Also in Poland, I was surprised to see so few tourists in Torun, seeing as it's so beautiful (or at least the old town is).

And Belgrade. I haven't been there in 3 years, but it rocks.
Karlien
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Marisa

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
I loved the Hague!

I'm also probably one of the few people who like Brussels. I had no expectations of it, just thinking it's a big city. I loved the architecture in the Grand Place -- the most outstanding memory from there. Also, I loved just strolling around Brussels, visiting the museums and churches. Oh, and the smell of chocolate...

I also grew really fond of Brugge, Belgium. I thought there would be more people there. The architecture there is a amazing as well.

Vilcabamba, Ecuador is another one on my list. My footprints guide made it sound like it would be loaded with tourists. Mostly backpackers there, but not even that many when I was there. It's a tiny town in the valley, flocked by lush green mountains and a cloud forest.

Cajamarca, Peru is way off the main highway and high in the Andes. I only spent a few hours there (constraints of the bus schedule!). Had I had more time, I would have spent a few days there to explore. There is a lot of history there. I only saw one obvious traveller there.

Leelah

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
Deia, Mallorca, especially if you're rich!

Montreal is fabulous, even if you aren't rich, but it gets cold.

St. Paul de Vence is an artist's paradise.
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When you're traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.
--William Least Heat Moon

Bubbha

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
Montgomery, Alabama surprised the hell out of me. We were passing by on a road trip, but decided to stop and see what was there. It's filled with history (primarily "Civil" history: both War and Rights), but very untouristed.

The Tourist Information Center is the place to start out - they offer a super-cheap tourist shuttle transportation system complete with spoken explanations of what you pass by. From the Capitol Building where Jefferson Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederacy to the spot where Rosa Parks was arrested, to the Hank Williams Museum and the old slave market, to the church where ML King preached to the courthouse where the controversial Ten Commandments monument was on display for a while, and the Wall of Tolerance. It's a fascinating place. Make sure you get a chili hotdog at Chris's while you're at it.
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"Qian li zhi xing, shi yu zu xia." - Chinese proverb

2wanderers

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  • Added on: December 10th, 2004
quote:
Originally posted by Not the first Travis:
That's funny. I "almost" did a Montreal/Quebec City thing just a few months ago. Work got in the way. But I know I'll get there (though probably not in the middle of winter!).
The middle of winter (specifically, the first half of February) is the best time to visit Quebec.

tommyflorentin

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
It's not the prettiest place in the world but Tel Aviv is heaving with character. It's loud, noisy and dirty and one of the funniest places i've ever been.
A walk through the old market is like a living model of the survival of the fittest. The market guys sing, yell and show all the Arabic fire that is in the blood of half of the Israelis. I was too scared to buy my groceries there for the first few weeks.
It's a young city, easy to walk around and has the sunset going down over the sea every day.
Tommy

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mr bigles

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
Basel - Switzerland.

Wonderful City.. you'd have to see it to understand.
Read my blog, you filthy animal.
...says Bigles, as she tucks her hands up next to her face like a mouse cleaning its whiskers.

Not the first Travis

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
Great ideas, everyone. Thanks.

Seraphim....you don't even like cities, so I'm trying to decide if that gives your suggestions more cred or less. More, I think.

And Marisa! I want to go to Vilcabamba, Ecuador just because it sounds like so much fun to say it out loud!

"Where are you headed?"
"Why, Vilcabamba, of course."

Vilcabamba, Vilcabamba!

Almost Free...you said first two weeks in Feb is the best time to visit Quebec Is that when they have the winter festival? Because if it is, I'd probably want to avoid it.

These are great. Still interested in hearing other ideas if anyone else has favorites.

NTFT

Libby

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
Ya, Quebec has a huge festival ever year. Sometimes it's in January, sometimes in February.

You mean you don't want to meet Bonhomme?
He's the huge snowman who is the official host of the Carnival Smile

ChrisH

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  • Added on: December 11th, 2004
Sorry, didn't think much of Montréal Frown

However, I am a fan of Wroclaw in Poland Smile
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