[Sca-cooks] need to draw on your experience

tudorpot at gmail.com tudorpot at gmail.com
Fri Nov 14 18:05:49 PST 2008

I was in my mid forties when I last went Europe-- Austria and Italy.  
In Vienna I stayed in a pension- a small hotel- name is not used as  
much - but think of a ten room or less accommodation - the one I  
stayed at was on the second floor of a larger building.  I think I  
paid about 30 Euros a night- that was in 2002. No flashy sign, hotel  
matchbooks, a basic cold breakfast, no night guard- you get a key to  
let yourself in after hours.
At that time there was not a lot of info on the net re Monasteries  
and Convents- I found a book at the library. Now there is a lot more  
info. You are more likely to stay in a period building this way. I  
strongly rec Lonely Planet guides.


As for age- there were many people in the sixties and seventies in  
the hostels I stayed in. In the future I will stay in them again. Too  
much is missed by staying in big hotels, you don't get the contact  
with the people and miss so much. I'd rather have the money for food,  
and more days travelling. If I had gone the conventional route- I  
would have only been able to stay in Vienna and go to my conference-  
thus missing two wonderful weeks in Italy. Another tip- I booked an  
open-jaw ticket. Flew from Toronto via London to Vienna- left from  
Rome to London and back to Toronto. Not much difference in cost, but  
I saved back tracking to Vienna. From Vienna I took the overnight  
train- sleeper- saved money on a room- and thus arrived fresh in  
Venice ready to see the sites.

In italy the most I spent was 40 euros a night for a one room with  
private bath in Venice. I found this by talking to a gentleman who  
greeted me at the train station- it is mentioned in a Lonely Planet  
guide, as a common practice. He showed me pictures of the rooms and  
where the hotel was on the map. When I agreed on one- he called and  
made the reservation-I guess he was given a commision. Very  
reasonable, and the room was perfect. I tend to not make reservations  
for more than one or two days after I land in Europe. That way I am  
free to change my plans. I found on my arrival in Florence that a  
national holiday was on - the museums were either crowded or closed-  
so I moved on to Rome and spent the extra days there.


On Nov 14, 2008, at 8:48 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>   However, we never have been folks for big tourist hotels.  I can  
> stay in those in the US or Hawaii. So these other alternatives  
> sound interesting. Can you provide some more details? We've also  
> considered hostels, but we aren't young, college age folks any more.
> What is a "Pension"?  In the US it is a retirement plan which most  
> companies are trying to wiggle out of.

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