Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Europe

Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17 Feb 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252
Accommodation: Youth Hostels OK?

I've been worrying my pretty little head with getting the bike ready for a trip to Europe in the next couple of weeks and it's just ocurred to me that I still haven't even considered basic things like where to stay. Can anybody recommend Youth Hostels for instance? They used to be cheap and basic and, just as important for me, you don't have to be a youth to stay there (I was, a long time ago- does that count?)

Also, finding somewhere to leave the bike overnight is a worry, how do others manage?

Thanks,

John
__________________
Johnef
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17 Feb 2005
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,010
Not stayed in youth hostels ever but we always use a quality chain & padl;ock when abroad. You can also thread the chain through your jacket sleeves & helmet to lock them to the bike if you want to walkabout on a nice day.

Better safe than sorry!

Where are you going?



[This message has been edited by Steve Pickford (edited 17 February 2005).]
__________________
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17 Feb 2005
beddhist's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whangarei, NZ
Posts: 2,224
Yes! YHA is the way to go in many places. It's not as cheap any more as what it used to be. Some of the big hostels resemble more Hotels.

We try to avoid the big cities. In the country there isn't much worry about the bike being interfered with and it's usually cheaper.

In France look out for green round signs with a red rooster in a yellow window, labelled Gîte d'Etape. These are private accommodations. Standards and prices vary widely. In remote areas start looking early for somewhere to stay. We've had difficulties finding a place out of season with many being closed.

In Italy it's called Agriturismo.

Where are you going? Central France is under snow and the motorway through the Massif Central was closed a few days ago.

------------------
Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Peter.
__________________
Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17 Feb 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252
Hi, Steve

As to where I'm going- still not sure in detail but am bearing your suggestion at

http://bernd-bauer.bei.t-online.de/b...roadbooks.html

very much in mind, you very helpfully mentioned the area in reply to previous query of mine in the 'Where to go' topic. In fact a lot of people were extremely helpful in their replies.

As regards security and overnight parking, well, I was thinking that taking my old 1982 RS banger might be safer than getting one of the 11xx GS BMWs. The thing is, who'd give it a second glance, it only me that thinks it's still a belter, and it could be that even I'm just a tad biassed! Still after you mentioned it, I'll be getting a decent chain. Actually, I've still got the original BMW steel cable lock: can that be any good by today's standards, I wonder?

Another question I should have asked was, any suggestions as to how to get there by ferry? I live in North Wales and don't really want to go to Dover or the South East because I'd rather stay away from London and the famed M25, so I was thinking of the routes from the South West- Plymouth or thereabouts to LeHavre, or thereabouts. Any suggestions? Prior booking necessary? Cheap fares?
__________________
Johnef
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17 Feb 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252
Hi beddhist/Peter
Hey, I thought I'd just seen you writing from a journey in a far-away-place, still keeping in touch, then? Just seen your response, and am very keen on the Ardeche area, especially following your previous reply back in Oct. or thereabouts.

I'm just popping out, I'll write later this evening when I get back

Thanks

John
__________________
Johnef
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 20 Feb 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gwynedd, Wales, UK
Posts: 252
Hi Peter, I'm back.

"In France look out for green round signs with a red rooster in a yellow window, labelled Gîte d'Etape."

Would you say that it's a good idea to head for a specific hostel/gîte/guesthouse at the end of a tiring day in the saddle or are there enough places with the rooster signs you mention? The thought of trying to find a particular acommodation after dark on my own and on a bike fills me with dread. I never could follow directions either in Welsh or English so it's going to be a real battle to do so in French. Mind, my wife won't be there to do the navigation this time, that should help. (Only joking, Dearest)

Dumb question #73: Francs, D.marks, Lira now all gone, or are they still side-by-side with the Euro?.

Dumb question #74: Credit cards accepted everywhere, Western Europe?

Thanks yet again,

John

__________________
Johnef
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 20 Feb 2005
beddhist's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Whangarei, NZ
Posts: 2,224
Personally, I avoid having to find accommodation after dark. You often won't even see the signs...

Whether or not there will be enough places to stay depends on where you are and when. Out of season they are often closed (in the case of gîtes, private accom., there simply isn't anybody home) and during the school hols places are often full, especially on weekends. So, normally my advice would be to phone ahead, at least for a YH or a hotel. The problem with gîtes is that there is no freely available list of them, they sell the lists. And then the owners often speak French or French. No hope for a Welshman!

A 73: only € are now accepted. The old currencies are long gone, albeit they persist in people's heads...

A 74: yes, but not in gîtes, they are private accom. Do YOU take plastic?

Oh, and on Sundays make sure to fill the tank in good time in a largish city: the only pumps open elsewhere are automatic and they take only - wait for it - FRENCH plastic! If you run out look for a supermarket with automatic pumps, wait until somebody arrives and try to get them to fill your tank with their plastic and pay them in cash. Dto. in Switzerland.

------------------
Salut from Southern France, the bikers' paradise,

Peter.
__________________
Cheers,
Peter.

Europe to NZ 2006-10
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 5 Mar 2005
tmt tmt is offline
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: ROMANIA , Cluj Napoca
Posts: 9
Hi John,

If you are coming to Romania, I can recommend you a very nice Youth Hostel in Cluj Napoca, the heart of Transylvania."Retro Youth Hostel" it's nice and cheap.

Cristian Kudor, Transylvania Motorcycle Tours


[This message has been edited by Grant Johnson (edited 14 December 2005).]
__________________
Discover Romania by bike with TMT- Transylvania Motorcycle Tours
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 6 Mar 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 862
In Switzerland, the youth hostels are excellent, there is an extensive network of them, and you don't have to be a youth. Their website is : http://www.youthhostel.ch/ . I have often stayed at them, and been quite satisfied. Some take credit cards, but it is best not to assume they all will.

In France, as has been mentioned, the Gite is a good choice. These are not youth hostels per se, they are privately operated. In general, you will find rooms with 2, 3, or 4 beds (you can rent a room for yourself if you want), and an evening meal is served, as well as breakfast. Because the chef needs to know how many guests to plan the meal for, it's best to get there before it is too late in the day. Plan on paying cash. Security for the moto at both the Swiss Youth Hostels and the Gite in France is generally excellent.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 6 Mar 2005
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 862
About credit cards - you can use them everywhere (Western and Central Europe) for fuel purchases. For food and shelter, if you go high end, sure, everyone takes them, as you work towards the more economical offerings on the scale (simple restaurants, hostels, Gite), plan on paying cash.

Be sure you have a PIN for your credit card. In many countries, such as Switzerland, this is now essential to use the credit card for fuel purchases. Try out the PIN at home to make sure it works OK before you leave (for example, make a small cash withdrawal at a bank machine).
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 19:33.