Favourite country?

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
windysmithy
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby windysmithy » 4 Nov 2014, 8:10am

Cuba.

Quiet roads, some of which are actually quite smooth, polite yet crazy (in a safe way) drivers and a completely unparallelled culture which will really get you questioning just about everything.

Oh yes and lovely lovely people!

promeneur
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby promeneur » 4 Nov 2014, 10:42am

South east asia....thailand,burma,vietnam,laos,malaysia,indonesia,philippines
people,food,weather,cheap,easy
now in quiet ,really quiet Laos, i love it.

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TrevA
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby TrevA » 4 Nov 2014, 1:03pm

windysmithy wrote:Cuba.

Quiet roads, some of which are actually quite smooth, polite yet crazy (in a safe way) drivers and a completely unparallelled culture which will really get you questioning just about everything.

Oh yes and lovely lovely people!


+1 from me.

Cuba is unlike any other place on I've ever been, with it's mixture of Spanish, American and Russian culture. Loads of big American cars and trucks from the 1950's, but hardly any traffic on the roads outside of the big towns.
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...simplicity...
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby ...simplicity... » 6 Nov 2014, 2:18pm

For me - it has to be the USA.

Admittedly it was my first long tour (TransAm) - but the diversity available when traversing such a large country, and the friendly people made for a great ride.

Also, having cycle the outer Hebrides in Scotland this year, I'd also have to say island hopping here (if you get the weather) is also pretty special. In my experience, the more sparce the roads and people, quite often the better the trip. As I don't seem to find that 'rhythm' when I'm in urban areas.

Nigelrojo
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Nigelrojo » 14 Nov 2014, 1:28pm

I vote for Germany. Outstanding cycling infrastructure; excellent scenery, food & beer; good summer weather; and friendly people, most of whom speak some English.

aquilegia
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby aquilegia » 15 Nov 2014, 2:38pm

France - It has an excellent network of quiet secondary roads with little traffic. The landscape varies enormously across the country. Cyclists are respected. The food is wonderful.

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CJ
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby CJ » 17 Nov 2014, 1:55pm

Switzerland: good cycling infrastructure and careful drivers like Germany, but consistently lovely scenery and towns. Plus it's easy to put your bike on a train or bus when necessary (or uphill!). Expensive however - unless you camp or stay in youth hostels, which are cheap and easy to book. Oh, and English is the unofficial fourth Swiss language (perhaps even ahead of Italian in 3rd).
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Sweep
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Sweep » 18 Nov 2014, 7:34am

Yes, the cost of Switzerland has put me off ever since my student inter-railing days.

Only really been back since when someone else was paying.

What are the prospects of free camping in Switzerland CJ?
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CJ
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby CJ » 18 Nov 2014, 11:57am

Sweep wrote:What are the prospects of free camping in Switzerland CJ?

Never tried it. I generally prefer a proper bed and a roof. Try warmshowers.
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smith4188
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby smith4188 » 22 Nov 2014, 3:59pm

Eastern Europe, particularly Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Beautiful scenery, very cheap and nicely weird.
http://www.EuropeByBicycle.com - Country-by-country touring info for 54 European nations and disputed regions

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Sweep
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Sweep » 22 Nov 2014, 4:31pm

Keep posting those recommendations and i'll get there eventually.

Travelled a bit in my youth in the maybe more accessible communist eastern europe.

Now places that have become more mainstream and weekend stag night venues, whereas when i went there folk said "why are you going there sweep, it's so grey".

I like your pioneering somewhat perverse approach - meant in the best possible way.

Long live the weird.

Your book highly recommended - got any more trips planned?
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smith4188
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby smith4188 » 22 Nov 2014, 4:41pm

Sweep wrote:Now places that have become more mainstream and weekend stag night venues, whereas when i went there folk said "why are you going there sweep, it's so grey".

I like your pioneering somewhat perverse approach - meant in the best possible way.

Long live the weird.


Yes, some of it is grey and ugly, but it's usually ugly in an interesting way. I also got a big buzz out of Albania, Kosovo, Ukraine and Belarus for feeling like I was somewhere not many cyclists find themselves but those places were interesting rather than fun or beautiful. (Actually, that's not entirely true. Kosovo and Albania had some beautiful bits.) I could only recommend them to people who said 'Long live the weird'.

Sweep wrote:Your book highly recommended - got any more trips planned?


Cheers! And yes. Next summer I'm doing a shorter but possibly more challenging ride during which I might actually starve to death. I'm just building the website for it and then I'll announce it after Christmas because I'm looking for a handful of people to come with me. Do you have a spare three months next summer?
http://www.EuropeByBicycle.com - Country-by-country touring info for 54 European nations and disputed regions

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Sweep
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Sweep » 22 Nov 2014, 5:01pm

smith4188 wrote:Do you have a spare three months next summer?


Possibly - depends on stuff i'm trying to sort in my life.

I must say though that although i am more than willing to live on a basic diet/sand and olive oil or whatever, i am not into the idea of starvation or those quasi macho slogs across deserts.

Are you planning to fuel this trip on beer?

All the best to you and Blackburn.
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Sweep
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Sweep » 22 Nov 2014, 5:04pm

My small contribution to this thread.

I can recommend Sardinia**

Which until recently the tourist authorities promoted as not just a country (which of course it isn't) but as "like a continent"!!!!

Not in july or august though.

** no i am not part of the international jet/yachting set - far from it.
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Dean
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Re: Favourite country?

Postby Dean » 23 Nov 2014, 10:06pm

smith4188 wrote:Eastern Europe, particularly Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro. Beautiful scenery, very cheap and nicely weird.


I really loved Serbia - partly cos I was feeling homesick and the rolling limestone valleys in the east reminded me of the North Pennines.

Belgrade is a cracking city, and the Fruska Gora National Park just to the south of Novi Sad is amazing.