Going to Europe in August -September and looking for tips? (1 Viewer)

japanarchist

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Portland
Hey folks, I'm making my first trip outside the US to Europe for a month and I'd love to get any advice y'all could share. I'm flying into London and my itinerary is France(Paris)-Spain(BCN)-Portugal-Greece(Athens/Exarchia) then back to London for my returning flight. I'm not exactly sure on the order yet but I've heard there's trains that go from France to Portugal so I might go that route. I'm looking for the cheapest way to get around from place to place.

I want to hitch but just in case that doesn't work I want to another stable form of transportation lined up. I looked into the Eurorail pass and it's around $330 for 5 days in 1 month of travel, and that seems pricey. Would flying be cheaper? Also would someone be kind enough to brief me on how (commuter train) hopping works? PM me if that's better.

Here are more questions I'd love tips on:
Where are good spots for dumpsters or finding cheap food? Are there are Food not Bombs groups in any of these countries?
Any recommendations for social centers/Info shops/radical spaces to go to?
Any cool farms or eco-villages to recommend? I'm thinking about woofing while I'm there.
Any good cheap hostels to recommend?
Any tips on what to know if I get arrested for squatting?

If anyone is around and wants to hang while I'm there let me know. A bit about me: Anarchist (on the P-L /green/egoist spectrum), I have some experience squatting and traveling the US, I'm really into philosophy/poetry/psychology/self growth, lover of shoegaze/dream-pop/post-punk/& jazz, mostly straight edge, really into communal OTG living/ ecology/ permaculture (for lack of a better word). I've been dreaming of going to some of the squatted villages and such in places like Spain and experiencing that, so that's a big goal for me.

I appreciate any info y'all could share, and If anyone has couch space to share I'd greatly appreciate that too. I've been on stp for a while I've I've made some great friends from it (who can vouch for me if needed).
 
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Matt Derrick

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my advice while in france is live off bread and cheese and cheap wine. seriously, it's cheap, and everything else is pretty expensive.

definitely go see the Louve and the catacombs under the city. the sacre coure is worth seeing for the murals on the ceilings. with the recent fire, i can't imagine the notre dame cathedral is open, but you should at least walk by.

oh, and check out ryan air. it's the cheapest airfare around europe, but they will nickle and dime you for just about everything from extra baggage to having to use quarters for the pay toilet on the plane. worth it though if you one-bag it and don't mind dealing with the bullshit.
 

Chiara

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Hi from France. I never met anyone hopping the freight trains in Europe, the trains over here are just not suited in a very convenient way for that!
Hitchhiking does work pretty well though, and if you don't feel like it or if you're stuck anywhere I would advise you to travel by bus. Flixbus is a really cheap company and you can purchase a pass which works in all Europe.
About dumpster diving it works alright in France, but I'm not sure about the other countries. We have laws in France forbidding to bleach the food which has been thrown away. Still illegal to dumpster dive though. I think it doesn't work as well in Spain and about the catacombes under Paris yeah if you have on opportunity to go there with people who know them you should go for it! Won't have to pay and will be able to see the parts that the other don't. Sometimes people party there as well. Don't go there on your own though
There are some zad in France (=zone a défendre =zone to defend) where people squat and protest against different projects mostely threatning environment. It can be a great thing to discover and meet people who are thinking differently, hitchhing, dumpster diving and you can learn permaculture sometimes if you're lucky. Can be violent sometimes though.
Finally I would definitely recommend wwoofing if you're into permaculture and I found myself lucky enough using couchsurfing.
 

roughdraft

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oh, and check out ryan air. it's the cheapest airfare around europe, but they will nickle and dime you for just about everything from extra baggage to having to use quarters for the pay toilet on the plane. worth it though if you one-bag it and don't mind dealing with the bullshit.

i find this toilet issue fascinating

when i was in Spain it was the first place public toilets required coins, although every time I went, it seemed people like to leave the door open because they know how fucked up it is.

i just wanted to say that on an airplane it's even more serious of a public health risk, so i imagine that staff are required to hang onto a bunch of coins for anyone who may not have. Seriously, I believe planes need to make emergency landings if someone shits themselves, so for there to be a barrier to an airplane toilet by requiring coins is absurd and for the airline very, very economically dysfunctional
 

otch0z

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For France :

Yo, go to Le Festival d'Aurillac, it last a week and it's free. It's street theatre and performances (biggest in europe if not the world) I HIGHLY recommand it. It's in france
Also buddy just hitch. If you're traveling by yourself it shouldn't be too hard, try to look as clean as you can and if you want to travel far and fast, take the autoroutes.
And yes as Matt said, juste bye bread and cheese. Cheap wine will give you headaches tho, I recommand not buying the cheapest and going for the organic one ('biologique') which has less sulfates and therefore gives you less headaches
Also it is VERY.HOT atm in france, remember to drink water and stay in the shade between 12:00 and 2pm if you're in the south. I am not kidding we have tourists ending up at the hospital every year. The heat is dangerous for real. Trust me, I grew up there !

Also I've traveled with ryanair before and never had the toilet issue ? Wtf ?
Spain is lit. If you go to Barcelona there are a few very cool squats. Portugal is cool AF too.
 

roguetrader

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train hopping in the European sense basically means getting on a passenger train without a valid ticket and getting free travel.... because all big stations are manned and have security barriers, you will probably have to buy a ticket to the next station on that line and then stay on as long as you can.... other than sitting in the toilet for hours on end there is nowhere to hide so sooner or later the conductor will catch you ! at this point you have to somehow explain in a foreign language, that you've got no money / lost your ticket / been robbed / fallen asleep etc etc - how this plays out depends totally on the conductor - s/he may shrug and walk off / they may kick you off at the next station / demand full fair to your destination / OR VERY LIKELY give you a little piece of paper informing you that you must pay so many euros at a later date ! this is the best outcome because you get to stay on the train and being a non-resident you will never be pursued for the money ! all this tends to lend an extremely random slant to your journey, but if you don't need to be anywhere fast it's not too bad - you get there eventually....
 

japanarchist

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Thanks for the feedback y'all. Thanks for the heat warning too otch0z. Is it normally really hot during August? Any recommendations on where exactly to go in Portugal? I saw a documentary about some folks squatting a parking garage in Portugal years ago and I'd love to check that out but I don't know where that was at, and I honestly don't know any locations there.

Thanks roguetrader that's exactly what I needed to know!
 

otch0z

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August gets hot AF !! But you just have to be prepared :)
Squats in Europe are easier to keep around, but they'll usually change from time to time. I'd recommend going to any squat/ZAD and ask them about places in Portugal or on the road to get there. I think it should be fairly easy finding info about ZADs in France and go from there, but I'm probably biaised on that !
 

Des

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My partner will be there till the end of september. Shoot me a signal and I'll get back to ya when my phone comes back on.
 

T Paradise

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they will nickle and dime you for just about everything from extra baggage to having to use quarters for the pay toilet on the plane.
Did you hear that on the internet or actually experienced it? I'm calling bullshit.
Flying is the cheapest way to travel around europe, at least if you plan ahead. Last minute flights will likely be more expensive. If you book reasonably early you can get five hour flights across europe for 15€. There more low cost airlines than ryanair, so check on some general flight comparison side, in addition to the ryanair site.
Hitching works all across europe.
Hopping commuter trains as explained earlier. Take the fastest trains avialable if you don't care about getting caught (you won't have to pay the fine). Those trains don't stop as often so you will make more distance.
 

Matt Derrick

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Did you hear that on the internet or actually experienced it? I'm calling bullshit.

Glad you can call bs on things you've never experienced. Ryanair has a long standing reputation for doing exactly as I said, do a little research. They may or may not do the toilet thing anymore, who knows. I haven't looked into it in years, but It definitely was a thing at one point, a simple Google search would have told you that.
 

T Paradise

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Glad you can call bs on things you've never experienced. Ryanair has a long standing reputation for doing exactly as I said, do a little research. They may or may not do the toilet thing anymore, who knows. I haven't looked into it in years, but It definitely was a thing at one point, a simple Google search would have told you that.
Well it's kind of in the nature of the case that I couldn't call bullshit if I had experienced it. According to google it was announced but never implemented and most likely a publicity stunt since the dude in charge thought any publicity is good publicity. Happy to change my mind if you provide me with a source though. Until then it remains a ridicolous thought to me that an airplane company would get away with charging for the toilet.
Apart from the toilet, the price policy of ryanair isn't that bad either. It's not that you have to pay for a lot of necessary things extra, it's more that they try to sell you stuff you don't need, like a hotel or a rental car. They recently changed their carry on policy though, so a regular sized carry on luggage is not fitting anymore. So if you are still buying the cheapest price don't use an internal frame pack and pack light. So if they want to fuck you over the size of your pack you can still layer up your clothes and fit the pack in the frame they have to check the size.
 

semutuzigu

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If you're going to London for any amount of time stop by Freedom Bookshop in Whitechapel, home to Freedom Press and also the office of the Advisory Service for Squatters. We'll be able to get you up to speed with squatting, dumpstering etc.
 

japanarchist

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If you're going to London for any amount of time stop by Freedom Bookshop in Whitechapel, home to Freedom Press and also the office of the Advisory Service for Squatters. We'll be able to get you up to speed with squatting, dumpstering etc.
Awesome thank you, will do! Would that be a good way to connect with other squatters there? I'm flying into and out of London so I'll be there for at least 4-5 days.
 
D

Deleted member 20975

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I dont know when i will make it to europe but definetly will so all this info is great.... please keep it coming. Personally my plan was to start in Portugal and get a train pass, ive heard you can get more or less all inclusive EU train passes.
 

Laski North

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I’m headed to London September 4th, it’s my first time in London and the UK for that matter, but if you like grind/mincecore you should check out chimpy fest . I hope I can find a squat or sumthin to put my pack for it
 

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MFB

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I think ya should have a copy of Down and Out in Paris and London for this trip. 😉
 

MFB

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Excellent story. I lived in England 35 years ago, when (for practical purposes) it was only ~60 years out of date.

However, I reread it periodically just because it's still amusing.

1984 would probably be more appropriate these days

Certainly not practical, but excellent nonetheless. I lived in Barnet for about a year, it was always cool to me to be in places youve read about in books ya like.

Queer by Burroughs was fun when I was in Ecuador.

And synchronicity! Im currently rereading 1984.

Back to the topic then... I remember the national gallery and tate mordern being the best museums Ive ever been to if your into art.
 

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