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I plan to take my new iPhone this year, but I hope to use it sparingly.

Getting There

Not really romanticizing, just not mentioning the "hard" stuff though none was really that hard, and clearly survived it : Finding out in Athens that my emergency family was out of town on holiday and nearly crying. Saved by the Greek Super whose daughter spoke English. Having a friend sprain her ankle badly on a fall from a moped in Greece.

Getting her to the hospital, getting her back to the hostel, figuring out how we could get the moped back, and how to catch our boat to Brindisi and they wanted the crutches back. Picture 5'10" girl with broken ankle between a 5'4" girl and 6'1" boy hopping through Rome. Picture the tension as we wait for the boy to get to the port in time to catch the ferry having taken care of the moped. No phone to call, just rising tensions and friendly Greeks ready to battle with the Italian ship captain.

No rooms in Paris because it is is Easter, so having to go to the Youth Hostel that was known throughout Europe as the most disgusting. And it was. Planning a trip to Vienna and having the friend back out so having to wing it. Taking a night train to Amsterdam, layover in Cologne, and then on to Amsterdam. Pickle jar rolling around all night in our compartment. Hitchhiking and not getting rides. Hitchhiking and getting rides. Being elbowed out of the way for a drinks between acts in London by every man in the theatre and the bartender totally ignoring us.

Walking in pouring down rain from Sligachen to Portree after hiking 10 miles. Dragging those crazy suitcases all over Inverness because at 24 we didn't want to look like students any more and so skipped the back pack. Getting really irritated with my sister, because she refused to suggest things that she wanted to do. She is not like that any more. Including everything except souvenirs. It was a tour group: American Youth Symphonic Band and Chorus, and yes you did have to audition to get in. Of course, everything was planned ahead for us, so no worries about where to eat, sleep or what sight seeing to do.

It took 34 years to get back to Europe, and have been there three times since So little time, so many places to travel to! I do like to use the internet these days Pamela,, that is hilarious,, my friend and I dragged suitcases around europe too, we were 23 and had this weird mindset too about not wanting to be "back packers"..

Also remembering having to stay in a place in Amsterdam that literally had large fungi growing in the shower room, and a place in Greece where we shared the toilets with 3 other rooms, were not allowed to flush ANY toilet paper, and the waste basket was see through wire,, think about it, you get to sit there and look at everyones tp But I still don't need to bring a lap top or cell phone I have however got an apartment booked that supplies a laptop!

There were no independent private hostels back then. No breakfast buffets either, you ate what was given to you I went to a tourist office, no travel agent, was given a ton of brochures, read through more than half of them, studied the rail map and booklet that came with with my 2 month second class Youth Pass, didn't use a guide book for the 1st two trips in the early '70s.

As others have mentioned, you went to a post office to make a trans-atlantic call, the connection was done for you, then was told to go which phone booth number. Yes, you went to a bank to cash the travelers' checks or hit the Amer. In way it was much simpler then, but in a way it's more convenient with internet cafes, ATMs, etc. I did not ever use a Travel agent. My first trip to Europe was to Germany and Austria. For that trip, I did not reserve a room in any hotel before I departed from the United States of America. My first day in Germany, a tourist information office person reserved a room in a hotel for me.

No fee. The room was in a hotel that I had read about in a travel guide book. In Europe, I telephoned to the next hotel, to reserve a room, a few days before I arrived there. I got the hotel information from a travel guide book that I acquired in the United States. That trip to Germany and Austria was totally great. In the year , I reserved a room in a beautiful small hotel at a good location in Paris in France, by telephoning from my home in the United States. Those hotels do not receive communication via the internet. In the s and earlier, a Rail Pass for Europe 30 days of unlimited train travel to most of the countries was not very expensive.

Now, I can not afford to buy more than a five day rail pass. Like some other posters here, I'm a bit too young to know what travel was like before the digital revolution. I'm not a technology person so I'm kind of envious of travel in those days. At the same time, I know technology has made a lot of things easier. I don't have to go to a travel agent to find a flight, book hotels, figure out transportation, etc.

For my upcoming trip in the fall I'll take my previously owned iPod Touch, the first time I'll ever have traveled with a personal Internet-connected device. I'm slowly being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I trip down memory lane reading these posts! My first trip to Europe was for two months the summer I graduated from college in I can't remember the price of the ticket but remember that my parents, sisters and both grandmothers saw me off at the gate! My first passport is full of stamps from all the countries - mostly crossing borders on the train - which by the way, you either got a student Eurail pass or a first class for 1, 2 or 3 months that was good just about everywhere.

I find the options today almost overwhelming. We only had a rough itinerary and never had a room reservation, just got room through the TI at the train stations. When leaving a country, we'd exchange any bills we had for the next country's currency but used the change to buy snacks for the train. How we did it all without the internet?


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I don't know, but we did and we got along just fine. It wasn't great smelling like stale cigarettes for 2 days after you got off the plane. I didn't like paying a quarter per picture cost of film and processing but not knowing if they turned out until you got home. It was no fun for me standing in lines for info or services. I could go on, but if anyone misses the good old days, don't use the internet to plan, leave your cellphone at home and don't take a credit or debit card.

That should remind you of "how we did it" and give you lots of opportunities for "real travel. Leif Erikson and Columbus didn't have technology when they first traveled to this continent either, but let's face it, those days really sucked. Traveling back then wasn't somehow better than now. The best memory I have of that time is the lack of tourist compared to the present, and the lack of the "americanization" of Europe. Back then it was really a totally different world. OK, Pamela, to see it from your POV, I also remember: A young boy running down the aisle of the Lufthansa Boeing and tackling the lady who in those days we referred to as Stewardess, causing the tray of drinks she was carrying to fly heavenwards and some of the contents landing on me - Lufthansa gave me a check or something to clean the clothes.

I conveniently forgot my nearly fluent German and that I understood every word they said and eventually they gave up and let me go before Koeln. It was to be over 30 years before I returned to Paris - much more happy. I'm now confused because Nice would normally be G de Lyon and I'm sure I didn't leave the station and found a train to Koeln; I don't remember changing trains but may have - I suppose I must have been at G de l'Est. I think the train from the south may have been a T-E-E.

I wonder? I arrived in Vienna, realized that my pack wouldn't fit in any of the lockers at the station, had a coffee across the street and got back on the train, probably to Munich. That was a whole day of train travel - a long way. What a waste. Happy days The European kids did not have these "tall metal frame backpacks.

I flew in a "charter" plane to London and stayed in the only place I had reserved for that month-long trip. I crossed the channel by ferry, and used a Eurail Pass for train travel in half a dozen countries. I never made a reservation, just got on whichever train was going where I wanted to go. Mostly I found cheap lodging near train stations. I do remember some of those experiences because I went to Europe for two months out of High School.

Took forever to receive letters, had a phone call every Sunday from my parents. Had no idea what there was to see and do, so depended on my pen friend to take me places. Same for travel in the 80s and 90s. Used Frommers or Fodors, knew very little still, had to put up with smelly cigarette scent on flights. I would not go back to the old days. They were not better, they were different from today. I am older than Andrea in NL, but totally understand her use of technology and love of it because I adore modern technology.


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It has saved me many times, including health wise whilst abroad. The difference in the old days and modern times is this. We have options now. One could still seek a travel agent. The modern way does not take away from the experience. What is that experience anyway? Haven't you all noticed that Europe is right up there with technology also?

I was in the castle in Vianden last year Luxembourg and shocked to see a large, flat screened TV in the kitchen, and glass doors no less. My last trip to europe was in '97 and although I did a bit of online researching through list-servs remember those? I did a true "Rick Steves" style experience, with few advance reservations and lots of flexibility to hop off trains and look for accommodation on the fly. Without the internet to warn us, we didn't know about the gondola worker's strike on the Italian side of Mt. Blanc, and that we couldn't ride the cable car over the mountain into France as we'd planned.

We also didn't know there was a music festival of some sort in Courmayeur and all accommodation was full. Nor did we anticipate that the short train ride from Aosta would turn into an all-day ordeal of delayed trains due to more striking. When we finally arrived in Courmayeur late in the evening, there was no gondola, the buses and trains had stopped running, and no beds were available to us, anywhere.

We walked around town for hours, begging for a place to sleep. We were treated rudely and with anger by most everyone we asked for help. We camped in the station until kicked out by security, then crashed in a field, unprepared for "camping. Blanc for us. For my upcoming trip we are avoiding rail-strike-prone countries no more Italy for us! There will probably still be some surprises along the way, but I feel much less stressed with a real plan. I'm older now, have young children along for the trip, and do not want to do any unplanned camping this time!

Knowledge is power, and technology can help us be informed travelers!

I wasn't waxing nostalgic implying travel was better than these pre techno infused days. Lord knows my Mac Book Pro is a constant when planning a trip. Frank II's question was how we did it, not was it better. BTW the thing I do miss most about those days, less Americanization. However, what sent me over the edge was Bud Light making headway in Ireland. Claudia, if there wasn't a demand or interest for American fast food, it would not have succeeded. Clearly Europens were interested. Besides, I am guaranteed, like so many other tourists, free wifi and a toilet! The biggest pet peeve of mine is not having enough toilets.

You can't imagine the number of times I've praise a higher one for having numerous McDonalds to choose from in those wonderful European cities. The relief! This has been amazing. I read many of the postings on the Travelers Helpline and so many are about using all of the technology available to us today. So, I made a statement that we didn't have this years ago and then asked a simple question: "How did we do it. It's amazing how this was interpreted by so many people.

If I had to answer it would be: We did it that way because that was the only way we knew. In 20 years, I'm sure there will be newer, and perhaps better, technology used for trip planning. And we might, just might, look back at today and ask: "How did we do it? I'm with Jennifer from Brooklyn on this one Particularly the ones by Baby Boomer era Ricknicks waxing poetic about the "lack of tourists" in the 60s and 70s and that evil "Americanization" of Europe.

Places like the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and Vatican have been attracting tourists long before Helpline posters were born. As for "Americanization" I still remember being a kid and following my mom out of baggage claim as she cursed up a storm because she was asked to pack an enormous suitcase full of Levi's jeans and cartons of Marlboro cigarettes for the European relatives and now she had to haul it through the airport that was in the 70s.

Life and travel in Europe is beautiful and easy right now. So connected. Lots of people speak English! Check Facebook and your favourite websites daily. No fumbling with 10 different currencies Easy access to cash via bank machines. No borders to speak of. It is fun and easy.

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That having been said, allow us geezers our fond memories, even as you will one day cherish memories of your youth. Independent travel back then did have a certain exotic and foreign feel to it, if only because English was not so ubiquitous and different currencies abounded and border crossing was a bit more ceremonious.

I crossed into East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie. Pretty memorable. I needed to be able to fumble through some basic phrases in several languages. I had long hair and a backpack and a leather slouch hat that I bought in Spain. I had the 2 month unlimited rail pass and spent a summer wandering from Athens to Oslo and East Berlin to Algeciras. Ah, to be young and free in the endless summer of I was 17!!!

No reservations were needed for anything. It was romantic in its way. That trip influenced and shaped a whole lot of my future and is no doubt responsible for my living where I live today. Bottom line: both eras are good in their own ways. I'm tremendously enjoying the here and now. How we did it?

I don't know, but I wouldn't change a thing. They were a hassle.

Exploring Europe -- with a decades-old guidebook - icezitil.tk

I think I'm gonna be humming "our last summer" all day now. I was just curious about prices in the "good old days. Very true! Of course, back then I was living at my parents' house rent free and eating there for free too! So my job clearing tables at the golf-course restaurant plus tips! Although I was oblivious at the time, in later years I did remember to say "thank you, mom and dad! You could work in hostels for a week and stay free payment for a couple of hours painting. Youth hostels and a pre-paid eurail.

Night trains to save on accommodation. Pre-Euro money, so a trip back from Hungary we just threw our Florints out the window of the train, they were useless when we got to Vienna.

Average American vs Average European - How Do They Compare? - People Comparison

The whole experience was mind blowing. I remember travelling thru Eastern Europe in those days was like another world, it still felt very much connected to the post-war period. CCCP was written on the metro trains and the police and passport control people were no joke! Trains used to stop in the middle of the night and ex-Russian guards would get on the train and physically wake you up.

Two long haired boys from Australia were often viewed with suspicion. These days the whole thing is a breeze and logistically easier, maybe a little less edgier. On "How did we do it? On those prices of yesteryear That was essential for rail travel. But northern ride must have been longer since the train stopped for a time somewhere in the field.

Those two rides must have paid for my Pass or most of it, and I still had six weeks left on it for a ten week trip. One more item that was part of traveling pre-internet, pre-all this electronic gear, aside from Travelers'Checks, various currencies and coins in your pocket, rail Pass of some sort, HI hostel membership card, etc. I remember traveling with no hotel reservations and yes, having to exchange money in a bank. Also, taking the "cheap" ferry from Dover to Calais.

What a ride. However, one of my fondest memories that we still talk about to this day. This thread brings back lots of memories! My mom came to the US from England so we traveled back to England and Europe quite a bit to visit family, my first trip I was less than a year old. I also member the Pan Am bags they gave us for the flights and we dressed up for the flight. These days I use the internet heavily for planning and my gadget junky hubby must bring every toy he can with us.

I'm still working on getting the hubby to pack lighter with each trip! Some things are so much easier now, some of the nostalgia for traveling in the past will always stay with me, mostly because of the places and people. Whether for good or bad, there sure have been a lot of changes!

Yes, travel fashions have changed over the years. I don't remember my first trip to Europe as I was two years old, but my mother says she wore high heels, a dress, and a hat. She was travelling by herself with my four year old brother and me, and had at least one layover each way too. Hey Frank, I'm enjoying this thread no matter which turn it takes. And BTW someone whose parents went to Europe in the early 50's on a delayed honeymoon. Now that was a trip! McDonalds opened on the Champs Elysee the year we were in Germany I tried to quickly check my dates and couldn't, but I'm pretty sure that's when they opened.

We were excited. We'd been in Europe for three months and were ready for a burger. Our fellow students in London had Wimpy's, we had nothing. I feel ripped off nearly 40 years later. And, it was my parents who would have been the ones ripped off. Of course, that Student Rail Pass and all other travel was extra. It did include a trip to Berlin and East Germany. And those aluminum framed backpacks sure did nail you as student from North America.

My dad told me to buy a backpack in Europe and not to bother bringing one with me. That meant I had this oh so very cool backpack with an internal frame. Pamela: I worked in London in the 60s and tried Wimpy - you did not miss much not having it. Certainly didnt taste much like meat. Coulnt undertsand why the Brits liked it when we could have had a decent pub lunch. The way it used to be First trip to Europe was with my parents in Three weeks covering much of Europe. They used a travel agent and everything worked out well and as a teenager I learned how to get around cities by myself when there was slack time in a tour.

My parents were taking the Hurtegruten Boat in Norway. With a travel agent to get air fares and a copy of my parent's itinerary I managed to fly from Southern Turkey to Stockholm, catch an overnight train no advance reservations to Narvik, Norway and overnight again and then intercept my parents voyage up the coast in Harstaad. I bought currencies I needed from an enterprising Turkish merchant outside my base and had a wallet filled with Lira, Krona, Dollars and whatever else. There were gaps in my knowledge of what would be where on the journey but that was the adventure.

In the end I had a great journey with my parents. The information age allows access to much more current info which is good. However it seems that some people are paralyzed unless everything appears on the IPad or is crystal clear at first glance. Some people seem to think that this page is like googling Others seem to peddle encyclopedic knowledge of some aspect of travel from their personal perspective.

The way it used to be is taking awhile to integrate into the new world of fingertip information Maybe I wasn't in the mood for another multi-hour train ride. Yes, those were the days. I wouldn't have been spending my siesta time in Guatemala checking out the RS website Although I have my little Acers with me for downloading images I still only stay somewhat connected to life in the US A few loose plans, always open to serendipity, don't do too much research as I like the surprises good or bad.

Internet does help though for the plans you need to make. Camera equipment is where the big change has come in. I used to carry 2 Hasselblads, a 35 mm, a polaroid camera as well as a variety of filters, professional tripod and loads of film Now, I grab a 35 mm, a few sd cards, my Acer and I am good to go. I used to have a backpack full of film as we could not find the or Fuji film, nor the boxes of polaroid and never the infrared Photo life is now pretty easy.

Qh, we were indeed getting a bit desperate. During the week we were served breakfast, lunch and dinner at Herr Woern's in the Eninger Hof, the Inn that the school had put us up in. We students were the only residents. We often had yogurt for desert, which was new for us. Back then Dannon didn't exist. I loved this new thing called yogurt.

We had great potato salad and a green salad with a very tasty dressing. The spaetzle was wonderful Then, there was the crock of meat in a sauce that you served over the spaetzle. We never were quite sure what was in that crock, but we were year-olds so we ate it. It also contains some of the post war history of the European countries and cities that he visits. It is very entertaining and I found myself getting a strong case of wanderlust and reminiscing about my travels in Europe and wanting to go back, like, right now!

Mack includes lots of travel advice and of course his musing's on tourism and traveling. Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day contains some of Doug's parent's letters as well as a few pictures of his travels. It is full of entertaining stories of getting lost and almost killed and so much more. He includes 5 lists in the back of the book on such topics as 5 things you can actually buy for 5 dollars in Europe today.

Traveling is a life changing experience and you learn so much about yourself and the places you visit. I have only visited two of the cities out of the eleven that Doug Mack travels to and I have to say that I learned some very interesting tidbits from Reading Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day and I'm hoping to go to Rome and Athens this summer. Fingers crossed. This is excellent book to read if you are planning a trip to Europe and even if you're just traveling via armchair, you will have a grand adventure and then get to sleep in your own bed.

Feb 27, G-Funk Kim rated it it was ok. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoiler Alert! Disclaimer: I won this book in the Goodreads First Reads giveaway! I entered to win this book because the title and the short description that intrigued me with its premise "to boldly go where millions have gone before, relying only on the advice of a travel guide that's nearly a half century out-of-date".

I thought to myself, to go to Europe using an antiquated travel guide?

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I wonder what would happen?? This book is just that. Only the book wasn't over. For his second foray and the European city-hop, he brings in a friend. He needs to give Lee a portion of this book sales for if there was no Lee, there would have been no book or a really boring one. For without Lee and his "we can't say no to a pirate bar Its a pirate bar " and his "the Goddess Serendipity" it would have been more of the 'so he found this place but it was a macdonald' for the rest of the book.

When Lee leaves and takes the "spirit of adventure" with him, the book and the trip starts getting bit boring. Boring wouldn't have been that bad.. Its that the author's self-deprecating humor blossoms into self pity with a lot of whining, about his world weariness and loneliness and how it sucks to be him, in Venice that the book gets annoying. Its not a bad book. It was well written, easy, funny and enjoyable til complaining and whining started read. But the "it was another starbucks" got stale. I'd love to read this book over again If Lee traveled with Doug Mack from Day 1 to the end.

I did leave it in my cafe's bookcase for others to read and enjoy. Maybe someone going to Europe will read it and find it useful May 09, Stefani Akins rated it liked it. Much has been written in previous reviews of this book, and after initially scoffing at them, I now find myself agreeing with a good number.

The basic idea behind Doug Mack's trip to Europe is endearing: after finding an old copy of Frommer's Europe on Five Dollars a Day, he decides to follow in his mother's footsteps across the continent, using said old Frommer's as his only guide. Naturally, he quickly finds out that after 50 years, things have changed, although this seems to continue to perpl Much has been written in previous reviews of this book, and after initially scoffing at them, I now find myself agreeing with a good number.

Naturally, he quickly finds out that after 50 years, things have changed, although this seems to continue to perplex him all through his journey. For someone travelling backpacker-style, he is rather inflexible for example, having given himself four days to spend in Venice, he'd rather stay there and be bored instead of visiting the surrounds or moving on to Rome early , and although he likes to call himself a traveller in the adventure-seeking sense, he appears to go to great lengths to avoid exactly that let's just say that taking great pains to avoid eating German food because a year-old tourist menu doesn't appeal to you is beyond ridiculous.

As a matter of fact, none of the Germanic countries leave much of a positive impression, according to this book, and thus it is not surprising that anything reflecting the German language tends to be misspelled or was seemingly translated with a poor online translator like the German expression in the appendix. Doug Mack comes across as a person who has little interest in partying, art and architecture and somewhat of a phobia of strangers. His idea of meeting people seems to exhaust itself in chatting with other Americans in culture-neutral bars.

People like that probably do better booking a tour and travelling with a group, although I'm happy to report that by the end of his journey, he has become less of a stick in the mud. Read this book for the cute idea, the information on the history of tourist travel and the occasional flashes of self-deprecating humor. Feb 24, Frank rated it it was amazing. Here is the book for the armchair traveler.

He traveled to 8 countries including Italy where in Florence he heard a tourist responding loudly "Holy crap, look at that adorable little old man in that absurdly lush vineyard-where's my camera;" Paris, France where he was told, "Impossible! Refurbished East German military weapons? No Photos! Well you get the idea. Frommer's guide was more than just antiqated from a dollar standpoint. The whole book is full of fun little adventures of real down to life action. Enjoy Europe as you would never dream possible, "on 5 wrong turns a day.

Enjoy the read. Sep 23, Rich Saskal rated it liked it.


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  4. It's a great premise: tackle modern-day Europe using a Frommer's guidebook for direction. I suspect the premise was better-suited to something the length of a magazine article, rather than a book. Basically, all the restaurants Frommer cited are closed or have become unholy tourist traps, and the hotel business has changed a lot in 49 years. To be fair, there's plenty to offer in this book, including a thoroughly researched, engaging look at the postwar history of US travel to Europe. The premi It's a great premise: tackle modern-day Europe using a Frommer's guidebook for direction. The premise works for a while when Mack is on the road, but by the time he reached the eighth and final destination, Madrid, I'd tired of it and it's pretty clear Mack did too.

    It led to a lot of digressions into topics like the circular debate over the nature of travel versus tourism. Mack's short answer, and I agree, is they aren't as distinct as some people like to think. On the plus side, the tale is enlivened from a distance by Mack's mom, who toured Europe in the 60s and left a cache of postcards and letters that enlightened his 21st century tale a bit more than the old guidebook did. Jul 08, Helen rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Adults. I loved this book!

    It's hugely enjoyable and deflates so many of the "required wonders" of the European sightseeing trail - but in a good way. I thought the author was very sympathetic and wise - this is ostensibly a travel memoir but it's very funny and totally absorbing, touching even, at the same time. You will want to continue reading this book and probab I loved this book! You will want to continue reading this book and probably, like me, feel a little sad once it's over.

    I hope the writer continues to write in any genre - memoirs, fiction, non-fiction - he's obviously extremely perceptive with a unique, bracing point of view on the world's foibles and pretensions. If you want an "up" experience, this is the book for you! Aug 13, Anne rated it it was ok Shelves: ebooks , book-club , nonfiction , travel , The author comes across as whiny and self-pitying.

    He's clearly more of an armchair traveler. Absolutely loved his mother, though. Now she's the real deal! His obsession with German food was annoying. Just go to Mickey Dee's already if you're so paranoid!

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    I understand what he was trying to accomplish using a vintage travel guide, but it became exasperating, especially when it came to using maps. View all 5 comments. Nov 01, Tara rated it it was ok. In almost every instance frommer's choices were gone. Mar 11, Elizabeth rated it did not like it. Fun book. Though many of the places are gone, some still remain at a higher cost. Author has a lot of fun in current Europe and so does reader. Feb 06, Ellen Marchessault rated it really liked it Shelves: carleton-author. Enjoyed the beginning a little more than the end; he got pretty philosophical in the final few chapters.

    But all-in-all a VERY enjoyable read! Glad to see a Carleton author make good! Mar 29, Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it it was ok Shelves: It's hard to review a book that you neither liked nor disliked. Although Goodreads' 1 to 5 star rating system attempts to soften the impact of a 2 by labeling it, "It was ok," a 2 rating still seems like a "D" to me. And a D, although kinder than an F, is still a failing grade. I finished it, but if it had been fifty pages longer, I probably wouldn't have Why my negative vibes?

    Just this--it reminds me of the Peanuts comic strip. I love Peanuts , and Charli It's hard to review a book that you neither liked nor disliked. I love Peanuts , and Charlie Brown is the star of Peanuts. But I wouldn't take a trip with him. He deliberately eschews other forms of research--no Google, modern guidebooks, or Facebook--so that he can experience the Old World unprepared and unexpected. And he takes along his Mother's letters to his Father, written during her own ten-week tour.

    It's a great premise for a book. Occasionally it's really funny. The only substantive criticism I have is that it contained too much "history of travel guides since Frommer's history-changing edition. Dare I say the author was always keeping a part of himself back, hiding from his own camera lens? That's how it felt. The bits of his Mother's letters were interesting, just interesting, and if they gave him any insight into his own feelings--or hers--I didn't see it.

    He did seem to change a little during the trip, and if he writes another travel story, I might just like to read it. Aug 13, Jean V. Naggar Literary rated it it was amazing. An amusing and a wonderful read I think [Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day] is going to be a bestseller. Doug Mack, that's who. This charming chronicle will leave you daydreaming of scribbled postcards, overstuffed backpacks and having nothing urgent to do but study the train schedule over one more cup of coffee.

    The perfect travel companion. With one foot in and another firmly in today, Mack adroitly straddles two eras, never losing his balance. Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day is a delight from start to finish. Mar 25, Armelle rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Doug is a nervous traveler, which seems a little strange since he apparently grew up in a traveling family, and, of course, quite a bit has changed in the last 50 years. Still, the author manages to find his way, and to grow up a bit on the way. This seems to be the big new travel sub-genre: over-educated, under-employed twenty-somethings dropping out of their unfulfilling jobs - and writing a travel book instead.

    I have mixed feelings about that. Beyond that, however, I think trying to build a trip using a 50 year old guidebook is a perfectly legitimate framework for a trip. Why not? We all know a lot has changed, and I have no doubt that the author knew that too. The book is decently written, and is an easy read. Mar 06, mandyfujita rated it liked it Shelves: first-reads. I received this book free from goodreads first reads. The first fifty or so pages was hard to read. I was having a hard time feeling sorry for a person going to Europe and feeling sorry for himself for being there alone.

    Doug was moping and complaining about everything and was hiding in his hostel as much as he could so he wouldn't have to talk to people. He might as well not have gone on holiday if he was going to end up like that. The story got more interesting when Doug planned to go on a se I received this book free from goodreads first reads.

    The story got more interesting when Doug planned to go on a second trip to Europe with a friend he met from a writer's conference. Lee met him in Munich. The conversations were much better and Doug was willing to see Europe using the 50 year old book as guidance. Doug learned to branch out from his book of suggestions and meet people at bars or other tourist areas.

    He would gather knowledge about the culture from chatting with the bartender and talking to others that are traveling solo. As a writer, he could sit back and watch the minor dramas unfold. Doug got bolder and bolder as his stay in Europe prolonged. He became friends with fellow travelers that were out there solo. The bond was there. Towards the end, Doug became more confident in navigating the unknown. Hopefully he'll be able to do that in his real life back home. I enjoyed most of the book.

    It was kind of interesting to read about Doug's experience in Europe. I hope one day, I will be able to see some of the places he mentioned. May 10, Jason Shaffner rated it did not like it. What a jerk. Not because he seems constantly put-out to have spend time in great cities of Europe though true.

    Not because he whines and gripes incessantly though he does. Not because he is woefully out of touch with reality No, Doug Mack is a jerk because he wasted a potentially ingenious premise -- touring Europe based on a year-old travel guide. It is a great idea, enough to entice many to buy But this is the garbage he has to say, again and again, ad nauseum.

    I was over them. There is too much modernity, too many tourists, too many tourist traps but he doesn't seem to care much more for the authentic , too much change from the 50s. For the love of God--they have the gall to put up billboards! To read this book, one might walk away deciding it would be best to lock the door and become a hermit. The world is simply awful. Beauty is boring, or so ephemeral that one may as well not bother looking for it.

    I mean, this guy finds the Swiss Alps disappointing because they are too spectacular. Venice doesn't have a single redeeming feature.