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Heading into Chicago from the south[edit]

I've driven in the Chicago suburbs, but never really in Chicago itself. I'm thinking of making a trip to central Chicago so I can expand my architectural photography collection. Of course, I know that I shouldn't drive into downtown, so I'm thinking of going to one of the SouthShore stations around the state line, either East Chicago or Hegewisch, from which trains to downtown leave at 6:20 and 6:32 respectively, according to the schedule. [My days off are during the week; I can't travel on weekends] The idea would basically be to walk around until it's late enough that I need to take the return train. If I'd do this, I'd look to stay in Lafayette, Indiana on the previous night, and leave early in the morning from there; Google Maps says it's about an hour and a half drive ignoring traffic (i.e. if I leave at 5AM Eastern, I would arrive around 5:30AM Central), and as I've previously driven into the Indiana suburbs (as far as Whiting) early on weekday mornings, I'm thinking that an extra hour would be reasonable.

Chicagoans or Chicago-area visitors: do you have any opinions on this idea, whether "don't take SouthShore; something else is better", or "your timing is excessively optimistic", or anything else? Nyttend (talk) 03:47, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

Hi Nyttend- I'm a Chicago resident originally from NW Indiana & I think your plan sounds solid. The extra hour is important but it seems like you already have a good handle on potential traffic problems. I think Hegewisch has a parking fee while Hammond & East Chicago don't. Personally- Hammond station would be the way I would go. By the way- if you have time you should go down to IIT in Bronzeville for some architecture photos too. It's largely designed by Mies van der Rohe & it's right on the Red Line about 4 miles south of downtown. 12.159.240.163 15:59, 16 August 2016 (UTC)

Parking in Albany, New York, et al.[edit]

Hi, everyone. It looks like I'll have an evening (and possibly late afternoon) to spend in Albany, New York next Monday. I've never previously done more than driven or taken a train through that city. We figure to spend the night in one of the inexpensive hotels near the SUNY campus, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Albany from downtown according to Google Maps. How's parking downtown? Will we be likely to be able to park for free on the street? If not, are there meters, and how long a period can you pay for? Do the meters stop needing to be fed after a certain hour? Incidentally, all of this info would be great to add to Albany (New York)#Get around in the "By car" subsection, so that the next visitor will know the answer.

By the way, I don't think we'll have time to do much more than walk around downtown, look at architecture and have dinner (we'll almost certainly arrive too late to go to any museum, for example). If any of you particularly love any restaurants that are in the "budget" or "mid-range" categories, feel free to leave a recommendation, and we'll check into it.

P.S. We also figure to have lunch in Kingston, New York that same day and walk around that town before heading for points north, so if there's anything we should particularly know about that town, I'm all ears.

Asked by: Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:31, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

Ikan -
I should perhaps preface this by saying that I'm only moderately familiar with Albany. But I think I can be of some help.
With a few exceptions (the State Capitol, obviously; Empire State Plaza if you're into midcentury design; the SUNY Administration Plaza, a sprawling French Gothic masterpiece on Broadway south of State Street), I recall downtown Albany being no great shakes in terms of architecture. However, given that you're staying near SUNY Albany, going to and from your hotel you'll likely be passing through the vicinity of Washington Park, a fine residential district with some nice brownstones centered around the park of the same name which is interestingly landscaped and also well worth a visit (hilly terrain, though, in case that kind of thing is an issue).
As for restaurant recommendations: I know it's probably a tall order given what sounds like a time crunch, but if you can make it across the river to Troy, Dinosaur Bar-B-Q is worth a visit. Yes, I know it's a chain - with a couple of locations in the tri-state area that you may have visited, no less - but hear me out: Dino's usual M.O. is to eschew suburban strip-mall locations and site their restaurants in restored historic buildings within city centers (Rochester's is in the old Lehigh Valley Railroad Depot within sight of High Falls; Buffalo's is in a converted Art Moderne-style film warehouse in the Theater District), so while the menu is the same at every location, the ambience is far from cookie-cutter. The one in Troy is right at the foot of the Green Island Bridge next to Riverfront Park at the north end of downtown; you can dine al fresco with the Hudson River rushing past before your eyes - and the food has won all kinds of awards for best BBQ north of the Mason-Dixon Line. If that's too far a trip for you, I remember Lark Street had what looked like some neat restaurants, and it's within easy striking distance of Washington Park.
Unfortunately I can't help you about the downtown parking situation.
Enjoy your trip!
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:29, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Andrew. My girlfriend and I enjoyed Dinosaur Barbecue in New York City, so we'll probably skip going to Troy to try another branch. We're definitely staying in Albany for better or worse, though. Troy was understandably a lot more expensive to stay in. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:36, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I just checked, and downtown Albany takes almost as much time to drive to from that hotel as Troy does (c. 15 minutes for both), so I think we'll hang out in Troy mostly. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:46, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
I didn't spend nearly as much time in Troy as I did in Albany, but from what I saw, Troy's downtown seemed to have a lot more architectural character than Albany's did - naturally it's a smaller city and devoid of any buildings as grandiose as, say, the State Capitol, but by comparison, the scale in Troy was tipped much more toward 19th- and early 20th-century brick commercial buildings rather than the glass-and-steel boxes that predominate in Albany. If at all possible, though, I'd still recommend spending some time poking around Washington Park. It's a compact neighborhood of only a few square blocks, easily doable in an hour or so. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 06:20, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
We'll see if we can do both. It depends on how early we get on the road and how long we take to visit Kingston and drive up. We took a day - well, evening - trip to Troy a couple of summers ago. We loved the buildings there, but we agreed that we'd like to spend more time walking around during daylight there. We definitely won't have time to see anything the following morning, as we'll be canoeing in Battenkill north and east of there. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:52, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
There are a few good places to eat in Troy on River Street such as Brown's Brewing Company. Downtown is not large but a few interesting architecture points. The Best Western Plus Franklin Square Inn is conveniently in the center of town with free parking, is fine for a one night stay but nothing special as far as rooms go. If you are interested in industrial architecture a quick stop in Cohoes is worth considering or going to the end of the Erie Canal at Waterford. --Traveler100 (talk) 10:51, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendations. Anything you like in Albany? Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:10, 13 August 2016 (UTC)
I've only been to Albany twice in the last twenty years, both times for hockey games. But I do recall a school trip to the capitol when I was a youngster, which included a trip to the observation deck in the Empire State Plaza. Probably no great shakes for a New Yorker (it's on the 42nd floor; I think NYC has churches taller than that) but the view is a lot less obstructed. =) Powers (talk) 21:46, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

I hope you have a fun trip. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:21, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. And Powers, a 42-story building is fine if it provides a view that's really worth seeing. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:25, 13 August 2016 (UTC)

EU Rail[edit]

I was wondering how exactly the EU rail works and what is connected? I was planning to go across much of E. Europe soon. From Athens to Skopje g(Macedonia) to Tirana (Albania) to Podgorica (Montenegro) to Belgrade (Serbia) to Bosnia (Sarajevo and Mostar/Bajna Luka/Tuzla (one of them)) to Croatia (Zagreb and/or Split) to Hungary (Budapest and the countryside) to Slovakia (Bratislava and countryside) to Estonia (Talinn) and finally Bulgaria (Sofia and couple of other places). Would EU rail work for this? Also does Moldova need extra visas or does multiple Schengen work?

This also says that EU Rail is only first class?

Thanks, Asked by: Lihaas (talk) 06:33, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Have a look here. It would surprise me to hear that Eurail has become first class only, because I recall it (and it's equivalent for EU citizens Interrail) as being available in both classes. At any rate, some of the places you describe have rather iffy train connections (by European standards, that is) but the travel planner of Deutsche Bahn should give you travel options throughout Europe. Another note of caution, Interrail and Eurail are not always necessarily the best deal in terms of price, especially if you want to cover a lot of countries. There should also be a "Balkan Flexipass" covering most, though be no means all of the countries you intend to travel through, which might be a better offer. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much an official website for it, but raileurope (Not an official website and often more expensive than buying at the railroad website itself) claims the price for adult second class to range between USD163 and USD341 depending on the number of travel days. As for Visas for Moldova, look here (it does not mention Schengen visas, so if you are not a citizen of a visa exempt country, send them a mail). Also, and I am repeating myself here, but it bears repeating, Europe is an incredibly diverse continent and while "doing Europe" is certainly a thing that exists and is remarkably easy with the transportation options that exist today, going at a slower pace and exploring smaller regions more in depth has its advantages. Many travelers find that the best moments weren't the "picture postcard" shots but rather the time they spent exploring in destinations they never would have thought of before their trip. Everybody is different, but do take this into account in your plans, especially if you haven't been to this region before. Another thing, people in countries like Slovakia and Hungary generally don't like it if their countries are called part of "Eastern Europe". I hope this was at least a little helpful. Edited to add: DB also has English language information on Eurail. Interrail is only for EU residents whereas Eurail is for everbody else but not for EU residents. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:19, 17 August 2016 (UTC)
To add, to my understanding Balkan has an awful rail system compared to the rest of the continent (case in point:Tirana#By_train) and many sections are better to travel by bus, and I know its true for the Baltic countries. From Croatia up to Poland I think you can travel by rail fairly painlessly.
If you need a visa for the Schengen area and will leave it and return later, you will need a multiple entry visa. More information here ϒpsilon (talk) 17:04, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Two notes: First, you're asking about "Eurail" passes. It's a portmanteau word formed from "Europe" and "rail"; it has nothing to do with the EU (European Union) and is not spelled "EU Rail". I mention this in case you thought it did. By the way, Eurail is also not the name of any train operator. Trains are operated by different organizations in each country, sometimes by more than one.

Second, when I've used a Eurail pass it has indeed been correct then only first-class passes are available. However, it's been a few years since I used one. The main Eurail site is at www.eurail.com, so you can look for yourself at the selection of passes. Oh, wait, that's where you looked already. So you know the answer. --69.159.9.219 03:10, 18 August 2016 (UTC)

lima peru to cuzco peru[edit]

What are the public transportation alternatives to travel between cuzco & lima Asked by: ~jevans

Please sign your contributions to talk pages (like this one) by typing the ~ symbol four times in a row, like this ~~~~. As to your question, your options seem to be limited to bus or plane unless you are willing or able to drive yourself. Cruz del sur seems to be among those offering buses between the two cities as does tepsa if their website is to be trusted. Unfortunately there seems to be no rail connection of any kind between the two cities. Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:19, 22 August 2016 (UTC)
Plane or bus. However, if you fly you will travel instantly from sea level up to 3400 m, wherefore altitude sickness will probably be an issue. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:27, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Cool things to see/do from Seattle to Wisconsin?[edit]

Google maps suggest this route: http://i.imgur.com/TIQTtEU.png

I'm taking a job in Madison with a relocation package that will only cover one of our cars, and I need to be there earlier than my girlfriend so we're in the initial planning stages of a road trip to drop me off next month.

I have family in the Minneapolis area so will be making a stop there but I wanted to see if there were any recommended places to stop on the way? Any tips from people who have done this drive? I don't mind making a detour for something cool. I haven't explored this area of the country very much.

Also, any resources for planning this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Asked by: Livejamie (talk) 21:31, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

I made that drive in 2005, as part of the return leg of my cross-country road trip from Buffalo to Las Vegas to Los Angeles to San Francisco to Seattle and back. I'm on my mobile phone now, so I can't see that Google Maps link you included, but I assume it's the relatively straightforward trajectory via I-90 and I-94. Now my memory is a bit fuzzy, but as I remember it, the country you'll be traveling through is often quite scenic, but thinly populated and fairly short on attractions per se. The standout for me was the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Mount Rushmore may be one of the more clichéd "great American tourist attractions", but it's legitimately spectacular, and Deadwood is a historic Old West frontier town that does a pretty good job with the balancing act between tourist-friendliness and authenticity. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)