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Edinburgh vs Porto vs Kaunas

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by TassieFig, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I'm going home to Sweden in late August to spend some time with family and was thinking of taking my ageing mum on a trip to somewhere in Europe neither of us has been to. It has to be very economical so a Ryan Air (or alternative) destination from Copenhagen is the way to go.

    Edinburgh and Porto looks very interesting and I'm looking for opinions from anyone who's been to either or both. Me personally am looking for photo opportunities obviously but my mum would appreciate easy access ie good transportation, easy to walk to interesting places etc.

    I've heard a lot of great things about Edinburgh but don't know anyone who's been to Porto. Climate is definitely better in Porto in Sep-Oct but some rain doesn't bother me too much. It is the rainiest period in Edinburgh though...How bad is it really?

    I don't know anything about Kaunas in Lithuania (apart from Wikipedia). Anyone been there or maybe even live there? Would you recommend going?

    Any tips, suggestions and useful links etc is appreciated. Show me some photos too :th_salute:
     
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    In edinburgh is the famous railroad bridge. That landmark alone was a reason to visit scotland.
    Porto is very nice. I was there 40 years ago, didnt bring a camera though. but take a look at flickr or so, then you'll see its very photo friendly: the town, the coast, the river, the bridges, castles, etc.
    Another beauty of course is Prague (Praha), but very crowded with tourists and expensive.
    Lots of towns in Europe are 800 years old or older even. If their inner cities survived wars, they are all attractive.

    In Spain, I liked the towns in the neighbourhood of the capital Madrid: Segovia, Avila and Toledo. All very rich in history: old roman aquaducts, undamaged citywall, etc, etc, worth a visit.

    Anyway: lots to choose from and I await your impressions :)
     
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  3. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks. Never heard of the railroad bridge. Will check it up.
    Been to Prague and Madrid many years ago. Great places.

    Actually the more I read about Edinburgh and Porto the more I want to go to both...
     
  4. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Because of the Festival Edinburgh will be very busy around then and accommodation correspondingly pricier, without knowing its or your exact dates. Autumn starts quite early but the rain is part of the charm. Porto is a very fine city too. Don't know Kaunas.
     
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  5. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    I'm from Lisbon, Portugal and have been in Porto on many occasions.
    Definitely recommended, very nice city and by all means, take a boat in the Douro river, where some of the finest wine is made.
    cruzeiros-douro.
    Oh, there's something there that is unique. The Port wine. :biggrin:
    Mate, you come from far away!
     
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  6. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    The plan is to go either around 5-12 September or 8-15 October (will be in Lofoten, Norway in between those dates :biggrin:). Any fun festivals at that time? I would think it would be a bit late for that? Autumn colours maybe? Wett cobblestones more likely...As long as it doesn't rain every day or is too windy, I'm fine. The weather in Porto do seem nice at that time though...hmm
     
  7. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Not much of a wine drinker but I guess it's a good place to become one ;)
    Yes, a boat trip is always nice. Are there any "regular" boats or are they all very touristy (expensive and ridiculous)? Would be nice to go at dusk! Lisboa is another tempting place but it seems the super cheap flights doesn't go there from Copenhagen. I've been thinking about taking a train trip down (I love train!). Spend a few hours in Lisboa and then back up. Would it be worth it?
     
  8. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    592
    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    Lisbon is very photogenic, and the train trip from Porto is not too long (2 hours 45 minutes on the fastest trains), so certainly worth considering. Some of the most interesting places are outside the city (Belem, Sintra) so if you are thinking of a day trip with no overnight stop you would be unlikely to see all of those. But even if you just visit central Lisbon there is plenty to see.

    If you like trains the slow train up the Douro valley from Porto is supposed to be very scenic (I didn't get the chance to do this myself):
    The Linha do Douro – Portugal’s best train ride | About Along the Douro
     
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  9. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
  10. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    I
    Porto would be a more contrasting autumnal experience to Lofoten than Edinburgh, I think.
    I haven't been on the Douro train, but I have been to some of the towns up the valley and they are very pretty (Amarante, Vila Real, also Bragança way up north).

    And if you don't like wine the northern Portuguese lager (Super Bock) is much nicer than the southern one (Sagres). Imo!
     
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  11. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    351
    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I can help you with Edinburgh.

    It is a small city with tons of history, green spaces, quality shopping, art of all kinds and fairly easy to get around. The Festivals will be all over but the crying, so accommodation will be back to normal prices. Edinburgh is not as expensive as Paris or London but it is not a cheap place to be a tourist either.

    [​IMG]Edinburgh Castle

    The City Centre runs East to West from Waverley Station about mile long by 1/2 mile wide. The long edge being Princes Street with shopping on one side and looking over the Gardens to the Castle on the other. Parallel to Princes St is Rose Street with pubs a plenty, next street back is George Street where the better shops are located and some better dining. There is a small enclave of boutiques to the West end and the newly developed Multrees Walk with designer shops including Harvey Nichols to the East. Multrees Walk is home to the Vin Caffe for some of the best coffee in town.

    12175784456_f926501b9f_h. Hamilton & Inches, George St., Edinburgh

    Head North into the New Town and in particular Stockbridge which is like a village within the city. Try Hamilton's for a great pub lunch, Henri's for authentic French fare or treat yourself to Michelin Starred Tom Kitchin's Scran and Scalie for high end traditional Scottish food - for example they serve their steak pie with a marrow bone poking out of the crust. From here you can walk the Water of Leith right down to Leith or up to the very picturesque Dean Village at the west end of the city.

    The Royal Mile is just for tourists so I know nothing about that. Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace at the bottom, Castle at the top. Only been to the castle once.

    Just off the Royal Mile at The Mound is George IV Bridge with the G&V Hotel (probably the newest quality hotel in town - great bar) and The Elephant House coffee shop where JK may have written Harry Potter. Winding down from there is Victoria Street which is amazing to look at and explore. So is the Grass Market at the bottom of the hill. Food of all ethnicities, pubs and bars. I love Mamma's for pizza. From here you're only 5 minutes from Greyfriar's Churchyard, the Museum of Scotland and the University with all that brings.

    11379381716_d835699099_b. PC070070

    11379546923_38ba7f760b_b. PC070105

    11274327763_fc5cf7e99c_h. Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh

    South along Lothian Road from the West of Princes Street takes you to Bruntsfield and Morningside which is I suppose quite similar to Stockbridge again filled with independent shops, cafes and bars. I love Montpelliers and a new cafe called Salt. But there's a great wee french place too.

    11379439054_db1ac4f8e4_b. PC070081

    Each of these areas will easily keep you entertained for a day or you could press on and cover one in a morning and another in the PM if you're under time pressure.

    The Forth Bridges are 10 miles or so out of town. You'll get there by bus or car/ taxi. You can get a train to Dalmeny Station but that will leave you quite a distance from and no obvious route to the Fore Shore and Bridges.

    13919325528_86e4cc86e3_h. Forth Bridge

    25466310471_3d295ebc6e_h. L1120342

    Also just out of town is East Lothian with lovely villages, golf and beaches.
     
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  12. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Jeez, I didn't remember that train trip in Douro. Yes, very nice!
    I love trains, too.
    I would say come to Lisbon if you have an extra 3 or 4 days.
    For a few hours you won't see much, probably just eat some pastéis de Belém. :biggrin:
    [​IMG]

    Oh, BTW in September / October with a bit of luck (not much) you will have good weather in Porto and can even go to the beach.
     
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  13. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Take your camera, a small tripod and shoot Porto at night.
    PORTO_by_Night_1.

    porto2_7001-636x370.
     
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  14. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    That's the way I'm starting to think too. Our base will be in southern Sweden, between Malmö and Lund, where we will spend more than a month with family. It's where I grew up so I know the area well. It's also very close to Copenhagen. Plenty of old historic stuff, rain and wind. So, Porto seems more appealing atm especially at that time of the year.

    That is great information and great tips! There is something that really pulls me the Edinburgh way. Now, I'm thinking of spending a week in Porto but maybe I can squeeze in just a couple of days in Edinburgh! The flight cost almost the same as the short train trip to Copenhagen! Two nights, a castle or two, a few pubs and plenty of photo opportunities! :drinks:

    Yep. That's the plan! I have figured out where to shoot that lovely view too. Can't wait:th_salute:

    I'm really excited now. Haven't been back home for more than 10 years. And these extra trips really tickle my dormant travel bug :dance3:
     
  15. jssaraiva

    jssaraiva Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Jan 26, 2013
    Porto, Portugal
    José Saraiva
    I live just outside Porto/Gaia historical center. I cross it frequently and every time it feels special. I rest my case :)

    Porto is currently very well served with low cost carriers, maybe you can combine with some other city on the way here or back.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  16. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    773
    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Ron
    The festival is the last two weeks in August and the first week in September. Zero chance of reasonable accomodation.
     
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  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Much as I love Edinburgh... lived there for 15 years, still own an apartment there... It is a hilly city... compact but hilly and I only mention that as the best bits for views like the Castle, Arthurs Seat, Calton Hill are all up hills... which may not be Mum friendly

    As for weather... its Scotland... its a crap shoot

    K
     
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  18. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    Was in Edinburgh two years ago and went to all the places a tourist should go and a few more :) We're going back!

    photos here
     
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  19. svenkarma

    svenkarma Mu-43 Top Veteran

    566
    Feb 5, 2013
    mark evans
    Perhaps we overlapped, I lived there from '84 - '94.
     
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Looks like we did

    I was there from around 1983 till 2000 apart from 1992 when I was in South Africa - Lived in Brunswick Street, off of Leith Walk. Worked at the Western General Hospital for a while , then for a software company called Aldus, then freelance and some lecturing at Napier University.

    It is a wonderful city to live in

    K