I would love to experience the proper 'Wild West.' I'm thinking horses, scenery and a lot of history. But - the catch is I'm pretty new to riding. Is there a ranch out there where I can get a glimpse of the life without having to be John Wayne immediately? So far I've been a bit intimidated by the options.
I have been looking into a Ranch Experience myself – I am looking to book my trip to the ‘Three Bars Dude Ranch in the Canadian Rockies:
Three Bars Cattle & Guest Ranch
"the Adventure Ranch of The Canadian Rocky Mountains"
toll free 877 426 5230www.threebarsranch.com
I have done extensive research on the internet and this one seems like a good place, with good facilities and high ratings from previous guests.
Hope this helps! The people have been more than helpful in helping me make travel arrangements.Katie Moore
I was the same and swamped with idea’s from the web when I googled. In the end as I made my way across the US I ended up staying at Lajitas
, which is on the Mexican border with Texas, about a couple of hundred miles from El Paso. Here I learnt to ride properly with the help of O.K. (Kim) Estes, the Equestrian Center Manager (432-424-5190) or firstname.lastname@example.org
. I went from never being near a horse to competent in a couple of days and the lessons were really cheap and one-on-one. The scenery around here is amazing and you are on the Rio Grande (although the river itself is not as impressive here as you would expect – more of a wide stream). The resort itself is not a ranch, which would be the only health warning I would give- but it was a great place to learn before heading for a ranch MJB
I would suggest checking out the Double E ranch
in New Mexico. It's a no-frills induction into the world of ranching - expect to be out with the horses by 7am - but after a few campfire meals you wonder why you ever thought another way of life was possible. They do run weeks for beginners so you shouldn't have too much trouble getting to grips with life in the saddle.
We are going on a three week trip around Eastern Europe post A-level from late July till mid-August and we were wondering if you could offer some suggestions for budget travel from Dubrovnik to Berlin?
My housemates and I travelled around eastern Europe a couple of summers ago. We used a different route to your plan (Krakow to Romania via Croatia and Turkey) but I'm sure I can give you some general advice before you go. Firstly, invest in a good travel guide aimed at backpacking (we used Lonely Planet). This was really useful for things you dont really think about until you're there like train/bus times and how much they cost. Lonely Planet was also pretty good at suggesting other things like cheap good accommodation and places to eat. Im not too sure if you'll experience the same kind of problems we did because you're not going as far into eastern Europe as we did, but there is no point buying an interrail ticket for eastern europe. We did the majority of our travelling using night busses (gets you from A-B without having to pay for accommodation!). The train service in eastern europe isn't very good, however, if your planning to do alot of travelling in Western Europe trains are fantastic!
If your starting in Dubrovnik i recommend if you can trying a couple of days in Bosnia. Mostar is a good place to start and the train journey from Mostar to Sarajevo is incredible. You can always get back to Croatia from there. Bosnia is forgotten by backpackers which makes travelling there alot more fun and even though Croatia is beautiful it is very expensive on a student budget!
Invest in a good backpack, don't take too many clothes, and just accept your going to be pretty smelly! I found taking a sleeping bag liner useful for sleeping on busses and minging hostels! You really dont need to plan too much before you go, its much more fun to take it as it goes.
Not to sound like a cliche but travelling around eastern europe was one of the best summers of my life and I'm sure you'll have a great time as well.
I travelled around Eastern Europe during Uni using a rail pass. It's
interesting and you get to see so much scenery on the way. Also, use
hostels and listen out for recommendations. In Croatia, we stayed with a
family that we met off the boat - really cheap, good food, and you learn
about the culture too. I'm jealous, I wish I was going...Rachel
In the summer between first and second year of university, my friends and I travelled from Prague to Dubrovnik working our way through various cities. One highlight I’d recommend would be to take the Danube River Hydrofoil. I think we paid about 15 Euros each for a single trip from Vienna to Bratislava and it doesn’t take more than a couple of hours and the views are lovely as the boat winds its way past castles and hills. The Bratislava passenger terminal is right in the middle of the city which makes it really easy on arrival whilst you can also get a service that carries on to Budapest. Guess you would be doing this in reverse though…
We also found a cheap alternative for accommodation, especially if there are a few of you, was to rent an apartment for a few nights, something we did upon arrival into both Zagreb and Bratislava. In Bratislava, we found a flat by simply by turning up at the central tourist office who recommended some rental properties – the owner of which then picked us up and drove us to the flat at no extra cost. This can save you on food costs too if you embrace the joys of the local market and self-catering. We also found it was quite cheap to travel by coach between Zagreb to Dubrovnik. However, I would recommend getting an overnight express bus for the 10 hour trip as travelling through the day, as we did on the way to Dubrovnik, was made increasingly uncomfortable by the midday heat and lack of air conditioning which all distracted somewhat from the amazing coastal views.Hannah, Edinburgh
In my opinion, the best way to travel through Croatian seaside (as well as through the rest of Croatia, Bosnia and other parts of ex-Yu) is with the bus. It's utterly cheap, fast as it gets, and you also see a lot of stuff/cities and meet a bunch of new people. But be aware not to take the bus which will take you directly from (let's say) Split to Zagreb, but make sure to make small destinations, so you can stop along, as you can see so much a long the way. It's not the same everywhere you stop on Croatia's seaside - there are so plenty of variable beaches, mountains, hills and countrysides.
In summer there's also a special train between Zagreb and Split, which is driving through the night and has a special 'disco' carriage especially made for youth from Zagreb, who are traveling for weekends to the seaside and it's a pretty awesome thing, as I heard. The trip alone lasts for several hours (around 8h, I think) so that's a good way to spent it.
And there's always the airplane, which, as I heard is also cheap and can get you to some of the islands as well and you avoid all the traffic. Check out for more here.
And one more thing - Croatia belongs to the south-east part of Europe, Slovenia already to central part.Silvo Kataleni
Keep in mind while traveling in Germany, that they still have the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket. It allows up to five people to travel throughout Germany for just 37 euro on one ticket. There are some major catches, though. It is only available for weekend travel and only valid on regional trains. In other words, it would take nine hours from Munich to Berlin and involve at least three changes. Ah, but you are young! For weekday travel, the individual German states have Länder-Tickets, basically the same option as above, but limited to one or sometimes adjoining states. Check out the German rail website, bahn.de, in several languages.
Also, another German option for cheap travel is the mitfahr gelegenheit (http://www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de
). Basically a ride share program, you can enter your destination and starting points, it then lists the drivers going your way. The website is in German, but it doesn't take a genius to translate it with google or something. Also, it serves points outside of Germany, but you will find most routes to be domestic.
And for a free place to sleep, there is always couchsurfing.comRobby Block
Budget eastern europe would have to include couch surfing and not just for the couch but for access to the culture as well. http://www.couchsurfing.com/Rod
Did a trip similar to this backwards a couple of years ago. Two tips, firsty avoid inter rail passes. If you know your route, and can fix yourself to dates at all then its a lot cheaper just to buy individual tickets. Secondly http://www.dubrovnik-apartments.com/
worked out as cheaper than a hostel for us in Dubrovnik. Do you definately want to go to Dubrovnik though? Its very Disney land esque now that its been all poshed up, and a lot more expensive than the rest of Croatia. May be easier to fly to Split, then down to Hvar, Korcular (which is stunning) etc. then back up again. Also leave a bit of time to explore Zagreb, its one of my favouite cities in eastern europe. Apart from that, Slovenia is definately worth a side trip if you get the chance.
Have a great time.Archer Kilpatrick
Last summer I went travelling around Eastern Europe on a students budget so understand the difficulty of tallying a desire for exploration with a tight wallet. The choice of Eastern Europe as a location is ideal for the frugal traveller, especially if you are willing to take train journeys which sometimes can involve several changes. A willingness to stay in towns other than capitals is also beneficial, both for your wallets and for the frequently interesting and beautiful places you can come across. On that note your route could quite easily take in the gorgeous Bled, a picturesque lakeside town north of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. Also I must recommend taking the night train between Split and Zagreb, as well as being a cheaper alternative to the coach the onboard all night club is a surreal experience which should not be missed.Daniel O'Hara
My housemates and I travelled around eastern Europe a couple of summers ago. We used a different route to your plan (Krakow to Romania via the Croatia and Turkey) but I'm sure I can give you some general advice before you go. Firstly, invest in a good travel guide aimed at backpacking (we used Lonely Planet). This was really useful for things you dont really think about until you're there like train/bus times and how much they cost. Lonely Planet was also pretty good at suggesting other things like cheap, good accommodation and places to eat. Im not too sure if you'll experience the same kind of problems we did because you're not going as far into eastern europe as we did, but there is no point buying an interrail ticket for eastern Europe. We did the majority of our travelling using night busses (gets you from A-B without having to pay for accommodation!). The train service in eastern Europe isn't very good, however, if you're planning to do a lot of travelling in western Europe the trains are fantastic!
If you're starting in Dubrovnik I recommend trying a couple of days in Bosnia. Mostar is a good place to start and the train journey from Mostar to Sarajevo is incredible. You can always get back to Croatia from there. Bosnia is forgotten by backpackers which makes travelling there alot more fun and even though Croatia is beautiful it is very expensive on a student budget!
Invest in a good backpack, don't take too many clothes, and just accept you're going to be pretty smelly! I found taking a sleeping bag liner useful for sleeping on busses and minging hostels! You really dont need to plan too much before you go, its much more fun to take it as it goes.
Not to sound like a cliche but travelling around eastern Europe was one of the best summers of my life and I'm sure you'll have a great time as well.
Krakow is a beautiful town, and well worth a visit. The Momotown Hostel is in the Jewish Quarter which is well located and has a beautiful atmosphere, especially at night. http://www.momotownhostel.com/
Also, if they find themselves in Prague, Bohemia Bagel does fantastic breakfasts. Massive plates of pancakes and bacon and fruit, and really good coffee. Cute waitress at the one in Holesovice as well ;) http://www.bohemiabagel.cz/home.html
And if in Berlin, you should at least try to get into Berghain. It's not for the faint-hearted, and the door policy is notoriously arbitrary, but it has a fair claim to being the best club in Europe (if you like clubs for their music, rather than just for being seen, that is). Read up a bit online first to maximise your chances of getting past the door staff, then party for as long as you can handle. Saturday nights usually finish at 3 or 4 on a Sunday afternoon! http://www.berghain.de/
Good luck! My time travelling in Eastern Europe was one of the best times of my life, hands down.Benjamin Wilson
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