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WHS Circumference from Home (unvisited)

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Author Solivagant
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#31 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 06:05 
Have just looked again at my "visited WHS" crater (within c1000miles) to identify unvisited WHS which are messing it up! (I have excluded a couple of sites included in a planned trip to CZ/Sk this year). There are 13 - and what a generally uninspiring lot they are!! They straddle Eire, France, Switzerland, Andorra, Denmark, Sweden and Norway - all of which we have previously visited on numerous occasions over the years. All obviously involve a flight or boat ex UK. Not a single one appears in this site's "Top 200". Only 1 of them would be in my list of "Sites I would really like to visit" - and really should have been visited before being our closest unvisited site at c320 miles (Bru na Boinne). 2 others would be in my next category of "would try to visit if I was in the area again" (Falun and Canal du Midi). 1 of them is in a town we have definitely travelled through - except that it was in a thunderstorm over 35 years ago and I haven't felt able to "claim" it (Chaux de Fonds!). 1 of them can only be seen "in replica" (Pont d'Arc). 1 of them is a byword for "little to see" (Parforce). And the other 7 are "nothing special"!
Here is the list -
Bru na Boinne, Provins, Pont d'Arc, Canal du Midi, Chaux de Fonds, Madriu Valley, Christiansfeld, Parforce, Stevns Klint, Grimeton, Falun, Helsinglabd, Ryukan

So - 4 fairly short trips could pick all of them up (Eire, Fr/Andorra/Switz, Denmark, Swed/Nor. But am I ever going to arrange such "WHS ticking trips"?? I really need to convince myself that there are other reasons for going back to each of these countries/areas.
Eire - certainly.
Norway/Sweden - Norway is probably our favourite European country and deserves yet another visit despite the cost. But that trip across to Southern/Central Sweden is a nuisance if Norway is the focus when we could be going up to Vega etc
Denmark - That means going across to Manchester or down to London in order to get to Copenhagen - just for Parforce, Klint and Christiansfeld. No great enthusiasm for that I am afraid!
France - A trip to southern France is always pleasant, but Provins and Chaux de Fonds are both way out of the area with nothing particularly wonderful at the end of the journey to get there and Andorra is hardly a great "attraction" for yet another revisit. Which leaves the Pont d'Arc replica and the Canal du Midi. Well - possibly!

Perhaps I am just getting too "jaded" but I think I would rather spend my time and money on other trips. Europe may have a lot of WHS but a lot of them are not particularly "exciting"!

Author meltwaterfalls
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#32 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 06:09 
nfmungard:
Seems you completed USA, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Israel and Ireland.

Australia! even with not picking up the outlying islands that is still an impressive ol' undertaking. I was discussing with my Aussie wife about visiting the North West coastal sites, and they just seemed a long long way from anywhere else we would venture on a trip. I suppose they could be picked up on a long drive from Darwin to Perth, but they still feel pretty remote to me. Actually I just plugged this route in via the four WHS on the Route, Shark Bay, Ningaloo, Purnululu and Kakadu and the driving alone is 65hrs, and that would still leave Uluru unvisited!! I think that will be one for retirement.

I guess if you are being very generous with how you define continents that could be two completed Australia and north America (three if you include Antarctica).

Author meltwaterfalls
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#33 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 06:47 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
Solivagant:
and what a generally uninspiring lot they are

Yep your European remaining sites don't hold too many gems, I think your Czech/Slovak trip would pick up a lot of the best stragglers on the continent.

As you say Brú na Bóinne is worthy of a visit and can be easily picked up.
Being a little cheeky and planning a hypothetical itinerary I reckon you could even do it as a day trip:
-Newcastle Airport 11:20 Flight out,
-Pick up a hire car and it is a 35min drive.
-Visit a couple of the mounds (pre booked tours of course)
-Drive back to the airport.
-20:55 flight back to Newcastle.

If you really wanted to extract maximum value you could future proof by visiting Monstaboice and Tara thus picking up two tentative sites as well. Or take it a little slower and even have a night in Dublin, but that wouldn't really be in the spirit of things :)

If you did it on the 4th May Flights would be £32 and Hire Car £9.

Another thing that I have looked into in the past, that may be of some interest is picking up a short, cheap, out of season package holiday to Corfu which tends to be well served from all across England. Then you can choose if you even want to use the hotel at all or just head to Corfu Old Town, before getting a ferry over to Butrint and then an onward bus to Gjirokastra. Before returning for the return charter flight. This seems to be cheaper than just buying flights to Corfu and has a bit more of a chance of departing from a closer airport.

Sorry that feels like teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, especially as she is already regional and national champion at egg sucking, but I have a report to write that I just can't complete and that was a nice diversion.

Author nfmungard
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#34 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 07:14 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Solivagant:
Provins

Found Provins surprisingly charming, to be honest. It's not that far out from Paris on top.

Looked at my list and tried to figure out what sites I still need to see in Europe. Admittedly the list contains few surprises and in a way I will not create a larger hole as some sites on my borders are really not that interesting. On the other hand though, I am always enjoying those surprising sites that this quest takes you, too. So let's see ;)

My travel plans for 2017 are mostly set by now anyhow: Poland, Ireland, Spain Meet Up, London, Spain Friends, South America (Bolivia > Ecuador).

Author Solivagant
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#35 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 13:12 | Edited by: Solivagant 
meltwaterfalls:
Sorry that feels like teaching my grandmother to suck eggs,

No worry -all ideas and suggestions gratefully received! A few comments on them -
Re Brú na Bóinne
Yes it would indeed be "doable" in a day!! You are quite the specialist in such trips - did you not do Parforce in a day from London?
As it happens we should (DV) be in Kazakhstan on the date you have identified but Dublin is a pretty easy place to get to on Ryanair from a multitude of airports and I am sure I could play tunes and find other "cheap flight" dates.
I think your budgeting is a bit "light" however - Mrs Meltwaterfalls needs to give you more training on that!
Petrol to and from NCL = £12, 1 day short stay Airport parking = £19 (unbelievable isn't it!!), 2 x flight = £64, 1 day car hire = £29 (With full CDW from a different agency - I am too risk averse to not have such cover. The £9 price doesn't cover the first 1500 euro which is too much for me and it goes up to £33 for "zero excess"!), 2 x entrances = £20, Petrol in Ireland (say) £6, Meals etc for 2 say £20. So c£170 for 2 pax = £85pp for a day return trip home to home. Almost as much per day as our holiday in S Korea which was £97!!!!
As I have already commented on this forum the "cost" of leaving UK is such that single day or even 2 day trips are relatively expensive and there is a lot more to see/revisit in Ireland so a 3 day/2 night trip (or even 1 further day) would probably be the most economic taking in all the Irish T List sites (and other things) and that is my "medium term plan" for Bru na Boinne.

Re Corfu/Albania
In fact my "forward plan" for Albania is similar to yours, i.e via Corfu, but with a car rental from Saranda to pick up Butrint, Gjirokastra, Ohrid and Decani as well as Albania's T List sites (I last visited Albania in Enver Hoxha's time in 1975 so want to see all of the country when we are there). Car rental in Saranda is surprisingly cheap and allows (for a single payment of 35 Euro) the car to be taken into Greece, Montenegro and Macedonia (but not Kosovo which will need a taxi). A car rented in Greece for instance CANNOT be taken into Albania at all. So I could pick up Greece's northern nomination for 2020 of Zagorochoria.
Re car rental - As stated above, I prefer to have full CDW, but this can be a lot more expensive if bought at the rental desk. Some people take out an annual CDW Excess Waiver policy but I prefer to have as few different organisations involved in such matters as possible and have found the following rental car agency very good. All their rentals include full excess cover and usually an extra driver included. They are quite a small company operating out of Dereham Norfolk (of all places!). See https://www.zestcarrental.com/ . If you feed in for a 1 week small car rental from Saranda in May it will be from £102 with CDW and extra driver!! (plus the usual extra if you also want to cover keys, tyres etc)
I have had a good experience of their "responsiveness" too. Once we were on a ship scheduled to call in at Ashkelon from where I had booked a car with this company. Whilst on the voyage, the destination was changed to Haifa!! In 3 hours whilst in Rhodes (3 days before Haifa), I contacted this company by e-mail, cancelled the Ashkelon booking and changed it to Haifa without cost and fully confirmed!

Author meltwaterfalls
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#36 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 15:15 
Solivagant:
https://www.zestcarrental.com/

Oh my, I think you may have won them some new customers, i just plugged in some dates that we were looking at for a family visit and they are £100 cheaper already. Thanks for that.

Author Solivagant
Registered
#37 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 15:29 
meltwaterfalls:
i just plugged in some dates that we were looking at for a family visit and they are £100 cheaper already.

Would you mind if I "introduced" you to them "as a friend" (using your name and e-mail address - you will of course then get an e-mail from them so say if you don't want it!!)??
IF you then book this is the "deal" for me and you!! "Use the form below to recommend friends and earn 10 loyalty points for every friend who books with us. Your friend will also earn 10 bonus points with us when making a booking online using your recommendation."
I am getting an extra 5% off for my exisiting loyalty points and free cancellation protection!!

Author meltwaterfalls
Registered
#38 | Posted: 20 Apr 2017 15:59 
Oh yeah feel free, I think you have my details.We are still a little way off booking but if it pans out as it looks it will be well worth it.

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