What have been the best and worst vacations you've taken?

For the moment my best vacation was Summer 2014: in June, 10 days in Switzerland (Fribourg, Gruyére and Zürich) with free accommodation at friends... in Switzerland that saves you at least $400 even if you're used to 12-bed mixed hostel dorms; in July, Switzerland (Fribourg, Saanen) and that was almost free for me (I've got my airfare paid by Swiss friends in exchange for shooting couple of theater performances in great detail, and my other friends provided me a place to sleep, so my expense was only food and I'm fine with kebabs); in August, European overland One: Moscow to Wroclaw via Warsaw, flight (2 days), Wroclaw to Prague, bus (night and day in Prague), Prague to Bern by bus and immediately train to Fribourg, couple of days there and in Luzern, then a day in Lausanne, three days in Geneva, flight to Nice (3 days there), blablacar to Genova where I spent several hours walking, train to Vienna via Milan, 3 days in Vienna (where I met one of my dearest friends whom I met in person again in a year, but we're always in touch on Facebook), bus to Prague (3 days there), bus to Warsaw (3 days there), sleeper train from Warsaw to Moscow. Actually, my other vacations weren't quite bad as well, if all of them are quite low-budget with 70 to 90% of expense being airfare, trains and buses.

My worst vacation were 2 weeks near Sochi (Lazarevskoe) in August 2006 with a budget of $12 per day for everything (half for bed in a favela-like barn, half for humble meals), and the cheapest train ticket I could buy. On the first day I caught some nasty microbe in my ear when swimming, so, adding injury to insult, I was deaf for my right ear until I boarded the return train to Moscow and reached Krasnodar, where I've got my hearing back almost immediately and completely, probably because of rapid climate zone change. I think I lost some small percentage of hearing acuteness in my right ear, but that isn't really noticeable. Initially an idea of that vacation was chaperoning my colleague's 13yo son to give her bit more time and some space to relax under beach umbrella with a book, but the damn was total opposite of what you might imagine of a teenager at a beach with his mom... Probably, slow and delayed puberty was the reason. He mostly sulked or read summer assignment books in his room, and it was a Herculean task to lure that body out to the seaside every morning instead of letting him read or (wink!) indulge in self-exploration in unsupervised solitude. Once, though, he threw a fit worth of spoiled 5-year-old because I refused to go to theme park to Sochi with both of them (because of that ear of mine, didn't thin that riding roller-coaster or centrifuge would do it any good... and I still have different ideas of what's fun and what's not).

My second worst vacation was in August 2012 when on my third day in Barcelona I've got my camera snatched (Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with EF 70–200/2.8L IS, total of €4000 worth then, and I had no backup with me) and I've just had to take the first flight home since my plans of a European hitch-hiking overland trip south to north (Barcelona-Montpellier-Lyon-Geneva-Zürich-München-Prague... and then trains Warsaw-Lviv-Kyiv-Moscow) were busted, because I don't go further than to local grocery or local mall without a camera.


The best vacation was when I went to stay at a goat/cheese farm in France; it was through the organization WOOF. I would work 4 hours a day and in return get room and board. Unfortunately, the room and board were horrible. I also had no privacy there as my room was shared by at least 4 others and the farmer rented out land and other rooms to French tourists, so there were people all over the place.

It was a pretty remote part of France, where the tourists are French. While I was in the village library, the only place with Wifi, talking to my husband, a woman overheard me and asked me if I was American. When I told her I was, she wondered how it was I came to be there. I told her about the goat farm, my wanting to leave and either returning home or finding another farm through WOOF. She took me into her vacation home to stay, gave me my own room, fed me, bicycled with me and became a friend for life. When I returned to Paris, her full-time home, she showed me what life is like for a native Parisian. It ended up being a wonderful experience.


The best vacation Ive had so far is in Italy. we stayed for 3 nights in Venice, then went on a roadtrip from Venice to Dolomiti to Tuscany and finish in Milan.

we spent total of 15 days. it was a bit tiring, with driving and all, but we enjoyed every bit.

i havent had any "worst" vacation yet. hope wont ever have... vacation should be enjoyed. you take a vacation to de-stress, relax and have fun.


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