Best countries for solo travel

Germany

Netherlands

Switzerland

Belgium

France

WESTERN EUROPE

BY FERRY 153

Europcar International: France ®55 66 83 00; US ®877-506-0070; www.europ- car.com.

Hertz: Australia ®9698 2555; Canada ® 800-263-0600; UK ®087 0844 8844; US ® 800-654-3001; www.hertz.com.

Kemwel: US ®877-820-0668; www.kemwel.com.

LEASING A CAR

For longer trips, leasing can be cheaper than the daily cost of renting; it is often the only option for those ages 18-21. The cheapest leases are agreements to buy the car and then sell it back to the manufacturer at a prearranged price. As far as you’re concerned, though, it’s a lease and doesn’t entail enormous financial trans actions. Leases generally include insurance coverage and are not taxed. The most affordable ones usually originate in Belgium, France, or Germany. Expect to pay around US$1100-1800 (depending on the size of the car) for 60 days. Contact Auto Europe, Europe by Car, or Kemwel (see above) for more info.

BUYING A CAR

If you’re brave and know what you’re doing, buying a used car or van in Western Europe and selling it just before you leave can provide the cheapest wheels for longer trips. Check with consulates for import-export laws concerning used vehi cles, registration, and safety and emission standards.

BY FERRY

Most European ferries are slow but inexpensive and quite comfortable; even the cheapest ticket typically includes a reclining chair or couchette. Plan ahead and reserve tickets in advance, or you may spend days waiting in port for the next sail. Fares jump sharply in July and August ask for discounts. ISIC holders (13) can often get student fares, and Eurailpass holders (47) get many discounts and free trips. Occasional port taxes should run less than US$10. For more info, consult the Official Steamship Guide International (available at travel agencies), or www.youra.com/feriy.

Not only is there a working pottery, but upstairs you Best countries for solo travel can also see some of the weaponry of the Civil War era. Another excellent timber-framed Best countries for solo travel house a little further on is the Almonry. This was originally a five-bay hall house built in the fifteenth century, but it has been partially rebuilt since, with chimneys being among those features added in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. It is likely to have got its name because it was constructed on ground set aside for the use of the Almoner of the Abbey. Afternoon tea in the Almonry is a most pleasant experience, with generous slices of coffee gateau and Victoria sponge served with pots of tea inside the old building and in the courtyard. Emerging from the Almonry, cross the road and begin walking back down the High Street on the other side of the road, but turn left into Mount Street.

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