Holidays in the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Today I was investigating interesting places to visit in Eastern Europe. The reasoning behind this is that Eastern Europe isn’t as orderly as Western Europe tends to be, and certainly not as orderly as Scandinavia is. Going to Europe seems to be something that we are investigating, but I’m damned if I’m only going to end up in London.
The other positive aspect of Eastern Europe is that it is likely to be substantially cheaper to spend a few days there — at least that’s what I’m led to believe.

Point is: I searched google for “best tourist destination eastern europe” and noticed that the 4th hit was this dubious gem.

Maybe I need to reassess whether or not the advantages of Eastern Europe outweigh the disadvantages.

3 thoughts on “Holidays in the Former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”

  1. Well, generally the point of a “holiday” is to go and see something enjoyable and interesting. Not sure there’s too much of either in eastern Europe, unless decaying soviet-era cinderblock flats are your bag. Which they might be. Who knows.

    You might also find that the sheer inaccessibility and undesirability of many of the former USSR states considerably ups the price you’ll pay to go there as a tourist. For a slightly more practical holiday, think about the more in-between countries: Turkey and Croatia, for example. At least a tourist industry of sorts actually exists there to support you (and they’re affordable too).

  2. The term, “How rude!” springs to mind. 😉

    I generally dislike visiting overly commercialised tourist destinations. In fact, a place in which the people are surprised and delighted to encounter visitors from far off lands is far more appealing to me. The residents in popular tourist destinations can, in some cases, become quite jaded and intolerant of outsiders. The Oh-god-not-another-tourist attitude.
    The stereotypical Parisian is a good example. Even in South Africa, people that live in coastal towns have a love-hate relationship with the periodic pilgrimages from Gauteng. They often need the money, but resent how crowded everything becomes.
    Obviously, I’m generalising. There are exceptions. I’d just prefer to go somewhere where the exception of hospitality is the rule.
    Perhaps that won’t be Eastern Europe, but I think people there are less likely to be rude to me because I am one of too many tourists.

    Eastern Europeans that I’ve met in other countries are extremely friendly, and generally very interesting people. Despite the influence that communism may have had on these countries, they do have a lengthy history before WWII. They have cultures distinct from the political ideals of communism. How communism impacted on the culture, and whether the culture prevailed, in modified form or otherwise is interesting.
    There may be soviet-era cinderblock flats present, but that doesn’t mean that the soviets demolished all of the previous architecture. Architecture isn’t all there is to a city.

    From what I’ve read about prices, undesirability brings the price down because the countries are desperate for visitors. This was especially the case immediately after the breakup of the USSR. Prices have gone up since then because more people are visiting — but it’s still far more affordable that Western Europe.

    I’m checking out Croatia. Hungary also seems promising, particularly Budapest.

  3. Fair comment. I think perhaps you get very different things out of holidays than I do :). Motivations for tourist travel are different for every individual; you must do what pleases you.

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