Criteria for saying you've been to a country? - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: When have you actually visited a country?
When you set foot in it for any length of time 0 0%
Have spent 24 hours and have left the airport 1 100.00%
At least a couple of days and nights in several different places in that country 0 0%
Other 0 0%
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#1 Old 01-03-2010, 08:02 AM
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How long should you spend in a country before you can say you've actually visited it, properly?



For example, if you change planes on a long flight in a country but never leave the airport, can you really say you've visited that country?



Or how about a half day trip to Tijuana or similar? Is that a real visit, too?
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#2 Old 01-03-2010, 08:06 AM
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I spent a day in Canada once, I'd say I've been there. Because I've been there...for a day. If you don't leave the airport, well, no, you haven't because you won't have even been through passport control surely?



Does it count if you don't remember the visit though? If you were too young for example.
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#3 Old 01-03-2010, 08:10 AM
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I like the passport angle: if you've had your passport stamped and have only spent a few hours at a place then yes it would seem like you could certaiinly claim you've been to the country, unlike when you change planes and don't go through passport control in the transit airport....



Too young to remember seems a bit moot. I've spent weekends in Amsterdam that I don't remember but that's another story
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#4 Old 01-03-2010, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post


Too young to remember seems a bit moot. I've spent weekends in Amsterdam that I don't remember but that's another story



This was the second example I would have used but I don't want people to get the wrong idea about me
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#5 Old 01-03-2010, 08:33 AM
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I say after you leave the airport. I mean, I've had a layover in Germany, but I won't claim I've ever been to Europe (although I would love to!). Also, it was a military flight, so we didn't even stop at a 'real' airport! I didn't even get to check out the duty free shops! I feel cheated...

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#6 Old 01-03-2010, 08:44 AM
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I have never really thought of this before, although I have touched down in Montreal and London. I used to say I had been there, but always qualified it with a "but not really."



What brings about this question? Just curious.
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#7 Old 01-03-2010, 08:46 AM
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I've been to Spain a couple of times, though only for a few hours(not via an airport, just crossed the border), but I would say that I had been there.

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#8 Old 01-03-2010, 08:49 AM
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One of my resolutions for this year is to up my country count by visiting as many countries as I can. But I want to do it properly. For example I've changed planes in Kuwait but have not left the airport. Conversely I've been to Dubai airport half a dozen times and have spend many many hours there but never left the airport. Neither of these I actually count. Am planning an overland journey to Tallinn that will incorporate ferries and overnight trains through Denmark, Sweden and Finland but will I be able to count this countires in if I just pass through on a train? These are the kinds of questions I'm trying to answer.
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#9 Old 01-03-2010, 08:51 AM
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i would say its when youve left the airport
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#10 Old 01-03-2010, 09:01 AM
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I spent four hours in Geneva, managed to explore some of the city, see a few sights in that time and have lunch, so I'd say I've been there.



I only changed trains in Malmo en route to Copenhagen, didn't leave the train station so I don't say I've ever been to Sweden.



I think if you've left the airport/station and managed to have lunch in a place, that should count.
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#11 Old 01-03-2010, 09:04 AM
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Hmmmm...I have also passed through Luxembourg and Germany on a coach. We stopped in Germany for food and snacks and said 'danke' to German people. Have I been to Germany, not Luxembourg?
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#12 Old 01-03-2010, 09:09 AM
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Hmmmm...I have also passed through Luxembourg and Germany on a coach. We stopped in Germany for food and snacks and said 'danke' to German people. Have I been to Germany, not Luxembourg?



this is kind of why I'm leaning towards the 24 hour thing....
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#13 Old 01-03-2010, 09:13 AM
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this is kind of why I'm leaning towards the 24 hour thing....



I don't know about a whole 24 hours...



That would mean I never went to Mexico and I have pictures and souvenirs.
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#14 Old 01-03-2010, 09:15 AM
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I don't know about a whole 24 hours...



That would mean I never went to Mexico and I have pictures and souvenirs.



Did you get your passport stamped?
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#15 Old 01-03-2010, 09:16 AM
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I'm modifying my answer. After you leave the airport, but long enough to eat a meal and wonder around for a little bit. Could be less than 24 hours, maybe 6 or so?

Who needs sleep when we've got love?
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#16 Old 01-03-2010, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

Did you get your passport stamped?



When I went, you didn't have to have a passport.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

I'm modifying my answer. After you leave the airport, but long enough to eat a meal and wonder around for a little bit. Could be less than 24 hours, maybe 6 or so?



This.
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#17 Old 01-03-2010, 09:25 AM
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Did you get your passport stamped?



I spent 5 weeks in Guadeloupe but didn't get my passport stamped because it is still France (EU).
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#18 Old 01-03-2010, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

I'm modifying my answer. After you leave the airport, but long enough to eat a meal and wonder around for a little bit. Could be less than 24 hours, maybe 6 or so?



Yeah, this. I agree with this.



Or if you pass through passport control.



Both can count
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#19 Old 01-03-2010, 09:35 AM
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Well, I was in a London airport twice, so I've technically been in London, but it doesn't count as a visit. Although I can say I shopped in London, since the airport is like a huge mall once you're airside.



Anyway my 10 week stay in Glasgow this past summer certainly counts and I took the train down to Carlisle during the summer for a meetup and stayed a good part of the day, but it wasn't 24 hours. I visited a cathedral, a castle, walked around the streets a bit and drank and ate in a pub. Yes, I've been to England.
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#20 Old 01-03-2010, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

I'm modifying my answer. After you leave the airport, but long enough to eat a meal and wonder around for a little bit. Could be less than 24 hours, maybe 6 or so?



Sounds workable. That means if I leave the ferry in Denmark, walk across town to the train station, take a train to another town in Denmark, have a meal in Copenhagen town centre before taking an over night train to Stockholm would mean I had 'officially' visited Denmark despite only being on the ground for a few hours.



If I had only gone out of Dubai Airport for a falafel I could have marked that down as an official visit, too
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#21 Old 01-03-2010, 09:43 AM
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I definitely don't count airport time as visiting the country or city properly. I also wouldn't necessarily put a specific time limit on how long you'd have to spend in the country in order to "qualify" - different people spend their time doing different things in the same amount of time. I prefer to explain a bit about where I've been and what I've done in each location - e.g. I've actually lived in Edinburgh, whereas I've spent a total of 4 hours, all told, in Algeciras, and I didn't even do anything exciting. So, I'd say that it's also the quality of time you spend in a place, rather than the exact amount.



With regard to the train journeys you're thinking of undertaking, I have some insights that may interest you. My bf and I recently took a trip to Morocco from the UK, but since we didn't want to fly, we opted for trains and ferries instead and it worked out great. We could have managed to get there in less than 2 days, but we chose to spend some time in the inbetween destinations, so as to add to to the trip and not wear ourselves out. On the way there, we had a one night stop at Paris and 2 days and nights in Madrid. On the way back, another 2 days in Madrid and a 5-hour wait in Paris, which we spent mostly at the Musee d'Orsee. I'd never been to Paris before, so now I can say that I've been (even had time for the standard picture of me with the Eiffel Tower!), although I can't say that I've spent that much time there, or that I know the city well. Would you consider having similar stops at the places you'll be passing on your way to Estonia? From my own experience, I think it'll make the journey easier (but lengthier), and you'll add more variety to your travels.
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#22 Old 01-03-2010, 09:53 AM
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Ha ha! I had that very same train journey from the UK to Marrakesh booked for this last xmas holiday but the eurostar breakdown happened just as it was about to start and the whole trip collapsed. Terrible!



But yes for example I'll have a long day in Stockholm, arriving in the morning then leaving late in the evening so I'd certainly count that as an 'official' visit.
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#23 Old 01-03-2010, 09:56 AM
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Ha ha! I had that very same train journey from the UK to Marrakesh booked for this last xmas holiday but the eurostar breakdown happened just as it was about to start and the whole trip collapsed. Terrible!





Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that your holiday suffered like that! We did ours in November, and everything went smoothly - I assume you also had the trainhotel booked from Paris and the overnight train from Tangier to Marrakesh? I'd recommend rebooking that holiday, it was lovely!
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#24 Old 01-03-2010, 10:00 AM
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Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that your holiday suffered like that! We did ours in November, and everything went smoothly - I assume you also had the trainhotel booked from Paris and the overnight train from Tangier to Marrakesh? I'd recommend rebooking that holiday, it was lovely!



Yeah but I had slight change in that I was going to stay over in Granada instead of Algecerais (taking an early bus to the ferry port), staying over in Tangier to see a couple of things then take the all day train to Marrakesh so I could look out the window



I wound up scrounging a flight down to Marrakesh for xmas which was great but not the same as you can imagine.
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#25 Old 01-03-2010, 10:06 AM
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Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear that your holiday suffered like that! We did ours in November, and everything went smoothly - I assume you also had the trainhotel booked from Paris and the overnight train from Tangier to Marrakesh? I'd recommend rebooking that holiday, it was lovely!



I have got to do this, it sounds amazing.
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#26 Old 01-03-2010, 10:08 AM
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I have got to do this, it sounds amazing.



Everything you need to know: times, prices, options, photos etc: http://www.seat61.com/Morocco.htm
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#27 Old 01-03-2010, 10:11 AM
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Everything you need to know: times, prices, options, photos etc: http://www.seat61.com/Morocco.htm



Nice one, cheers!
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#28 Old 01-03-2010, 10:43 AM
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I don't think it matters. I know people in the military who were stationed in foreign countries for a year or more and hardly ever left the military installation. They shopped on base, ate at McDonalds on base, saw American movies on base, sent their kids to school on base, and hung out with their fellow soldiers on base. If you take two steps across a border, you have been to another country. What matters more than a technical definition is not how many borders you've crossed with your feet, but how many horizons you've expanded in your mind.
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#29 Old 01-03-2010, 10:46 AM
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I definitely agree with out of the airport, long enough to wander around, eat something and get the general feel of the place. At least 4-6 hours minimum.

I spent about 7 hours in Kussadasi, Turkey once. Shopped in the market, drank tea with merchants, fielded a few marriage proposals, toured a castle, had a meal. I don't think I really got to see the country, but I've definitely been there.

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#30 Old 01-03-2010, 03:03 PM
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Yeah but I had slight change in that I was going to stay over in Granada instead of Algecerais (taking an early bus to the ferry port), staying over in Tangier to see a couple of things then take the all day train to Marrakesh so I could look out the window



Your plan sounds better, actually, Algeciras is not exciting in the least, whereas Granada must be a much nicer place to stay. Actually, I think it's worth doing more of Spain by train or coach in the future.



Quote:
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I have got to do this, it sounds amazing.



We used the website MrFalafel suggested, it's very helpful. Also, let me know if you want any advice or would like to chat about how we did things.
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