Saturday, March 03, 2012
I recently made my plans for a summer holiday! I've bought the plane tickets and the Lonely Planet, so I'm all set!
I will be spending eight weeks backpacking across Europe, from south to north. I will only be visiting new places, so I am planning to fly into Corfu, Greece and out of Tallinn, Estonia. I usually like to sketch out a quick map of my route and not really plan much beyond that. So far I've got my flight to Corfu (with long enough stops to do a couple hours' sightseeing in both Montreal and Athens), then I'll take a ferry to Albania and visit some historical towns, then I'd like to go to Ohrid, Macedonia. Things get a little wonky after that, but the most logical route is probably from there to Kosovo, and then back to Kotor, Montenegro and finally to Mostar and Sarajevo in BiH. From Sarajevo I may try to get over to Belgrade, but apparently Serbia will not admit anyone with a passport stamp from Kosovo, so I might actually just hop on a plane in Sarajevo and fly up to Vienna, to visit a nearby village that shares my last name. After that I'm going to meet my childhood penpal near Bratislava, and then cross Poland. I'm hoping to get a three-day transit visa through Kaliningrad on arrival (no way will I make any visa plans in advance) so that I can say I've been to Russia, and then I'll travel through Lithuania and Latvia to Estonia, where I'll end my trip spending two days with a friend from Sweden who I haven't seen in eight years! On the flight back I've also got a full twenty-four hour stopover in Copenhagen so I'll get to check out that city too.
All in all I'm looking forward to experiencing some very new cultures, seeing some interesting things, walking all the time, swimming whenever possible and trying some new vegetarian foods! I'm also hoping to pack light and pick up some new clothes while I'm there, as I've had really good luck shopping in other Eastern European countries before.
As I prepare for the trip I would like to maintain my weight near it's current mark (I'm still at 122, I haven't seen any change in a month) but continue to build strength and endurance, so that I'll be ready for anything that comes my way. Also, I want to look super-cute when I'm sunbathing (topless!) in Greece. And Albania. And probably all the Baltic countries too (brrrr!).
If you've got any tips about my itinerary, or if you'd like to share your own summer plans, please comment!