Tuesday, March 16, 2010

We Need Your Input!

By Claire
On April 1 we need to start heading towards central Europe if we want to see everything we want to see before we have to leave the EU again for 3 months. We have two strategies in mind but don't have the knowledge to make the best (right?) decision. Is there anyone out there who can help us?

Route idea #1:
Drive up through Greece to Bulgaria, continuing through Romania and Hungary, stopping here and there to see the sights. From there we want to see Krakow in Poland, and Auschwitz. After that, we plan on seeing Prague and then Germany, Austria and Switzerland from where we will drive to catch a ferry to the UK leaving out of Dunkirk. To make the comparison reasonable, I am giving distances to Vienna in both instances. Cost to drive through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Vienna: fuel and camping--unknown. Distance approximately 2,893 km or 1,798 miles.

Route idea #2:
Take an overnight ferry from Igoumenitsa, Greece to Anacona, Italy, camping on deck in Homer. Cost: €228. Drive up through northern Italy to and through Austria to Vienna. Distance to Vienna, approximately 2,183 km or 1,357 miles.

Would we be missing a lot if we don't see Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary? Not a lot of campgrounds are open yet in these countries. There is a certain comfort zone about going back to Italy.

Feedback much appreciated!


Jennifer said...

So, I can't comment on Romania and Bulgaria, but Hungary was pretty awesome. Mark and I stayed in Budapest for a while and there were some great places for wine tasting in small towns close by - for cheap! But then again,Italy probably has some pretty amazing wine. :)

Elisabetta said...

Route #3. I suggest a compromise for the following reasons: strong opinion of friend who went to Romania (as well as Romanian friends themselves!) indicate that it's not a particularly charming country altho I'd bet you'd find ethnic arts museums and beautiful, mountainous countryside. Cities are not joyful judging from my friend's reports ~ her engineer fiancee temp.transferred there from PG; she followed him, was really unhappy, & altho they remain truly in love, she's been staying w/ friends in Barcelona & he visits there, instead!

I had (in Orinda CA) a 1st generation Bulgarian friend who of course went back to visit family; there's natural beauty (mountains, sea) but you guys thrive in a warm ambiance,among warm people, which I don't think is a Bulgarian strong suit. And it's physically cold .. no heater in Homer? Yikes.

Croazia is so worth seeing! Split is fabulous old/new,you'll find a Roman summer palace & fab ethnic art museum!! Why not drive up (very quickly don't stop in Albania too long) and enjoy those wonderful, friendly, tall, dark slender good-looking Croatians! A very gifted people, all speak terrific inglish; next stop Slovenia w/ a capital which was reviewed in the travel section of Wash Post, rave reviews! Then work ur way to Buda+pest=Budapest (a must-see destination,) and onward to Vienna,(such desserts!!) and then Prague, where I've never been.
And then into Poland later in month when it's not so cold.

Alternatively, you culd take the ferry from Split to Ancona & work ur way up to Venice then Austria ect.
I must have misunderstood, thought that Russia was also scheduled to breakup the EU Schengen 90 day limit. Can't wait to hear what u decide .. I land in Roma Thursday;) Un bacione! Elle*

Anonymous said...

You're getting awesome feedback. I can only say don't miss Dun Angus on Innishmor (Aran Islands, Ireland). Magical!

Kim said...

Take the road less traveled.


Chuck and Claire said...

Hey Kim, you should write a book about that.

Carol said...


I'm too ignorant to comment so I'll leave it to your more well-traveled friends. Only comment I have is that I've heard a lot of good things about Prague and Budapest.

Either way, I'm sure it will be great. Trust your gut.


Kim said...

So, sitting here in Kemper, reading of your journey each day, it seems to me that when you look at other parts of your trip, you have found joy in the unexpected. If you contrast Egypt (the more travelled) with Turkey (the less), you seemed to have endured Egypt, but were truly changed by Turkey. I look for more of that!

I cannot tell you how profoundly moved I have been by reading these posts so I thank you so much for giving me a glimpse of the world in a way I am sure I will never experience it.

Kemper Hall courtyard is in bloom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck and Claire,

You have been having the most fantastic adventure that is the envy of many!

Why stop now? Route 1 sounds like the way to go or a variation along the same theme - perhaps Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Austria then Switzerland. I can highly recommend Budapest,St Johann, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lucerne, Interlaken and I adored Prague.

They are all beautiful towns/ cities and wonderful to explore. Croatia and Poland are two places I haven't made it to yet - but have heard fantastic reports about them.

Good luck whatever you decide and I look forward to reading more of your travels.

Take care.