19 June 2012

thinking out loud, and finally spelling itinerary right

I'm aiming for Central Europe next year, and right now I'm thinking of either April & May or August & September.

Pros of Spring travel:
I'll have made a lot of money throughout the winter
It's lovely and mild and Europe will be coming alive
My birthday, which symbolizes my imminent death, is less depressing when celebrated in foreign countries
Cheaper prices
Cons of Spring travel:
Less time to save up
Europe will still be chilly

Pros of Autumn travel:
I will have a few more months of savings
Weather will be warmer
Tree colors, and that awesome crisp fall feeling
Cons of Autumn travel:
Can't miss Jons birthday on Sep 15
Prices will be higher

So, I don't know, it's pretty even and I'm sure I'll just end up playing it by ear. All money and practical issues aside, I don't really have a  preference. 

One of my favorite things to do is look at maps and create stupid plans, so I've really enjoyed coming up with these-

Completely Crazy Itinerary: 
Fly into Amsterdam: 4 days, 
-overnight train-
Munich: 3 days, train-
Prague: 4 days, train-
Vienna: 4 days, boat-
Bratislava: 2 days, train-Budapest: 4 days, train-
Krakow: 3 days, train-
Warsaw: 2 days, fly-
Brussels: 4 days, train-
Amsterdam, flight home
total: 8 countries, 9 cities, 30 days

Yeah, I do totally get that that is moving way too fast and I'll likely be miserable and exhausted by Munich, but I don't get over to Europe very often, and I can sleep when I'm dead, and all that.

Less Crazy Itinerary:
Fly into Prague: 5 days, train-
Cesky Krumlov: 2 day, train-
Salzburg: 3 days, train-
Vienna: 4/5 days, boat-
Bratislava, 3 days, train-
Budapest: 4/5 days, train-
Krakow: 4/5 days, train-
Auschwitz: 1 day, train-
Wroclaw: 3 days, train-
Prague, flight home
total: 4 countries, 9 cities, in 30 days

I'd only get to check off 4 more countries, and who know's when I'll ever be able to see the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany again, but I'd be able to spend more time in each city, stop and see the little places in between, and get to know each country a little better. 
BUT, since I'm going to pack as much as I can into whatever I do, the number of train rides is going to be about the same-they're just shorter trains. So it will be almost as expensive to see less countries. 
BUT I'll probably regret not knocking off more must-sees...I mean, I'm likelier to visit Germany for the first time in a few years that Poland for the second. 
Again, this is going to be determined, really, this winter when I start seriously looking for plane tickets. So right now my strategy is to read up on my core countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia. I'm learning the history of these places, and about the cities I'll definitely be visiting-probably, the more I find out, the more places I'll wanna visit in each one, a la less crazy itinerary. 

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