Credit card fraud and other important details.
It's March 27. It'll probably say that somewhere else in the post but I wanted to be sure. Still a couple months from takeoff and I'm making sure I have everything in order. I'm hoping that this attempt at keeping a journal actually sticks with me. I've tried this a couple of times before but never could keep it up. Hopefully the fact that I've decided to purchase a little NetBook to tote around with me will make chronicling the journey easier. It's a little MSI Wind U120. Good battery life and light as hell. I just have a couple things to add to this, the first entry....
THE PLAN: Alright, so, the general itinerary. The trip is broken into two segments:
June 6 - June 28, when I'll be traveling with Laura.
June 28 - August 6, when I'll be traveling alone.... *ominous music for my mom*
June 6, 2009 - Laura and I will fly via British Airways from Sea-Tac, WA to London, U.K. leaving at 9:50pm.
June 7 - 10 - Sight-see in London
June 11 - Take a train to our friend Chris's house in Oxford. We'll probably hop off in Windsor to peek at the castle during the day.
June 12 - Laura and I will be renting a car in Oxford and driving to Warwick to stay at a nice Bed and Breakfast called the "Agincourt Lodge". Hopefully it's as nice as it claims to be.
June 13 - Laura and I will drive from Warwick south through the Cotswolds and spend the day taking in the sights before ending up back in Oxford at Chris's house.
June 14 - Get an early start for our extended drive north to St. Andrews, Scotland where Claire is living and going to school. According to ViaMichelin the drive should take about 7 hours. Hopefully that's counting on dawdling elderly drivers going slow and we'll be able to make the trip in 6...
June 14, 15 - Laura, Chris and I will be staying with Claire in St. Andrews. Likely drink entirely too much and have a good time.
June 16, 17 - Drive an hour and a half south to Edinburgh and stay at the St. Christopher's Inn right there in the old town. It has one of the highest rankings on Hostel World so hopefully it lives up to the hype.
June 18 - EARLY morning drive to York. We only get one day here so we want to make the most of our tourist time.
June 19 - EARLY morning drive back to Oxford to return the car by 1pm - otherwise we'll be charged $60. Spend the rest of the day finally getting a chance to really explore Oxford. My mom insists that we visit the pub that was frequented by C.S. Lewis, et al. The Eagle and the Child. Hopefully it'll be worth it.
June 20 - Laura and I will catch a train from Oxford to Heathrow airport. Then catch a flight to Stockholm, Sweden.
June 20, 21 - Stay at a Hostel in Gamla Stan (Old Town), Stockholm. We'll be here for the Summer Solstice. I hear there are intense parties in Stockholm on the Solstice.
June 22 - 27 - Laura and I will be staying with my sister Anne, her husband Daryush and their daughter Ella. I hope Ella still remembers me. I'm excited to see them and to hang out with Daryush's ex-pat Iranian family.
June 28 - Laura flies home and I fly to Poland. I hope that our departure in opposite directions is painful and not at all a relief after spending three weeks in constant contact...
June 28, 29 - Krakow, Poland. When I was in Prague back in 2005 I almost jumped a train to Krakow but decided against it. Now I'm finally going and staying in a hostel that is about 50 meters off the main square.
June 30, July 1 - Vienna, Austria. A city that I've been through on train at least once but never got a chance to actually see it. It'll have to be a quick sightseeing trip because I arrive in the afternoon on the 30th and leave first thing in the morning on July 2nd. I'll basically just have one day to explore.
July 2 - This is where the trip gets fuzzier. I'm taking a train to Serbia and meeting my friend Mateja (and hopefully Milos) and staying with his family there in Belgrade for at least one night. Then we're probably heading to Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro for about 7 or so days. Just have to make sure we're back by:
July 11 - Milos's birthday in Nis, Serbia. Milos lives in a rural-ish area outside of Nis and I guess he's throwing a big outdoor party for his birthday. At least I'll know a few of the people there so it won't be too odd being the one native English speaker/American.
July 11 - August 1 - Hang out in Serbia. Not sure what we'll be doing. I'm hoping for a tour of the Serbian parliament on July 28th, I think. We might do some low-impact travel around Serbia. That's all up in the air. Maybe I'll do some work with Mateja's NGO...
August 1 - Night Train to Salzburg, Austria. The train doesn't go all the way. I'll have to transfer somewhere along the line.
Ausut 2, 3 - Salzburg, Austria. Staying in the shadow of the Castle. Just off of the old town. I guess this place is like Disneyland. At least the music should be good.
August 4, 5 - Lucerne, Switzerland. I asked for advice regarding which Swiss city I should visit on the Lonely Planet travel forum and Lucerne was the winner. I think my dad has been here. I hear good things. I'll be fairly worn out from travel by this point probably and I'll spend most of the time relaxing.
August 6 - Catch a plane back home from Zurich, Switzerland.
I'm going to keep an electronic map updated with the locations that my travels take me so we'll be able to see just how much reality diverges from my plan. A lot of stuff is set in stone but there will be plenty of space for spontaneity.
Oh, and my credit card information was stolen this morning. Some ass-hat tried to charge more than $1,000 in Hong Kong. Thankfully Chase refused the transaction and I'm likely going to need to get a new card. It's a pain but at least it happened now rather than while I'm in Europe.
PS - I need to accumulate more experience on here. I see a ton of neat options to customize my posts. At some point I'll do that.