.....is where we found the cheapest airfare to Europe this summer. We were originally going to stay in Iceland for a few days, before becoming continental, but concerns over post-volcanic particulate matter affecting the island's air quality changed our minds since Jenine is asthmatic.
ITINERARY OF TENTATIVE TENACITY:
7/25 at half past 9 pm: Jenine and I fly out of Boston aboard Iceland Air.
26th at half past 6 am: We land in Reykjavik for an hour layover.
1 pm: Arrive at Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
Regional rapid transit to La Vesinet (suburb where Vera lives).
Acclimate and meet Vera's beautiful family.
7/27 thru 8/1: Explore all of Paris and celebrate Jenine's 31st birthday.
My top points of interest in the city of lights: Belleville, Latin Quarter, and the 10th Arrondissement.
8/2 (my birthday): We hitch down through France toward Barcelona.
Depending on the rides we get: stops are possible in Marseille and Gerona.
Barcelona becomes our headquarters for the week, with a possible excursion to Madrid.
We have no current contacts in the Catalonian capital, so please help us out if you can.
I'm not worried about it because there are over 5000 couchsurf members out there.
8/9 at 8 pm: Our flight to Germany, with an 8 hour overnight layover in Stuttgart.
8/10 at 8 am: Arrive in Berlin. Settle into my friend Jeffrey's spare room and explore that city on borrowed bicycles. Visit friends Aaron and Corinna in town.
8/13: Hitch to Hamburg and visit a friend of Jenine's.
8/15: Arrive at the home of my Dutch relatives outside of Utrecht.
8/16 thru 20: Jenine attends Fab 6 Graduation and Conference.
Meanwhile, I explore Amsterdam mostly on my own that week.
8/21 thru 25: Jenine and I do the Netherlands and Belgium together.
She flies home from Schiphol airport and I remain in Europe for another month.
8/26: My solo hypersonic auto-stop journey thru 11 extra countries begins.
8/27: Explore central and east London on foot and a tight shoestring.
8/28: Thumb my way east to Prague.
8/29: Explore the Czech capital. Catch overnight train to Krakow (Poland).
8/30: Explore my maternal grandfather's hometown.
8/31: Meander through Slovakia to visit friends in Vienna (if they're in town).
9/1: Make my way to Budapest and spend the night there.
9/2: Enter Romania. Either travel to the northern hometown(s) of my paternal grandparents....
9/3: or head to Bucharest via Transylvania.
9/4: Explore the Romanian capital thoroughly.
9/5: Catch a bus to Bulgaria. 9/6: Explore Sofia.
9/7: Catch a bus to Turkey. 9/8-9: Explore Istanbul.
9/10: Catch a bus to Greece. 9/11: Explore Thessaloniki.
9/12: Catch a bus to Athens. 9/13-14: Explore the Greek capital.
9/15: Hitch to the Adriatic coast (Igoumenitsa).
9/16 : Ferry across to Brindisi (Italy).
9/17: Thumb it to Napoli. 9/18: Explore Napoli.
9/19: Hitch to Roma. 9/20-22: Explore the Italian capital.
9/23: Fly Aer Lingus to NYC via Dublin.
I can shorten and/or elongate these flexible dates (and route) based on my experience as it unfolds. I know this schedule seems too rushed, but it's my first time ever to Europe and for me it's mostly a geographical marathon to put together the ethno-cartographic puzzle pieces of my anthropologic mind. Future trips will be more concentrated on specific regions and cities. Not so spread out and hurried. IF YOU KNOW ANYONE I SHOULD STAY WITH OR MEET ALONG THIS EXTENSIVE ROUTE, OR ANY POINTS OF INTEREST I SHOULD VISIT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I APPRECIATE YOUR INPUT.