Possible Itinerary

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 12 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

After months of plotting, I think I have a possible itinerary. I’m going to call it Itinerary v0.1. It’s basically a version of The Lonely Planet’s Behind The Old Iron Curtain in reverse.

  • Seattle, Washington
  • Paris, France
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Moscow, Russia
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Belarus
  • Ukraine
  • Poland
  • Hungry
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Macedonia
  • Albania
  • Serbia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Seattle, Washington

A quick glance at the math yields 21 countries in 60 days, or about three days per a country. I still think this is a little fast, so I will be whittling this down to hopefully 15 countries or less (4 days per a country is a bit better, I think). The entire Behind The Old Iron Curtain trip is supposed to take 2-3 months, according to The Lonely Planet, with a budget of €30-50 per day. Currently, this would be $38-63 per day. Or up to $3,800 for 60 days. This is definitely within my budget. Although I don’t think that includes transportation. Still, I think things are looking pretty good.

I also checked United and A) I definitely have enough frequent flier miles; and B) it will only cost about $60 to book the US to Europe part of the flight.

Now, at this point you may be wondering why I want to tour former Eastern Bloc countries. Two words: Cold. War.

A little know fact about me, if I had to be a history major, my area of expertise (I’m assuming history majors have these) would be the Cold War. I think the Cold War was amazing for a variety of reasons. Two super powers on the brink of self-annihilation. Covert operations. Incredible leaps in technology that we’re still taking advantage of today. The list goes on.

There’s a still a lot to figure out though, including, but not limited, to: A shorter list of countries I’d like to visit. Medical Insurance. Theft Insurance. Visa for Russia (and possibly other countries). A travel partner (for at least some of the trip).


8 thoughts on “Possible Itinerary”

  1. FYI, I heard Russia is a process to get the Visa for. If you plan on going I’d get on that, it can take months I heard.

    From what I heard you have to be invited into the country, which a travel office in Russia will gladly do for a fee then you gotta do all the work to get the papers in order. It’s not too fun, but Russia would be cool.

    Also, if you are using miles you may want to start that up as well. As each flight is allotted only like 2 mileage seats a flight or something they can fill up fast. But I flew free and it was awesome. Way to go.

    1. I’ve read that getting a Russian visa requires jumping through some hoops, but doesn’t take months. But you’re probably right. There’s a Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Seattle, which I think is a good think. One of the guys in my Bible study, Jeff Staples, went to Russian several years ago. I have an email in to him to pick his brain about stuff, but I think I’m going to call the Consulate tomorrow or Wednesday to figure out exactly what I need and how long it takes.

      As for flights, I’m about 80% sure of the dates I have right now, so I should probably lock those in.

      Off topic, I was browsing FML today and came across this one: “Today, I was rejected from the University of Washington. My dad has been a professor there for 30 years, and is on the board of admissions. FML” (http://www.fmylife.com/miscellaneous/366764) Point being, it sounds like it’s really super hard to get in to UW these days.

  2. Your list needs some refining. All of those countries are going to look the same (no offense eastern europe!) and i’m not sure I caught why you weren’t doing western europe? Or Sweden? Do france, germany, russia, Ukrane, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Macedonia, Austria the Czech and fly home from Germany. My humble opinion. Less places, more time there. Get a real living sense of what it’s like, what people do there. Go on, be the hero.

    1. I think you’re right about my list needing refining. Have you been to any of the Eastern European countries?

      There’s no particular reason for avoiding Western Europe. I was just looking more at Eastern Europe.

      Out of curiosity, is there anything special about France, Germany, Russia, Ukrane, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Macedonia, Austria, and the Czech Republic? I have to admit, that does sound like a very enticing list of countries to visit. There’s also this little town in Italy (Agnone), I think I want to go back and visit for a couple of days.

      I want to visit places where I have to struggle. I want to have figure things out. I want push my boundaries (in a safe manor). I want to learn. I want to gain perspective.

      1. well, you’re not going to gain any prospective just looking at eastern european countries.
        you should go to italy, but you’re going to struggle enough not speaking the language, traveling out of a backpack, needing to change currencies twice a week, and you know, finding food and shelter in these places on a regular basis. dont look for trouble when you dont need it.x

  3. Waaaaay toooo many countries. 60 days!? Think about if you can really get to know a place. The best way to see the sights is by asking locals where to go. Will you even have time to talk to locals? and if you do, will you have time to pursue any of their recommendations? That’s so many countries!

    1. Yes, yes, yes. I know: waaaay too ambitious. I’m currently working on a revised list of places that will be significantly pared down. It’s also a, dare I say, radically different approach. I think you’ll like it.

  4. Tim and i found that the most amount of time we ever wanted in a city was 3 days, never more. We mostly stayed 2 days or just bounced if we didn’t like it. We stayed longer if we had friends that we could stay with for free or just wanted to relax a bit. But you could do that many countries probly. We did more than that in 90 days, but we got lazy at the end. We were ready to go.

    Its cool if you have an idea of where you want to go, (we had no idea), but its good to be flexible. We would just roll up to a place and go wherever the next train was going and it was good for us.

    Also, we didn’t like the eastern countries too much. Kinda boring and mostly the same. At least to us, we were sick of museums and stuff by then. Our faves were the Swiss Alps or the coast along all of Europe.

    In eastern the Krakow is awesome. Also Turkey. Prague was ok. Budapest was ok, Bucarest wasn’t. But that’s my part on the eastern. Northern is tight. Ice bars.

    Good luck with the planning.

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