After spending four months in Central and South America, the second half our our journey was a breeze. Probably the most notable difference was the convenience of communication. We not often encountered individuals who spoke no English in Africa and Europe.
We each breathed a sigh of aid that things have been really easy on this portion of our journey. Touring long term may be exhausting and with the ability to simply communicate made an enormous distinction in our mental state.
Once we hit Europe our travel tempo quickened. This portion of the journey wasn’t deliberate out and we needed to see and do as much as potential before heading to Mexico for our buddies’ seashore wedding ceremony.
36 totally different accommodations
29 bus rides
5 practice rides
194 complete hours of traveling (equivalent to eight days)
Highlights by Country
Lynn – With the ability to talk with individuals once more! After 4 months of speaking Spanish, having English as the primary language felt superb.
Andy – The superb views of the town and ocean from Lion’s Head mountain in Cape City.
Lynn – Once we acquired on the aircraft to go away. This was the one place on all of our journey that we both agreed we might move to tomorrow and be utterly glad.
Andy – The terrible visitors we bumped into driving out to wine nation after which driving back into the town.
Lynn – Andy was driving and pulled over to glance at a map to see if we had missed a turn. A man on the opposite aspect of the freeway pulled over and shouted “is everything ok over there?” We stated sure and he took off. That is only one instance of the extremely type South Africans that we met during our travels.
Andy – I simply keep in mind how great it felt to be able to communicate so simply with individuals again.
Lynn – Assembly up with my mother and father. It felt so good to be reunited with individuals we knew after spending a lot time on our personal.
Andy – All the superb animals we noticed on safari!
Lynn – Spending hours upon hours within the jeep on some pretty dangerous roads.
Andy – The shop house owners following you round waiting for you to purchase something. It was irritating, however wanting again it was a stroll within the park compared to the shop house owners in Egypt.
Lynn – Seeing all the animals throughout our safari was fairly superb but the leopard was probably the most special since it is rather rare. The truth that Andy was capable of seize a perfect image of the leopard was icing on the cake.
Andy – During our second to last day on safari we virtually obtained stuck out in the midst of the park with out another jeep in sight. Our driver hit the fuel and maneuvered perfectly with a purpose to get us out of this actually wet and muddy area. It was nice, however it left us and the inside of the jeep splattered with mud.
Lynn – Seeing so many historic things – from the pyramids to temples and tombs. It was superb to see issues that have been so previous but had been preserved.
Andy – The amount of historic landmarks and artifacts in Egypt which are being preserved and still discovered to today are mind-blowing… and fairly awesome.
Lynn – Not with the ability to walk down the street with out somebody making an attempt to rip-off us or promote us one thing.
Andy – The constant scams.
Lynn – Sitting behind a taxi in Cairo while our driver acquired in a full on battle via his window.
Andy – The time in Luxor once we frolicked at a police checkpoint because our driver for the day left us at one of the tomb websites and we had no clue the place he went.
Lynn – Taking a day journey to Pisa where we had a good time taking all the stereotypical footage at the leaning tower of Pisa.
Andy – It wasn’t even deliberate, but the day we went to see the Pope in Rome we have been at the Vatican early so we went back to St. Peter’s Basilica and saw that you can climb to the top of the dome for a spectacular view of the town. The view was nice, but my favourite half was the intricate tile work on the within partitions of the dome.
Lynn – Hearing so many tales of how great the food in Italy was, but not with the ability to find something that blew us away. We have been extremely annoyed every time we went out to eat and didn’t fall in love with our food.
Andy – The over-priced not-so-great dinner we had in Rome once we determined to spend slightly extra money in hopes that we might have a terrific meal in Italy. Fail.
Lynn – Arriving to Vatican City early so we might stake out a terrific place to see the Pope. Once he started talking, the gang went from extraordinarily loud to lifeless silent.
Andy – I was craving cheese and crackers one night time at our lodge in Rome, so I went throughout the street to the grocery store to purchase some goat cheese. Once I obtained back and opened the cheese it didn’t odor or style something like cheese. I ended up tossing all the thing and went again and purchased some cheese puffs.
Lynn – Spending time in Santorini with out many vacationers around.
Andy – Every part concerning the 3 days we spent in Santorini.
Lynn – Regardless that we have been in Athens during off season, there have been tons of individuals on the points of interest, especially the Acropolis.
Andy – There was a lot restoration work happening in Athens that it was exhausting to even get a nice picture at a number of the historical sites.
Lynn – During our 4 hour hike from Oia to Fira, Andy and I have been joking around to move the time. He started yelling “Arequipa, Arequipa, Arequipa” in the identical tone that we heard many occasions in bus stations throughout Peru. As he was yelling, we turned a corner and ran into some other hikers who have been super confused about what he was doing.
Andy – One night at our condominium in Santorini, Lynn noticed a cat at a house under ours, so she walked right down to pet it. A couple minutes later I seemed down and she or he had 3 cats crawling around her craving attention.
Lynn – Seeing the Alexander Nevsky Church, arguably probably the most iconic landmark in Sofia.
Andy – I liked that the lodge proper next to ours was referred to as “Hotel Cheap”. I’m pretty positive we should always have stayed there.
Lynn – After spending so much time in warm climate, it was troublesome to re-acclimate to the cold weather. We minimize our sightseeing brief because we have been just too chilly to have an excellent time.
Andy – It was so chilly. Particularly since we had no true winter clothes to wear.
Lynn – Seeing our bus to Serbia pull into the bus station and laughing when it arrived. The Nis Categorical was one of many worst buses that we had during our whole journey.
Andy – Lynn had our lodge write down the identify of the bus we needed to take from Sofia to Nis, Serbia. Once we went to purchase our bus tickets the lady asked us a query in Bulgarian and Lynn just handed the piece of paper to her.
Lynn – Being pleasantly stunned simply how a lot we appreciated Serbia as an entire. If we had extra time, I might have appreciated to discover extra cities.
Andy – The guy dwelling within the condominium subsequent to ours provided to contact the proprietor of the condo for us… then he provided us a pair photographs of his do-it-yourself liquor.
Lynn – Arguably 90% of the adult population smoked. It was onerous to discover a restaurant that even had a non-smoking area.
Andy – We arrived in the evening and had a very onerous time finding our condo. I walked round for a great 20 minutes before someone was capable of point me in the fitting path.
Lynn – As we have been ready to get into our condo, we bumped into a guy who was staying in the identical complicated. He provided us do-it-yourself schnapps and we advised him we might come back after we dropped off our luggage. We we never returned as we have been terrified it will be disgusting.
Andy – The bus trip to Nis, Serbia was a rough one for me because my abdomen was not feeling nicely all the journey. I’m pretty positive Lynn thought I’d die on the bus. We made it though and I used to be completely happy to find a rest room once we arrived in Nis.
Lynn – Mountaineering up to the fortress in Kotor where we have been rewarded with nice views of the bay and city under.
Andy – Views of the bay and the town of Kotor from the citadel sitting above previous city.
Lynn – Yelling at the guy at our lodge in Podgorica when he tried to maintain our passports unlocked on the front desk all night time.
Andy – Undoubtedly our confrontation with the individuals operating the lodge in Podgorica.
Lynn – Shopping for 2 liter bottles of beer and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on our balcony.
Andy – As we traveled by means of the mountains into Montenegro the edges of the street have been instantly coated with a skinny layer of snow. It was the primary time we had seen recent snow on our trip.
Lynn – Walking around Dubrovnik and feeling like I used to be transported again into time since every thing was so properly preserved.
Andy – The previous town of Dubrovnik felt like a movie set to me, and it was one among my favourite cities we visited in Europe.
Lynn – Arriving in Cut up however realizing that the ferries weren’t yet operating for the yr so we couldn’t make any journeys to the islands.
Andy – Just lacking the filming of some scenes for the upcoming Star Wars VIII movie.
Lynn – Climbing what appeared like a whole lot of stairs by way of the previous metropolis to get to our condo in Dubrovnik with all of our gear on. Luckily, we left within the morning when the climate was much cooler.
Andy – We have been strolling across the previous city of Dubrovnik and started to stroll up a set of stairs in the midst of the city. Abruptly I noticed that they have been the identical stairs used through the filming of scenes from Recreation of Thrones.
Lynn – Discovering a secret path once we have been climbing in Bled. We had an ideal view of the island in the midst of Lake Bled and received some great footage.
Andy – Our day trip to Lake Bled was one of many highlights of our time in Slovenia and it was pretty cheap as nicely.
Lynn – Having fairly terrible climate throughout nearly all of our time in Slovenia.
Andy – We rented a automotive for one in every of our days in order that we might see the countryside and go wine tasting, however it was unimaginable to seek out wineries. The entire day ended up costing a lot of money and wasn’t really value it.
Lynn – Seeing an ad for a citadel on the freeway once we have been within the rental automotive. About an hour later we finally arrived and have been severely disillusioned.
Andy – The stroll from our condominium to the bus station was one of many longest walks we did whereas carrying our backpacks. We have been each very pleased once we finally arrived at the bus station.
Lynn – Getting access to an amazing metro system which had extremely frequent service although we have been in Vienna on Easter Sunday.
Andy – The convenience of getting round by way of public transportation.
Lynn – Trying to visit Schoenbrunn Palace. There have been totally means too many individuals to have any degree of enjoyment. All I needed to do was get out and in as quick as potential.
Andy – Every place we went was really crowded due to Easter Sunday.
Lynn – Skyping with my brother and sister in regulation and finding out that they have been going to have a child.
Andy – The mom of the host of our Airbnb condominium left us slightly basket filled with some Easter goodies which was very nice. There were these really colorful adorned eggs in the basket which the lady advised us have been her daughters favourite. We assumed they have been some kind of special egg with a shock inside or chocolate, but they have been just exhausting boiled eggs.
Lynn – Visiting Kosice, the town where my great grandparents immigrated from.
Andy – Having fun with low cost wine and great meals on the Slovak Pub “Bartislava” in Bratislava.
Lynn – Not having a kitchen at our condominium in Kosice when there were so many great grocery stores nearby.
Andy – The walk we had from the bus station to our lodge in Bratislava… the last a part of it was all up hill.
Lynn – Frequenting the Slovak Pub once we have been in Bratislava. We enjoyed the normal Slovak meals and glasses of wine for very affordable costs.
Andy – Whereas at the practice station in Bratislava waiting for our practice to Kosice, we realized we should always have some water with us on the practice. Because the costs have been expensive at the station I ran down the hill into town (about 3/four of a mile) to purchase water at a cheaper worth. Once we acquired on the practice they gave us free water.
Lynn – Exploring Krakow with Andy. I previously visited once I was touring solo, however the expertise felt utterly totally different this time around.
Andy – With the ability to explore and luxuriate in Krakow with Lynn, particularly because it was one among her favourite cities from when she visited Europe previously.
Lynn – Waiting at the bus station for our bus but not seeing it listed on the departures board. We asked a couple of individuals but no one seemed to know something about it. We have been nervous that we have been in the mistaken place but a short while after it was as a consequence of arrive, it pulled in.
Andy – The lookout point, Kopiec Krakusa, was disappointing, however the worst part was the time we spent to get to it.
Lynn – Having fun with a beer on the town square which we thought was on special for completely happy hour. After the invoice arrived we realized it was almost double what we thought it will be.
Andy – The night time we went to do our laundry wasn’t purported to be anything particular, but we drank beer, performed Jenga, and waited for our laundry to get achieved. It was virtually unhappy when our laundry finished so quick and we needed to head back to our condominium.
Lynn – Inexpensive beers at every bar in town. It was straightforward to seek out .5 liter beers for less than $1.
Andy – The coffee ice cream I had downtown in Brno was surprisingly good, which I wasn’t really expecting.
Lynn – Struggling excessive travel fatigue and wanting to take a seat around doing nothing. We pressured ourselves to get out but the climate was not ideally suited.
Andy – It rained pretty much the whole time we have been there.
Lynn – Driving the tram round town with out paying since we never had actual coins to buy tickets. Fortunately we didn’t get caught.
Andy – The morning we left, we had quite a couple of dollars in Czech money that we would have liked to spend, so we went to the grocery store. I ran round grabbing snacks and adding up the whole on my telephone in an effort to deplete as much of our Czech cash as attainable.
Lynn – With the ability to see the Parliament constructing in individual. It was simply as ornate and enormous as I imagined that it will be.
Andy – The convenience of getting round Budapest by way of public transportation put the town pretty excessive on my listing. It didn’t make my prime 3, nevertheless it was close.
Lynn – It was almost unimaginable to get via the crowds of individuals on the central market since no one appeared to comprehend that they could be in someone’s method.
Andy – Not with the ability to get a picture of us by the picket Budapest sculpture because of all the tourists climbing on and round it.
Lynn – Having a lot fun driving the escalators to the metro. They have been so quick and enjoyable to take!
Andy – I nonetheless keep in mind the first time we stepped on the escalator to go away the underground metro. If only all escalators have been that quick…
Lynn – Seeing all of the cats everywhere in the city. They have been great subjects for our photographs.
Andy – The good climate we had in Istanbul, which allowed us to stroll around the city as a way to see and achieve this a lot.
Lynn – The nervousness that Andy and I had once we have been corralled in a security checkpoint to enter the airport. We needed to get out of an space that had a mass of people because it made an amazing goal for terrorists. Several months after we left the country, there was an assault in the actual place that we have been fearful about.
Andy – The terrible fish sandwiches on the pier. I nonetheless don’t get why there were so many individuals there.
Lynn – Being excited to attempt the native fish sandwiches that we had examine and immediately regretted our determination after the primary chew.
Andy – Another failed TripAdvisor restaurant story… We walked fairly a methods to seek out this extremely rated restaurant with genuine turkish meals. Unfortunately, it was not where the map stated it might be. We walked around for about 30 minutes earlier than selecting a special place to eat.
Lynn – South Africa – the individuals have been pleasant, the surroundings was breathtaking and the whole lot was inexpensive
Andy – South Africa – The nation was simply lovely and had a whole lot of things to see and do. It additionally was exactly what I needed after four months in South America.
Prime 3 Cities
- Cape City, South Africa
- Santorini, Greece
- Kotor, Montenegro
- Cape City, South Africa
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Santorini, Greece
Lynn – Elephant Bed room Camp – Samburu Nationwide Reserve, Kenya
Andy – Elephant Bed room Camp – Samburu Nationwide Reserve, Kenya
Lynn – The buses in Europe weren’t as luxurious because the buses that we skilled in South America. That being stated, we all the time enjoyed driving the FlixBus as each bus that we have been on was new, clean and had protected drivers.
Andy – My greatest transportation was our flight on Turkish Airlines once we have been leaving to fly back to Miami. Positive it was nice to be headed residence, however my favorite part was that we have been capable of chill out and watch films all the time. I watched 5 films on our flight house!
Our Least Favorites
Lynn – Bulgaria – it was chilly, there wasn’t quite a bit to see and at occasions communication was just a little difficult.
Andy – Bulgaria – This can be a robust one as a result of I hate to provide such a unfavourable notion of Bulgaria, however of all the nations we visited it just wasn’t as fascinating because the others. So as to add to that, it was chilly and we have been solely there for a short time period.
Backside three Cities
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Brno, Czech Republic
- Vienna, Austria
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Brno, Czech Republic
- Cairo, Egypt (for one purpose solely: it was so soiled)
Lynn – El Mesala Lodge in Luxor, Egypt – the proprietor was extremely annoying, regularly tried to promote us tour packages and tried to tear us off several occasions.
Andy – Chameleon Youth Hostel in Athens, Greece – First I need to say that the house owners of this hostel have been super pleasant and more than helpful, but once I thought again to once I was most annoyed throughout this second a part of the trip, it was at this hostel. Our room was on the roof and for some purpose all the time felt chilly and damp. The shower was the supply of all my frustration… it was tiny, you had to hold the bathe head in your hand, and half means into my bathe the water turned chilly. I ended up dropping and breaking the cap on our face wash because of the stupid bathe head.
Lynn – Our flights on EgyptAir have been both terrible. Whereas I’m usually not a nervous flyer, I was extremely scared that one thing dangerous was going to occur because the security was extraordinarily lax.
Andy – EgyptAir. Worst. Flights. Ever.
Our Ultimate Ideas
Once we originally mentioned our world journey, we have been solely going to journey to Central and South America. When there have been still many locations that we needed to visit, we ran the numbers, looked at flights on award miles and determined to increase our journey to Africa and Europe. I’m extremely glad that we made this determination as lots of our favorite reminiscences have been on this portion of our journey.
One evening over drinks we discussed how we have been fortunate to have visited South America first. Had our journey been reversed, we might have began out with every part being straightforward and at the finish once we have been most fatigued, it might have been challenging.
Whereas Africa and Europe have been a lot simpler, they were not with out their own challenges. All over the place that we seemed to go to was flooded with tourists, issues have been significantly costlier and all of our buses have been through the day which ate into our sightseeing time.
To be able to go on a trip like this was unbelievable. Going back and writing down these reminiscences makes us keep in mind simply how many good occasions we had and how a lot of the world that we have been capable of see.