I am on one of those usual travel planning moods of mine and this morning, I am thinking quite big!
Yes, it is once again Europe… I know, I know I should be exploring other places too… but doesn’t Europe overshadow them all? Anyways, this trip I am thinking of going to countries I have already been… and just letting it sink in, a little more, without the hury-bury 🙂
My first time in Europe in 2003 was as a student which meant each trip lasted only 3-4 days over a long weekend. I lived in France for 6 months and hence multiple weekend trips to Paris, a 4 day trip to Southern France and Monaco, a weekend trip to Normandy where I bungee-jumped!, a road trip to Strasbourg & around, long weekend trips to London, Belgium, Switzerland.. I got a glimpse of many countries and did almost all the ‘must-do’ places out here. I still consider this as the best 6 months of my life!
But I missed Italy… and it kept nagging me and hence 5 years later, I was on that dream trip once again to Italy. I was travelling with boyfriend, who wasn’t so kicked about Italy, but wanted to visit his relatives in London! Well, he loved Venice and Rome – maybe a lil more than me too! – and I was pampered at his relatives’ place in London – a lil more than him 😉 So we had a lovely trip and decided we are visiting here once again!
My longest vacation happened last august… a 17 day trip to eastern Europe… suggested by N… 2 girls trip… which I will remember forever. A last minute screw-up with Croatian visas derailed our itinerary but we ‘walked & cycled’ 7 days in Czech republic, ‘explored and rested’ 4 days in Vienna, ‘stayed with the locals’ 1 day in Bratislava and ‘soaked in the sun’ 4 days in Hvar 🙂 This was the first time I actually spent a day sitting in a cafe reading a book or lay under the Croatian sun, soaking in the Mediterranean beaches and just enjoyed the bliss of a vacation.
And hence learning from that last trip where I enjoyed more of the ‘non-touristy’ and ‘unconventional’ ways a lot more than those little touristy things we did (read, Prague castle), now I want to go on a 60 day Europe trip to Belgium, Amsterdam, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia and maybe Slovakia. Most of these countries, I have visited. But I want to visit those ‘unconventional’ places (places I would visit only if I had a week to 10 days in each country) in those visited countries and a mix of both in the new countries. I want to walk, cycle, trek and also soak in the Mediterranean beaches.
I think I can do this at INR 6 lakhs for two ppl… that is just a rough estimate to start with… I don’t know when I will be able to do this and if at all I will be able to this! This year… next year? Maybe much later… But I love the planning part as much as the vacation and this one will require a hell a lot of research. Am looking forward to it 🙂