Those of you who read regularly will know that I am currently a grounded traveller. I have been back in Sweden, which now feels like home, for over a year, but I have been battling the Post-Travel Blues for most of that time.
Recently, my current financial situation forced me to sign a contract for another year at a school in Stockholm, which means that weekend travel is once again confined to local travel around Sweden, and making the most of my (admittedly, generous) holiday allowance for trips further afield.
Of course, Sweden is a great country to be in, but it would be nice to squeeze in a bit more of Europe before the next academic year begins.
Last year I managed to see a fairytale castle in Romania, eat a burger in Hamburg, explore the free town commune of Christiania in Copenhagen, visit Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam, photograph the world’s most over-rated tourist attraction in Brussels, and drive across the spectacular Isle of Skye in Scotland. This summer I would like to focus on Eastern Europe.
So, what is on the cards?
Over June and July I would like to travel around Europe some more, starting with Istanbul—a city that I have long desired to visit. Istanbul straddles the continents of Europe and Asia, bringing a long history of political, religious and social turbulence. I hope that I can spend a few days, or maybe a week there.
Other places I wish to visit include: Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Croatia. These countries are all gaining popularity as tourist destinations—a far cry from the war-torn states that I saw nightly on the news in the 80s. I think that the best way to get around is to get a Eurail train pass so that I have plenty of flexibility in where I go.
Romania is also a place that I would like to return to this summer, as my brief time there in November was simply not long enough to explore such a beautiful and diverse country.
Finally, I will spend some time back at home. My parents are in the process of moving from Wales to Cornwall, a region of the UK long-connected with smuggling and piracy. Not only that, Cornwall is home of the Eden project – one of the World’s largest indoor rainforests – and the Minack Theatre – an open air theatre set atop one of Cornwall’s craggy cliffs.
I need your help to plan my trip. Where would you go?
Do you have any suggestions for where I should visit in the summer? I am going to stay in Europe, but would like to focus primarily on Eastern Europe. What should be on my itinerary?