Start Date: July 15, 2012 (Washington, D.C. to Helsinki, Finland)
End Date: November 18, 2012 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Duration: 127 days (4+ months)
Total Spent *: $18, 589 ($12,896 in Eastern Europe/West Asia & $5,693 in Western Europe)
Average per person per day *: $65.13 in Eastern Europe/West Asia & $94.88 in Western Europe)
Transportation Cost: $7,323 **
Transportation Duration: 288 Hours **
Overnight Buses: 11
Rental Cars: 9
Metros, Taxis, Mini-buses: Countless!
Beds Slept In: 74 ***
Kristin Breakdowns: 1 (she lost me at R.H.C.P. concert)
Divorce or Death Threats to One Another: about 10 (on voicemails Kristin left Bryan at R.H.C.P. concert)
Thefts: 2 (food out of communal fridge in Helsinki, and Kristin’s towel in Budapest — Not too bad for almost a year of travel)
Countries Visited: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Romania, Germany, Liechtenstein, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, United Arab Emirates
* Includes all flights and travel insurance in calculations. There was a huge difference in costs between Eastern and Western Europe, so we’ve separated the two. West Asia (Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and UAE) costs were similar to Eastern Europe.
** DOES NOT include local transportation cost or travel times (taxis, local bus, local metro, rental car drive-time)
*** This includes sleeping on the ground in the woods of Salzburg and on the floor of the Ritz-Carlton. DOES NOT include the overnight buses.
Some of our favorite places & experiences (in order visited):
–Tallin, Estonia – gorgeous and super cool walled city with unique and relatively recent history. We enjoyed visiting all of the KGB museums and cells.
–Riga, Latvia – another beautiful city with interesting history and the best meal Bryan’s ever had.
–Poland – the history, cities, people, and food are awesome
–Slovakia – hiking the High Tatras and exploring the castles and capital city of Bratislava
–Budapest, Hungary – breathtaking city with tons to see and do
–Sarajevo, Bosnia – an attractive, welcoming city with a tragic yet fascinating recent history
–The Greek Islands – one of Kristin’s favorite places – bright white buildings, turquoise waters, and delicious food
–Driving through beautiful Romania (one of Bryan’s top favorite places – it felt like we went back in time a century)
–Bruges, Belgium – adorable canal city, yummy chocolate
–Exploring London with Bryan’s dad and meeting up with friends
-Driving through the quaint, picturesque countryside of Wales (even in the rain)
–Northern Ireland’s history and unique sites like Giant’s Causeway
-Revisiting some of our favorite spots in Ireland with Bryan’s Dad
-Meeting up with the Fogarty’s in Galway, Ireland
–Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
-Spending a week with Kristin’s parents in gorgeous Garmisch, Germany (where Kristin lived as a kid)
–Traveling through Turkey with our Virginia Tech friends – especially experiencing the culture, visiting the ancient historical sites, and exploring Cappadocia and the Turquoise Coast
-Driving through Georgia – the hospitality, monasteries, scenery and food are amazing (we foresee Georgia becoming a very popular place to travel)
–Dubai, United Arab Emirates – luxury, extravagance, and modernity like we’d never seen before – it felt like going forward in time 20 years
–Cairo, Egypt – the pyramids, mosques, temples, and other incredible sites made the pollution and chaos worthwhile
– Lviv, Ukraine – there was nothing wrong with this city, it just definitely wasn’t our favorite and we found it a little uninspiring. We would definitely give Ukraine another chance someday though and explore some of the other areas.
–Macedonia and Albania were also not the most remarkable places, although we don’t regret traveling through them on our way to Greece.
None come to mind! Summer in Europe can be a very crowded with other tourists, but the weather was beautiful. We’re definitely glad we decided to explore Eastern Europe and revisit some of our favorite spots in Western Europe.
Thanks so much for your continued support and prayers. We are extremely fortunate to have had another safe and successful leg of our World Trip. 🙂