Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Planning

We've had two email questions about our planning efforts. Here are my almost verbatim replies.

Q1: Are you couchsurfing, airbnbing?

SL has mapped out (literally) possible hotels - no CS or ABB -  for all of Greece and Albania, Montenegro, and most of Bosnia. So far nothing has caused us to change our long time practice and new slogan: We don't book, we look. ;-) 

However, for two reasons we have decided  to contact some CSers along the route. One, they may have helpful on-the-ground information, and two, it may be nice to have cup of coffee/chat with a local in some places we visit.

Q2: Can you get by with English in all these places?

I'm guessing that many hotel managers will know basic English; and that bus drivers, taxi drivers, and ticket sellers will know little or no English. Therefore we'll need to know how to properly pronounce our destination city or town. ;-) And knowing how to say "please stop right now" may come in handy along with "I am a vegetarian".

We are learning to transliterate Greek letters into Roman letters and getting pretty good at place names and things bus schedule related. And soon will do the same for Cyrillic.

Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria have pretty good English versions of their national rail system's websites. And many bus lines have good English websites.

Romanian is a Romance language and it looks like we'll be able to get a lot of meaning from written Romanian, be unable to understand only a few spoken words as it sounds quite unlike Spanish or Italian, and be able to utter some heavily accented words and phrases.

Sounds like a lot of fun to me. ;-)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Tickets Bought

After a good bit of planning we have tickets to and from the Balkans.

  • Feb 21 2014: Raleigh, NC to Athens, Greece
  • Jun 10 2014: Skopje, Macedonia to Raleigh, NC

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...