Saturday, July 27, 2013

And We're Off

If only our route was this straight (or paved)

Last year when opportunities for travel arose, we were quick to get out of Albania and our little part of the world.  We visited Italy twice, made pilgrimages to Istanbul, Budapest, and Prague and spent our summer holiday exploring Scandinavia.  This year, however, we've been embracing the Balkans and discovering the hidden treasures that lie in this little part of Eastern Europe.   Today we head out on a two week road trip through northern Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Macedonia.  We're excited to explore this part of the world that just a few years ago we never would have dreamed of visiting.  With the exception of Greece, when we were growing up these countries either didn't didn't exist or were places whose conditions were so brutal that westerners just didn't thinking about visiting them.  But things have changed.

And now we're off.  I think I've packed everything but if I haven't I will only realize it later and by then it will be too late so we will do without.  Passports and the camera are in my purse.  Snacks are packed, batteries for various entertainment systems are fully charged, and this time we've remembered to bring along our CDs since channel surfing on the radio is frustrating at best.  For the most part we know where we are going.  Our hotels are programmed into our GPS and once we get across the Albanian border the GPS will hopefully come alive with maps.  (The entire country of Albania shows up as a big black hole on our TomTom).  People have joked that this trip could give the Griswold's family vacation a run for its money.  Maybe it will, maybe it won't.  Summer vacations are supposed to be about family time and making memories and that is sure to happen.  We may not know what is around the next corner but we're about to find out.

First stop:  Meteora, Greece.

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