Monday, August 28, 2006

Wrapping It Up

Ok my self imposed one week of doing nothing is over. I have yet to unpack, unpacking is always the least favorite thing to do when you get back from a trip. Also due to the fact that I basically wore the same few shirts and jeans for 11 weeks many of these items are going to be retired for good. Sadly my white USA soccer jersey, that didnt get much wear during the world cup, due to the USA speedy exit, it got some wear afterwards as I couldnt let it goto waste, it has a few unknown stains on it, so it too might be retired. No worries as with the poor performance of the USA team, I'm almost embarassed to wear it outside of a match. I will NOT be buying a 4 star Italian jersey whenever they come out as I am still digusted at the way the Italians played,and while they are the champions, and I went to 3 of their games, a fan I am NOT.

Just a few interesting overall stats that I sorta compiled on my trip

Total Countries Visited 22. In Order. England, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Norway

Total Cities Visited or at least drank a beer in. 43. London, Oxford, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Jurmala, Vilnius, Kanaus, Warsaw, Krakow, Essen, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Mainz, Mannheim, Nuremberg, Kaiserslautern, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Luxembourg City, Barcelona, Prague, Salzburg, Budapest, Bratislava, Bucharest, Brasov, Constant, Varna, Sofia, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Pula, Rovinj, Ljubljana, Bled, Oslo

Different Currencies Handled. 16. British Pound, Euro, Estonian Kroon, Latvian Lat, Lithuanian Lita, Polish Zloty, Czech Kourna, Hungarian Forint, Slovakian Kouran, Romanian Leu, Bulgarian Lev, Serbian Dinar, Bosnian Marka, Croatian Kuna, Slovenian Tolar, Norwegian Krone

Cheapest Beer by far was in Bratislava at the 1 Slovak Pub. Homemade good beer for 18 SKK(currently 29 SKK to 1 USD), so it was about .60 cents. Most expensive Beer was in Oslo, where it was 60 NOK(currently 6.28NOK to 1 USD), making that beer cost $9.75, and it was only .4L(about 13.5 Oz).

Total Money spent.. well I didnt keep an IRS audit count, but it was about $4000 to $5000 for the lodging and transportation for the 11 weeks. I was able to keep an avg budget of about $400 per week. My World Cup tickets were paid before I left, and airfare back and forth over the pond was paid using Frequent Flier miles.

Total Beers drank. I dont even want to think about it, still letting my liver slowly recover!!!

Overall the trip was great, I did get a bit homesick in the last 2 weeks, and hurting my knee and hobbling around like an old man during the last week was no fun. Also towards the end dwindling bank account funds made things tough especially when I was in expensive countries like Norway and England. Overall I am addicted to the backpacing lifestyle where you have no schedules, no plans, you just wander like a rolling stone.... I will be coming back next year if plans work out and i will be hitting those far off countries that seemed out of reach to me, but now after doing the trip once, I realize nothing is really off limits, unless its Kosovo with landmines buried in the ground.

Pictures are being added to my Fotki site each day, I am about 75% done, so check some of those out. Also videos will be slowly added to my YouTube site, so check with out. In the next few weeks I am going to go thru my diary and try to give you a country by country recap of places, and I have a few other posts, so thanks for reading and if you stick around, more props to ya!!


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