Thursday, April 07, 2005

European Roadtrip



It's official. We're finally both in Europe! Saturday Chris arrived in Athens and I met him at the airport with a Kinder Surprise.

We've had a great week, although we've both had severe sticker shock as everything in Greece is so expensive compared to what we've been used to in Asia and Latin America. With accommodation prices as high as they are, just sleeping is putting us over budget. As a result, we've gone into super-efficiency mode, having elaborate picnics in the room, breakfast/lunch/dinner for the past week. We've also managed to get into most of the museums and attractions for free. Please don't ask about that. It looks like we may survive the European portion of the trip.

A couple I met in Turkey, Ellen and Mel, are our inspiration for how to travel in Europe without going broke. Their best advice was to buy a small electric kettle. Suddenly we can make tea and coffee, hot Ribena drinks, soup, and maybe hard-boiled eggs. The eggs will be tomorrow's breakfast experiment.

Ellen and Mel also suggested that it would be more economical to do a long-term lease of a brand-new car than to get a Eurorail pass. It would be easier to explore rural villages and we could stay inexpensive places outside of city centers. Baring any complications, Chris and I will be the proud short-term owners of a brand-new diesel consuming Peugeot next month. Somehow between now and then I have to learn how to drive a standard transmission... in a mountainous country. It's one of those skills I've had actual nightmares about in the past. Dreams where it is necessary to escape somewhere in a car and the vehicle has a stick shift. I can't even get out of park.

We haven't figured out where we are going exactly but right now we are planning to spend the next three weeks in Greece. Next month, ready or not, the European Roadtrip will begin. Dropping in on family, friends, and passing acquaintances as we go... Hi, remember us?

The possible itinerary without mentioning random assorted principalities:

Italy
Switzerland (get the car)
Italy again

France
Spain
France again
Belgium
The Netherlands
Denmark
Germany
Czech Republic
France again (say goodbye to car)
Britain

And then back to India in August, where we can afford to have tea in a cafe.

In the meantime, tomorrow we are taking a ferry down to Crete. Can't grow up with a labyrinth obsession and not go to Knossos, home to the Minotaur and the birth of the world's first maze.

Since I'm feeling a little bit older today, Chris is letting me choose all our activities. We started with a cafe breakfast. Went to the National Museum and then got some Kinder Surprises. Soon we'll go to the Benaki Museum. Tonight we'll see a good movie and go out to dinner. One day of indulgence. Budget be damned.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Natasha said...

Happy birthday!!!!

April 07, 2005 6:41 PM  
Blogger Jennifer P. said...

Thank you!

April 12, 2005 2:01 PM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

Sounds so great. Are you going to Delphi? Am I totally off geography wise? How much longer are you in Athens? I forgot that you should get in touch with my archaeology buddy Kate, who is studying at the American University...

April 12, 2005 2:16 PM  
Blogger Jennifer P. said...

You get a gold star for geography. According to the plan, we'll be in Delphi sometime next week. Kate is at the American University where? Athens?

April 14, 2005 10:37 AM  
Blogger Ms. NOLA said...

Kate is in Athens at the American University there.

I just wasn't sure if Delphi was far flung from where you were. xoxoLJL

April 15, 2005 12:42 PM  

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