not yet done, summary 2

Erlangen Travel Blog

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So, how have you all been?  Things are going well with me, I'm waiting for the time when my job interview here in Germany will start, so it seems the perfect time to continue my trip summary. 
Each person has their own style of travel .. then again, most of the time that style is forced upon them due to their budget.   Sometimes budget isn't so much a deterrent since maybe you're thinking about travelling to places that are quite inexpensive but most people on these kinds of trips mix expensive (UK or Scandinavia) with cheap (Thailand, china, etc) and the balance of how long one stays in any one place is determined by how fast one burns through their cash in the one or how slowly, depending on which way you go first. 
I started in Europe and while not all of Europe is crazy expensive, .. its certainly not cheap compared to other parts of the globe.  But as I mentioned in the first summary, my trip wasn't totally controlled by the forces of expense (saving can mitigate some risk).  My primary concern was more of having some sort of direction and not feeling like I was being listless.  As such I ended up doing a fair bit of tours on the trip, mostly because I didn't want to have to lug a dozen or so guidebooks around and because I really just wanted to have some bits where I didn't have to plan out everything that had to be done every night.  It can also be kind of tedious to meet people you like every other day and then lose them as they go their separate ways.  My opinion on tours has changed quite a lot since this trip but that's to be expected.  In the US the travel industry isn't really an industry (and you can tell it isn't just by the relative difficulty you might have in finding a decent travel agent domestically speaking).  As I sit here in Germany, I don't think its too much of stretch that there are probably about 2 or 3 travel agents within a stone's throw of this cyber cafe.  Its one of those industries that definitely benefits from having workers getting at least 4 weeks of vacation standard. 
Anyway, I digress.  I did a three week tour of Greece with Explore (its a UK company, not sure how much of this I've detailed yet).  Greece was fantastic and warm and welcoming.. and in some places downright HOT, esp. for early June.  I'd say this much, go during the fall or late spring, avoid summer.  My least favorite place on the trip was Athens.  I thought it was pretty dirty and .. well, dirty.   Otherwise, .. well, I'd suggest that you do a trip around the peninsula.  Most people who do Greece do the islands and while they're beautiful and have a ton of nightlife, the peninsula seems to get neglected and there are so many interesting sites to see.  I guess maybe I'm a bit biased since I loved Greek mythology and history and there's something to be said for standing on the site of Nestor's palace or being on Ithaca home of Ulysses. 
After that, I came back through Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Paris, back into London before heading back home for the 4th.. I do think, if it is possible that people who do go on these kinds of long trip should attempt to plan a trip back to friends and family somewhere in the middle.  It definitely helps to keep one grounded.  Esp. when you have friends and family that are pretty down to earth (I do have an exceptionally supportive family for all of this).  Plus, ya know, having a few days of free room, board and whatnot certainly does not hurt the pocketbook (although would that justify the expense of flying home.. who knows?).
Came back through London and then up to Scotland.  I have to say, of all the places I had been on this trip, the 6 days in Scotland were both amazing and amazingly short.  Summer is definitely the time to be there since well, its wet a lot (like most of the area around there).  Its the one place I did really feel rushed.  I suppose that this was because I was doing the country and not city to city like I had been or .. well, I had spent 3 weeks in Greece before that.  History and culture (beyond drinking) and the highlands, the amazing highlands.  I could have spent a good week more at least, but I suppose that just means that I will have to rectify that mistake sometime in the future.
Then to Ireland, 2 weeks with family and friends.   I'll give more details on that later.. anyway, this is turning out to be a bit more dull than I would like so I'm going to post it and then edit it later.. I should grab some lunch and maybe get myself mentally prepared for a grilling...
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photo by: Kurisu