After almost 5 months and nearly 11,000km we’ve finally arrived in Istanbul, the crossroads between Europe and Asia. As you might imagine, we’re rather chuffed at the thought knocking off an entire continent, though perhaps equally thankful that the next one is just that little bit smaller.
This point in our journey will see us take some different roads, kinda fitting for a millennia-old crossroads. Due to differing travel tastes, we’ve decided to choose two separate paths from here to London. Europe offers such rich scenic choices that it would be a shame to miss the ones that most tickle our collective fancies.
I will be making a beeline, albeit a fairly scenic one, for London and Belfast. Beginning in Bulgaria, I plan to travel through Serbia and Hungary to Budapest before following the mighty Danube River upstream through parts of Austria (yes, IAESTE-folks, that does include a rest stop in Vienna) and Germany, finishing off with a sprint across Luxembourg and Belgium to the French port of Calais. Flat, fast and furious. Think of it as the cycling equivalent of blitzkrieg…minus the Luftwaffe.
Jared and Katie will be on a parallel course somewhere to my southwest. Their route will take them across northern Greece (Spartans, anyone?) and the Balkans to Dubrovnik, where they will cross the Adriatic to Italy before hopping over the Swiss Alps into France.
It’s a fairly clear-cut case of “You take the high road, and I’ll take the low road.” The difference in mileage is not massive, though crossing a few 2000m passes in the Alps clearly beats the Danube in terms of bragging rights. We’re hoping that we will be able to meet up on the road to London, schedules permitting. If not, there will be a nice bottle of Bushmills waiting at my house for anyone who cares to continue.
We hope that you, loyal readers, will continue to follow us through the last stage of the big adventure and stay tuned to the latest mishaps and goings-on (Youtube video clips will be back on the menu when we leave Turkey, where the site is blocked) here on the website. In fact, you really ought to be grateful we’ve opted to take different paths- this means two European holidays’-worth of photos and blog updates for the price of one [What do you mean we aren’t charging them?].