HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!
Our Mission. To seek out Castles and historical places, collect all the countries we can, in Europe and beyond, all in under 8 months. We’re travelling “Off-Season”, which limits crowds and allows us to move about with little notice - i.e. in the summer we’d have to have reservations 2 months in advance… but some attractions we find are closed for the winter, or have limited hours. It's been great - but if you're considering traveling off-season, for a shorter time, trying for April/May or September/October may be best.
We only carry all our stuff like this when on our way to/from a Bus, Plane, Train!
MAP AND DATA:
After a visit to Portland, Oregon, here’s where we’ve been so far - in order:
Cost-wise, Iceland and Scandinavia are most expensive, Central Europe medium or similar to the USA, and the Baltics and Eastern Europe the least expensive. We’re hoping the average comes out reasonable overall.
|The fated Ryanair Flight that couldn't land...|
We’ve had ‘interesting times’, with cell phones and online accounts, but are managing. Pay telephones are few and far between. We’ve had only a few ‘bad’ days. One was when flying to Dublin from London on Ryanair, which is a no-frills airline to start with -- strong winds had us attempting to land twice, then diverting to land in Liverpool and waiting, on the plane, for 5 hours before successfully landing in Dublin on the third try.
|Trim Castle, Ireland|
|Lareena, Jack and Anna Wilson, and Donovan|
|Castle Ward, south of Belfast, near Downpatrick|
|Cashel Castle, Ireland|
|Cahir Castle, Ireland`|
|Viking Museum in Roskilde, a bus ride away from Copenhagen.|
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK OSLO, NORWAY
|The Stave Church, in Oslo|
BERGEN, NORWAY OSLO, NORWAY
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN LULEA, SWEDEN UMEA, SWEDEN KEMI, FINLAND
|Turku Castle, Finland|
|A medieval tour of Tallinn!|
We were very pleasantly surprised with the Baltics - not having any pre-conceptions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and found them inexpensive and charming. Almost every city in Europe has preserved an “Old Town” area, historic building and experiences, with museums and entertainments. They vary from Medieval/Renaissance to Baroque to 19th Century, but are all appealing and interesting. Tallinn Estonia’s Old Town really caught our attention, as did Riga in Latvia and Vilnius in Lithuania.
|Riga loves cats!|
We’re enjoying all the old world stone constructions, and are happy to find nearly everyone speaks very good English. Most countries play American music and Movies, and show the movies in English. Even in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, English is everyone’s third language.
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
|Seriously ... the view from our B & B in Cinque Terre!|
|Need to come to Cinque Terre (Corniglia) by train.|
(LIECHTENSTEIN, day visit)
|Fussen Castle: example of Illusionist painting on outside windows.|
|Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany|
|Hohenschwangau Castle in Germany. A walk from Neuschwanstein Castle. Separate entry ticket and both are amazing!|
|Christmas Markets are everywhere in Europe in December!|
|Sven sports a festive Santa hat while eating traditional noodles in Luxembourg.|
|Gravensteen Castle in Ghent, Belgium. Front.|
|Gravensteen Castle from the back.|
|Visiting Stephanie and her family in Hengelo, Netherlands.|
|Van Gogh self portrait.|
|With Brigitte in Jever.|
HAMBURG, GERMANY PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (rerun) BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA
ZAGREB, CROATIA (Christmas)
We can only be ‘in the Schengen’ 90 of any 180 day period. So we have to explore Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, and more, before our return to the European Union once again to finish collecting Countries. We need to visit Greece, More of Italy, Germany (for genealogy), Malta, Monaco, France, Spain and Portugal, and revisit some countries we’ve seen, but in the Springtime instead of Winter. We're heading for Turkey and the Middle-East now. We'll be back in Europe in March!
The Longest we were in a single country so far is 15 days (both Sweden & Croatia), the shortest was 3 hours (Liechtenstein). We’ve explored at least 8 castles, viewed several more close-up, and delved into 2 Salt Mines (Krakow and Salzburg). We’ve traveled via intercity train 14 times and bus 12, and earned our stripes navigating the extensive rail and bus systems that gets people where they’re going here.
Our trip is a rushed run through of these countries, and sampling only, and we’ll now have the experiences to return and plan a longer, more intense visit. Maybe. Or, and more likely, we’ll go somewhere else new and rush through there, collecting more countries and wide experiences before slowing down and returning to favored places. 230 days seems like a long holiday, and it is, but to see so much more thoroughly would take years, or a lifetime. If we figure a way to permanently travel, we just might!
WHAT DO WE MISS?
What do we miss about the USA or Alaska? Our friends and family, of course, certain creature comforts or foods hard to find in Europe. (Additionally, Lareena misses her VR computer/VIVE … and having an actual dryer for doing laundry). Driving everywhere without adhering to bus or train schedules… But overall it’s amazing to see how others live and bustle about their business, and gain an outside perspective on America. My take is we produce too much waste and do little to make use of it, and as much as I like the near unending variety of products, we could do with things being a little simpler down in the States.
Our Mooseadventures Facebook personality posts where we generally are, featuring our two Mooses*, Sven & Svenga, but our personal FB pages hold all the albums and details of our trip.
FB PAGE LINK: https://www.facebook.com/ourmooseadventures/
MOOSEADVENTURES EUROPE BLOGGER SITE: www.mooseadventures.net
Currently our U.S. phone numbers are on temporary hold. We'll have these numbers again when we return to the U.S. Khevron currently has a European phone number.
Lareena has a Google phone number: 801-810-0126 (mostly good for text msg when I have wifi; I think maybe you can call me and/or leave a msg)
BEST WAY TO CONTACT:
And via Facebook chat/messenger.
Lareena and Khevron
|This was suspended over a river by a crane. Ancient d20, maybe??|
*Yes, "moose" is the singular & plural form for moose, not "mooses", but they're cute that way!