Well I'm in the process of finalising my travels for this forthcoming summer, and it's something a bit different from Australia and the Pacific this time.
I was going to go over there and spend the summer in Surfer's Paradise with a few of the old friends, but I think I'm going to try Eastern Europe and hopefully something a bit weird and lurid.
My exams are to finish in June, so I'll be setting off at the end of that month (resits pending). I've already booked an open flight to my first destination, which is going to be Athens (not very Eastern I know but I have my reasons). I've got a few friends over there, so I'm looking forward to seeing a few of the islands and maybe continuing my learning of diving.
I'll be backpacking as usual, not flying, so I'll be heading north through Greece and into Bulgaria where I've been told the trade industry is really booming in the past couple of years. It should be something unusual. Bulgaria recently joined the EU so passport control isn't a problem and I don't envisage any border fee's. Man this is going to be cheap compared to last time out :)
From Bulgaria it'll get a little bit more weird. Romania is next on the path, and a visit to Bucharest should be one of the highlight's of the whole trip without a doubt. The Danube Delta, or Delta Dunarii flows right through to the Black Sea and is something I've been told is an amazing sight at nightfall in the summer. Of course Romania is pretty famous for it's Medieval new-Renaissance architecture. They've got some pretty sh*t hot castles and villages, none more so than the Peles Castle which lies amongst the Bucegi Mountain range, which I'll try and get into the tour.
I've not quite worked out the route for Ukraine and Poland yet but I'll be visiting both countries as much next two stops. Kiev is a certainty, however I'm still undecided between Warsaw and Krakow. Tis a tough choice. Lithuania and Estonia are also on the agenda however I'm yet to get information through from the home office there about safety of travel regulations at the moment, so at this point it's still indefinite on whether I'll be able to go, which is a shame.
Inevitably I'll end up Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I've got a friend there I met whilst in Australia so I've got a place to say. Dare I say that Eli Roth's rendition of what is becoming a cult horror Hostel isn't enough to put me off going there. Although I've been told that the women are very beautiful, and the hospitality of the locals is unrivalled; I'm looking forward to Bratislava over all other destinations. This aside Slovakia also offer the High Tatras, a mountain range that has incorporated almost secret villages into its myst, picturesque beyond belief. Sadly I won't be there to see the snowfall, however I'm sure it'll still be spectacular.
Other stops on my summers trip will be: Hungary; Austria; Czech Republic; Germany; Netherlands; Switzerland & Italy. My travel plans on those countries to come later this week...