Since this blog is going on hiatus until our next trip, we thought we’d revisit the people and places that made this so memorable. We always seem to highlight the weirdos we meet along the way, but rarely do we highlight the exceptional ones.
In Tallinn, Rolf and Geidi saved us from homelessness and gave us a couch to sleep on and copious amounts of food and wine. We took full advantage by sleeping in the next morning until noon when Kelsey yelled “Guys! We are in somebody’s house! Let’s get out of here!”
Marju, our next host, was just as helpful. She brought us all around town to find bikes and also warned us about bike thieves. The joke was on us.
We cannot forget Viinistu where we fished in the Baltics, enjoyed their homemade sauna, ate the fish we caught, and then sang songs about it. There was never a shortage of food and tea from their backyard garden. We could not thank them enough!
In fact, we cannot thank any of our hosts enough. Kinga, who cooked for us and showed us around Krakow. Effie in Salzburg, who went above and beyond out of her way to make sure we saw the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. Though it was not important to her, she made sure we made it back in time. Lara, who read on our blog that we were in Dresden, insisted on hosting us for dinner and finding us accommodation in Dresden and in Amsterdam. Netty gave us our own cosy room, introduced us to Brighton, England, and helped us with the challenge of ordering pizza-a surprisingly difficult task in an English speaking country. Did we mention she was from Brunei and English was her second language? Elfi, who did not even know us, kindly opened her home to us for two nights in the center of Amsterdam overlooking the canals. All in all, the weird and wacky people made for great stories, but these incredible people made for a great trip.
The long awaited visit from Lexi was one of the more special events. It was so special that we wished she could have stayed longer. Actually, she did. She missed her flight, lost her wallet, and slept in the terminal before she finally returned to Dublin.
Speaking of missing things, we came close a couple times. In St. Petersburg, Kelsey and Scott lost all of hope of escaping Russia until Kaley threw herself in front of our bus as it left the bus terminal. Another close call came in Lithuania when Kaley and Scott thought it was essential to make a McDonald’s run during a break on our 14 hour bus ride to Warsaw. The pit stop nearly gave Kelsey a heart attack when the bus began to make moves before the two returned.
Aside from close calls and awesome people, we were able to check places and events off our “historical bucket list,” even if they were all under construction. First off, we got to see every identical Old Town in Eastern Europe. We devoured every World War II museum. Even better than the museums were the actual locations of these historical events such as the Nazi rallying grounds, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the courtroom of the Nuremberg Trials and the Berlin Wall. We even saw Sigmund Freud’s famous couch. We also saw history in the making when we got to London to catch the men’s marathon at the 2012 Olympics as well as the closing ceremonies at nearby Victoria Park.
In addition to history, we immersed ourselves in the local culture of each city. The famous St. Petersburg ballet, sharing our hostel dorm with eight Russian twelve-year-old girls, the Latvian ethnographic park, the Viennese orchestra, the Red Light District of Amsterdam, frolicking with sheep in the English countryside, and of course, sampling every kind of Dutch cheese in The Netherlands have been some of our highlights.
Then there were the non-cultural events that include trinket crawls, 22+ Doner Kebab stops, Kaley eating chicken for the first time in six years, The Dark Knight in Germany, movie nights with every available computer and countless pubs where we previewed as many Olympic 2012 events as possible.
After three months, thirteen countries and 268 individual modes of transportation, we now have three individual flights left: one to Boston, one to Chicago, and one to Connecticut (not before making one last kebab stop of course). We would like to thank
the academy our loyal followers and avid readers who have read our stories and passed them along. The blog is not over and done with. It is merely taking a break while our bank accounts recover from China, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Austria, Germany, Great Britain and The Netherlands.
See you soon! Zai jian! Lear heouy! Sawatdi! La gohn! Nauq twe dhe da paw! Do svidanja! Head aega! Sveiki! Do widzenia! Pfueatti! Auf Wiedersehen! Cheerio! Tot ziens!
Scott, Kelsey and Kaley@9 months ago
#adieu #goodbye #travel #end of trip #europe #eurotrip #kelsey buttendorf #scott krier #kaley sweeney