Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Behind the Iron Curtain

So, I've been thinking about places that I want to travel to while I'm in Europe.

This is one of the places:

After looking into traveling to Russia though, I'm kind of intimidated. For starters you need a Visa, which isn't that big of a deal I suppose, but you also have to be sponsored.

So...I'm thinking about taking a tour with a group instead. I'm usually not one for tour groups, but I think this might be actually the best way. However, those trips are kind of expensive, so I'm thinking about saving for it and doing it next year.

Caitlin, I know you've studied Russian, have you been there? Let me know if you have.

Next destination on my list?

Normandy. I really, really want to go here. Mainly to experience the D-Day beaches. I just have this pull towards them. From checking around I've heard good things about Victory Tours, so I'm checking into that. I'd really like to do this before Sean deploys, which gives us until sometime this fall.


Morocco. Specifically Fez, as Ryan Air flys from Milan directly there, for a decent price. I've always wanted to go there and I'm going to try to make it happen.

This isn't the whole list of places I want to go, I've got the requisite places in Germany,France, Austria and Switzerland as well as a few places in Scandanavia, Easter Europe and of course Greece. I just hope I can see the majority of what I want to see before we leave here!

In other news, Sean is on a jump today. I dropped him off bright and early this morning at 3:15 a.m. and promptly went back to bed. The first time I talked to him he said he was going to jump this evening. Fast forward an hour and he said he's not jumping until tomorrow and will spend the night there. Gotta love the Army and it's ever-changing plans!

Looks like it's just me and Boomer tonight. Perhaps I can finally get my house somewhat in order. It's still a mess!

I did order some books today off of Amazon and I cannot wait to get them! I got a travel book for Ireland, Julie & Julia, The House on First Street and a book about Photoshop Elements. I hope they get here quickly.


Anonymous said...

AH yes, well you don't have to worry too much about this unit and jumps! They don't do it very often, just enough to keep the boys current. Just wait for the next Graf rotation. That is never fun.

And a travel tip, don't be shy about going into the travel agency's on the economy! For the most part there will be someone in the store that speaks English and you might even find a great deal.

The Mrs. said...

russia sounds so interesting. I hope you figure out a way to go and see some of the sights. Me? I'm a whimp to go into NYC so hats off to you my friend!

Sarah said...

My brother - the crazy traveler that he is - is trying to go to Russia this summer with a friend. They would be going on their own (without a tour group) so if he actually goes I can forward any helpful tips from him onto you.

Via said...

Morocco? I'm so there with you. Fez, Marrakesh...those too. I'll let you know when I hit the lottery and then I'll even pay for it!

Caitlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K @ Blog Goggles said...

Russia's very scary. I went there a few years ago as a student and half of the group I was with got robbed - either by people in the street or by the cops themselves. Maybe we were easy marks, but still. I have zero desire to go back there!

Kelly said...

I saw your April Fools and was really concerned because I have never been to Europe and I am living vicariously through your adventures and pictures! I'm glad it was all a joke!

Kebi Cedawna said...

Ooh, the comments sure make Russia sound spooky. I'd be a little freaked out about it. Sounds like a tour group is the way to go.
Good luck on it all, keep us posted

Suzanne said...

Hey...I am all about traveling to Russia and I'll go with you!

Shelley said...

I just found your blog and haven't commented before. But, I wanted to give you a much easier alternative to Russia. Go to UKRAINE! You do not need a visa and Ukraine has so many beautiful sights. Kiev(the capital) has tons of things to see including Independance Sqare, the famous caves and lots of beautiful cathedrals(oh, and the shopping is great and the food is wonderful!). Odessa is right on the Black Sea, a big tourist attraction and also their military hub. You can even see their version of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier(theirs is a Sailor but it has the eternal flame and such). If you're really in for an adventure, take a train trip! You haven't experienced EE until you've been on a train! We took a train all the way across Ukraine to the Dontesk region, which is right on the boarder of Russia. You can travel around Ukraine so cheaply and there is so much to see and do. It's a beautiful country! They speak Russian and Ukrainian(which are similar) but a lot of people in Kiev speak English. There is nothing scary about Ukraine and you will find that Americans are well received there! The dollar goes a long way there too...which keeps your cost down!
I've also been to Serbia, which is another beautiful country! Belgrade(the capital) also has a lot to see and do. I'm headed to Bulgaria next. I'm a little partial to Eastern Europe :)

Honey said...

two things...

one, try to go to normandy during the d-day celebrations. we went last june and it was fantastic, my parents went in september and said the people were not nice at all. i've heard this year obama's going to be there.

two, i'll bet i know the guys dropping your husband. most of the guys on those crews are friends of mine. they'll be bringing back italian wine for us!!

and i'll sneak in a third, i'll be in the states until july 20, so plan a trip up here at the end of july.

Megan said...

I am so jealous!

But hey! While you're in Russia you can get in your rowboat and come see me in Alaska! =)

Weeksie50 said...

Wow, I wish that I could travel.
I have never been out of the country..
the thought of getting on an airplane scares
me to death.. Thank God I can live vicariously through photos and the stories of all my blogging buddies..

Caitlin said...

Russia is definitely not for the light-hearted, let's say that :) I've never been to Ukraine, as Shelley described, but I've heard great things. And yes, stay away from the militsia (police) in Russia. In Russia they do NOT learn to turn to the police if you need help like we do here. A girl from my school got stopped by them and they demanded her passport...she gave it to them and then they said, "If you want it back, give me 3000 rubles" (about $100 at the time). She had no other choice but to do it. They told us to pretend we were calling the American embassy if that happened...apparently they give it back pretty quickly! :-)

Thing is about Russia, it's not really Europe and it's not really Asia. It's definitely in between, and Muscovites are very proud of that fact. It's a fascinating place but I recommend doing a lot of research beforehand.

We should chat online sometime, I have a bajillion stories!

Caitlin said...

I think I mean "faint of heart," not "lighthearted." It's been a long day!

The Wanderer said...

I would definitely recommend Normandy. My friend went there and she loved it. There was also a really great episode with Samantha Brown on Normandy for the Travel Channel. She went to this port town near there and it was absolutely beautiful.

I planned a trip using the travel channel website, and it was a really great resource. So if you want to go it alone instead of taking a tour, look there.

Happy planning!

jlc said...

I'd LOVE to do a trip to Moscow!

Please go so I can keep on living vicariously though you!

Ohhhh and GAME on for a 3rd trip to Italy. I'd be down. Just tell me when. ;)

Kristen said...

I would love to go to Russia. My sister-in-law just got back from Normandy (for the second time). She said that it was amazing. She stayed at a really great B&B (also for a second time). I can get the name from her if you would like. I would LOVE to go to Morrocco!!!