Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Eeeee! I'm going to Europe! Suddenly it has become a reality.

Okay, so something could go horribly wrong and it might not happen and it's still months away (probably September) and I really shouldn't be planning this early - and still, I'm excited!

I'll be spending most of my time studying hard in one archive in London and another in Brighton, but I'll have several weekends free, and hopefully if I can afford it I might tack a little extra time onto the end.

One weekend will be spent in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival - that's non-negotiable! Probably another weekend will be spent somewhere else in the UK. And then I have one weekend (maybe two if I'm very, very lucky) to dispose of in continental Europe or Scandinavia - eeeeeeee!!!

This creates a problem. I have to choose one (maybe two) destinations in the whole of Europe. Here's some of the options (and given that this trip is still about five months away, I will probably find a few more to pop into the mix). What do you think? What would YOU choose? Have you been to any of these places? Would you recommend any additions to the list? (Bear in mind that I will be going in early autumn.) In no particular order:

Vilnius, Lithuania
It was my brother-in-law's favourite place in Europe. That's quite a call to make.
Venice, Italy
I mean, just look at that photo!

St. Petersburg, Russia
Um, well, I'm doing Russian history, and I'm learning the Russian language... seems like a sensible choice!

Rome, Italy
The Colosseum, opera, the Vatican...

Salzburg, Austria
The home of Mozart and The Sound of Music! Poor Salzburg, there's probably much more to it than that...

Prague, Czech Republic
I've just heard so many good things about Prague - can all those people be wrong?
Pompeii, Italy
This was number one on my list of places I must see before I die. I have to admit it's pretty high up there on this list.

Nuremberg, Germany
History!!! Beauty!! HIIIISTORY!!!!

Munich, Germany
Istanbul, Turkey
I know this is pushing the boundaries of Europe, but I think it's close enough, don't you?
Alone among all the destinations, I could not decide on what photo to use for this country, so I ended up choosing two - type "Iceland" into google images and you will be blown away by stunning landscape after stunning landscape. I couldn't even pick one location in the whole country!

Bergen, Norway
I've wanted to go to Norway for ages. It's all because of Grieg and Roald Dahl.

Ephesus, Turkey
HISTORY!!!! Going to see things I've read about in the Bible all my life? Pretty amazing!
Budapest, Hungary
A friend once sent me a text message from Budapest that went something like this: "I'm in Budapest, it's snowing and it looks exactly like a fairy tale!" I've never been able to forget the intense jealousy I felt at the time.
Bern, Switzerland
or alternatively a train trip through the Swiss Alps...
Either sound good to me!
Athens, Greece
How could this not be on my list?
Later additions:
Bruges, Belgium
Vienna, Austria
Cracow, Poland
Florence, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia


JenKneeBee said...

Bunol, Spain has a huge tomato throwing festival at the end of every summer (I think the end of August) that looks like it'd be crazy awesome. A whole city swimming in tomatoes? Count me in. And I'd also like to go to Istanbul to see all that amazing culture, especially the Hagia Sofia.

Trish Ryan said...

Wow, you've got some fun choices to make! I want to come join you for the Jane Austen fest!!!

heidikins said...

Ohmygoodness!! This is so exciting!

I vote Iceland, Turkey, Prague and St. Petersburg.

I realize that's a bit of a wide range, but hello AMAZING!

I'm with JenKneeBee--I want to see the Hagia Sofia. I also want to go to Iceland. And I think you would be blown away by St. Petersburg or Prague.

Goodness, so many decisions!!


Sarakastic said...

I have my own regular tomato throwing festival. They all look breathtaking, but maybe you should go with the number one on your list of places to see before you die just because it's number one?

John Dent said...

I wanted to go to the jane Austen festival last year, but I didn't have enough money. Same scenario again this year!

I hope you stop by Cardiff?

LEstes65 said...

That's AWESOME!!! Although, I'd be even MORE excited if you had posted that you were coming to the States.

~Virginia~ said...

hooray! lucky, lucky!

i've been in love with austria ever since the first time i saw the sound of music, so that gets one vote. i think czech republic is also an awesome destination!

Stacy said...

Yay! Congratulations!

Carrie (our critiquing partner Carrie)is going to Munich soon. Her husband, the physicist, is presenting at something or other. You'll have to get her opinion on it.

Lithuania sounds interesting. Mostly because I don't know anyone who has been there.

The Captain said...

how about vector stadium (did i get the name right?) this wed for killers? did you decide to go? I know you're in ch and they cancelled and so you prolly still hate them (;-)) but i just saw them at v and cannot encourage you strongly enough to GO! brilliant, breathtaking show. they are at the peak of their considerable powers. it's a festival gig with plenty of old songs and just a power set really. sigh. i love them more than ever...