With the Antipodean Adventure complete I settled back into Winnipeg fairly happily. Arriving back just before the May long weekend in Canada meant relaxed times all around. After a really (really) lazy week I attended the fantastic U2 360 show here.
All of this was of course a lead up to the real reason I came home when I did, my University convocation. Though I hadn’t really been looking forward to the occasion I did definitely want to attend just to have it really sink in that I was finished. This is of course in addition to the fact that (though she denies it’s true) my mother would have been heartbroken if I hadn’t gone.
It was definitely nice to catch up with a few of my Comp Sci classmates, people I hadn’t seen since the big final co-op party just before Christmas. Most of the people I was closest too were of course asking how the big trip had gone and given that it was somehow bordering on sub zero temps with a howling wind I said quite truthfully that I wished I’d never left.
That evening my parents surprised me with a party that turned out to not be a small family only gathering but a large get together with unexpected friends and family, great food and drinks and a large amount of teasing about the length of time I spent in school. As part of the pile of gifts and whatnot that I received my alcohol store was replenished to the point where I’m set for wine and beer (great beer too) until I hit the road again.
Since then I’ve been working on a short-term contract for a friend’s game company while trying to settle back into staying in one place for more than three days at a time. It’s honestly more difficult than I expected, I find myself itching to hit the road to europe already even though I haven’t made much more than a stab at planning. Of course the first part of the trip will be a more sedate jaunt through parts of England with my parents anyway.
With that in mind though, do any of my friends and readers have any suggestions for Europe? Thus far my tentative starting plan is to cross the channel, rent a car in Calais or Arras and do a trip out to Vimy Ridge, then maybe another random day along the north coast of france before heading back to turn the car in and hop a train to Bruges or Brussels before heading on to Amsterdam. I figure a few days in Holland then probably on to Germany, possibly to poland but definitely the Czech Republic. I suspect this will be the farthest east I get since part of me would definitely like to revisit Spain and the south of france. The last portion of the trip will be Italy as I leave from Rome, but I haven’t decided what else to make the effort to see there (other than restaurants to feed my love of pasta.)
-My parents loved Luxembourg when they travelled there way back when, still nice these days anyone?
-Strongly considering an Irish side trip, but it will likely depend on flight costs while I’m there.
-I’ll probably make a trip to Scotland before crossing the channel, this may be more contingent on where I end up towards the end of my time with my parents though.
-Sadly I think Scandinavia is too large of a cash/time investment for this trip.
-Thoughts on overall route construction? I’m planning to buy a rail flexible pass.
-Cash is of course an issue, thankfully I’ve refilled my coffers a bit from the side job so hopefully I can live somewhere above absolute squalor most places.
I’m also really looking for any interesting places that are still fairly easy to get to with public transport, but might be off the usual routes or tourist destinations. For my euro friends that I met in Aus/NZ please remember to think on a “colonial” time scale, a 3 hour drive is nothing to me.