In a few short weeks, it’s adios America, hallo Europe. KJ and I have been eagerly planning this backpacking trip for more than a year and I must say: the plan is solid.
Step One: Meet up with KJ on a Plane to Amsterdam
Last time I took a trans-Atlantic flight I was served the special diabetic meal. I’m still not sure if this was a prank by my dad or an error on the airline’s part. Regardless, it was delicious. Let’s hope KJ and I get so lucky.
Step Two: I Am Sterdam
I recently read The Diary of Anne Frank (and weirdly enough saw a comedy show about her), so I know we’ll be visiting the Secret Annex when we’re in Amsterdam. I also know we’ll be staying in a conveniently located hostel that, according to online reviews, has “Bibles on every table and Christian music in the cafe” with people “singing christian songs or playing the piano.” From another commenter: “Good hostel if you would like to connect religiously.” Wish us luck.
Step Three: Midnight Train to
Georgia Czech Republic
Getting a private train car is expensive, so we’ll be spending the night aboard the City Night Line train on pseudo bunk beds that jut out from the wall. What a great time to be young and resistant to back pain.
Step Four: Cz-Czech it Out
KJ and I are meeting a friend in Prague and staying in a hip apartment in the heart of the city. We found the place on Airbnb under the name, “Beautiful spacious apartment.” Yup, that’ll do.
While in Prague, my grandma has instructed me to buy her a crystal necklace measuring 22 inches in length. I’m only writing this so I don’t forget later.
Step Five: Greece is the Word (That I’m Trying to Learn In Greek)
Yasas, Athens! Once our plane lands, we’ll be seeing the acropolis and drinking lots of water because we’re scared of melting in the heat.
Step Six: All Aboard the Boat
The boat, in this case, is a ferry with a restaurant and bar on board. We’ll be coasting on the Mediterranean for eight hours to get to our secret paradise island.
Step Seven: Santorini, the Not-so-secret Paradise Island
Santorini is a picturesque Greek isle with black sand beaches on one side and staggering cliffs on the other. We’re most excited about the part where we do one of the world’s best hikes. (Also, noteworthy: our hotel room supposedly has its own veranda and hair dryer).
Step Eight: A Bizarre Amount of Travel
From Santorini, we set out on two days of whirlwind travel involving a boat, a plane and two trains. We expect the food in Italy to be worth it.
Step Nine: Roamin’ Rome
Priority one: gelato. Priority two: pizza, pasta. Priority three: meet up with friends, tour the Vatican, explore the ruins, enjoy the art/history/culture, eat more gelato.
Step Ten: Teach KJ How to Pronounce Cinque Terre
CHINK WAY TEAR RAY. Cinque Terre is made up of five towns strung along the coast, all standing in beautiful, breath-taking peril.
Step Eleven: See the Floating City Before It Sinks
More exploration awaits us in Venice, a city of 118 tiny islands. Chances we get lost while there are as high as the water.
Step Twelve: Bern, Baby, Bern
Why Bern? Why not? The city has a clock tower with moving puppets, a statue of an ogre holding a sack of children and a giant bear pit on the outskirts of town. A place this weird has got to be cool.
Step Thirteen: Hideout in the Alps
We’ll be taking multiple trains to get to the remote Lauterbrunnen Valley, tucked away at the base of the Alps. The valley is home to 72 waterfalls. That’s a C- on a test that everyone else has failed.
Between the waterfalls, the chocolate and the cheese, I think we’ll be very happy here.
Step Fourteen: Zurich, Z is for Ze End
Our final day will be in pricey, modern Zurich. I have no idea what we’ll be doing in Zurich. Catching our breath, perhaps.
Step Fifteen: Return to Reality?
This one is still up in the air.