We’ve been on the road now for almost 4 months and thought we’d summarize some of our thoughts and experiences so far while we try to take it easy in the French riviera.
It’s been great seeing all the countries in Europe, learning about the history and experiencing the food but also a bit tiring to be constantly on the move. Believe it or not, it can be stressful at times (but still beats the best day at work!) We’ve enjoyed the most staying put for a few nights at a time to get a chance to rest and fully explore where we are at. We also have to resolve ourselves that we can’t do it all, see it all, or experience/buy anything we want (time and money). We are already over budget for Europe which we expected (so had built a cushion), but may end up eating rice and beans by the time we are in Australia next year! Our souvenirs will be mostly in the forms of pictures and memories.
Also, unfortunately we had to change our itinerary to eliminate Madagascar. Sylvie is highly disappointed as she had been to this beautiful country and wanted to go back and show James how diverse and unique it is. But due to the recent tourist events ( Read : <http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2013/10/madagascar-seeks-calm-after-mob-kills-three-201310412554218915.html> ) and possible messy elections coming up, we made the choice not to go. Instead, we will stay in Europe some more and go to Andalusia, Spain: Hola Sevilla!!! Madagascar will have to be some other time when things calm down.
We made a list below of the best and the worst (so far) we have experienced since being on the road:
- Experience in the US: Watching the wild mustangs roam free, Wyoming/Montana
- National Park in the US: Glacier National Park, Montana
- Experience in Europe: Hiking the Dolomites in Italy
- Place in Europe we visited: Dolomites, Italy (with South of France a close 2nd)
- Food overall: France! (hands down)
- Hotel in the US: Wind River Casino, Wyoming
- B&B in Europe: Erding, Germany followed by Harburg, Germany
- Backcountry US camping: Leigh Lake, Grand Teton National Park
- Wildlife sighting in the US: Great Grey Owl, Yellowstone National Park
- Wildlife sighting in Europe: Pink flamingos, Camargue, France
- Photogenic European city: Carcassonne, France
- Experience in the US: Moose scare in Glacier National Park, Montana
- Experience in Europe: Austrian Gestapo stop on the autobahn
- Food overall: Germany (although we did have a nice meal on our last night)
- Hotel in the US: can’t think of one
- Hotel in Europe: Balladins, Carcassonne, France
- Breakfast: Barbara’s Gasthaus, Idrija, Slovenia
- Stressful driving: South of France