Month 13: Travel Summary & Statistics

plovdiv amphitheatre

My 13th month has been all about movement.

Some would say too much movement.

I visited NINE countries over just 30 days and unsurprisingly, I am now absolutely exhausted! Thanks to my wonderful Interrail pass, I had a whole month of train travel to use up and I wanted to try and see as much of Eastern Europe as possible.

I started my month in Prague, where it rained every single day so I didn’t get to explore as much of the city as I would have liked. The same happened in Bratislava, my next stop. I was disappointed, but fortunately the weather vastly improved when we reached Hungary.

I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I was disappointed when I visited Budapest for the first time last year. I had no idea what all the fuss was about and found it too big and, well, kind of boring. It felt like just another European city. Nothing special. I was only returning because Dave had always wanted to visit.

Second time around though? I loved it!

It’s not often that I change my mind about a place and I wasn’t expecting to like Budapest any more the second time around, but something had changed.

I was staying in a better, and much more central, location, I was staying in an amazing apartment and I wasn’t spending 12 hours walking every day. And I discovered ruin bars.

After Budapest, we headed North to Eger, the wine region of Hungary. While I didn’t get to sample any of the wine due to the ruin bar-induced hangover from the previous night, it was still one of the highlights of the month.

Look how stunning it is!

eger from above

After a quick jaunt over to Croatia to show Dave some of my favourite places there, we had the overnight train journey from hell as we made our way from Zagreb to Sarajevo.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Bosnia, but by the time I left it had made its way into my top 5 countries list. I LOVED Sarajevo and it was great to return to Mostar to explore it in more depth after my short visit last year.

sarajevo from the yellow fortress

We were now half-way through the month and found ourselves desperate for some beach time. So desperate, in fact, that we subjected ourselves to a 14 hour travel day from Mostar to Ulcinj just so we could spend one day on the beach…

Was it worth it?

…Not really.

The beaches in Ulcinj kind of sucked…

After our day at the beach, it was time for yet another 14 hour travel day as we jumped on a train from Montenegro to Belgrade. With just one day to explore Belgrade, we explored Belgrade fortress and visited the Nikola Tesla Museum.

fortress in belgrade

I then had the most painful travel day of all: 24 hours to get from Belgrade to Bucharest.

Yes, 24 hours.

We managed to miss our connecting train in Romania because, erm, we didn’t realise there was a time zone change – and then we found out it was eight hours until the next train!

It was worth the pain though because I absolutely adored Romania.

The highlights were visiting Brasov, Rasnov and Sighisoara – all of which had gorgeous and colourful old towns.

I really wish we could have spent longer in Romania.

brasov old town square
sighisoara old town

From Romania we headed to Bulgaria, where I discovered just how incredible Bulgarian cheese is. I literally had a cheese-based dish for every single meal I had in Bulgaria.

My first stop was the gorgeous city of Veliko Tarnovo, where I spent my time wandering down cute alleyways and eating cheese.

veliko tarnovo

And now on my final day I am in Plovdiv – the oldest continually inhabited city in Europe. I wasn’t too inspired by Plovdiv until we came across this badass amphitheatre, which completely changed my opinion on the city. I love it!

plovdiv amphitheatre

Onto the statistics for the month!

Distance travelled: 4374km

Countries visited: 9

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria.

Cities visited: 16

Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Eger, Zagreb, Plitvice, Sarajevo, Mostar, Ulcinj, Belgrade, Bucharest, Brasov, Rasnov, Sighisoara, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv.

Number of photos taken: 3265

Number of buses: 8

Number of trains: 10

Number of hours spent on transport: 105

I can’t believe I spent over four whole days of this month sitting in buses and trains!

Money spent:

Czech Republic: £90 over 3 days = £30 per day.

Slovakia: £80 over 3 days = £27 per day.

Hungary: £75 over 4 days = £19 per day.

Croatia: £109 over 3 days = £36 per day. 

Bosnia & Herzegovina: £140 over 5 days = £28 per day.

Montenegro: £58 over 2 days = £29 per day.

Serbia: £85 over 2 days = £42.50 per day.

Romania: £140 over 6 days = £23 per day.

Bulgaria: £78 over 2 days = £39 per day.

Total amount spent: £885= $1387

Note: My train travel was covered by Interrail so transportation isn’t included in these figures. My accommodation in Slovakia was covered by Wimdu.

The next month:

Tomorrow marks the end of my Eastern European adventure as I head to Istanbul and stay in Turkey for the next six weeks! I’ll be spending an entire week in Istanbul to relax and recuperate after the mania of the past month before travelling down the coast towards Fethiye. From Fethiye I’ll be heading off on a 2 week sailing trip with Dave and some of his friends. Knowing how seasick I get, and how much I dislike boats, it’ll certainly be interesting to see if I suddenly develop an intense love of all things boat-like…

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!


  1. Amanda
    August 18, 2012

    SO happy to hear that you loved Romania so much! (How cool was Sighisoara?!?) It’s definitely a country that I feel is highly underrated.

    • August 19, 2012

      Ah, Romania was amazing! It was my second favourite country after Bosnia. We need to go back and spend a lot more time there!

  2. Micamyx|Senyorita
    August 18, 2012

    Yay! Seems like your European trip with Dave is getting better and better (although there are still some challenges). I am looking forward to reading your upcoming posts as I might do my own tour soon (if budget permits and visa is granted). Have fun in Turkey! :D

    • August 20, 2012

      Yes, it was a great experience and totally worth the exhausting travel days! :) Eastern Europe is amazing!

  3. George
    August 18, 2012

    Wow sounds like quite the month I don’t know if I could have endured it. Glad to see you had a great time though must have been a blast! What a way to mark a year on the road.

    • August 20, 2012

      It’s funny because in my original plans I should be working in Australia right now and couldn’t imagine being back in Europe where I first started! Glad I am though :)

  4. Ian [EagerExistence]
    August 19, 2012

    Wow. Exhausting just reading it! 6 weeks in Turkey sounds lovely. I miss all the sites & sounds of Istanbul. What did you think of Plovdiv? Some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen there, and they outnumber the men!

    • August 20, 2012

      I only had a couple of hours to explore Plovdiv. I found it a bit dull to be honest – it was probably my 20th old town in 20 days so it felt a bit samey. The amphitheatre was amazing though! :)

  5. Dani
    August 19, 2012

    3265 photos in 1 month?? Wow! And I thought I took too many photos ;-) Your pictures are all great by the way and they really really want to make us to go to Eastern Europe!! And six weeks in Turkey – totally jealous! Hope you’ll survive the sailing trip okay (have you read Swept to get an idea what’s ahead of you? ;-) )

    • August 20, 2012

      I know, I took a crazy amount of photos – but I guess I did visit a lot of places! :) Arghhhh, I’m terrified of the sailing!

  6. Elle of Solo Female Nomad
    August 19, 2012

    Congrats on a great trip! Eastern Europe really does seem to be a great area to visit. It certainly is cheaper than traveling around Western Europe, particularly around the Med. Having the option of a cheap rail pass helps to.Enjoy!

    • August 20, 2012

      Thanks Elle! It’s much cheaper than travelling around Western Europe, for sure! The Interrail pass definitely saves travellers money!

  7. Jodie Louise
    August 20, 2012

    That sounds like one exhausting month! I have loved reading about your Europe trip, I have always overlooked Europe as too close to home but this makes me re-think and want to go! Good Luck for the sailing :)

    • August 20, 2012

      I actually haven’t started writing about my Europe trip yet ;)

      • Jodie Louise
        August 20, 2012

        Well in that case, I look forward to properly hearing about it!

  8. August 20, 2012

    it is hard to follow you, Lauren! 9 countries in 30 days… you are one butterfly!! :)

  9. Kieu
    August 21, 2012

    Ahh.. I want to do this. All of this. Except I don’t think I’d be able to hit those budget numbers. Man, you’re good. Haha

  10. Sarah
    August 31, 2012

    You are an INCREDIBLY BRILLIANT woman !!! I HAVE to meet you one day !! :):)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.