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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
I really wish we could have spent longer in Romania.
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.
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!
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!
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!