We’ve now been in London for more than six months, and its approaching a year since we first left New Zealand! Contrary to what this blog looks like we have done a lot since we got to London, but written absolutely nothing about it. We have photos we’ve barely downloaded since the end of our trip to get here, half written posts about things we did and cameras full of photos of things we’ve done since arriving in London.
Instead of trying to get up to date before summer starts, we’re cutting our losses and moving on.
Summer is back again and as a serial trip planner, I’ve got annual leave and flight tickets booked all the way through to the start of January! We have 39 days of holiday, visiting 9 places across 6 countries and using only 18.5 days of Annual Leave. Not a bad way to spend summer if we may say so ourselves…
The Balkans were cheapest and possibly warmest part of our last trip, so we knew that this summer we had to be back. From the reviews we’ve heard and the photos we’ve seen online the Albanian Rivera was top of the list. The 10 days that we spent in Lake Ohrid were the perfect balance of doing nothing and exploring – a balance we’re hoping to strike again on this trip to Albania!
Unfortunately due to the infrastructure in Albania public transport is almost non existent, and very unreliable when it can be found. The only international airport in Albania is in Tirana, 7 hours drive from where we wanted to go. It looked like we were about to loose a day at each end travelling, thankfully the wonderful inter webs saved us and we found out we can actually fly to Corfu in Greece and then Saranda is only a 30 minute ferry away!? Saving us 200 pounds on flights, getting us two extra days of travel and giving us the chance to have another Gyros!
We’ve rented an apartment in downtown Saranda as well as a car for the duration of our stay. From Saranda we hope to get out to see some of the more remote beaches, Ksamil, the blue eye and Dhermi Between all the action I’m sure we’ll find some time for cheap beers and tanning!
Right in the hottest part of Summer we’re headed to Malta, and the smaller and slightly less well known island of Gozo. Initially we booked this with just the two of us, but a casual comment over a drink snowballed and we’re now headed away with three friends in tow! After seeing this video from Happy to Wander bouncing around on Facebook we know we’ve made the right decision..
Already on the cards is a full day sailing cruise with free flow wine and snacks (all the best things in life), a kyaking tour to camino and hopefully some cliff jumping. The one part of this trip I’m not looking forward to is due to my over eagerness to book flights, we’re coming home at 230am as opposed to 230pm…
August is the busiest month of the year for us, we’re away every single weekend.
The first weekend we’re headed south to the seaside. We’ve got three days in Cornwall staying with our friends godparents. This is the only trip all year I haven’t planned personally, so I’m struggling!
Weekend two is currently TBC, but will definitely be a weekend away somewhere within the UK for our friends Birthday. We’re currently debating between Cardiff, Swansea, Manchester and Liverpool. It’ll probably come down to where we can get the cheapest drinks!?
European Summer festivals are legendary, they get all the acts in one place that we’d never even get once in New Zealand! So we’re headed out of London to Hyland park for the V Music Festival! To save on annual leave days we’re heading up Friday night after work and taking the train back to London very late on Sunday night. It’s going to make for a rough Monday in the office, but every annual leave day is worth its weight in gold!
Eventually at the end of the month we’re heading back to Portugal, but this time further south to the Algarve. We’re ticking off Faro, Lagos, Aljezur and Sagres over nine days. With a rental car we’re hoping we can avoid the madness that seems to descend on every European beach in August, finding some lesser known beaches and smaller local towns. From what we’ve heard Portugal will be easy on our wallets, which is just what we’ll need after all these travels!
Its questionable if September still counts as Summer, since technically it finishes in August. But we’ve got it as a part of the plan anyway!
Exactly a year after our trip on Sail Croatia, we’ll be reuniting our crew of friends and spending 3 nights in Munich for Oktoberfest with a group of friends. With people coming from Scotland, London, America and Australia it’s sure to be a good time.
With the insane popularity of Octoberfest accomodation and transport to Munich are at a premium. We’re a big enough room that we’ve booked out a 12 bed dorm room. Giving us hostel prices without having to share with strangers! Transport proved harder to sort. Flights were going to cost upwards of 200 pounds each, and had terrible timings so we would lose a day at each end. After hours of trawling online we discovered that its possible to get all the way to Munich from London by train! We’re leaving after work on a Thursday to Paris, crashing on the couch and then heading to Munich friday morning. We’re arriving before the plane would have even left Stanstead!
I’ll be keeping my trusty spreadsheet updated again this summer so will hopefully be able to provide an addition to my previous post about the real cost of a summer in Europe. Only this time we’re trying to juggle our desire to see Europe with having full time jobs!
This won’t be the end of our travels for the year though, we’ve got a trip to Estonia for Christmas and Edinburgh for New Years planned too! We have another 3 days of annual leave to use up so will surely manage a couple of others too.
For now though, we have one free weekend before the middle of September so it’s going to be busy!