OK! Let's talk about where the Redpath family is going once we FINALLY leave (in 88 days!). First stop - the small village of Serbanovac (pronounced ser-bahn-oh-vatch), near the spa town of Sokobanja (soh-koh-bahn-ya), in Serbia. We'll be there 3 weeks. Actually we fly into Belgrade (bel-grade), stay a few days to recover from jet-lag and hang out, and then head to Serbanovac.
Why start with Serbia? We're going with our dear friends Paul and Dora and Chloe. Dora grew up splitting her time between Serbia and the US, and Serbanovac is where aunts and uncles and cousins still live. This is going to be such a cool way to start this trip! I suspect that Bob and I will spend the rest of the year trying to replicate the personal, non-tourist glimpse of places that we'll get with Dora and her family on the farm. AND - she speaks the language, which is the only time for the rest of the year that we'll have that particular advantage!
Next stop: Krakow Poland. Why Krakow? Well - a few reasons. One is that we realized we were trying to find cheap lodging in Europe in August, which is stupid because: 1) Everything costs a fortune. 2) Everyone else in the whole world is in Europe, and it's SUPER crowded. 3) It is nearly impossible to find lodging for a month at a time at that time of year. The other reason Krakow is killer is because it's NOT Rome, or Nice, or Paris. It's just a little bit off the beaten path, and we don't know as much about it.
We'll take a train from Belgrade to Krakow, and we'll be there from mid-July through the end of August. We have an apartment in an old building very close to the historic center of the city, which is the largest medieval town square of any European city, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Krakow is over 1000 years old. 1000 years old!! (Man, America is young!) And it's close enough to Prague and Bratislava to take the train and spend a few days in those cities too. The family who handled our rental has a brand-new baby, and I've seen her picture! So there!
Next: Bamberg, Germany, in the Bavarian region. Why Bamberg? Well - we were looking at cities in Bavaria, and Bob was making fun of the name Bamberg, doing a whole Emeril thing with it, so I started looking there to make him laugh, and we found out that it's one of the few cities in Germany that wasn't destroyed in WWII, so the buildings are original. The whole place is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site too! (How many of these sites are there anyway?) Bamberg is on the river Renitz, and the apartment we'll be staying in is right on the river. In fact, go here to see the exact house we're renting. We'll be there for about 3 weeks.
So this takes us to the end of September, and then we'll be homeless again. Where next? Who knows? Since it will be almost October, we want to head down south. Greece? Italy? Spain? Portugal? Although Bob might be angling for more Germany so that we can hit Oktoberfest.
Anybody know anyone in Bamberg or Krakow? Maybe someone who is taking a life turn and choosing their uncertainty? Let us know! And - if you have a favorite place that we should go, or people we should meet elsewhere on the continent, let us know that too. We're waiting for your good advice and extensive connections to come in handy.