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An Itinerary Of Our First Few Months

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!

Belgrade, Serbia. Not a bad place to start - huh!

Here's what's left of the fortress at Sokograd near Sokobanja. It dates back to Roman times. Dora promises a hike here.

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!

Krakow Square. This will be my neighborhood!! I'm imagining Eleanor and I wandering around a farmers market in the morning, buying vegetables for a lovely lunch. Then Owen and Bob will say they'd rather go out for zapiekankas AGAIN, and we'll be all like "You don't even Like mushrooms!" and the whole day will just go to hell....

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.

We'll stay in a place like this on the water in Bamberg.

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.

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Reader Comments (6)

I thought you realized that I was KIDDING when I said, "What the hell, I'll just quit my job and we can travel for a year." We've been married for 15 years and you still can't tell when I'm joking?!? Have you actually booked these places? We really need to talk more!

Mar 26, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Registered CommenterBob Redpath

I just finished reading a book called The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom- a true story about a woman who ran an underground operation in Holland during WWII smuggling Jews out of the country. It makes me want to see Holland (there's a map in the back). Her family's home is now an historical museum and I believe free to the public. Probably on one of those UNESCO things...

One question you might consider: do you want to experience snow all winter, or avoid it? Winter is the rainy (i.e. growing) season in Greece - perhaps some tiny island in the Aegean - Crete to check out the Labyrinth? Can you go as far as Asia Minor and see Troy?

I love, love, LOVE your new digs!

Mar 26, 2009 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Hi Bob and Brenna!
Here is the place I stayed/worked at in Switzerland:

Hotel Splendid
Hotel and Piano Bar
Rosengasse 5
CH-8001 Zürich
Tel.: +41 44 252 58 50

owner: Rose Marie Obrist

Rose Marie also has a place in the south of France, called "Mas Rodieres" (Mas Rodières, Route de Salazac, 30630 Cornillon, France, France: Tél. 0033 4 66 82 29 25)-- I didn't have the opportunity to go there -- but a friend of mine stayed there (after working at the Splendid) and loved it! I haven't stayed in touch w/ Rose Marie the past number of years -- and it's been quite a few years since I worked there (Jack was a baby the last time I performed there) -- however, you might want to check it out if you happen to land in Zurich, Switzerland! She might remember me as Lisa Donovan!! :) It's located in the Old Town (Neiderdorf) section of Zurich -- I'm not sure what it's like now -- but I loved staying in the Old Town -- beautiful city -- and great to walk around, beautiful river, buildings, etc. Anyway, talk soon! all the best, Lisa

Mar 27, 2009 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Regarding...Oktoberfest...don't starts in September and ends very early in October. That being said, from personal experience...I suggest atleast one meal here while in Munich... you can take in all the drama of '72 Olympics at Munich stadium...might be a great educational experience for the kids with regards to the Israeli athlete kidnappings, etc. Just a thought.

Mar 28, 2009 at 5:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterKirk Sudheimer

My sister lived in Poland for 18 months. I sent her your posting and asked if she had any suggestions. I don't know for sure whether or not she live in Krakow - I think she did, but I could be wrong. I'll forward along any replies - or maybe she'll post here.

Mar 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterLori

Sounds like a great plan! New to blog but we'll be watching eargerly as we intend to hit Europre ourselves once we finish the USA.

Apr 23, 2009 at 5:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSeeria

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