Finally I'm starting to be convinced that we may get to Europe next year. We have cruises booked that will give us 6 weeks in Sept-Oct 2022 - arriving and departing from Barcelona.
I'll be 60 (gulp)- he'll be 70! We've travelled a lot, normally backpacking style, I tend to mix cheap places up with 5-star places. We like history, museums, local food. He's not as fit as he used to be heart issues means that he may need to go with a roll-along rather than a backpack this time. We also might need to take a few more taxis/ubers and less just walking around. We intend to mainly travel by train - thinking about hiring a car in some places - but not for the majority of the trip - because parking + medieval cities - yuk We'll leave a bag of cruise clothes in Barcelona and travel light.
We were last in Europe 10 years ago - that was Netherlands, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Ireland (family). We've both done the "classic" Europe stuff before (him on a tour, me on a Eurail pass). The cruise will give us port stops at Barcelona, Villafrance, Naples, Rome, Mallorca.
We want to focus on the Balkans and Eastern Europe. I'm not interested in a day-byday itinerary but I'm thinking of something like this:
Week 1 : Barcelona- southern France (Le Petite Jeune train looks cool) - Venice (been before but like it)
Week 2: Slovenia (never been may hire a car). Croatia (never been - beaches look amazing - still warm in September I hope?)
Weeks 3: More Croatia - Mostar.
Week 4: This itinerary - Bar to Belgrade - Budapest (I've been before but in 89 - its probably changed) https://europebyrail.eu/online-route-maps/route-45-the-long-haul-south/
Week 5;: Hungary, Krakow, love to go to Lyviv but visas are difficult for NZers - if not more time maybe Brataslavia?
Week 6: I'm thinking maybe back via some of the mountain railways of Switzerland or possibly Bilbao area of Spain - or are we cramming too much in
Covering too much? Too little? Would seem that most of it will work on trains/ ferries. Definitely don't want to do multiday tours - but happy for day trips recommendations. Must dos/don't mss - particularly in the East we've seen nothing.
We don't want to move too fast - I need to work - he can't walk all day like we used to - but hopefully will be fitter by then.
Budget is not a huge big deal - I'm working on RS's suggestion which comes out at about Euro310 / 2/day . Normally I just look at hotels for a idea of prices and then multiple x3 (1/3 hotel 1/3 local transport etc 1/3 food) - but I've no idea what the prices I'm seeing for Sept of this year will relate to Sept of next year. I'm expecting Bosnia, Serbia, maybe Hungary, Poland to be a bit cheaper?
We don't like airbnbs or bnbs but happy to stay in small local hotels. Don't mind sharing bathrooms - but probably care more about elevators than we used to! Not particularly fussed on breakfast - we tend to eat 2 meals a day when travelling breakfast / dinner or lunch /dinner.
And lets just assumed that everyone is vaccinated by then (including us) and the life has returned to normal.