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Two Years & Twice Around the World...  

Greek Flag GREECE


November 24.  HOMEWARD BOUND!  The two AM wakeup came quickly.  It is difficult to make yourself sleep out of sync with your bodily clock so we naturally tired but also eager to make our flight.  We stuffed the last few things in our packs, threw them on, and were out the door.  The bus was already waiting when we arrived at the bus stop.  We had bought our ticket ahead of time and just jumped on to waited for it to leave.  It was pitch black outside and very few people joined us on the bus.  Without the weight of passengers the bus sailed along and with some pretty insane driving it felt like we were going to take flight before we reached the airport.  The bus sped through the city streets, rarely encountering a stoplight, and I reflected on all of the mad driving experiences we'd had over the last eight months; the wild overnight Chinese bus across the Taklamakan desert, our ditch dodging Mongolian driver in his Russian van, the maniacal Romanian grandpa who nearly killed a drunk, and our daredevil driver and guide in Bulgaria that tailgated ambulances.  For all of the worries that people had about us traveling the world, the threat of SARS in China, the dangers of Russian thieves, landmines in Sarajevo, or civil unrest in Kosovo, I was sure that if we were to meet our fate while on the road it would be in some sort of vehicle, perhaps at the hands of a crazy Greek bus driver on our way to the airport!   

We arrived safely at the airport in 40 minutes, far less time than the one to one and a half hour quoted in our guidebook.  There hadn't been any traffic but still that was awfully good time!  The Lufthansa desk wasn't even open fir us to check-in.  We waited until there were signs of life and were quick to get rid of our backpacks.  There were a few cafes in the airport where we had coffees and started to think about the comforts of home that we would soon have available.  We hadn't been home for Thanksgiving in three years and it just sounded great.  

Transferring at the Frankfurt airport was a frustrating experience as we got lost in the labyrinth of additions to one of Europe's busiest hubs.  Finally in the correct wing we took breakfast at McDonald's before queuing up for the thorough security check.  We were each "wanded" and patted down by hand before we being allowed into the departure area for flights destined for the United States.  There was comfort in their thoroughness, however.  Before long we were on our plane and off towards San Francisco.  It has been an exhausting couple of days coming down from Kosovo but we made our flight and could finally breathe easily.  It was a odd sensation to be heading home after so many months away and we wondered what it would feel like to be back. 

SLOVENIA Ljubljana Oct 7-8 Piran Oct 9-12

CROATIA Istra Peninsula Oct 13 Split Oct 14-15 Hvar Oct 16-18 Korcula Oct 19 Dubrovnik Oct 20-29


BOSNIA Sarajevo Oct 30 Oct 30 Nov 1

SERBIA Belgrade Nov 2-3

ROMANIA Bucharest Nov 4 Suceava Nov 5 Nov 6 Cluj Napoca Nov 7 Sighisoara Nov 8-9 Brasov Nov 10 Nov 11

BULGARIA Sofia Nov 12 Nov 13 Nov 14

MACEDONIA Lake Ohrid Nov 15 Nov 16-17

KOSOVO Prishtine Nov 18 Nov 19 Nov 20 Nov 21

GREECE Thessaloniki Nov 22 Athens Nov 23 Nov 24