Narrowing Down the Itinerary

My host in Spain got in touch with me last week to know if I’d bought my ticket for Spain yet. I was not anywhere near ready to lock that down. But as the month started to progress, I saw flight prices increase and knew I had to make a decision as to where I will be flying from, if only to give me a firm target to hit on my travels. I’m now in a part of Europe where travel isn’t that easy. There’s not much information online, bus schedules are really loose, and you have to really scale down your plans because you can’t get anywhere quickly.

This morning, I decided to find the best deal on a ticket to Spain from a location that won’t cost me hundreds of dollars to get to from Sarajevo. I had originally thought I might fly from Athens, but from where I’m sitting this morning, that doesn’t make sense in terms of how much ground I’d have to cover and the cost to get there.

I looked at Tirana, Albania, but research tells me that while Albania is lovely, it’s still the Wild West out there in terms of public transportation and internet (so basically the Canada of Europe?) and not ideal for my current type of travel.

I’m trying to make my next stop the Adriatic Coast in Montenegro (which is proving to be a job unto itself and will warrant another post), so I looked at flying out of Podgorica. Prices were terrible and Podgorica is universally regarded as one of the ugliest and least worth visiting capitals in Europe so I wasn’t that keen on spending time there.

Next, I thought of going back to Belgrade, but was shocked by how high flights prices were and that most flights had me go through Istanbul!

That left one other choice, which just happened to have a bargain flight to Barcelona on Wizz Air, which I know how to navigate, on October 17th: Skopje, Macedonia.

I had planned to fly into Spain around the 20th, so I’d have plenty of time to get to Almería by the end of the day on the 24th. So the 17th is a bit early, but still well within my initial timeline. So I now have 11 days to get to Skopje Airport (I fly out late in the day, so I have most of the 17th if I need it) and from Barcelona will have a full week to get to Almería. My 50USD/70CAD flight is about three times less than I had budgeted, so that will cover some exploration and the extra expense of being farther from Almería than Madrid. I’m thinking a couple of days in Barcelona and then meandering my way down the coast…

It feels good to have the flight booked. I’ve been feeling a little rudderless and now have a better idea of my budget and if I can afford the prices I’m seeing for accommodation on the Adriatic Coast. I know I will kick myself for skipping it, so I think I will go, but for only a few days and then spend the rest of my time in the Balkans in Macedonia. If the bus schedule I found is correct, I may get to add Albanian and Kosovan stamps to my passport after all, even if I don’t spend any time in those countries.

6 thoughts on “Narrowing Down the Itinerary

    • Depending on the price of accommodation, I’ll stay there three or four nights. Can’t wait, if only to be somewhere that I’ll be able to talk to people! 😀

  1. Although it is a bit of work, I enjoy this part of trip planning. And yes yours is more detailed. But when it’s done then you gotta GO!
    Glad it’s coming together.
    Safe travels.
    Hugs

  2. You’re going to have to practice — Barcelona is spoken with a lisp, according to our niece, who had a semester-long workstudy there.

    “Bar-theh-loan-a”

    She loved the Moorish architecture, which, based on photos, is incredible. I’m guessing you will, too. Have a good trip.

    • I actually learned European Spanish and had to tone down my accent for Mexico because no one knew what a “ther-be-tha” was! Can’t wait to be able to pull it out again! 😀

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