Monday, May 13, 2013

Filling in the Blanks

Beautiful Brasov
Today we filled in the last blanks (at least as far as the wheres and whens) of our adventure.

We are currently in Brasov, Romania and all we knew up until a couple hours ago was that we needed to be in Istanbul, Turkey on May 27 to fly to Dubai. We also knew we wanted a decent chunk of time in Istanbul, since everyone we've talked to who has been there raves about it. We have had our flights from Istanbul to Dubai, Dubai to Cairo, and Cairo home all booked since before we left. We actually had the majority of our accommodations in Dubai and Cairo booked before we left as well, and just recently completed those pieces.

But this whole two weeks between Brasov and Istanbul were a big question mark. A question mark that I personally loved, probably about as much as it caused Drew anxiety. To me, having this last open period be SO wide open extended the excitement and mystery and surprise of the whole trip. Sure, each destination, day and even minute will still be an adventure, but once this last piece of our puzzle was booked, a clear path towards the end of the trip would be defined. So I was postponing it and reassuring Drew that we would figure it out and it will all be fine, as it has been all along this journey.(Drew, on the other hand, kept reminding me that he was stressed out by this, and in just two days we were checking out from our Brasov hotel, and transportation on this side of the continent is not very easy). So we finally sat down today for a few hours and...the puzzle is complete.

We contemplated vegging on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast for a week, but without a car it's impossible because there's no public transport there until June. We don't want to rent a car because neither one of us can drive stick well and automatic rentals, if you can even find them, are at least four times the cost of manual making that outrageously expensive.

We talked about visiting the Black Sea beaches in Romania, we could get to them easily enough by bus. But we'd still have to get down to Istanbul. 

We looked for cheap flights to anywhere in Europe hoping for a random deal that matched our date of departure. 

Then, we looked into one of our original thoughts before we even left Buffalo...Cappadocia. 

This is a place in Turkey that I have wanted to visit ever since I received a certain issue of Budget Travel several years ago. It's a place of "fairy chimney" dwellings. They look like God took wet sand in his hands and let it dribble through his fingers to form sloppy, skinny peaks. The picture that is embedded in my mind from that magazine article has hot air balloons floating above these dreamlike structures and in the picture I'm there in one of the balloons looking out. Oh wait...that's just in my dream.

So anyway, we looked into flights and it wasn't too bad! We looked into hotels and found some reasonably priced "cave hotels" (they're like the only kind of accommodation you would want to stay in when visiting this area! It's all about authentic here people!) And so, we booked everything! Our flight from Bucharest to Istanbul, our round-trip flight to and from Cappadocia, our hotel there. The only thing left is our accommodation in Istanbul. So we're just waiting to hear back from an AirBnB host and we might be all set.

On one hand it feels good to know we're done booking stuff (because it can be stressful and exhausting), but like I said before, it also makes me sad because it's the final major piece of the puzzle in place. Now all we do is follow the path we laid out until it takes us back to where we started.

But enough of that depressing attitude! The great news is we still have over three weeks of our journey to live and create! And live it we will!

Here's a few more photos of Brasov for you as well! What a cool little city!

Flower market in the square during festival, Brasov Days 
View from the Citadel
"Behind the Wall"
View from the White Tower
View from the Black Tower
Rope Street, one of the narrowest "roads" in Europe
The main square

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