You could say that our trip home started on August 6. That was when we stopped at the airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia, to pick up my friend Josh. It was the further south we went. We had twelve days left, and we were about 3,500 km from home.
We picked up Josh and Dane, both friends from Waterloo, and spent three days travelling through Croatia before arriving in Slovenia. We had two great days there. The first night we arrived at a campground as it was getting dark, but there was already a fire going and we chatted with a few retired couples from Holland who had been there for the past few weeks. Slovenia was great for hiking; the first day we hiked up a ridge that marked the border with Austria. It was pretty easy too, as you could drive most of the way up and there was even a chalet at the bottom of the steepest section.
From Slovenia we spent a night driving through Austria to Zurich. It took a few more hours then expected and we didn’t get in until about 3 am. It was also expensive—Austria is full of tunnels with tolls, and Switzerland’s vignette is about 40 euros! But it’s very easy driving and we made it to Dane’s place in one piece, without having to stop and set up camp somewhere.
I was surprised by how small Zurich felt. The downtown is quite small and quaint, and it city itself is less than 400,000 people. But the next day things changed. It was the Zurich Street Parade, “the most attended technoparade in Europe.” Almost a million people came for a full day of techno music around town. It was interesting too see, but I’m not too disappointed that we don’t have technoparades in Canada.
The route home was pretty direct after that. One night in Stuttgart, where Josh was living, two nights in Dusseldorf, where we picked up our roommate Alana, and then one night in Copenhagen. We made it back a couple hours after sunset on the 18th, with the van running on fumes and without headlights (they stopped working a few days before, so we only had the high beams).
It felt good to be home, unpack, and sleep in my own bed. But my travelling wasn’t done yet. The next day I packed again and biked down to the train station at noon. Next up: volunteering at a week-long conference in Stockholm called World Water Week.