I've decided to head over to eastern Europe next. I've just started planning since I don't think I'll be able to go until mid-2006 at least. I'm aiming for 1-1.5months away. So far I'd like to visit (in no order):
Paris (departure point)
1) Any other cities I should consider ? Why?
2) Any websites, books, resources I should look at?
3) Any cities between Paris & eastern Europe I should spend a day at?
4) Where can I get train routes & schedules?
Great decision QZ
Ive done Eastern Euro a number of times and Russia was one of the highlights of the trips for me. I would suggest going from Paris to Berlin or simply have Berlin as a jump in point, unless you have your heart set on Paris. Get into Poland from there. Stop in Torun, youll have to change trains in Poznan, so maybe a night there. Torun is birthplace of Carpurnicus and a city untouch buring WWII bombing. Great if you like history and Astrology. from there you may want to head through the Baltics. These three countries are incrediable. From Tallinn, Est it is not to far to St. Petersurg. I got my 1 month tourist visa through www.gotorussia.net which was very pro.
St.Petes to Moscow, check out the Golden Ring. I was reading a lot about the Revolution at the time so there were alot of things to check out. Take a boat down the Volga river. ohh, gotta go..Il finish later.
alright, yeah take a boat cruise (very inexpensive) down the Volga River to Volgagrad, sight of a WWII turning point ofcourse.
cheap, cheap flight maybe since this is alot of land to cover in 1 month into Budapest, I lived there this summer and loved it. Great thing about Buda is it is central to everywhere. Prague is a good finish and not so far away.
You could fly into Bucharest and take the train into Buda and pass through the Carpathians, Many young Hungarians are quite sour at their forefathers for their politics that lead to the loss of this absolutly gorgeous part of old Hungary to Rumania. Specifically Transalvania. So much to see. Im not sure how often you are able to travel, or how interested in this region of the world you are, but to do it justice. One month would be good for maybe one of the following
i) Poland and the Baltics
ii) European Russia: St. Petes through Moscow down to the Black sea coast
iii) Budapest, Balkans, Greece and maybe Istanbul.
As far as travel books, Lets Go East Euro was usually quite good. Lonely Planet sucks. The Russian one in purticular was just flat out wrong. Maps where incorrect and some listed Hostel accomadation seized to exist for some time. I wrote a letter and got my money back.
Hey Q Zhang,
Look at www.bahn.de for train schedules. Click on the "International guests" section to get the schedules in English. Hope this helps.