Monday, April 1, 2013

Five Places I Need to Revisit

You've decided to travel, go somewhere new. To immerse yourself in history. Or culture. Or food. Or sea and sun. Then you choose where and when to go. And when you arrive at your dream location? You have bad weather. Bad, BAD weather.

Good travelers don't let bad weather get them down. But it is obvious when better weather would have made for an improved trip.

FM's job takes much of the choice out of our travel. We are told where we are going and when. We are obliged to go when the work is ready. Which means we often end up traveling to places during off-season. We're pretty adaptable, FM and I. We enjoy traveling to new places and meeting new people. So even when the time is not the most opportune, we pretty much handle it. And sometimes the timing works out perfectly.

However, there have been a few places we missed out on a lot due to anticlimactic weather conditions. Places I really want to go back to and see and do more.

Dubrovnik, Croatia - FM was working in Macedonia and our trip was cut short by a month. Instead of changing our tickets, we FedEx'd 40 pounds of stuff home and looked for somewhere close to go. It was late February in the Balkans. The warmest place within reasonable cost/distance was the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. We choose Dubrovnik. For a month. And it snowed for the first time in 60 years. It was an amazing trip and an adorable city, and I really don't think I'd want to be there in the craziness of August, but the cold weather did inhibit us from traveling around the coast as much as we should have/would have/could have.

Rocha Coast, Uruguay - We arrived in Uruguay the end of their summer. For hanging out in Montevideo, the cooler temperatures really didn't bother us. But over Fourth of July weekend we rented a car and headed up the Rocha Coast. Most of the hotels and restaurants were closed (we scrambled trying to find places to stay), but the scenery was gorgeous! Many other activities were also weather prohibitive, including a boat trip to see the seals and an ATV ride around the dunes. 

Budapest, Hungary - Three months in Vienna allotted us much time for train travel around the area. We visited Bratislava, Munich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Budapest and Prague. But the four days we spent in Budapest were pretty much in the rain. We did our best, but at some point you get tired of being soggy. Another four days would be wonderful. Or four weeks.

Kiev, Ukraine - What a beautiful city. But not when it's 30 below Fahrenheit.  Six weeks in January/February last year, during record low temperatures for the region. Snot freezing cold. Roads closed, schools closed. Scary driving conditions. Even scary walking conditions as snow and icicles fell from 8 story buildings onto the sidewalks. Brrrr.

Bali, Indonesia - On the other side of the equation we finally made it to Bali when it was sooooo hot even the locals were complaining. A walk along the beach at 10 pm caused us to break a big sweat. Our luxurious hotel room's air conditioning could not keep up with the energy sapping heat. When the weather finally broke, it was the Nyepi Holiday. We were told this was basically a 24 hour period of no power (in order not to attract bad spirits). It turned into more like 60 hours of sequester in a five star hotel. Blew our budget on food and drink and did not get to experience a lot of what we wanted to do. I need to return to experience the beauty of the Bali highlands and tolerably warm temperatures of the coast.

I would never say I regret any of these trips. As always, we had an amazing time and experienced much. Weather and timing do not have to be perfect in order to enjoy a destination, but when extremes are factored in, it does make you long for a re-trip. 

The question then becomes, do I want to go back or do I want a new experience? Tough call. 


Bill H said...

There is always that dilimena, return to the familiar or move on to the unknown. I can't offer up any words of wisdom, but if you do go back to Coratia or Budapest I hope we might be able to join you.

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