I believe that Moose herself was urging me to travel again. (But I think that was a weather thing.)
Well, the barge people are at it.
They are dangling offers of no-cost airfare if we sign on to one of their river tours...aka 'barging'. We have had our eye on the Vienna (or Budapest) to the Black Sea for some time. I had always wanted to close that with Istanbul, but that seems unlikely at this time, and the 'Greek islands' are offered up instead.
Swimmer, of course, wants to fly in early and visit a number of spas in the Budapest area. She'd also be very enthusiastic to return to Prague.
Hmmm...I just kept thinking about how, if somebody was focused and dedicated, and had a decent investment source, they could build a small fleet of these 'small ship' tourist vessels and run them out of a port like, say, Whitehaven, plying the loughs and lochs of the Kingdom of the Isles, spotting wildlife and scenic vistas, and spewing history and romantic nonsense, from the struggle of the neolithic peoples to erect megaliths across the landscape, to the blossoming of the great ocean liner companies of the early 20th century. "Somerled's Legacy Tours".
...Mallaig, and thence by train to Glasgow, most of it in a driving rainstorm.
Too bad it was raining; that West Highland Line is gorgeous.
Hey...I'd just had a glorious mail packet ride down the inlet that separates Skye from the West Coast, from Kyle on Lochalsh in to Mallaig. The storm didn't hit us until we berthed at Mallaig, at night. Fort William was a blur, as we could barely even see out the train windows, with all the moisture, inside and out. I spent the night in Glasgow and departed for Larne, via Stranraer, the next morning. It was 1980 and I was 27. For some reason, this has left me with a desire to see the Hebrides. Funny what such things do to the minds of wanderers.
I really like the idea cruising the Scottish isles. I wish these St. Hilda folks success.
Okay...Swimmer and I booked in to the Constanza to Budapest barge up the Danube for late April. Early to mid May in Budapest....We're tacking on two additional weeks so Swimmer can do some spa visits in and around Budapest. I'd like to make a run to Poland and Berlin, myself.
Hmmm...You're right. Particularly if that is three meals. Transport, ship and shore. Guides. Entrance fees. Docking fees. Bed and breakfast.
Are you kidding me? That's insanely expensive! I went to Japan for 1300 euros for 3 weeks. My trip to the US was also around that mark.
Hmmm...It's a little pricey. My recent foray in the UK cost me near that. Nightly accommodations alone cost me 70-80 quid a day (~$100), sometimes more. Add in travel and meals and you're within striking distance of the aforementioned $200/day. And, I had I highly favorable exchange rate, double that of the rate of exchange on my prior trip, in 1980.
I have found that travel costs have varied immensely over time and space. In 2004, central Asia and the Far East, including Japan, was reasonably priced (China was cheap), but airfare was hideous. Of my Silk Road trip, the airfare to Japan and from Germany cost MORE than the accommodations and travel costs from Beijing to St. Petersburg. Now, we are having the major cost of air fare to (and from) Europe (Bucharest, actually) folded in to a more than reasonably priced 2 week river cruise tour. Central Europe seems inexpensive, while even thinking about the Baltics or Scandinavia is sphincter-puckering expensive in the view of most Americans.
1300 euros = $1500. Three weeks is 21 days.
$1500/21 = $72/day
So...You saw Japan, and the US, on $72/ day?
First, I'm going to assume that you excluded the cost of the airfare to get there.
Then....Y'know what? I checked on the Motel 6 over on Highway 26, a half mile away. The Motel 6 chain of motels is known as one of the most inexpensive accommodations in the US. They are the firm for which Tom Bodette promises, "they'll leave the light on." It's cheap crud; the origin of the phrase, "No Tell Motel". Guess their current posted nightly charge for a single room....It's $72. Really. It changes from day to day, of course, but it is always posted in flashing lights at the highway.
Then, three blocks the other way, a guesthouse charges $70 to $80 per night for their rooms and the closer one is even more expensive. The hostel (a mile away) is still $25 a night, but it is dormitory style and won't accommodate my CPAP machine (and you are limited to ten nights).
If you saw the US on $72 a day, I'd like to know how. Was it a superior exchange rate? Were you staying free with friends? Hostels? Flopping on sofas? Cardboard mattresses? Eating from dumpsters? Crashing the Hare Krishna temples to feast? Because in today's market, I'm not sure how you could do that on $72 a day without somebody subsidizing you in some way. I'm open to cost-saving hacks.