Our Round-the-World adventure

Tucsontom

Adventurer
Funny, we also met family in Croatia and did the airbnb thing.
Dormitor was indeed wonderful.

We get asked alot what our favorite places to visit and Albania was definitely one of top two (out of 20) countries we’ve visited this year, the other being Iceland. Would highly recommend putting on anyones short list of countries to visit.
I really like this thread. Glad to learn more about and see some of Albania!
Our very shortlist includes choosing between an slightly off-season trip to Iceland, Faroe Islands or The Shetland islands (maybe less dramatic but far less expensive and less flights from our location in SW USA) Faroe islands are the hardest to get too but less "known" . Iceland has the most to offer visually I would imagine. Again - this is my favorite thread.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
I really like this thread. Glad to learn more about and see some of Albania!
Our very shortlist includes choosing between an slightly off-season trip to Iceland, Faroe Islands or The Shetland islands (maybe less dramatic but far less expensive and less flights from our location in SW USA) Faroe islands are the hardest to get too but less "known" . Iceland has the most to offer visually I would imagine. Again - this is my favorite thread.
Well thank you for liking our thread. We enjoy it when people get something out of it. Sounds like you have similar likes to us. Of the 38 countries that we have been to so far we have had four favorites; Norway, Romania, Iceland, and Albania. All of them have mountain beauty as the main theme.

I don’t know if you have seen it but we spent four weeks last summer driving our truck around Iceland and have written a post about it on www.roguewanderers.com. We were there in July and it was cold, in the mountains it was raining and in the 40’s. If you were considering driving around the Faroe Islands, the car ferries get booked up very quickly, months in advance. Iceland is Very Expensive! Gas was nearly $10 per gallon, 2 breakfast bagel sandwiches were $40 USD. Bur despite that the scenery is breathtaking! If you can afford it, renting a real 4wd so you can drive on their fabled “F” roads is worth it.

Despite us spending 2 weeks in Scotland, we only had time to drive the Orkney Islands, missing the Shetland and Outer Hebrides Islands. One area was nice but driving didn’t meet our admittedly high expectations.

Good travels!
 

alanymarce

Well-known member
Well thank you for liking our thread. We enjoy it when people get something out of it. Sounds like you have similar likes to us. Of the 38 countries that we have been to so far we have had four favorites; Norway, Romania, Iceland, and Albania. All of them have mountain beauty as the main theme.

I don’t know if you have seen it but we spent four weeks last summer driving our truck around Iceland and have written a post about it on www.roguewanderers.com. We were there in July and it was cold, in the mountains it was raining and in the 40’s. If you were considering driving around the Faroe Islands, the car ferries get booked up very quickly, months in advance. Iceland is Very Expensive! Gas was nearly $10 per gallon, 2 breakfast bagel sandwiches were $40 USD. Bur despite that the scenery is breathtaking! If you can afford it, renting a real 4wd so you can drive on their fabled “F” roads is worth it.

Despite us spending 2 weeks in Scotland, we only had time to drive the Orkney Islands, missing the Shetland and Outer Hebrides Islands. One area was nice but driving didn’t meet our admittedly high expectations.

Good travels!
enjoyed your posts on Iceland - kept thinking that we might appear in the background in one of the great photos - we were there at the same time (https://fireandice-apandemicescape.blogspot.com ).

We spent a short 3 week trip in Central Europe this September and enjoyed Romania a lot - we will be back there for longer at some point.

Norway will be another "back before long" destination. We were briefly there a few years ago (and I have spent a lot of time there in the past). A circuit around the Baltic is on the cards at some point.

Shetland is really worth a trip - preferably in summer - the beaches are great (although not ideal for sunbathing). I've been there many times, although really only on one occasion spent enough time to explore in depth.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
Hi @tacototheworld, if I'm not mistaken last week we stopped at the same petrol station close to Carcassonne in France. Sadly I didn't come to say hi!
That’s too funny! The world is indeed small. We were traveling through there on 27 November headed towards Andorra. Yeah we would’ve happily have chatted with you
 

Tucsontom

Adventurer
Well thank you for liking our thread. We enjoy it when people get something out of it. Sounds like you have similar likes to us. Of the 38 countries that we have been to so far we have had four favorites; Norway, Romania, Iceland, and Albania. All of them have mountain beauty as the main theme.

I don’t know if you have seen it but we spent four weeks last summer driving our truck around Iceland and have written a post about it on www.roguewanderers.com. We were there in July and it was cold, in the mountains it was raining and in the 40’s. If you were considering driving around the Faroe Islands, the car ferries get booked up very quickly, months in advance. Iceland is Very Expensive! Gas was nearly $10 per gallon, 2 breakfast bagel sandwiches were $40 USD. Bur despite that the scenery is breathtaking! If you can afford it, renting a real 4wd so you can drive on their fabled “F” roads is worth it.

Despite us spending 2 weeks in Scotland, we only had time to drive the Orkney Islands, missing the Shetland and Outer Hebrides Islands. One area was nice but driving didn’t meet our admittedly high expectations.

Good travels!
Norway! I will add that to the list for decision time. It is hard for me to enjoy travel when food is expensive cuz I love food! But more than that - sheer beauty.
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
Slovenia

We only spent four days driving through Slovenia and didn’t do it justice. We also had to get to Zurich to fly back to the US for a family wedding (we booked the flight six months ago, just picked a big city where we thought we could find secure parking for the truck).

Slovenia had gorgeous mountains and what was for us an unexpectedly intriguing capital, Ljubjana.
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Beautiful Lake Bled
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We entered Slovenia with truck issues and ended up at a helpful Toyota service shop in Ljubljana. Here they replaced another torn CV boot and were nice enough to allow us to ship a new solar panel to them. On one lift the truck was so rear heavy that it threatened to tip over, had to move to this one. Have found that even Toyota dealers sometimes struggle with dealing with the size and weight. Even at a dealer the truck attracts alot of attention.
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One of the reasons we chose a Toyota as such an internationally common make and model (Our Tacoma is quite similar to the internationally available Hilux)

Some olive groves are small enough that the family owners just do it themselves. The large ones have a tractor shake the olives onto tarps.
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A beautiful shell of a church.

Along with the accompanying urn.
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The drawback is that they have some of the most strict rules against wild camping in the Balkans, accompanied with enforcement and hefty fines. We risked it once but then stayed in campgrounds like below - not our cup of tea.
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Then into our favorite place - the mountains and Triglav NP
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On to Austria! Thanks for reading!
 

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tacototheworld

Well-known member
Austria

Austria contrasted impressive mountain vistas with stately historic cities. The scenery was beautiful but the culture more restrictive than we had been used to with prohibitive wild camping rules and relatively expensive food and gas. We purchased the required toll pass sticker as soon as we crossed the border from a bureacrat who was not happy with our lack of the German language (Andy’s prespective - she was actually quite rude to Dawn). Glad we did, more speed traps than we had seen in months, yes the first one got us (50 euros, police hidden 10 meters from the slow down sign, watch out! Zee am See and surrounding area is an absolute speed trap) but we got through the rest fine free.


Burg Hochosterwitz - first stop in Austria, impressively built castle perched on a rock cliff
We spent a day wandering the streets of Vienna, a cosmopolitan blend of the old and new.

Vienna - ready for the holidays


Took the obligatory break at a classic cake shop
Honestly, Vienna was not our favorite city. At first glance, it lacked the quirkiness and sense of humor we had come to appreciate in other cities. It felt like a very serious place. And it was a very grey and wet day. But it is possible we did not dive deep enough. To be fair, we were feeling saturated with stately buildings and palaces. As we feel the fatigue and sensory overload of European cultural sites we anticipate even more the upcoming year and a half in Africa which will re-set our capacity to appreciate the culture, history and vibrancy of Europe, but right now, we are a little jaded and acknowledge it. We can tell when we are excited about a place because immediately the phones come out and we start snapping pictures. Unfortunately, that is tapering off these days after 2 1/2 years of touring the European continent.
So, back on the road to check out some famous Austrian monasteries.


Melk Abbey



St. Florian Monastery

Our spirits were up when we hit Austria’s other cultural center, Salzburg, and we were ready to be inspired by stories of Mozart and Baroque architecture.

Fabulous schnitzel lunch


Beautiful view of Salzburg from the castle on the hill



Our next couple of Austrian stops were focused on hiking and it was world class.


Starting point of the hiking at the top of a chair lift at Zell am See


Views for days, fresh snow on the peaks


But the trail still clear!


Hike into Zillertal Lake


Charming mountain village of Hall in Tirol



Amazing bread shop with a line of locals at the door -a good sign


Innsbruck - bridge across the glacial river


Colorful town, outdoorsy and with easy access to hiking and a plethora of mountain biking trails


Drive back from a quiet wild camping spot - glad we fit. We absolutely love driving our mid-size Tacoma. Very happy not to have a full-size pickup.


Radsattel Circuit drive- the day after fresh snow, so far so good with mud, bog, sand,ice and snow

Next, the Italian alps and southern France
 

tacototheworld

Well-known member
Italy (well really mostly just the Dolomites)

So gorgeous! A place we would like to return to someday for an exended stay. Around every corner, another stunning view. We just had to keep stopping and taking photos.

Hike into Pragser Wildsee

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It reminded us of where we brought our kids up - hiking in the Trinity Alps of far Northern California

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Found an area where wild camping is allowed - what a view!

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Hike in to Tre Cime del Lavaredo

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View down on the valley below from Tre Cime del Lavaredo


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Just pulled over and saw this, Wow!

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OK, final Dolomites photo


Last stop in Italy, a walk along the edge of Lake Como

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Lake Como. And Andy with statue
 

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