Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where are you?

That seems to be the question I keep getting, and I think it is proof that I have been negligent in my blogging duties.  I've been quite busy since I last wrote, and have covered a lot of ground.

Upon leaving Romania, I took the overnight train to Belgrade, Serbia.  For the first half of the train ride I shared a cabin with a Romanian autoparts smuggler (so I assume).  I watched bemused as he carefully scattered his assorted fan belts, light bulbs, and other parts around the cabin in attempt to make himself less conspicuous.  I thought maybe the customs agent's disbelief at my beardless passport photo might distract him from the smuggling, but he quickly stamped my passport and had the man gather his autoparts and follow him.  Based on his remaining on the train I guess he had to pay some sort of extra duties on the parts.  When the train emptied out I joined two Portguese travelers and a young Serb, all of whom spoke excellent English.  It was then that I learned that our train was following the tracks of the original Orient Express.  The Orient Express, as far back as 1882, has carried rich adventurers from Paris to Istanbul.

Belgrade welcomed me with a heat wave, and the gap-toothed smile of war-damaged buildings.  A friendly cab driver pointed at the ruins with a smile and simply said "NATO".  My two new friends from Portugal and I walked the tourist routes of Belgrade before spending the rest of the day cooling off in the man-made lake on the river Sava, a tributary of the storied Danube.  After a weekend in Belgrade I got back on the train and made my way to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.  While in Zagreb I was busy visiting with an old classmate from the Coast Guard Academy, as well as meeting some previously-unknown family who are assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.  Ivana and Nik, and Jen and Sam, thank you for all of your hospitality.

Since Zagreb I have spent the last two days in Ljubljiana, the capital of Slovenia.  I was planning on leaving tomorrow, but may stick around at least long enough to watch the Slovenia vs USA worldcup match tomorrow.  Things are going well, and I have been taking a bit of a holiday from my holiday.  The only thing I have spent money to see so far has been the Nikola Tesla museum in Belgrade.

So now my plans are not that exciting.  My original idea was to go to Verona, Italy tomorrow, followed by Innsbruck, Austria before meeting Aimee in Munich.  However, if I stay tomorrow for the soccer game I may just have time to go to Vienna before arrivng in Munich.  Either way, I am not too concerned.  I have had to make harder decisions in my life.  

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