End of a long road...

Trip Start Jun 27, 2005
Trip End Sep 22, 2005

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Well, I finally made it to Prague, the last stop on this crazy adventure...and its a strange feeling, really. But first lets recap how I got here.

I last wrote while I was in Istanbul, and from there, I caught an overnighter to Sofia Bulgaria. The border crossing was an interesting thing to experience at 1AM. When we got there, the bus stopped and we all got out, but had to walk about half a mile to the actual crossing. Then after standing in line for a while, they took our passports and loaded us back on the bus, which drove a minute up the road, only to kick us all off again to redeem ourpassports and go through another checkpoint. To complete the experience, I was sitting next to this guy who was (aparently) a cigarette smuggler. You are only allowed to take two cartons of duty free smokes across the border, but he had about 30 and was shoving them between seats and in whatever spaced he could find. at one point he thought he was busted and was miming handcuffs to me...but we stopped for a while and some angry Bulgarian was spoken, and then we were back on the road. Who knows what really went down...

Anyway, Sofia was a nice city. I only spent a day there, but I saw most of the city itself, some interesting churches and landmarks, etc.

Actually, I wasnt even there for a full day. I got in around 5am on my overnight bus and then that night I caught an overnight train to Belgrade. Belgrade is an amazing city, and from what I can tell, Serbia as a whole is an awesome place. The locals in Belgrade were just fantastic...friendly, English speaking, beautiful, and they know how to party.

When I got into town I met up with a cool Kiwi (thats New Zealander for those of you who dont know...) named Mark. Our first day in town, we met an interesting character named Nebosha...but we called him George. He was recklessly flying around on rollerblades with his shirt off and a beer in his hand when we met him. He was part bum, part tour guide, part booze hound, and whetever else you want to throw in there. We hung out all day in the park and drank beer with this interesting character, as he tried to fool locals into thinking he was a tourist and then get them to talk about us in Serbian, so he could laugh and blow his cover...it was a fun afternoon.

We also hung out with some local girls (Boyana and Evana and Sonja and...)who took us out to bars and clubs, etc. All very nice girls, and we had a great time.

I was sad to leave Serbia, it seems like there was more to see there than I had time for, but the road was calling, and the clock was ticking, so i headed to Novi Sad (a smaller version of Belgrade, spent the night, then woke up early to catch a train to Prague. I had to change in Budapest, but when I got there, I found that they had fucked up my ticket and I had 5 hours to kill and yet another overnighter to catch...arg...

so, anyway, here I am in Prague, tired, nostalgic, and not sure im ready to head home. I was pretty bummed when I got here, but this city seems to put me in a good mood. Its beautiful, historic, welcoming, and I have some fond memories of time spent here last year. It almost seems fitting for my trip to end here, but im not sure exactly why...

Im going to try to head to Kutna Hora for the day tomorrow, and then I fly back to LA on the 22nd. I suppose I will update this thing one more time when I get back to the states, just for the sake of having some closure. I'll be back where I started, but things will be far from the same...

I guess I just want to say thanks to everyone that I met along the road, you are the ones that made this trip quite special, and you all know who you are. Its been refreshing...emotional...its been many things, so thanks.

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