Trip Plan Synopsis October 22 2011

The Trip Goal:  Travel Europe for 3 months and don't break the bank. The Fixed Dates: August 22nd AM catch a planes flying from Denver to Kamchatka, Russia. September 10th fly back east 9 hours to Moscow. September 14th land in Frankfurt, DE November 20th fly from Zurich back to Denver Whilst our trip to Russia is relatively prearranged, in contrast- our time in central Europe will be make it up as we go. We have no reservations or commitments but instead ideas, goals, and friends in strategic locations... and light bags. The plan:
  1. 9/14 Take a train south out of Frankfurt to the town of Freiburg (chosen purely based upon its location on the train line between Franfurt & Zurich).
  2. 9/16 Train to Zurich, Switzerland and visit friends there.
  3. ~9/19 Train to Chamonix, France and hike the 'Walking Haute Route' East to Zermatt (13 days, 180km)
  4. ~10/5 Return to Zurich
  5. ~10/6 Unplanned time not sure what to do (7days)
  6. ~10/15 Train to Eastern Germany (Regensburg??)
  7. 10/?? Buy bicycles and bike tour east from Germany into Austria, Italy, then west into France (20 days)
  8. Its November: don't get too cold!!!
  9. ~11/5 Visit friends in Aix En Provance,France (7 days)
  10. Train back to Zurich and catch our flight home.
So, we have at least a plan... but we have limited first hand knowledge of what to do, and we expect to be ~1 month behind the optimal season for all activities. Weather may cause serious problems. Also we are not really doing much prepratory research. Stuff: What are the strategic items chosen for the trip: For Kevin:
  • 1 large (>5000in3) Backpack for the Kamchatka backcountry
  • 1 small (3000kn3) backpack for Haute Route, biking, and traveling by plane
  • 1 pair of clothes, 1 pair long underwear, 1 set of rain gear w/ gaitors, 1 warm jacket, 1 warm hat, 1 change of underwear & shirt, warm bike gloves, trail running shoes, hiking boots.
  • 1 pack towel
  • Toiletries
  • learn German books, journal, calendar, blank paper, plane tickets, selection of pens & sharpies
  • camera, ipod, headphones, wallet, passport
  • spoon, bowl/container
  • sleeping bag
  • 1 laptop 10in screen Gateway 'netbook' 2.5lb
  • 2 Thermos(s)
  • misc. small items
Shipped in a box to Zurich, Switzerland:
  • 2 pair bike shoes & pedals
  • 2 Bike seats, water bottles & cages
  • 4 Paniers;1 bike panier rack
  • bike repair tools; really fancy small bike pump
  • 2 Helmets, bike shorts
  • spare contacts & other assorted small items
  • comfort food, tea
So, the overall trip plan includes choosing the total trip length (3 months), and choosing the location in central Europe to fly into (Frankfurt), the departure airport (Zurich), creating a list of friends, choosing activities, and making a minimalist pile of stuff.   The rest we figure out along the way... off we go!