Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

Report card for Europe trip No. 2

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So, I’m more than a month late on this one. (I’ve been kind of busy since I got home, OK?) Again by popular demand, here’s a round-up of the common things you all seem to want to know about my travels, covering my three-month journey through Italy, Albania and Greece (with a few nights in England).

I traveled during fall and winter, but that didn't keep me from taking every opportunity to bring my book and journal to the beach. This was my favorite, just outside Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy.

I traveled during fall and winter, but that didn’t keep me from taking every opportunity to bring my book and journal to the beach. This was my favorite, just outside Villasimius, Sardinia, Italy.

General travel
Most expensive country: England, but I was only there for a few nights, so let’s go with Italy.
Least expensive country: Albania
Favorite country: Italy (Italy also nudges out Turkey from the top spot overall.)
Least-favorite country: Albania
Most challenging country: Albania
Coolest travel experience: Unlike my first long-term trip, which had a clear stand-out experience, none from this adventure were completely above the rest; rather, I have a few experiences worth mentioning, such as coharing a hash for the Rome Hash House Harriers, sleeping in the hallway on a ferry from Italy to Albania, working in a bakery in Greece, and attending Slow Food International’s Terra Madre.
Number of castles visited: 5
Best sunset: On my first night in Greece, the entire sky over Northwest Greece was glowing.
Best kiss: Sirio, my 18-month-old suitor in Sardinia, Italy
Worst hostel: Koine’ Hostel in Salerno, Italy. I ended up not even staying there that night.
Favorite beach: The secluded, rocky beach near the farm where I volunteered on the island of Sardinia, Italy
Favorite language: Italian
Hardest language to learn: Albanian

Dream come true: I was tasked with riding Appaloosa horses along the Ionian Sea coast and through olive groves on the Greek island of Kefalonia. Photo by Katerina Kapatou (http://www.skinos-ilivatos.gr)

Dream come true: I was tasked with riding Appaloosa horses along the Ionian Sea coast and through olive groves on the Greek island of Kefalonia.
Photo by Katerina Kapatou (http://www.skinos-ilivatos.gr)

Volunteering
Best volunteer experience: I loved all of the places where I volunteered on this trip: the family farm in Italy, the bakery in Greece and the horse farm in Greece.
Hardest volunteer job: Not eating everything in sight at the bakery
Favorite volunteer jobs: Riding horses on the Greek island of Kefalonia

Food/drinks
Country with the best food: Italy (You saw this coming.)
Country with the best beer: None impressed me all that much, but Greece had some surprisingly good beers.
Favorite beer: Fix Dark in Greece
Favorite new food: Fresh pappardelle con cinghiale
Volunteer experience with the best food: The bakery in Greece. Not only did I have amazing baked deliciousness at every turn, but my hosts and the baker’s mother were great cooks, plus they were happy to let me experiment with food.
Worst thing I ate: I had a negative baked-lamb experience in Greece.
Worst thing I drank: Tsiporo in Albania
Food I missed the most while I traveled: Avocado

Recapping all of this makes me realize how much more I have to write about from this trip. So much to blog … so little time.

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