Eastern Europe: A Change in Plans

Thursday: 14 May 2009

I just took off for Bratislava, Slovakia on a last minute change in travel plans that took place a couple days ago. I was discussing my route with Alex and he suggested heading to Eastern Europe since it is a plausible way to travel through Europe for cheap. So I picked a couple routes and messed around with a couple ideas of where I would like to go. Riga, according to Alex, is a must see along with Estonia and Lithuania, so…Why not? Eight days to get from Bratislava to Riga. I do not know what the next week will entail but I am sure the adventure alone is worth the exploration of the Baltic region. I left from Charleroi, Belgium on a RyanAir flight that will land in Bratislava/Vienna airport in about two hours……

2:09pm: Currently I am sitting in row 24 looking out the window just behind the wing of the plane. The remarkable feelings that overcome the senses as the plane ascends high above the clouds and above Europe; ears popping, stomach dropping and those exciting feelings of new destinations. Soft white clouds cover the sky beneath us with slight openings ever so often; giving a small glimpse of the fields below. Like patch-work the various shades of green, yellow and tan; dotted with miniature farm houses or barns that actually are the dwellings of those who reside in the countryside of Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg or which ever country we may be over now.

2:48pm: As we are flying there is the approach of gray clouds below us. It is fascinating to see the change in weather from above as the line that separates the good from the bad is obvious and visible as I gaze out the window. The shaking of this aircraft, as we enter this natural phenomenon, is slightly noticeable and the sound of clicking seat belts fills the silence as those who are slightly nervous of flying take those small precautions to ensure their safety.

2:59pm: The mountain tops slightly covered in snow peak between the sheets of clouds; possibly the Swiss Alps somewhere in-between Belgium and Slovakia.

3:17pm: “Ten minutes until we are expected to land.” The feelings entailed while descending through the clouds and the anticipation that occurs while the view is blinded by this thick layer of billowing clouds, hiding the terrain below and creating built up excitement for what lies ahead. We begin to approach land as we slowly reduce altitude waiting for that first glimpse of the world below. A new country, a new adventure, small Eastern European cities, vast green fields and finally landing in the middle of two large and popular cities in Eastern Europe; twenty minutes ahead of schedule. Where to go next? Still unsure where I am off to and what to expect!

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