In lieu of Burning Man, Greg and I escaped the States for “Burning Europe”, a two-person, alternative, self-guided, two-week tour of Eastern Europe. Norwegian Airlines prompted the trip with its insanely-low $500 flights to scenic Stockholm direct from scenic Oakland. Our two trip rules: all sites must be either on or east of Berlin; each day, we must see at least one cultural attraction. So we moseyed through 5 European capitals in the following order: Berlin, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, and Stockholm. Although as a wee lad, I had previously toured both Germany and the Czech Republic, the threesome countries of Slovakia, Hungary, and Sweden were new to me.
Weather started beastly hot in Berlin, moved on to rain in Bratislava and Budapest, and froze us finally in Stockholm. I was disappointed with the teaming tourist crowds choking Prague, but found Budapest delightfully ancient and quite energetic. Bratislava wins points for trying earnestly and dour Stockholm may soon no longer take cash. We saw everything from pretty bridges in Prague and Bratislava, to photography museums in Stockholm.