As I’ve been posting photos from my 2012 Europe trip on this website and on Instagram I’ve been doing a little mental exercise where I think about how I would change the schedule and route of that trip if I knew back then what I know now. If I could somehow go back in time and relive that journey there are a few places where I’d spend less time, other places that I’d spend more time, and maybe a few new places I’d visit. After some pondering I wound up with two versions of this mental exercise. In the first version the rules were that I couldn’t change the route of the trip at all, meaning that I could reallocate days but the list of locales visited remained the same. With the second version I let those rules go, so I could potentially reroute the trip to skip over places and add new ones to the journey. In both versions, however, I played by the rule that the journey could not be lengthened, so I can only add days to places by subtracting them off of other places. Below is what I came up with for both exercises. In each one I’ve listed first the locations where I’d subtract time and then the ones where I’d add time.

Europe Map.png

Version 1 – Schedule can be changed but route stays the same

Paris: 1 day subtracted
I’m taking one day off from Paris, not because I didn’t like the city but because I had one day where my plans went very wrong and I wasted a lot of time. With hindsight I wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes and could shave a day off my time there.
Santiago de Compostela: 3 days subtracted
When I planned out Spain I chose to stay in Santiago de Compostela for far longer than needed, and I did it for a really stupid reason. Originally I was only going to be there for 1 or 2 days but I ended up choosing 4 just to save a little money by not being in Madrid on a Friday or Saturday. I only needed 1 day to see everything I was interested in and the 3 remaining days were a waste of time.
Milan: 1 day subtracted
Milan is a great city, but after visiting it twice I’ve come to realize that everything I want to see there can be done in a single day. I spent 2 days in Milan in 2012 and with hindsight I’d take 1 of them off.
Cologne: 2 days subtracted
I have nothing against the city of Cologne, but it’s clear to me now that I should have only stopped there for about 2 hours to check out the cathedral and then moved on. There was no need to spend 2 days there.
Granada: 2 days added
I spent less than 24 hours in Granada, and while I felt bad about it in 2012, this mistake became particularly clear in 2015 when I visited it a second time. Granada has become one of my favorite cities in Spain and I would definitely add 2 more days if I could do the 2012 trip all over again.
Florence: 1 day added
If I could, I’d add a day to Florence, not to see more of the city but to take a day trip to Siena.
Venice: 1 day added
Despite it’s high prices, myriad inconveniences, and seasonal flooding, Venice is my favorite city in Italy. An extra day there would have been welcome.
Zagreb: 1 day added
I’m adding a day to Zagreb primarily because I’d use that extra time to do a day trip down to Plitvices Lakes National Park, which I visited in 2015.
Hallstatt: 1 day added
Hallstatt was a day trip from Salzburg in 2012, and even though there’s very little to actually do in Hallstatt I would have loved to have spent the night and gotten more time there.
Copenhagen: 1 day added
As I said in last week’s Wayback Wednesday post, I saw a decent amount of the city but having another day would have been nice.

Version 2 – Route and schedule can be changed

Paris: 1 day subtracted
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Santiago de Compostela: 4 days subtracted
Honestly, as I think more about the 2012 trip I’ve come to the conclusion that Santiago de Compostela was a massive time suck that should have been avoided. The train ride from San Sebastian took forever and I didn’t gain too much from the experience. I should have gone straight to Madrid from San Sebastian and saved those 4 days.
Milan: 1 day subtracted
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Cologne: 2 days subtracted
As you’ll see later on, the last leg of my trip would get rerouted if I relived the trip, and this would mean skipping over Cologne completely.
Amsterdam: 2 days subtracted
Having already seen much of Amsterdam the first time, rerouting the trip around it and saving 2 extra days would have been a fair exchange. Then again, I suppose I would have never seen the other side of Amsterdam.
Granada: 2 days added
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Florence: 1 day added
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Venice: 1 day added
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Zagreb: 1 day added
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Hallstatt: 1 day added
Same reason as listed in Version 1.
Stockholm: 2 days added
The one really big change I’d make to the route of the 2012 trip would be to continue on from Copenhagen to Stockholm. I’d also redirect the added day in Copenhagen from Version 1 to Stockholm.
Edinburgh: 2 days added
After Stockholm I’d fly to Edinburgh. I never got outside of London while I was in the UK (aside from going to airports) and if I could redo the 2012 trip I’d go to Edinburgh, or somewhere else in the UK before returning to London for my flight back to America.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s