Having ridden a bike solo from London to Rome along the Via Francigena in May and June earlier this year, the plan in October is to dip a toe into some Eastern European countries to get a feeling for their culture, vibe and sights. By no means an extensive look into each of the countries it is merely a trip to taste a morsel of each to see which I might be interested in coming back to at a later date for a more detailed visit.
The plan is to start in Montenegro on October 1 before going on to Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, finishing in Estonia approximately November 5. All of this by bus or train. (Aside of course the flight from London to Montenegro and Tallin to London).
What will follow in my blog is a pictorial and observational collection of sights and thoughts.
The first instrument of surprise has been my introduction to a Revolut Card. I don't know about you but every time I hand over my credit card I do so with mild trepidation that it will be cloned and all funds drained from it quicker than the time it took for the actual purchase to take place and before I know it I will be forced to be selling the Big Issue outside a tube station. This amazing card helps negates those concerns. It works much like a charge / debit card. You simply download an App and use that App to transfer funds from either your bank account or your credit card (which you have wisely left at home) . The transfer of funds is instantaneous. Once you have made a purchase in whatever currency it is, the App converts that currency back into the currency you have downloaded on your card. So in my case, make a purchase in EUR and it will deduct the equivalent amount in GBP from my card. I am reliably informed too that the exchange rates they use are almost professional user market rates and certainly a lot better than your bank or post office or friendly FX sales person will ever do. So, in the event that the card is cloned or stolen, the most amount of funds they will be able to access is that amount downloaded on the card. To minimise that exposure simply download funds as you go. But WAIT ! There's more. Being associated with your mobile phone, clever little Revolut Card will detect if a purchase is being made more than 50 metres from your phone and deny the transaction.
Bring it on.