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Category: 131 Days in Europe with Diabetes

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Behind the scenes at 70-130.com

A long-term diabetes travelogue that really tells it like it is! This is an exhaustive, day-by-day account of a four-plus month backpacking odyssey through some of the lesser-known parts of Europe. Read about the World Heritage Sites, historical areas, trains, guesthouses, and people I encountered on the road with my travel partner Masayo as well as every meal, insulin shot, and blood sugar check. The deliriously fun cold-weather voyage took us through the gorgeous sites and palpable history of Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Norway.

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Day 0

My packing list for three months in Europe in winter

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Day 1
Japan to China to Sweden

Are you guilty of FWD (flying while diabetic)?

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Day 2
Sweden

Old Town Stockholm, without a map

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Day 3
Sweden to Åland

Bad news from back home while traveling

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Day 4
Åland Islands

Small town Åland on Sunday when everything's closed

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Day 5
Åland Islands to Estonia

Terrible diabetes management at Bomarsund fortress in rural Scandinavia

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Day 6
Estonia

The cobblestoned streets of Old Town Tallinn

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Day 7
Estonia

Lost in Tallinn's Old Town walls

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Day 8
Estonia

Inside Patarei, the strangest prison on Earth

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Day 9
Estonia

Riding through the Estonian countryside: Tallinn to Tartu

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Day 10
Estonia

Tartu, the perfect little city in Estonia

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Day 11
Estonia to Latvia

Valga/Valka: A town with two names

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Day 12
Latvia

High BGs for 200 kilometers on a Latvian bus

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Day 13
Latvia

The curious world of Old Town Rīga

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Day 14
Latvia

Good BGs on the bus to Daugavpils in Russian Latvia

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Day 15
Latvia

Cietoksnis and the rickety trams of Daugavpils

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Day 16
Latvia to Lithuania

Latvia to Lithuania: An improvement in blood sugar?

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Day 17
Lithuania

Classic rock-themed day in Vilnius

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Day 18
Lithuania

Trakai, a castle with its very own island

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Day 19
Lithuania

The first train of the trip: Vilnius to Šiauliai

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Day 20
Lithuania

Sacred Hill of Crosses and a grinning Iron Fox

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Day 21
Lithuania

Kaunas, part city and part open-air church

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Day 22
Lithuania

Someday we'll leave Kaunas... but not today

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Day 23
Lithuania

Devils appear to haunt our Lithuanian travels

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Day 24
Lithuania to Poland

Goodbye Baltics, hello Warsaw

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Day 25
Poland

Frustration and chaos in Warsaw

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Day 26
Poland

Warsaw blows its second chance

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Day 27
Poland

I give up – it's time to leave Warsaw

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Day 28
Poland

Gdańsk is as welcoming as Warsaw isn't

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Day 29
Poland

Solidarity in the shipyards of Gdańsk

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Day 30
Poland

Inside the deserted Polish castle of Malbork

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Day 31
Poland

Splitting Poland in half with a train

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Day 32
Poland

The random greatness of Kraków

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Day 33
Poland

A cold, drizzly visit to Auschwitz

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Day 34
Poland

Into the Jewish Quarter of Kraków

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Day 35
Poland to Czech Republic

Unpronounceable trip: Kraków to Kroměříž

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Day 36
Czech Republic

Peacocks and moss at Kroměříž Gardens

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Day 37
Czech Republic

The smaller the Czech town the prettier it is

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Day 38
Czech Republic

Kutná Hora's gruesome Church of Bones

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Day 39
Czech Republic

First look at Prague, the capital of Central Europe

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Day 40
Czech Republic

Prague is spectacular even if you're sick

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Day 41
Czech Republic

A side of Prague most tourists don't see

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Day 42
Czech Republic

Hiking up to Vyšehrad, the hilltop Czech fortress

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Day 43
Czech Republic

The world's most beautiful place to recuperate

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Day 44
Czech Republic

Český Krumlov: UNESCO home of artist Egon Schiele

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Day 45
Czech Republic to Slovakia

Down frosty roads into Bratislava, Slovakia

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Day 46
Slovakia

Inept ice-skating in rainy Bratislava

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Day 47
Slovakia

High and low blood sugars, high and low Tatras

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Day 48
Slovakia

Playing in the northern Slovakian snow

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Day 49
Slovakia

A hilltop castle in Slovakia: access denied

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Day 50
Slovakia

Trapped inside a High Tatras cable car

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Day 51
Slovakia

The wooden churches of eastern Slovakia

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Day 52
Slovakia to Hungary

Humble Humenné to happenin' Hungary

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Day 53
Hungary

Caver in the morning, liquor in the evening

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Day 54
Hungary

Our private tour of Aggtelek's caves

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Day 55
Hungary

Making the most of a day off in Budapest

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Day 56
Hungary

Hopping between Buda and Pest

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Day 57
Hungary

Life beside Central Europe's largest lake

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Day 58
Hungary

Biking and hiking up to Szigliget Castle

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Day 59
Hungary to Slovenia

The sunny train from Hungary into Slovenia

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Day 60
Slovenia

Ptuj: The oldest town in Slovenia

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Day 61
Slovenia

Bled is beautiful – even in the off-season

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Day 62
Slovenia

The most beautiful lake in Central Europe

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Day 63
Slovenia

Looking for joy in Ljubljana

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Day 64
Slovenia

The gigantic Christmas burgers of Slovenia

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Day 65
Slovenia

Ljubljana in the crisp, sunny cold of winter

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Day 66
Slovenia

Piran, Slovenia: First glimpse of the Adriatic Sea

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Day 67
Slovenia

Astonishing old Piran on the far edge of Slovenia

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Day 68
Slovenia

Ljubljana is so nice, we visited twice

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Day 69
Slovenia to Croatia

The bus that takes you from Slovenia to Croatia

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Day 70
Croatia

Christmas Eve brings out the best in Zagreb

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Day 71
Croatia

When everything's closed in Zagreb except the ice-skating rink

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Day 72
Croatia

Osijek, the unassuming town in eastern Croatia

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Day 73
Croatia

Buildings and bullet holes in Osijek, Croatia

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Day 74
Croatia

A path through the snow to far-flung Varaždin

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Day 75
Croatia

Trakošćan Castle: Hard to reach but totally worth it

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Day 76
Croatia

Goodbye Croatian snow, hello Istrian seaside

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Day 77
Croatia

Frozen New Year's Eve beside Pula's amphitheater

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Day 78
Croatia

The extraordinary solitude of Pula on New Year's Day

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Day 79
Croatia

The most scenic bus trip you can take in Croatia

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Day 80
Croatia

Why would you want to be anywhere besides Split?

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Day 81
Croatia

Trogir, a forgotten castle on the Adriatic

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Day 82
Croatia

To the colored lakes of Imotski by rental car

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Day 83
Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina

From sunny Split to scarred Mostar

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Day 84
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Rebuilding the remnants of proud Mostar

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Day 85
Bosnia and Herzegovina

A Bosnian mosque built into the rock

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Day 86
Bosnia and Herzegovina

A World War on a street corner: Sarajevo

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Day 87
Bosnia and Herzegovina

A peek into Sarajevo's brutal recent past

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Day 88
Bosnia and Herzegovina

How do you sum up the city of Sarajevo?

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Day 89
Bosnia and Herzegovina

The inviting rolling hills of the Srpska Republic

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Day 90
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Breaking into Višegrad's UNESCO bridge

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Day 91
Bosnia and Herzegovina

The world's most delicious home-cooked meal

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Day 92
Bosnia and Herzegovina to Serbia

Srpska to Serbia through snow-dusted hills

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Day 93
Serbia

Lassoing high blood sugars on a day off in Belgrade

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Day 94
Serbia

From Nikola Tesla to Belgrade Fortress on foot

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Day 95
Serbia

Dilapidated train to drizzly Novi Sad

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Day 96
Serbia

Petrovardin Fortress, just across the mighty Danube

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Day 97
Serbia

A room with a sunset view in Kraljevo

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Day 98
Serbia

We made it to Studenica Monastery without a car

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Day 99
Serbia

Recovering from a 400+ BG at Žiča Monastery

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Day 100
Serbia

Icy mountain roads to Zaječar – it's Day 100 of the trip!

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Day 101
Serbia

We're the only two tourists at Felix Romuliana

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Day 102
Serbia to Kosovo

Terror and boredom ruin blood sugar on the way to Kosovo

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Day 103
Kosovo

Reasons not to visit a city after a tear gas riot

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Day 104
Kosovo

Dodging rubber bullets in Kosovo

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Day 105
Kosovo to Macedonia

A quick escape from Kosovo

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Day 106
Macedonia

A brand-new ancient city

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Day 107
Macedonia to Albania

Into the wild unknown: eastern Albania

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Day 108
Albania

Tirana, the patchwork capital city

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Day 109
Albania

Communist amputees on Super Bowl Sunday

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Day 110
Albania

Unofficial minibus to the Albanian countryside

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Day 111
Albania

With the hillside sheep at Rozafa Castle

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Day 112
Albania to Montenegro

Big bus, little roads: Albania to Montenegro

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Day 113
Montenegro

Take a day off; you're in Ulcinj!

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Day 114
Montenegro

Ulcinj and the spectacle of the Montenegrin Riviera

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Day 115
Montenegro

Between snow and sunny sea to Podgorica

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Day 116
Montenegro

Attacked by Podgorica's junkyard robots

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Day 117
Montenegro

Kotor: The perfect little secret

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Day 118
Montenegro

A climb up Montenegro's most famous view

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Day 119
Montenegro

Living in Kotor forever isn't a bad idea

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Day 120
Montenegro to Croatia

From one jewel to another: Kotor to Dubrovnik

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Day 121
Croatia

Hiking up Mount Srđ without enough food

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Day 122
Croatia

Pottering about Dubrovnik: How to enjoy the off-season

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Day 123
Croatia

Looking down on Dubrovnik is totally worth the price

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Day 124
Croatia to Norway

Flying is cheating, but oh the views! Croatia to Norway

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Day 125
Norway

It doesn't get any more Norwegian than Trondheim

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Day 126
Norway

Last stop on the world's northernmost tram

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Day 127
Norway

Across Norway's Arctic Circle in winter

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Day 128
Norway

I can't believe we're in Bodø in winter

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Day 129
Norway

Cabin fever in a northern Norway town

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Day 130
Norway

The faint Northern Lights of frozen Bodø

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Day 131
Norway to United States

Every trip must eventually end

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Europe

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