But why 'P'?

Trip Start Mar 29, 1999
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Trip End Jun 18, 1999


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, March 29, 1999

Growing up in New Zealand, I developed the Antipodean urge to explore beyond our isolated shores. And where else for an introduction to the world than Europe?

I needed a theme though. Big cities? Not enough variety. Scenes of great battles? A little obscure. The main tourist destinations? Everyone does that. Totally random? Not really a theme, is it. I decided I wanted something random enough to ensure a varied itinerary, yet still giving me the sense that I was following some kind of order.

So I decided to visit the cities in Europe that started with the letter 'P'. Prague and Paris came to mind immediately and, with a little research, I discovered that there were a good cross-section of European cities that started with 'P' - Palermo, Perpignon, Pamplona, etc.

No one seemed to find it odd that I had chosen to base my trip around a letter of the alphabet, but they all asked "Why P?" The more times I had to answer the question, the more I started to come to the defence of my new favourite letter. It's versatile - can be used at the beginning of a word, the end, the middle, silently, doubled-up, and so on. It is squashed unpretentiously in the lower half of the alphabet, minding its own business - a little bit like myself really.

To start a long story shortly, I saved up for 18 months, moved out of home and took off for Europe. I didn't know how long I'd be away - could be 3 months or 3 years, I'd say - and didn't really know what was in store. Here goes . . .
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