Trip #2 kicked off for real at McRae’s Roadhouse, as it usually does when Dale and I hatch an evil plan. Evil may be taking a little poetic licence. It’s more of a master plan. Our original goal when we began to dream of travelling the world was to visit places that would challenge our resilience.
Getting away for a couple of weeks from time to time is a big ask for spouses who are left carrying the bag, and for that support we are very thankful. Our mindset has been to always try to get to places that may be unsettling and uncomfortable yet all the while enjoyable and guarantee to forge indelible memories.
Our initial thoughts for this upcoming journey was to travel to India by way of Dubai. As with our adventures in the past, gin and tonic has a sneaky way of opening up the scope of things to come. What started out as a journey to Mumbai, Goa and perhaps several places in between became (with the help of Bombay Sapphire Gin) “sure we can do that, but what about if we also include Kathmandu and Varanasi?”
Now we’re talking. All those North face jackets and Arcteryx shirt, short and sock combos can be busted out of the travel tickle trunk. We are at last those guys that they make movies about. You know, the ones who adorn the posters at the Sundance Film Festival trekking up the Khumbu valley towards Everest base camp. There we are, locked in to an itinerary but we won’t purchase the tickets before we draw a sober breath and reconvene in a week’s time with some research done and some thoughtful perspective added to the mix.
Our next meeting took place at Starbucks in Broadmead Village. We arrived well prepared with passports, laptops and research collected from third parties (colleagues and friends mostly). What happened next was unexpected and if I’m honest just a little sad. It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that we no longer need our trekking poles or a basic understanding of Hindi. It turns out that we had decided to book a trip to a country that at that time of the year happens to be experiencing its hottest weather. In addition to the heat, the humidity and fast approaching monsoons should make it a destination that we reschedule for a different spot on the calendar.
So where to go and what to see? We discussed South Africa, South America and Scandinavia. Then came the old standby. Let’s get ourselves to London and go to as many places EasyJet and Eurorail can take us for the least amount of money. Some time on the old IPad netted the following results. It looks like the following might be the itinerary for our Europalooza 2018. London to Munich. Apparently they have beer, sausage, pigs knuckle and leather bib shorts there. Perhaps I may drop by the tailor?
From Munich we will travel by rail to Salzburg. I am a little bit of a classical music fan so I am looking forward to a string quartet or two. Salzburg, as luck would have it is also well stocked with Beer and Schnitzel. Next comes another train journey to Venice and the lagoon that surrounds it. As I am not a newbie to that area I know what to expect and I know that I love it. Hopefully the sun will be out by then and with sun comes the need for Beer (Moretti) and perhaps a little insalada mare’.
Venice gives way to Sicily and a few days in a less travelled and unspoiled Italy. I cant wait to drive the south coast and take in the rich history and traditions on the island. The white wine from the foothills surrounding Etna is apparently top-notch. Perhaps a glass or two accompanied by the best cannoli in the world and you’ve got a winner. From Catania we EasyJet to Barcelona.
Spain has a lot to offer and we hope to soak up the architecture, culture, vino and tapas. Barcelona then sees us fly away to the north and Toulouse as our final stop on the continent. Although I have spent some quality time in Provence I have never been to Toulouse. I am really looking forward to the things to see and do which may be accompanied by a bottle or two of Kronenbourg. From France we fly back to London for a couple of days of what London does. It’s a huge city but its still one of the best in the world. Of course I could go on and on in detail about these stops, but that will follow on the pages of this blog as we go. I hope you will find the time to accompany us along the way by catching up right here.