Yes folks, it’s true – another big trip is looming for this summer and I am taking the family along (crazy, I know). Well I had to really, as I don’t think they would have liked me very much if I went off travelling on my own again!
It has been 5 years since we moved to Canada, and since then I have been the only one to go back home for one week (unfortunately for a funeral); so we thought it is high time that we went back home to Europe for a family visit. However, those of you who followed my Alaskan adventure know that I don’t do things half-hearted, so this is a family trip that will take us to four european capitals in four weeks. Our itinerary will take us from Calgary to Dublin to spend some time with our Irish friends, then over to Manchester in the UK to visit my husband’s family. From there we will travel by car down to see some of our old Army friends, who happen to currently live near Stonehenge, so naturally we will be making a little side trip to see the big stones. After that it’s over to Andover for some more visiting with friends before heading back to Aldershot, so our teenage daughter can revisit her childhood hometown. Then its off to London Town for a few days to play tourists. For the first time ever, we will be taking the Eurostar train to get to Paris, just in time for our daughter’s sixteenth birthday, which she wants to see in on the top of the Eiffel Tower (I’m working on it!). After having spent some days enjoying Paris we will be taking the TGV down to Angouleme to meet with our friends from the UK, who recently bought a property in the Cognac region. We shall be spending a blissful 8 days with them and hopefully enjoying the sun, pool and vineyards before heading back to Paris for one more night and then taking a plane over to Hannover, Germany to spend the rest of our holiday with my family. As part of our Germany trip we will be going to Berlin to visit my little nephew, who is turning 6 this year.
So, all in all, a pretty busy trip, with lots of time for family and friends and lots of interesting sights to be explored. I will try to blog along the way, internet access permitting (again, I’m working on it). The planning started a couple of weeks ago and I have to admit that all the major items have now been booked (you have to book early these days to get the flights and hotels you want) and I am now in the second planning phase – the travel book kind. I know I shouldn’t really need one for London, having been there many times, but I wanted to get some tips from the one guy who really knows how to make the most of a trip and see some sights that are not necessarily all that well-known, but are really interesting – Rick Steves. Now, if you live outside of North America, chances are you may not have heard of Rick, but let me tell you, he is the authority on travel in the US and Canada! I first saw his travel TV series some 15 years ago, when we were first posted to Canada, on good old PBS. I love his approach to travel and experiencing your new surroundings and he is always very practical. So, I bought his books to help me along with our travel plans for all 4 countries. I am currently reading up on Paris and I cannot wait to get over there and see everything it has to offer.
In anticipation of this fab trip I created the collage below with the help of a tutorial posted in the Elements Village Forum – thanks Hans for posting it! It took me much longer than I anticipated, as I hadn’t done this sort of thing in Elements before, but I stuck with it and somehow got to the end product (not entirely sure how), although I have not figured out how to change the background colour, despite following the instructions, it’s something that eluded me late last night.
Here is to Europe!