SiR5R is on an adventure!
SIR5R made a decision, made the plans, and now we’ve executed on those plans. My wife and I are travelling.
We looked at the physical and cognitive issues that plague me, and us, and after analysis and discussions with our very supportive doctors decided to seize the opportunity. Carpe Diem!
We’re on our way!
We’re in the initial stages of an extended trip. Preparing for the adventure proved to be an adventure in itself.
What a statement! ” SIR5R is on an adventure.” We are traveling. We resolved to go, so we’re going! We are in the first weeks of a European adventure.
Being able to simply make that statement is both comforting and terrifying.
This isn’t just an extended ride on my motorcycle, nor is it a weekend getaway flight to Vegas or California. This is a journey to another continent which makes it something much grander in scale then we’re used to.
Europe is that grander scale.
We decided as a couple that we needed to do something special to celebrate our 35+ years together. Due to unusual circumstances we missed out on the opportunity to properly celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary. So, we decided to go travelling to Europe and the UK.
And it’s a BIG trip!
Our timing for the trip has caused a bit of consternation, and not only because the trip started while summer was in full swing and Gail’s garden was demanding a great deal of attention.
I am missing out on some contract work opportunities, which may or may not have an impact on cash flow.
Our daughters have both decided its time to move house with all the upheaval that entails, and we’re not there to completely support them. Now to be fair, we did broker a place for one of the girls and her family to stay for a number of weeks, while the other of the girls and her children have moved into our little townhouse while we are away. That’s not bad for being supportive.
How did we decide that it was the time for us, and how did we plan our itinerary?
There was a family wedding in the Lakes District in the UK at the beginning of August. That had become our jumping off point.
We consulted with a lovely agent at AMA Travel in St. Albert who helped us choose a Viking River Cruise. After the appropriate investigations we discovered that we can leverage the Viking Cruise folks to help bracket the entire trip.
As we began getting serious about our preparations and quietly started to let family know that we were up to something more than just a quick trip for a wedding we noted that friends of ours were bumping into the same anniversary celebration conundrum. After careful consideration we have decided to share some of the trip, and some of the planning with them, crisscrossing each other’s paths as we go. We’ll take them to places we’ve already been, and we will share the experiences of the totally new.
We start off with the usual quick hop to a major travel hub, which in our case means bouncing from Edmonton to Calgary.
The trip narrative goes something like this;
We left for Heathrow on a Sunday, flying to Calgary from our regional airport, then hiking the length of the airport, transferring to the big plane that would take us to Heathrow. Some eight hours later we were searching for the cab had pre-ordered to take us from Heathrow to the AirBNB we had booked in London’s Crouch End.
Crash! Z-Z-Z-Z-Zzzzzzzzzz. They tell me that acclimatizing to the time change gets easier over time.
We spent a day in Crouch End trying to connect with family and having a fast look around, then we grabbed a train from Euston Station and headed north to the Lakes. We traveled with our niece, the lovely bride-to-be.
We were going to stay for two nights at a place called the Brown Horse Inn in Winster, and then move into a small cottage for a couple of days while we attended the family wedding I mentioned. That didn’t work out as neatly as planned.
From there, we’ve drifted to Southport in Merseyside. It’s a lovely town outside of Liverpool and home to the Southport Flower Show and the Royal Birkdale golf course. No British Open this year.
We’re preparing for the trek over to Manchester to catch a flight to Amsterdam, which does mean we will be missing the Flower Show. We’re going to meet our friends there. After a tour of the Anne Frank House Museum and an evening walking the canals and doing some gawking in the red-light district we’ll overnight at a BNB, then board a Viking River Cruise longboat.
We’re doing a 14-day Rhine and Danube cruise known as The Grand European.
The cruise winds up in Budapest. We’re going to stay an extra couple of nights. Then we’ll fly over to London with our friends, eschewing another AirBNB selection for a couple of nights at a Crown Plaza in Bloomsbury.
A couple of days in London will be punctuated by a trip through the Chunnel on the Eurostar to Paris. Two days in Paris then on to Malaga Spain. After a week in Spain which we hope will include excursions to Gibraltar and Tangiers we fly to Manchester, rest in SouthPort with day trips into Liverpool, then home again.
Stay with us. My intent is to diarize, journaling and blogging as we go. I’m even taking my touring sketchbooks! This will be an adventure!