Friday, July 8, 2011

Planning the Grand Tour…

This year is our BIG travel year. We leave on the 10th August for 13 weeks in England, Ireland and Europe.
Graham and Kim, in Paris 2006.
 This will be my third big trip. (Graham has lost count of his trips).

My best photo of the trip - the Louvre Pyramid in Paris at dusk
The Last big trip was 2006. On that occasion we travelled to England, beautiful Paris, wonderful Brussels, then visited Andrew in a very busy Germany. (He was there as an au pair for a year. Germany was busy as our trip clashed with the Football World Cup and it was full of lots of yahooing fans, drinking lots of beer and wearing silly hats).

Me and Andrew in Germany.

We then continued on to hot and steamy Vienna, got caught up in a French train strike on our way to Barcelona, but made it eventually. Which was good as Barcelona was FANTASTIC! Then we travelled to Madrid to get on a  Easy Jet back to England.

At Castle Stuart, near Inverness, Scotland.
We hired a car and drove via the Lake District up to Scotland. We visited the birthplace of my grandparents. Spent a night in a haunted castle and  fell in love with Edinburgh. We then had the cultural experience of driving the M1 from Edinburgh to London in a day!!

IN 2011..

the plan so far is as follows,
  1. Spend the first month in England. We will hire a car and tour around. I would like to go north to York. Graham wants to go to the Lotus factory in Norfolk. We then may go south and try to get to the Isle of Wight. We have our National Trust membership so we will visit lots of nice houses.
  2. We will meet up with my parents in London at the end of August and have booked a two bedroom serviced apartment in Kensington for a week. We intend to do London really well. I want to go to the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the National Gallery. We also will try to tour Buckingham Palace.
  3. We are all then catching a train/ferry to Dublin. Spending a few nights in Dublin, hiring a car and we have booked a unit for a week in County Clare that we will make home base while we explore.
  4. We will return to London by train and leave Mum and Dad to make their way home. Graham and I will then start our train journey through Europe.
  5. We have bought Eurail passes. Will we probably catch the Eurostar over to Brussels, then a fast train to Cologne in Germany. We will then spend a few nights in Berlin. From there we will travel down to Prague for a couple of nights and then maybe to Budapest. From there we will make our way on the train to Rome.
  6. In Rome we join a 10 day Trafalgar Tour, of Rome Florence and Venice. 
  7. We have a couple of days to fill in after the tour, not sure what we’ll do yet!
  8. We then get on a cruise ship!!!!! Departing from Venice on the MSC Opera, we sail through the Mediterranean for 11 nights, visiting Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnik amongst other ports.

    Our cabin is one of the balcony suites, on the top deck at the front.
  9. At the end of the cruise we have a few days to get back to London for our flight home on the 4th November….Phew!
  10. We will arrive home broke! ha ha, We need 2 new Bathrooms – well they can wait for next year – got to do this travel stuff while your youngish!

Until next time, Red heartRed heartRed heart Kim

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