Friday, March 22, 2013


So, what have we been up to?  Planning more trips of course.  Without the trips, I'd have to keep making stuff up for the blog.  I've got a hankering to write, so I'll bring the blog up to date on our future plans.

We're going to Europe, yes again.  Cathie said she wanted to go to Scotland, and not being one to argue, I told her it sounded like a fine idea.  Of course since we're there we might as well see England and Wales, so I figured a month would do.  And since we'll be in London at the beginning and end of the UK tour, we might as well hop on the EuroStar for a week in Paris.  And since we'll be in Paris, why not invite friends Hansjorg and Silke to join us and share an apartment.  And since Hansjorg and Silke live in the Black Forest, why not spend some time there.  Hansjorg has agreed to be the "Travel Master" for two weeks of fun in Germany and Switzerland.  Sounds like a plan, now for the details.

The Ride Over and Back:

Leaving on September 10th flying on British Air non-stop San Diego to London and returning out of Zurich via London back home.  We will arrive back in the States on November 2nd. We picked BA because it's the only airline with a direct flight to and from London.  Did I get a deal on the airfare?  What do you think, no one gets a deal anymore.  I watched the airfare for a couple of months and it never came down.  When it went up $20, I bit the bullet and got our tickets.  We're flying Premium Economy for the extra comfort.

In figuring out where to stay and what to see I sometimes use Internet travel forums to get some first hand knowledge about an are or attraction.  I've used the following sites, some with more success than others.

These are very popular web sites and you will always get an answer to your questions.  It may not be the right answer, but someone will give you their opinion on things.  If you use any travel site, filter the information you get and check it out as best you can.  Most of what people tell you is pretty good information, so it gives you a guide.

One of the best sites that I've found for the type of travel we like to do is Slow Travel.  Mostly stuff about Europe especially Italy, but most people on the forums seem pretty knowledgeable.

Another site that I found is Silver Travel.  Most of the folks here are from the United Kingdom so they are good for information about the UK.

On occasions you run across someone who is really helpful with suggestions of what to see, where to stay and how to get there.  That is the case with Eleanor.  She answered questions posted on Slow and Silver Travel forums and has provide me with all kinds of valuable information about England, Scotland and Wales.  It's almost like I have my own travel planner.  Thanks Eleanor.

So here's what the trip looks like so far:

Six nights in London in THIS Bed and Breakfast.  It's centrally located and with in walking distance of many attractions.  In fact it's a stones throw from the Queens back yard at Buckingham Palace.  Perhaps we'll drop in for tea.  It is over our usual budget, but its all about, location, location. Actually we had enough points on our Capitol One Credit Card to pay for the entire stay.

After London, we take the train to York where we will rent a car for a short drive north to the North York Moors where we will be staying at Hazelwood Farm for 3 nights.  Netty, the owner has a keen sense of humor, as evidenced in Netty's Blog.  A link is on her web page if you care to read it.  (Shorter than this post, you say thankfully).  I think we'l enjoy our stay on Netty's farm.

From there we continue north to Northumberland, a national park.  We're staying four nights in the village of Wooler at the Old Mill Bed and Breakfast.  We'll probably do a day trip to Edinburgh from here. 

Then onto Scotland.  No lodging plans yet and we probably won't make anymore until we arrive in the vicinity.  We're traveling in the off season, so finding a place shouldn't be a problem.  One thing I will attempt to do while in the Scottish Highlands is to climb Ben Nevis.  At 4400 feet, this is the tallest mountain in Great Britain.  Doesn't seem like much in comparison to our mountains here, but it's the weather that will kill you on this mountain.

We turn south next to the Lake District, then Wales and finally the Cotswolds.  We have two weeks for this part of the trip and we'll probably figure out how long to stay in each location when we get there.

After an over night in London we will board the EuroStar for the short ride under the English Channel and Paris.

In Paris we've rented an apartment for a week.  Hansjorg and Silke will meet us here for a great time in The City of Light.  I found our apartment after reading a review on the Slow Travel Web site and selected it after communication with someone who had stayed there.  It's the La Belle Epoque located in the 9th Arrondissement just below Sacre Coeur and close to food and wine.  What more could you ask.  La Belle Epoque means The Beautiful Era, the period of time between 1871 and 1914, or in simpler terms, party time!


After Paris, it's all up to Hansjorg and I'll be done with the trip planning.

Oh, I almost forgot.  In three weeks we're taking off in the RV for 6 to 8 weeks, so stay tuned!