Initial Plans

Kelowna Travel Blog

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Since this will be a long trip and my yet to be found travel partner may not be able to do or want to do the whole journey with me, I have broken it down into sections.  These are also all initial plans which may be revised numerous times to meet changing desires of mine or my travel partner(s).


Getting to Europe

Spokane to New York or Spokane to Chicago to Miami/Fort Lauderdale via Amtrak

Whether I go to New York or Florida to catch a cruise will depend on the best deal available, the ports a ship goes to and of course who is going with me and where they want to go from and to.  Sharing a room is really important financially when it comes to cruising.  So the 1st part may suit someone who wants to do a cruise and then fly back alone while I stay in Europe to continue on. 


Greece & Italy

Some of the repositioning cruises leaving in late March and April often continue on to Greece once they get to Europe.  NCL has one from New York to Venice and then on to Greece.  This would work well to also get in a trip to Greece, although I am not opposed to doing Greece separately by taking a ferry across and traveling by train or bus around it.  But some how I want to see at least a bit of Greece and at least do the Venice, Rome, Florence part of Italy.  



Travel by train from Italy to Madrid with possible stops and touring in Nice, Avignon and Barcelona.  Then from Madrid to Cordoba where I want to spend a few days.  It is important for me to get to Cordoba sometime during the second week of May  when the Patio Festival is on.  Since gardening is a favorite pastime of mine I am very keen on seeing gardens throughout Europe.  Sure there are some museums and some painting that I wouldn’t mind seeing but for me being outside visiting gardens, seeing different  architecture and just roaming the streets and local sites is more my thing.  Granada and The Alhambra are also on my list in Spain.



Again there are areas outside of Paris where I am keen on spending more time.  Bordeaux (to drink wine), Tours & Giverny (Claude Monet’s garden), Versailles (garden & palace) and Paris to see the major highlights there.  But for the most part, large cities are not where I want to be.


Belgium, Holland, Germany

Not sure how much time I want to spend in these countries.  Belgium long enough to get filled up on chocolate, Amsterdam just to see it and then travel to where ever the windmills are.  At present there is nothing that is really drawing me to Germany except for maybe Munich.  I am not keen on visiting all the war and holocaust stuff.  Castles and the country side is where I want to be. 



From Hamburg I want to do a short side trip to Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  Mainly because my grandmother was born in Oslo and I would like to see that city and by then I may have tracked down long distance relative.  I have heard that Copenhagen is a really nice place so I might as well take it in too.  But since all of Scandinavia is suppose to be quite expensive I will probably not stay there long.


Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Munich, Switzerland

Again short stops of one or two nights in these places, depending on time and sights to see.  This will be followed by a trip back through either Paris or Begium.


England, Scotland & Ireland

I have nothing against England and again depending on who I am traveling with but personally I would spend the bulk of my time in Ireland and Scotland.  I don’t even have a great desire to see the traditional tourist sites in London.  I would sooner go to Liverpool and travel down the Beatles Penny Lane.  This section of my trip may last for about two weeks so maybe some will want to just do the UK part with me. 


Cruise back to America

Cunard Cruise Lines has regular trips from England back to New York so that might be the best option for getting back.  Usually there is one about mid July. 


So in total I would be traveling April, May, June and part of July.  So all you experienced travelers out there, is this possible in the time frame I am looking at?  Am I crazy to try and cover this much territory all at once.  Are there places you would forget and places you would not miss?  I am open to any and all suggestions.







VONNEX says:
It is very nice site for intial plans for enjoying trips.
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Posted on: Oct 02, 2011
Dreamer33 says:
Hi:) I am from Cordoba ( Andalucia, south of Spain), I saw you want to spend a few days there and here I am if you need any suggestions. It is such a beautiful city, nominated to ~city of culture 2016 but for political reason it was the second, which it is really disappointing:(. It is a very beautiful city and food it is just AMAZING, so anything I can help, just let me know. I am leaving in Scotland for four years now so I won't be able to show you around which it is a shame, because I am a good guide;). I love the plans you have for your trip,it sounds really great,so go for it my friend:)
Posted on: Aug 29, 2011
steve71 says:
What you are planning sounds lovely!!
Posted on: Jul 19, 2010
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We all have times in our life when we know that a new direction, a new focus, a new something is needed.  During the last 6 months to a year I was wrestling with this exact thing.  Trying to decide where I wanted to go the most and was it going to be a two week holiday or something more extensive.  The thought of going to Europe had really only been in the far background.  Then one day I realized I could take a cruise ship there and back. 

You see flying is not my preferred way to travel.  It wasn't always that way.  I took my first flight when I was about 12.  A small propeller plane from Fort McMurray to Edmonton.  There was nothing much in Ft Murray then compared to the boom town oil central place it is now.  Later I would make a number of trips across the Rockies in Viscounts (4 engine prop planes) that rolled and dipped as we all looked out at the mountain peaks.  It was the only plane you could fly from Calgary to Victoria because at that time no jets could land on the short runway there.  Wow how things have changed. 

 At one time I even had a job that required I fly to Regina quite often (too often for me) and even to Toronto on a few occasions.   Since hoping on a plane was the norm for me then I visited family on the west coast, went to Vegas and even to Florida for a cruise.  Sure there were some scary times and incidents that happened but I never considered not flying.  Then after I was married and pregnant with my 2nd child I was too close to term to fly so I took a train from Calgary to Toronto to attend my sister's wedding.  The train ride was incredible, we had so much fun meeting others, watching the scenery out the window and just sitting back and relaxing. 

Over the next number of years I would end up having a 3rd child and a divorce and very little  opportunity to fly or take a train any where.  Then when the girls were teens I saved and planned for two years for a trip for us to Disneyland.  With this great desire to again get on a train we travelled from Vancouver to LA with Amtrak.  Having never been down the West Coast, the trip was awesome.  The scenery, the people, the informative talks on the train and the fun times in the lounge car.  I was definitely sold on train travel.  Since I had also been on a cruise at one time and I totally loved that experience also, I was hooked on train and ship travel. 

So when I was contemplating where I wanted to go, I started ruling out anywhere that would require flying and I was looking for somewhere to take a train or a ship.  One day during a search on the internet I discovered there are lots of cruises to Europe, some quite inexpensive because they are repositioning cruises.  Of course once I am in Europe I can ride the train all over.  After more research as to costs, time needed to travel to all the countries on my list,etc. etc.  I made the decision, Europe was definitely the place I wanted to go the most and it would be the first on my travel plans even if it meant waiting longer and saving more. 


goldensand says:
So you must have experience with the trains in Europe. Did you use a Eurorail pass, is it worth it? Did you find it hard to get from the train stations to hostel of budget accommodations. Any suggestions or advise would be appreciated.
Posted on: Sep 21, 2009
oldschoolbill says:
The trains in Europe are great have Fun!!
Posted on: Sep 14, 2009
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