Subject: : Update on our plans (rather long...)
Hi fellow Ziners!

Flavio, your trip sounds wonderful--Eastern Europe is not on our agenda for our first Europe trip--maybe on the next visit. We will be in Paris, Rome and Madrid (along with relatives in Holland). How about a GTG in Rome? We will be there for three nights--Sept 23-25 and will be staying at the Roman and Italian Bed & Breakfast. There were several good reviews on Rick Steeve's Grafitti Wall about this place, and the price is quite economical. It is also a few steps away from a metro stop and only two stops away from the Termini train station.

I think we've decided on Vernazza for our small Italian town. We were in Vancouver last week (not much of a trip--we drove down there for medical appointments) and Tony (from the Wanderlust store) really sold us on the Cinque Terre. He was so helpful and informative. We've also booked a B& B on a working farm in Normandy. We will have a car for 4 days to see the D-Day beaches, Bayeaux tapestry, Caen Memorial and Mont St. Michael. It is called La Ferme du Pressoir and is very central to all the sights we wish to visit--within 20 to 45 minutes by car.

Now that France & Italy are planned (more or less), we are researching Madrid and Spain. We're kind of thinking to home-base in Madrid and do a side trip to Toledo. Any other suggestions regarding sights/lodging, etc.? Our trip seems to be shaping up to be roughly one week in Holland, one week in France, one week in Italy, one week in Spain and our last week in Holland.

We have made a concious decision to ASSUME that we will return to fill in the gaps! I feel much less stressed and overwhelmed than when I first joined the group. Thanks again for all your suggestions, encouragement and advice!


PS: Even though this trip to Europe is for our 30th anniversary, our actual date is August 18th. We are planning a weekend trip up to Stewart(BC)/Hyder(Alaska) on that weekend since the Salmon are running and there are lots of Grizzly bears around. The State Parks people have built a viewing platform on the Hyder side and I hope to get some good photos. There are also some spectacular glaciers on the BC side. The bonus is that it is only a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home. Wow! I'll get to send my first real travelogue!