Frank and I have made several trips across the Atlantic. We’d love to travel again – and if we did we’d join a tour group because I am just not up to all the planning and navigation, and Frank’s not up to all the driving. When we really think of it there’s little we’d like to see except perhaps the castles along the Rhine – those Viking Cruise ads are as enticing as the Lorelei.
|The two of us in Vernazza, one of the Cinque Terre, years ago!|
We went to Norway twice. Frank’s mother was born there, and I’d always wanted to go there, so it was a foregone conclusion that we’d go there on our first trip to Europe. (In grade school I chose Norway for my geography paper, so I wanted to see the country for real. I’ve also done papers on Hong Kong and Siam, which I’d love to visit, but I don’t think I’ll ever get to Asia.)
A letter to the tourist board in Kristiansand led us to a years-long friendship with a great gal who took us all over the area. She arranged for us to go out to the island, Ny Hellesund, where Frank’s grandmother lived, and brought us for a visit to some of his Mom’s relatives.
An arrangement with a friend of my college roommate led us to a years-long friendship with a Norwegian navy officer and his family. With them we visited a stave church, saw the Viking Ship Museum, the Holmenkollen and other sites in both Oslo and Bergen. It’s wonderful to be with the natives who share the wonderful foods (oh, the calories – just think of Norwegian cream cakes!) and wonderful sights of their areas, as it was with our daughter-in-law's Italian friends who showed us the many wonderful sights and treated to some of the wonderful food in Liguria, and prepared a must-see list of places to visit on the rest of our Italian trip.
When we really think about it we realize that we’ve seen quite a lot. I’m an anglophile, and I got to see all of what I most wanted to see in England: Stonehenge, Cornwall and the moors, and Canterbury Cathedral. And to Kew Gardens – Come down to Kew in Lilac time (it isn’t far from London!) - with a wonderful couple from Surrey whom we’d met on our first trip to Norway. We were big fans of All Creatures Great and Small, so, of course, we had to travel up to Yorkshire to drive over the bridge at Langthwait from the start of the show, and tour the area. All told, all trips, we spent almost two months there and saw wonderful things.
We’ve been to France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Italy – we’ve never seen Paris, tulip fields, the Matterhorn, Berlin, or Rome. But we’ve seen Provence, Santa Claus, Lake Geneva, driven the Nordschleife at the Nurburgring, and toured Tuscany. We’ve had some of the best times being with native friends. We’ve done a lot, seen a lot, tasted a lot of great food. When we see something on TV that we happened to miss, we can say that when traveled weren’t sitting around twiddling our thumbs – it was just a case of so much to see – so little time. C’est la vie.