Europe Phase 1

After a brief stop in Southampton to visit family, we made it back safely to Canada in time for Christmas. We’re still dealing with the jet lag and trying to get used to the cold. We have our car insured and cell phone activated and we’re staying with generous friends until we return to Europe soon for Phase 2. We’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends over the holidays, and getting back in shape.

When contemplating Europe we anticipated rich history, grand sights, interesting culture, and great food. We experienced all of these things. We knew that travel would be much easier than in the developing world, and it was, despite some bad weather and vehicle problems. We had hoped, against the odds, for nicer weather. After the first week of September, temperatures where we traveled ranged from 2 to 23 degrees Celsius. Pleasant enough if it’s not raining, but cold at night. We were glad that we brought our down coats and gortex jackets! Phase 2 should be warmer and drier.

Because of the cold weather, we spent less time enjoying the nature of Europe and more time in the cities. We look forward to more hiking and for Patrick, climbing and mountaineering, when we return. Also the beautiful alpine views, great beaches, and swimming in the lakes and oceans.

We met fewer people (locals and tourists) than on previous trips because we were traveling by RV (i.e. not staying in hotels, not eating out as much, and only staying in campgrounds some of the time). In Phase 2, we will make more of a conscious effort to connect with people. If you have friends or family in Europe, we would love to meet them. We don’t expect anything, and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to get to know the people of Europe. If you’re thinking of traveling to Europe next summer, let us know and perhaps we can meet up?

Despite leaving a bunch of stuff in the S&M Motel, we found that our backpacks were crammed for the return trip. I’m not sure how this is possible when the only thing that I purchased in 4 months was Bombay Sapphire (gin) at the duty free store. Perhaps Diane’s new boots and clothes are the reason.

During our hiatus we’ll focus on planning for next year, getting our finances in order, getting back in shape, and spending time with family and friends. I will continue to blog. I’ve got a lot of postings partially written that I will finish and share, and lots more ideas. If you’re following the blog, please stay subscribed. As always, your comments on the blog are greatly appreciated.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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7 thoughts on “Europe Phase 1

  1. Welcome home, you two!
    Will you be going to Scandinavia in Phase Two?
    Lots of friendly family there!

    Happy holidays,
    Barb and Terry

  2. Welcome home you 2.

    Arlene & I wish you a very Merry Christmas & a happy, healthy, and travel safe New Year.

    Perhaps we can touch base over the holidays. We will be in Edmonton from the 24th to Jan. 4th.

    Thanks for all the very interesting blogs and we look forward to more of them whenever you send them along.

    Moe & Arlene

  3. Welcome home! I hope your transition home goes smoothly. It has been interesting following your blog. Happy Holidays and best wishes for the new year. Would love to catch up sometime. Paul and I are off to Morocco until the end of January. Will try to catch up when we return.

    Jan and Paul

  4. Welcome home. loved reading about your adventures. Cy and I are staying in Scottsdale over Christmas. Not coming home until February and only for a few days. How long do you think you might stay in Europe for part 2?
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you both.
    Laurie and Cy

    1. Hi Laurie and Cy — Phase 2 begins in mid-April and will run to at least mid-September. No specific plans after that, but we do need to acquire our own RV by next winter in order to complete the Great Trans-Atlantic Camper Van Swap in 2013. We hope to see you before we return for Phase 2. Merry Christmas!

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