It’s travel week! A big heads up. If you don’t like to travel, if you don’t like travel stories or tips, if you don’t like Europe, if you don’t like people who go to Europe, this is not going to be your favorite week on ink. We leave on Sunday for a 15 days EuroTrip that will run the gambit of interesting adventures, which means this week it’s all about last-minute planning and lots of packing and repacking as we try to fit everything we’ll need for two weeks in a carry-on bag. We tried to do the carry-on thing when we spent two weeks in Italy in 2016…and then the airline checked our bags anyway. *sigh* We’re determined to try it again even though it means fitting a week’s worth of hiking/adventure clothes in the same bag with a week’s worth of cruising clothes. There will obviously be some overlap, but as I said, we’re talking about the full gambit of activities!
EuroTrip 2018 is divided roughly into two halves.
Week 1: Switzerland
Our first flight lands in Zürich via Reykjavik, Iceland (more on Iceland later). Once on the ground in Zurich, we’ve rented a car which we will use to see a good portion of the country over the course of the next 5 days. International driving definitely counts as one of many new experiences we’ll undertake in the next two weeks. We were told Switzerland was a good place to do this because they drive on the proper side of the road. Also, it was considerably cheaper to have a car than it was to train once we figured out all the fares we would have incurred trying to get to the places we wanted to go. I hope this plan doesn’t massively backfire, but thus far the international driving experience has been quite pleasant, which is to say that my international driver’s license photo is far superior to anything my American DMV has produced!
Our major stops in Switzerland include Zürich, Bern, Lauterbrunnen, and Lucerne. We will likely not make it as far south as Geneva, but we have a car, so we can actually do whatever the heck we want! Hoping Google Maps is a solid navigating option in Europe. I should probably check into that before we leave… If you have international driving tips, I’ll totally take them! Drop me a comment.
Week 2: Italy and cruisin’ the Adriatic
After our five-day self guided car tour of Switzerland, we head to Venice via flight from Zürich. This travel portion of the trip caused the most momentary stress in the planning stages because I really, REALLY, wanted to travel to Venice via Vernazza, and you definitely can’t do that by plane, and you definitely can’t do that without almost a full day of train travel, which eats up a lot of vacation time and money, and is wholly unpractical. Still I tried to cook up a lot of ways to make it happen before giving up the idea. If you don’t understand why this little side trip was potentially so imperative, please pause here and return to the first ever post on ink. I’ll wait.
The resulting decision on travel was to fly to Venice, which is the equivalent to flying from Rochester to Chicago, which means I don’t even know if the plane gets to a cruising altitude! This hour-long puddle jump means we arrive in Venice with a full afternoon to explore, and then a full, uninterrupted day of Venetian sun and merriment, all before heading to the port the next morning, to board our seven-day cruise of the Adriatic Sea, featuring ports in Montenegro, Croatia, Greece, and Italy.
Confession. Neither my husband nor I have ever cruised before, so this portion of the trip is both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. Everyone I’ve talked to about cruising generally likes it. Everyone I’ve talked to about cruising suggests the worst part is potential sea sickness. Everyone I’ve talked to about cruising mentions packing Dramamine just in case. BUT everything I’ve read about dramamine cautions that one common side effect is rapid, irregular heartbeat, and seeing as I can’t drink regularly caffeinated coffee because my heart begins to freak out, I don’t think dramamine is going to be a great option! We’re going to try a natural ginger route instead that came highly reviewed on Amazon. The sea sickness thing makes me a bit nervous. If you’ve had a bad experience, DON’T mention it in the comments! 😉
After seven days on the cruise, we return to Venice, and then train to Milan, which is where we board our return flight home. We return via Reykjavik again, but this time layover for almost an entire day, so we’ll be taking the airport shuttle to the Blue Lagoon to say that we were able to do and see something in Iceland while we were there for 22 hours. Traveller’s tip: it seemed like a fun thing to say we’d been to and stayed in Iceland, but Iceland is expensive!! Maybe there’s a way to do it on the cheap, but doing it in 22 hours was not that way. We’ll be staying in a hostel…another experience I’m sure we’ll have a story from!
All in all, here’s what we’re looking at:
Stay tuned this week for more pre-travel updates and travel and packing tips and tricks. Though I’m not planning to blog actively while on vacation, I may have one or two surprises up my sleeve, so stay tuned. You can follow our travel adventures via instagram either on the blog’s IG feed, or by following me @ inkyblog.