Despite having had six weeks in Europe last year, we're already planning another trip. Normally we wouldn't run to two European trips in successive years but since my father is still going strong at the age of 93, it seems right to visit him again while we still can.
Bu what else to do? Well this time we can only really manage four and half weeks, and we thought we should have a bit of an adventure. Last time we never quite got it together to do an adventure and instead visited the Dordogne and a mad frenetic unprepared half researched visit to Asturias.
This time we plan on something rather more fun:
Fly to London and spend two or three day visiting the things we havn't visited but should have, followed by Eurostar to Paris and then a sleeper to Venice. (The last, in fact only time we've been on a sleeper together, was in Thailand on 2005 on the overnight train to the Lao border. Previous to that I'd not been on a sleeper since the mid eighties rattling from and to Scotland from Wales and London in these pre RyanAir and EasyJet times. Judi beats me in the exoticism stakes having last been on a sleeper from Calcutta to the Nepali border in 1994).
A few days in Venice, with a side trip for a day to Ravenna to see the mosaics, then the fast ferry to Patras in Greece and a rattle on a local train to Kalmata in the Mani for a week's R&R and Byzantine churches.
Then another rattle across Greece to Athens, a day or so in Athens and then somehow to Scotland, probably via London, to see my father, regale him with stories of rural Greece and Italian waiters and then a flight home with a stopover somewhere - Singapore, KL, Hong Kong spring to mind and home.
Can we do it?
Well the man in seat 61 seems to think such a trip is possible. So we've taken the next step, ordered a Thomas Cook European rail timetable to see what's possible in the Pelopennese and our plan is to book accomadation and work backwards and forwards from there as a fixed point booking hotels and short term rental apartments in London and Venice as dictated by the requirements of getting to and from the Mani.
In the meantime we've started developing a wiki of links an a draft schedule as we build things out. Given that the earliest we can book trains is ninety days before we travel, June may be pretty frenetic as we organise what's actually possible.
Whatever else it will be an adventure - just like our 2005 trip to Laos and Thailand.