Sunday, 3 February 2013

European Adventure

When money gets tight in the Hulks household we get Ebaying. Soon anything that is not nailed down and can fit into a jiffy bag is up for grabs. If you haven't used it, watched it, or expressed delight in it in the last six months then it is VERY likely to disappear. This surge of fund raising has been brought on by our plans this summer. I mentioned that I am hoping to take a cooking course in Tuscany in a previous blog post which, though part of it, is actually only the last phase of the adventure.

The adventure begins in mid July when we will be hoping on the Eurostar (via the St Pancreas Champagne bar if the Ebaying goes well!) for Paris to begin a four week European train adventure. As I'm now (sort of) footloose and fancy free over the summer (or at least I have the ability to juggle my studies over my holidays this year to give myself one big block of time off!) we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have a longer trip and see all the bits of Europe that we've been banging on about seeing since we got married.

The travel library - with a random book about church architecture in the middle and one on Hawaii at the bottom which I am aware is not in Europe! Ha!
After Paris we are off to Bordeaux for some wine tasting and then down in to Spain to the San Sebastian Jazz Festival. San Sebastian is also home of the most number of Michelin Star restaurants per square mile anywhere in the world. We will be staring longingly at said restaurants while eating some street food. Fab! We are then heading on to Madrid and Seville where we will take in some Flamenco and hopefully eat an orange and then off to visit family in the south of Spain for a five day flop on the beach and a tour of Moorish Granada.

Then it's on to Barcelona (party time!), up into Provence for yet more wine tasting (are you sensing a theme?!) and then into Italy where we will cruise the canals of Venice in a gondola, eat bolognaise in Bologna, pretend to know things about art in Florence and learn to make the perfect ravioli in Tuscany. All while developing a truly brilliant tan, taking a whole load of pictures and eating. Oh, so much eating. It will be like woman vs pasta. And tapas. And beef bourguignon. And gelato.

Planning the trip is seriously brightening up these cold winter evenings. I love the library and it is THE best place for planning holidays. Guide books go out of date pretty much as soon as you buy them but the library buys in the newest ones so it is perfect for getting ideas, scoping out the best all round guide and then, hopefully, getting that on Kindle to avoid carrying actual books around Europe. I am an insanely light traveller but this trip is going to be my finest hour. If it looks like I'm carrying more than a handbag I will be disappointed in myself. Now to work on the other half who is a last minute 'shove it all in, why not?' packer. Oh dear.

So how about you? Any exciting travel plans for 2013? Go on, you know you want to!


  1. Gosh, that looks like a LOT of fun, Nicola. Happy planning. :-) Ironically all our plans for this year have just been put on hold as I'm now on the waiting list for not just one but two successive cataract operations.

    1. Oh no Perpetua! So sorry to hear that. I hope the operations come round sooner rather than later and that you have a speedy recovery.

      All the best,

      Nicola x