And Away We Go!

I began packing my clothes Sunday June 15.  As you can seeI am at Kennedy International Airport after  having taken the Chestnut Hill West train to 30th Street Station where I boarded an Amtrak train to New York City and made it here after taking the E Train and the bus to the Icelandair Terminal.   I have a little less that an hour before my plane boards so I thought I would begin the blog postings. in the picture above the wardrobe on the bed is what I’ll be wearing for the next 91 days.  The picture below it is me waiting at the Upsal train station waiting for my SEPTA  train that will take me to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station.

It was a lot of hard work putting this trip together for a number of reasons.  First I think I am covering more ground than I did eight years ago.  Second, England, Ireland, and Scotland are three countries have not visited before with the exception of London.  Additionally, England and Scotland are not partners in the Eurail pass since the British rail system has been privatized and those passes are really expensive.  When I started looking at the travel books for these three countries I became a little overwhelmed.  The total number of pages combined in these three guides is over 6,000 pages.  So I elicited the help of my Partner Jim who has visited England  Ireland and Scotland.  We worked the equivalent of two full days finding what I think are the right places for me to visit on this part of the adventure and the amount of time I needed to take in and enjoy each place I visit.  As many of you know my motto is less is more and I was real concerned about having to move from place to place daily.  So we tried to find places where I can hang my hat for at least two days.  That way I would not feel so nomadic. 

Here is the basic itinerary   I am flying to Iceland and will spend a week in Reykjavik.  In order to see more of the country I will take day trip via tour bus.  There is no railway service in Iceland and there is really only one main highway that goes around the permitter of the country.

Next up is Norway.  I’ll fly to Oslo and spend a week visiting my friends there.

From there I take a train from Oslo to Paris with an overnight stay in Denmark.  Once I get to Paris I’l spend a couple of days enjoying this wonderful city.  After a couple of days I’ll head out to Mont St.-Michel for a day and an overnight visit.  Then I’ll take a ferry boat to the Channel Island of Jersey fir a day and night in a place I read about in a memoir a few years ago that was about the Nazi occupation of the channel islands during the war.  Back now to Paris and an overnight stay and the next day I’ll take a train to Munich to take delivery of my new BMW 328 D with X Drive.  This should be the ultimate in picking up a new car.

The morning after my visit to the BMW Velt, I catch a plane to Barcelona.  Why a plane you ask when you know Big Lou loves trains.  Well a train ride from Munich to Barcelona requires taking a night train and now sleepers cost $300.00.  I found a flight from Munich to Barcelona for $100.00.  You do the math.

I’ll spend a night in Barcelona the head to Madrid, change trains and go to Seville where I will spend 4 days.  I’ll take some day trips to towns that are close to Seville.  After Seville, its on to Granada, then back to Madrid for a few days which will be spent taking day trips close to that city.  From Madrid I am journeying to the Pico de Europa.  It is located in the Northwest part of Spain.  Getting there may require train, bus, maybe a taxi or I may have to rent a car.   That should be an adventure.

After a few days there I make my way back to Paris, where I’ll spend on night and the next morning take the Eurostar train to London.  I’ll spend the night in London and the next morning head to Ireland by way of Southwest England. I’ll travel through many parts of Ireland, crossing into Scotland, touring there for about two weeks, finally crossing into England and ending up in London on September 8 where I will spend my last week.

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