Before I continue on with the rest of today’s post I wanted to make a short public service announcement. I’ve got some amazing giveaways sponsored by Prima Marketing scheduled for next week. They’ve sent me a fantastic selection of their gorgeous transfers and I’ll be sharing some projects I’ve finished using the them. I’ll also be giving away a bunch of them with all three (or maybe more?) of my posts next week, so be sure to stay tuned.
Now, on with today’s entirely unrelated post.
A while back I shared the fact that Mr. Q and I were striking out when it came to planning a trip for this year. We tried booking five different selections and were denied for each and every one. It was so frustrating that we decided to quit looking for a while and possibly nix the idea of taking a trip in 2018. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
Mr. Q and I were discussing this and he brought up the fact that in 2019 we will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, so maybe it would make sense to skip a trip this year and plan something really amazing for our 30th.
We looked at the possibility of something a little further afield than Europe, maybe Japan or Thailand. We were seriously considering this idea and had narrowed things down to a cruise from Bangkok to Bali with an extension to see Angkor Wat (which has always been on my bucket list). But there were a few things about this trip that made us hesitate. First, the 20+ hour flight to Bangkok. Yikes! That’s a really long time on a plane. Second, the weather in that part of the world. It’s basically just a question of varying degrees of hot and humid. Ugh, my least favorite weather conditions. Third, the crowds. I’ve seen beautiful photos of Angkor Wat looking so tranquil, but the reality is that over 2 million people visit annually. The crowds have become an issue and we’re just not good with crowds. Finally, the cost. It was going to be a fairly expensive proposition.
While we were doing all of this research we came across another option that made more sense for us, a cruise on the Adriatic Sea. We’ve been on the Adriatic before, but this itinerary mainly features ports that we haven’t been to like Valletta (Malta) and Kotor (Montenegro). Plus a couple of favorites that we are happy to return to, Venice and Monte Carlo.
The day in Venice also just happens to be my birthday. Who wouldn’t want to spend their birthday in Venice?
This trip is during the off-season (November) and is also on a very small ship, only 670 passengers rather than the 2,500+ on the bigger ships. So not as many crowds (both on the ship and off), and definitely cooler weather. Hopefully those things will work in our favor. Not to mention, travel is cheaper in the off-season. Our airline tickets were half the price of our previous trips to Europe.
Here are the ports we will visit.
Genoa, Italy where we plan to visit the aquarium.
Monte Carlo, Monaco where we’ve booked a side trip to Eze, France.
Naples, Italy where we’ll visit Herculaneum.
Messina, Italy where we might do a wine tasting excursion, or possibly a Godfather themed tour. We’re still contemplating that one.
In Malta we’ve hired a private guide for the entire day. It looks like such a fascinating place and we really want to see it all. We had such an amazing time with the private guide we hired in Scotland, so we’re going to splurge this time as well.
We’ll see the famous balconies of Valletta …
Hagar Qim, a megalithic temple complex dating to 3,600 – 3,200 B.C. How in the world did they move those huge stones back then? I hope we’ll learn more about that …
Marsaxlokk, a small fishing village known for its colorful boats …
And Mdina, a medieval fortified city.
Mr. Q is looking forward to Kotor, Montenegro where we plan to just explore on our own.
Split, Croatia is another spot that will be easy to navigate on our own.
Ravenna, Italy is famous for its Byzantine mosaics so we plan to take a look at them. Just look at those beautiful colors!
And finally, our cruise ends in Venice, Italy. We spent a few days in Venice several years ago with my bff and her husband, so we’ve seen all of the major sites. This time I want to do something special, plus since it’s my birthday I get to choose what we do! So we’re hiring another private guide who will take us to some unique spots in Venice that are off the beaten path.
We’re still working out the exact details of our day in Venice, so you’ll have to wait to hear more about that one!
We are really looking forward to this trip, but I’m trying not to wish the summer away hoping that November gets here sooner! I also have to laugh at myself. The last time I went to Europe in November I vowed never again. But we’ll be a bit further south this time so fingers crossed that the entire two weeks aren’t dreary and cold. And as I like to say, never say never!
In the meantime, be sure to check back next week for the Prima Marketing giveaways!