A Europe trip was long overdue for this New Yorker. I managed to clear 19 days (flight time inclusive) to figure out how to plan such an itinerary and came up with:
Day 1 – Fly from NYC to London overnight
Day 2 – Check in hotel, brief sightseeing, sleep
Day 3,4 – Explore London
Day 5 – Daytrip to Paris via Eurostar
Day 6 – Travel to Edinburgh, sightseeing
Day 7,8,9 – Tour the Scotland highlands
Day 10 – Travel back to London, Harry Potter tour
Day 11 – Fly from London to Barcelona, sightseeing
Day 12-18 – 7 day cruise
Day 19 – Fly back home
The most challenging part is planning it all (and saving enough money as well). The flights, hotels, where to go, how to get there, things to avoid, not getting lost, saving money, optimizing time, eating, bathroom stops, what to pack, currency, backup plans for when things go wrong, survival, etc. Somehow, everything went according to plan with a few minor mishaps. Follow me on my travels as I cover the itineraries, highlights, and other random encounters and experiences.
Day 17: Cannes
We arrived in the french Beverly Hills; Cannes. There are several cities/towns to on either sides of Cannes such as Toulon and St Tropez to the west and Antibes and Nice to the east. We knew several people who decided to make the 2 hour journey to Monte Carlo, Monaco but this blogger thought Cannes had quite a lot to offer and no need to leave it behind. Also, Italy burned us out, so we took it easy during this day. And you have to remember to switch the Italian to French; from bonjorno to bonjour.
Since I didn’t have a clue and did zero research for Cannes, we hopped on the 45 minute Little Train (tourist trolly) tour for a few euros to get a sense of the area. We drove past the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival.
We proceeded down the Boulevard de la Croisette where all the hotels and beaches are, like the infamous Carlton hotel.
Then to the main shopping area; Rue D’Antibes. We actually headed back to this avenue to eat some french pastries, such as macaroons at Laduree.
Toward the end of the tour, we drove up the hill where the Notre-Dame de l’Esperance church is. You get a great viewpoint of Cannes from here.
We walked by the beach but didn’t bring our bathing suits. That’s ok, tomorrow is a beach day, in Spain. From bonjour to hola…
Day 18: Mallorca
Beach day! The ship docks in Palma; a mini Barcelona. Mallorca is the largest island of the Balearic islands (Spanish archipelago). Since the ship only anchors for 5 hours, it made the most sense to just go the beach. But before that, we headed to Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma for a few photos.
So we spent 3 hours or so at Palmanova (new Palma) beach just under 30 minutes from the port. There were constant reminders that it was a European beach if you know what I mean. The water was warm and a bit wavy. All it took was an hour or so of sun to get the bronze skin color.
I know Mallorca has more to offer but our time was up. Maybe next time.
Day 19: Back home to NYC and final thoughts
Yes, back to reality. It’s back to work for me, gotta pay off those credit card charges from the last 2 weeks. But I’m glad to be home where everybody speaks English and everything makes sense again.
I hope that my posts were entertaining and that my photos (I’m not a pro photographer at all if you didn’t already know) did justice to bring these lands to life. The main idea is that such “dense” trips are possible in a limited amount of time assuming you have the stamina to keep going day after day. It doesn’t have to be Europe, it can be in the US, or one country in-depth. We have to make the most of our time off and vacations (with a rest day or 2 thrown in there) because they are too few. Now that I think about it, we have to make the most of our time on Earth. Don’t just stand there and be idle, let’s plan the next adventure right now…
I don’t anticipate another post until the first week of October when me and my hiking friend avenge ourselves and re-attempt the Mt. Washington summit. It should be easier this time since it’s not the winter season and won’t require mountaineering gear. That reminds me, it’s almost time to start training for it.