Kathryn and Ken's European Vacation

Our starting country

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
4 Continents

North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa

16 Countries
Canada, United Kingdom (including England, Wales, Scotland), France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Greece (including Rhodes and Corfu), Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, Croatia,  Italy, the Vatican and Monaco

Planes, cars, boats and trains and a camel (for Kathryn)




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                      14 June 2007 
In the Beginning

Kathryn and Ken are recently retired teachers who live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  Kathryn had taught in Germany for three years and traveled throughout much of Europe.  Ken was a poor flatlander from Saskatchewan who had never crossed the Atlantic.  Back in November of 2005, our friends Arlene and Al MacDonald emailed us about a Black Sea cruise that they were taking at the end of September 2006.  We had cruised with them in the Caribbean and always had a good time.  Two other couples, the Lunns and Russells had also signed up.  Ken had been waiting for a knee surgery date and finally found out that the surgery would be done in April. 

We decided that having money in the bank was over-rated and off we went on a 57 day tour of Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France including the 12-day cruise in the middle.  Kathryn then literally spent hundreds of hours on the internet searching for the best deals on hotels, ferries, trains and car rentals  This website chronicles our travels on this fabulous journey.  We saw such beautiful scenery almost every day on our trip but there never seemed to be any place to pull over and take it all in or snap a photo.  This two-month journey also is going to lead to about two years worth of reading as we explore the history and culture of the places we visited.  We will also probably re-watch some old movies that were based in places we visited.

Day 0: Monday, September 4, 2006     Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We flew from Calgary to London on September 4.  Kathryn is just a little bit obsessive about being late so my nephew Jeff (with Avery and Miller in tow) dropped us off at Calgary International airport at 6:45 pm.  Our fight didn't leave until 10:00 pm and the security check-in didn't even open until 8:00 pm but at least we weren't late.  Kathryn always bugs me that I always run into someone I know no matter where we go.  Sure enough, while we were waiting in the boarding area, in walks a retired art teacher who I (and Kathryn) had taught with for many years at Dr. E. P. Scarlett high school.

Our flight lasted just over 9 hours.  The plane was not very full, so Kathryn sat in the middle of a group of 3 seats and then switched with me once we were airborne so that I could lie down.  The flight attendants made me connect seat belts from adjoining seats but I managed to get about 4 hours of sleep.

Some general observations from our trip:

  • it is almost impossible to buy ice cubes anywhere in Europe
  • the Underground is absolutely the best way to get around London
  • the dotted lines on the roads are just to break monotony and not to indicate driving lanes
  • Europeans like their dogs but they do not "pick-up" after them
  • the second floor is really the third floor because the first floor is the second floor
  • almost everyone has ham, salami, cheese and yogurt for breakfast
  • being a pedestrian is a dangerous sport in Europe
  • you can park a Smart car just about anywhere
  • elevators come in all shapes and sizes
  • roundabouts are the best way to get around in traffic once you get used to them
  • most people are really friendly

Week 1


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