Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary


On the Road Again

July 3
Written July 5 and 6 and August 11 and Sept 3

Dear Friends and Family,

Now it really feels like retirement because we are on the road again.  July will be France;  August Germany;  September Italy; October and November America.  The prospect of so much travel is both daunting and familiar.  Daunting because it requires preparation and it forces us out of our comfortable country life in Bavaria; familiar because we've done a long trip before, back in 2001 & 2002, and the current prospect stirs up good memories.

Here are some comparisons of then and now. 
D011000_06_Office_Folks.jpg A decade ago, we were considerably younger at the going away party.

Back then, we traveled in the wake of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.  Now we are traveling in the wake of economic disasters.
d120703_82_K_Apt.jpg Back then, we were leaving a perfectly restored 100-year-old city apartment.  Now we are leaving a 250-year-old farm house and barn/atelier.

D011001_02_mug_profile.jpg Our car was showroom-new.  Now it is classified as an "old timer" (10% discount on parts and services!)

The drivers have a few more miles on them too.
We started with the Finnish Marks Currency Now we stick to Euros.
D011003_01_packed.jpg In 2001, we had brought to Finland more than we could fit in our two trunks.  Now we know better.

Our technology was similar but different.  In 2001 we had two 35mm film cameras, that we did not use, and a small digital camera that we almost wore out.  Now we have three digital cameras.

Our black Macintosh laptop has been replaced by a sliver one.

Our single mobile phone has been replaced by two iPhones and an iPad.  Back then, SMS was free and phone calls were expensive.  Now, they are both expensive.
d120703_84_OldGPS.jpg For finding our way, our 2001 GPS had no maps, just latitude and longitude.  Now our GPS has maps and we carry a "tracker" that will record where we have been every 15 minutes.  (Too much information?)

In 2001, we were traveling off-season and rarely made hotel reservations more than one step in advance.  For our July trip to France, we felt we had to have confirmed reservations for the whole trip.

d120703_85_OldMap.jpg In 2001, we had little or no idea where in Europe or how long we would travel.  Now, we have firm plans for 2012, but nothing else.

d120703_11_road.jpgEnough memories.  Now we are off to Beaune, France, the heart of the Burgundy wine region.  Google told us it would be a six-and-a-half hour drive, but we stretched it to eight, including scenic stops where the other travelers stopped.

I think we will update this page from time to time, as the 2012 experiences bring back 2001 memories.  It might be interesting to see how the world has changed.

John and Marianne

ps: After our return home.
There are eleven diaries describing our trip, each with a number of pictures.  (Index below). I definitely increased the volume of these diaries and the pictures that are a part of them.  As for the trip itself, Marianne's planning for hotels worked very well, even if it did prevent the spontaneity that was a feature of our earlier traveling.  The old car performed well, with just a burned-out headlight sending us once  to a Porsche service shop.  The old drivers did not need any repairs.

No car accidents or thefts or other reasons to contact insurance companies or credit card companies or banks.  No emergencies reported from or to family.  We do need to be thankful.

Our technology held up fine.  There were no repairs needed for cameras, GPS, computers, or mobile phones.  That's what we would expect, but it certainly is not a given.  We came back to a house that required cleaning and yard work, but nothing more dramatic.  That's a good thing.

I won't say "I can't wait to travel again", but I do hope the September trip to Italy runs as smoothly as French travel has.

July 1, Retirement July 3, On the Road Again
July 3-5, Beaune July 6-8, Lyon
July 8-10, Perigord July 12, Cognac
July 13-18, Bordeaux
July 19 to 27, Brittany
July 28 & 29, Vernon and Giverny
July 30 - Aug 1 Paris
Aug 2 & 3, Epernay
August 4-6, Neustadt an der Weinstra├če
August 6, Home Again



Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary