GERT - Great European Road Trip

September 5 to November 6, 2023

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

Tens years ago, we left Europe, our home for over 15 years. We invited Ukrainian, German, and French friends to see us in our new Fresno home and promised to return for our own European visits. As life events took over, a few of them took us up on our invitation, too few.

As for our own intentions, it has been complicated, but with Mamo's passing, the cancer elephant's remission, and overall control of the Covid world-wide pandemic, a 2023 travel door opened. We committed a life's worth of United Miles to Fall reservations for two Polaris Class tickets from San Francisco to Frankfurt, booked a Tesla for local transport, and warned friends we would be coming. For a full two months, we lived our dreams.

Throughout, I managed to make daily entries into a dozen locations of the diaries. Here they are:

September 6-9, Frankfurt and a Little
September 10-17, Franconia and Friends
September 18-20, Dolomites in Italy
September 21-27, Modena
September 28 - Oct 4, Asti
October 5-8, Lyon with Friends
October 9-15, Excideuil and Melissa
October 16-18, Beaune
October 19-25, Strasbourg
October 26-28, Neustadt with Friends
Oct 29 - Nov 2 Erlangen (Again)
November 3-5, Maastricht, Last Destination

Now that we are back home in Fresno, the trip has faded a bit, pushed away by normal obligations and duties. Nonetheless, Marianne and I have taken the time to edit these trip reports, both to correct the record and to serve as our own before-our-memory-fades review. I don't suppose there will be many "public" views of the 179 page record, but I expect we will look back from time to time and remember the best of the days.

I don't know who all followed our trip, but some friends did. I appreciate that. I doubt that many will reread these entries, but maybe some will, as they wonder about one place or another. Feel free to contact us about questions.

John and Marianne, Mid-November, 2023.