OK everyone, we have just gotten too far behind on our blog posts! We are going to play some catch up so that we can write more about what we are doing currently vs what we have done. I hope that’s OK with you! We will do these “catch up” blogs in 2 different posts. Thank you so much for following our travels. We are really having a blast and we love taking you along with us.
We are staying REALLY busy! I spend quite a bit of time on my classes most days and we are both working on Euro Travel Coach which is so much fun! We of course take care of any projects our Workaway host may have for us and then we do our very best to explore wherever we happen to be at the moment. It’s busy – and awesome!
One thing I want to mention is not something we have done but something I have noticed. It is a very strange feeling to be in the position of not really needing to buy anything at all. There are necessities of course – things like toothpaste and deodorant – but as far as things for the house or clothes, we don’t even need to look! We have no place to carry anything extra. I need a sweater soon because it’s getting cold (can you say Christmas gift?) but if I get something new I have to discard something I am currently carrying in my suitcase and backpack. It’s just very interesting to strip yourself down to the essentials and not be “in the market” for much of anything.
Alright – now on to glimpses into special opportunities we have enjoyed over the past 3 months we have been traveling. This style of travel has allowed us to relax our typical kind of schedule and be more spontaneous exploring each area. We’ve been able to take advantage of where we are and create itineraries as we go rather than planning very far ahead. These are some of the things we have taken the opportunity to do because we are traveling for an extended time:
We went on a Viking Cruise!
This was nuts. Through a very good friend we were invited to go on a “shakedown” cruise with Viking Cruises through the Adriatic – for free. I know it sounds insane, and it is, but this was truly amazing. This was Greg’s first cruise. I had gone on 2 cruises in the past with my mom. It isn’t our usual style of travel, but if you would like to travel the world in style, luxury and ease, we can now highly recommend Viking Cruises. It was amazing! We started in Venice and stopped at Ravenna & Ancona, Italy (see video on the “float out” of the Viking Orion that we got to attend); Kotor, Montenegro; Sibenik, Croatia; Rijeka, Croatia; Koper, Slovenia and back to Venice. It was absolutely an incredible experience. We had an extra bonus when we returned to our original port. We planned an itinerary for friends we hadn’t seen in over 25 years and actually got to meet them in Venice on our return as they began their Italian travels. It was awesome!!
Went hiking in the Italian Alps
While we were staying at the winery we got to go hiking in the Maira Valley. Piedmont means “foot of the mountain” and the Alps were only about 2 hours away. We could see them from the vineyard. They were absolutely glorious! We stayed at a mountain pensione in Vernetti in the Marmora region called La Marmu. It was 64 Euro per person per night including room, dinner and breakfast. Our first hike took us high above the village where we started. On our way up we heard some sort of bells. Looking down into the valley we saw that the bells were coming from cows being moved from the mountain pastures down to the valley for the winter. It was so cool! We also hiked to Lago Nero. It was a great hike! Absolutely gorgeous. We followed the directions that our host gave me in French – and we did our best looking at the map. We found the trailhead without any problem. There were very few people hiking. It was really hard to see where the trail would go but we kept going up and up and up. We made it to the lake with glorious mountains all around. There were a few people there but not a lot. It’s a small lake, beautiful green color. As we headed out on the trail on the other side of the lake to make a loop (and not return on the same path), there was a man roasting chestnuts over a fire! He gave us a couple and they were absolutely delicious and such an unexpected treat!
Took a Practice Trip for Our Small Group Trip to Tuscany in May
Greg, Chelsea and I spent a week in Tuscany checking out all the restaurants, wineries, hikes, guides and our villa for our small group trip to Tuscany in May. It was VERY difficult work and we take it very seriously! Actually, we do take it seriously but we had so much fun. We are really excited about the trip and are doing our part to make sure it is a terrific experience for our all guests. We are going to take great care of everyone and it will be a blast!! If you’ve been following the blog and the website, you probably know all about the trip already. If you don’t, let me invite you to check out our itinerary here and consider joining us, Tour of Tuscany We only have room for 2 more people each week.
Ate dinner and stayed HIša Franko
Are there any Chef’s Table fans out there?? When we realized that we were going to be only 4 hours away from Hiša Franko by car we decided to simply make plans to go to this remarkable restaurant in Slovenia. You can see the episode that turned us on to this special place here. It turned out to be such an amazing experience – the tasting menu and wine pairing, yes…unbelievable – but we absolutely loved Kobarid, Slovenia overall! We had an incredible hike in the mountains, experienced unanticipated holidays (see the blog post here) and an unbelievable meal matched with all Slovenian wines. It is amazing that we got to have this experience.
Alright! Be sure to stay tuned for Part II of Catching up with the Vagabond! The post should come out later this week.
Are you planning a trip somewhere in Europe? We can help with that! Remember that we are always available to you and your friends and family for custom trip planning to Italy, France, Ireland, England and all of Europe. We also still have spots available on our small group trip to Tuscany and our small group trip to Piedmont! We'd love for you to join us! You can always reach Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to help you make your travel dreams to Europe come true!