In coming days I’ll be telling you all about Trulli houses in my first post from the Italy part of my trip to Europe. I stayed in a Trulli house and it was really special.
I’ve just returned (yesterday) from a 3+ week trip to Europe (Italy, Switzerland and France). As I write this it’s 5:30 in the morning, and I’ve been up for 3 hours. I could not keep my eyes open after 7:30 last night. I fell into bed and slept like the dead for 7 hours. BUT, that meant I woke up early. Laundry is going, music is playing, I’ve had 2 cappuccinos already this morning. I’ve downloaded all of the images from my camera (I didn’t take my fancy Canon, it’s just too big to lug around) but the photos I have from my little Canon need organizing and naming. And I took lots of pictures on my iPhone too, so they need to be off-loaded and categorized too.
Just a synopsis, I flew alone to Rome. Stayed 4 nights there by myself, and although those 4 days were just one little section, except for meeting friends for lunch one day, I was really alone there. Now I know – note to self – do not go to a big city by yourself – and expect to be happy. I wasn’t. Maybe it’s because Rome is such a romantic place? Or because the last time I was there I was with my DH? Or what? I don’t know. I stayed in a wonderful hotel about 1/2 block from the Piazza Navona, and I tromped all over everywhere (including getting lost my first night there). I didn’t like eating dinner alone – I did, of course, and everyone was very kind to me – but I felt odd. What can I tell you? I just felt odd being alone. I didn’t like walking around in the evening alone (not because of safety – I felt fine in that regard). I missed my darling Dave. As hard as I tried to talk myself out of it (and I did have several conversations with myself about my grief journey and that it’s been a year, gotta get out of it – nope, my emotional, vulnerable part of my head was having none of it!).
After the 4 days I joined up with dear friends Tom & Joan and their granddaughter Lauren (14) and we traveled together for a week by car and had a fantastic time. We went to Puglia and Basilicata (way south, in the boot/heel). As soon as I was with friends, my attitude changed from dark to light, from not coping well (sadness) to delight in everything. Although I treasure some alone time every day, I’m a clan person, I suppose. I want to be around people I know – family, friends.
After a week in Italy, Tom and their granddaughter flew home to California, and Joan and I flew to Zurich. We booked our flights separately, so we flew at different times. I was the last one to arrive. But at our designated place – near the Europcar rental car desk in the Zurich airport, Joan and I met up with 2 other friends, my best friend Cherrie and another long-time friend Darlene, and we began a 2 week trip together.
I planned the 6-day Switzerland part (and I did all the driving except for about 30 minutes when I wasn’t feeling very well) – we went to Lucerne, Brienz, Lauterbrunnen (where I took my 3rd trip up the Jungfraujoch), Gruyere and Talloires (actually that’s in France, near Geneva). Then we spent 3 days and nights in Lyon, France, in a rented apartment with 4 bedrooms and a washer and dryer (oh yippee, were we ever happy to see that piece of equipment in the kitchen!). Then we took the TGV (pronounced tay-jay-vay in French) the high-speed train to Paris and spent 3 more nights (had a tour of the Opera House and a trip to Giverny). Flying home, we flew 3 different airlines, but we left at about the same time. Darlene’s husband picked us up (she and I) and I got home about 3:30 pm. In time to drive to the post office to get all the accumulated mail (oh my, haven’t even started going through the 2 big bins yet) and make a stop at Trader Joe’s. Joan flew Turkish Air, and in order to get the best prices it meant she had to fly to Istanbul both going and returning. So she’s not returning until today. She spent the night at an Istanbul airport hotel. She and Tom have been to Istanbul before and she was fine with it.
SO, all that said, I have some great stories to tell you. I have some great photos to share. I have some wonderful food stories to talk about, and you’ll hear it all in time. You may get very tired of hearing about my trip. I’ll be cooking too – my first thing I’m going to make is grilled/roasted vegetables – but in the Italian style, thinly sliced and soaking in a light bit of good olive oil. I couldn’t get enough of those when we were in Puglia.
It’ll take me a few days to get the photos organized, then I’ll start posting a travelogue. Meanwhile, I relished in taking a shower in my own bathroom with good water pressure, and most of all sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow! I’m very glad to be home, but we had a great trip!