So, the first entry on my……..blog*, is being written exactly 2 weeks before my wife Nadine, and I board a plane bound for Europe.
We land in Paris on a Sunday morning. We fly out of Istanbul 9 weeks later. Along the way there will be extended countryside stays near Cognac, nights in Amsterdam, driving through Alsace, family stays next to Lago Albano, hotels off St Mark’s in Venice, overnight trains to Prague and an unknown vehicle trip to Istanbul.
There will be ruins that gave birth to western civilisation and to democracy. There will be castles who housed Kings that ruled over bloodshed, murder & tyranny a thousand years ago. There will be canals and fairy tale vistas on mountainsides . There will be the eternal streets of Rome that I know I will ache and crave to have fill my senses again. There hopefully won’t be arguments in the car. There will be far too much cheese…and yes there will be wine.
There’s a surreal feeling before starting this journey…an apprehension that is hard to describe. I’m yet to visit Europe, Nadine has been there previously but never for this long. The apprehension isn’t just how my back is going to fare on such a long bloody plane trip, but a like all sentient beings, the unknown holds some trepidation.
Driving on the other side of the road through several countries is but one example of this nervousness (note: if you’re in Europe in the next 6 weeks, stay away from a Citroen C3 Picasso consistently driving on the wrong side of the road). But one has to take the bull by the horns, embrace the fear and simply open the mind to what amazing memories are going to be created.
Well, I best go and start packing: Nadine has almost filled her case and is eyeing off mine already.
Europe, look out.
*At the fear of being mocked by several of my friends in the wine industry, this blog has been started at the behest of family and friends who will be back here in Australia whilst we’re recreating the Crusades. I know some of you will be wryly grinning because you know that it’s going to live on past the European trip and become the repository for my wine words and reviews. Bear with me, I’m new to this blogging thing, but I’ve already got the bag.