UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia with family and DEAR friends
05.07.2007 - 04.10.2007 25 °C
Well, what should i say ?
Been there, done it, seen it - tick the box. Well these 3 months of our trip where slightly different, in a way unplanned, but planned and instead of city hopping and exploring many new exciting european countries as possible, the theme was – have fun and see as many friends and family members as you, to avoid paying rent ☺.
Arriving back in London after 5 months (how time flies !!!) in SA, was a little bit of a shock to the system. Straight into the rain and miserable ‘no go’ summer (vs some incredibly shocking heatwaves), back on the Piccadilly Line and straight up north to Manchester on the National Express. Any more details requested. Heading for the big event (and probably the one and only reason why we didn't buy a round the world ticket, but a rtn ticket) - THE WEDDING 2007 of Miss Topsmudge aka Claire and Ricardo Laxton (what a last time !!!!).
Due to the fact that Simon never looks nor reads these bloggs, i can openly communicate that he drove me nuts with the wedding preparations or should I say the one and only wedding preparation to write an easy smart funny sophisticated short but long enough best man's speech. Not a big job, or !? Easy :-). Anyway to cut a long story short, the speech was pretty impressive and the wedding was fab and worth any return !
So, it all started with a trip from Manchester down to London for a short changing of clothes in our house which is now rented out to a french couple, a little reunion with our friends down in London which was followed by Europe time. Took the Eurotunnel to Calais and tomtomed it northeast to Germany with a little day trip to Brugge and Venlo (memory lane).
Germany was great, in particular meeting and greeting many good girlfriends with big bumps and seeing small little german toddlers crawling and running around. I can't deny becoming at least a little bit broody getting into the new german baby boom peaking big times after the happy futi world cup last summer !
Italy, well easy to sum up. Pizza, Pasta, Party - stuff yourself as much as you can, only to follow it buy a crazy run down from Giovi to San Eustachio. For those of you who haven't heard of these wonderful places in the Salerno area (south of Naples). The first place is where the Hodgkinson family resides in the summer when it is too wet up "north" (aka Manchester - Atherton to be precise) and the second place is where 75% of Si's ancestors come from. It is basically a beautiful but crazy 2 miles run (David, i am guessing here big times) we did, just to justify more of the italian specialties served in this area. ....and did i also mention the heat wave down there this year...??? Nice one ! Decided again we like nice hot weather.
Zurich – what would a year be without the streetparade, always second Saturday in august. Well, it wouldn’t be a complete year without seeing our special friends there – they just treat as too. Even the goddess of weather was with us, no rain, but sunshine on Saturday followed by nice chill out sessions @ Zueri See mixed with some serious partying. GEIL MANN!
One of the challenges we set ourselves for Part II of our trip was to pay no rent for any accommodation to safe up some money and head back to budget – well at least trying ☺. We missed it. On our drive from Zurich to Croatia, we just needed a break in Trieste (Italy – bordering the Slovenian border). Miss Tomtom directed as to the Hotel Istria and we splashed some serious 60 EUR on a nice bed and even managed to get some prosecco’s in that night.
Croatia – mon amour ! Finally home – well kind of our new home since we don’t have one in London anymore. Own bed, more sunshine, some serious cooking and some nice family parties sum up these superb 5 weeks we had. Thanks to Ryainair we were even able to squeeze in some visitors from the UK who entertained us and we them, 3 weekends in a row. Nice touch ! Once on our own, we tried to figure our why Croatia has so many good tennis players (OK, unless they play the Davis Cup against the UK, normally not THE tennis country in my eyes). Unfortunately, we had this idea too late and only managed to hit the ground a couple of times.
YES, and aren’t my grandmother sheep gorgeous ?
All in all, an amazing time. 3 months which passed far too quickly, but hey – the traveling must go on. Time is flying and India is calling.