Not long to go before the next adventure.
For those of you who have read my posts from way back, you will know that a weird part of me loves the planning and preparations for a major trip almost as much as the trip itself.
The next big adventure is rapidly approaching and has been going through the planning process since I got an email in late October. (From who? I can’t remember!) The email was about some pretty economical cruises sailing MSC Cruises. Out of interest, I looked up the minimum fare as a solo traveler. The cabin itself is of little importance to me as I want to spend as much time away from it either exploring the ports or the ship itself.
Imagine my surprise when I found that a solo room on a 9 day cruise leaving from Genoa, Italy and making it’s way to Malaga, Spain, Casablanca, Morocco, Lisbon, Portugal, Barcelona, Spain and finishing in Marseille, France could be mine for around AU$1200 (about EUR800).
Casablanca!…. I have never before thought I would go to Casablanca!
So book, I did. Then I set about organising flights. Last year I flew in and out of Athens. I booked through Qantas, but as it happened, all flights booked through Qantas turned out to be Emirates flights. I enjoyed the Emirates experience so much, that this year I booked directly with them. Sorry Qantas…..
I found flights that suited me flying return to Rome. Emirates have a party trick this year. Leave Melbourne (Australia) at 5am and arrive in Rome at 8pm. Changing so many time zones does my head in, but I will believe them. Even get a cheeky couple of hours to explore Terminal 3 at Dubai; that place is the best for people watching.
When I get to Rome, I will stay overnight before a night at the Cinque Terre then staying at Genoa the night before the cruise. After the cruise, I will be spending a night in Marseille, then Nice, back to Italy and staying at Milan, Venice, Florence and finishing off with a couple of nights staying in a convent in Rome before flying home.
I have been trying to learn a bit of conversational Italian, which I think will be very much helped along by traveling on an Italian cruise line. I have watched hours of you tube (Rick Steves rocks!), studied my destinations and indeed the train travel between them. I have started to pack and rationalise my printed preparation, working out what can be stored on ‘cloud’ and what needs a hard copy.
Yep, I really like the preparation for such a grand adventure. The funny thing is when I get back, I will probably re-watch the you tube videos, this time knowing exactly what they are talking about.