Friday, October 10, 2014

The adventure begins!

Lily pads, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
(I think I may want to have this picture framed.)
Oh, I have so much to show you and tell you!

It's been three full weeks since I blogged, and in that time, I've been to Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France -- and even a couple of special places in Canada. But I am finally home and almost caught up on laundry, so it's time to get to work before I begin my next adventure.

The last time I went on a Big Adventure (to Ireland in May 2013), I dragged my laptop with me. On a 12-day trip, all over Ireland. My intention had been to blog each evening as I went along. [Cue: laugh track.]

That did not happen because our days were choc-full. And we were exhausted. By the time we got back to our rooms, I was ready to play a couple of games of solitaire then call it a night. So this time, I decided to "go old school" and keep a travel diary.

My very pretty travel journal.
And it worked! Although I didn't write every evening, I did write frequently enough that I could fill in the gaps without forgetting much. Plus, it weighed very little and could be used during take-off and landing, and without WiFi.

Before I get into the travelogue, I'd like to share some general observations.

The first part of our trip was in The Netherlands, also known broadly as Holland, with a side trip to Brussels, Belgium. While there, we stayed with my Aunt Winkie's friends, Willem and Els, whom she had met while she was serving as a nurse with CUSO more than 30 years ago in Sierra Leone, Africa. Els was also in Sierra Leone volunteering her skills as a physiotherapist.

Their friendship has endured, and I was privileged to be enveloped in the warmth they have for Winkie. They live in Utrecht, so that was our home base.

Winkie and Els at the gardens of the University of Utrecht
The second part was in Switzerland, with a couple of short detours to France. During this leg of the trip, we stayed with my sister, Pat, and her husband, Ross. Their home is in Nyon, Switzerland, which is about half an hour from Geneva, and mere minutes from France.

Ross and Pat, on our last night in Switzerland.
In both locations, our hosts went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to help us get the most out of our time there.

One further note: I took more than 1,000 pictures, but I will spare you from seeing all of them. Sadly, my pictures from two memorable days of the trip seem to have gone missing. I still hold out hope that they are on my brother-in-law's computer (I reviewed them while I was in Switzerland, but didn't intend to remove them from my memory card), but they may be lost forever.


  1. How fabulous!! And I always go old school too with a travel journal. it's so much easier!
    I do hope we get to see some of the pics though!! :)
    welcome home

    1. Thanks, Rory. There are lots and LOTS of pictures on the way! I haven't even finished my first review of looking at them, but I already have a few favourites.


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