If there’s some kind of a travel planning spectrum, we tend to be at the ‘vague idea’ end, rather than at the itinerary-with-every-spare-minute-accounted-for end.
This trip started out with a chat with a friend at lunch one day late last year. At an Old and Ex-Midwives’ Christmas Catch-Up lunch, Liz mentioned that she didn’t want a 60th birthday party to mark reaching that milestone in January. Instead, she wanted to go to Italy during the Northern Hemisphere summer, and if anyone wanted to help celebrate, she would be at Greve-in-Chianti in the second week of September. Great, we’ll be there.
So our trip is arranged around a few days in Greve-in-Chianti next week. Eek, next week! We’ve been looking forward to this since late last year!
We’re flying in and out of Barcelona with Qatar Airlines, hiring a car at the airport, then plan on driving through southern France and heading straight to Greve-in Chianti which is about 15kms from Florence. Liz and her husband Sean are spending next week in Greve, and various family members and friends will be there for varying amounts of time. We have booked an Airbnb apartment for 4 days, it’s a street away from the former-farmhouse-now-upmarket-hotel where Liz, Sean and many other attendees are staying.
After the birthday festivities, we’ll spend a few days in Cinque Terre, either camping or staying in an Airbnb apartment and do a couple of days’ walking. Then back to Spain, and we’ll probably spend some time in France on the way. When we walked the Camino Frances in 2010 and the Camino Portugues in 2012, we spent a lot of time in northern Spain, plus a few days in Barcelona and Madrid, but we haven’t seen any of the country south of Barclona, so that’s where we’re going to explore. We’ll spend a few days in Barcelona at the end of the trip and head home in mid-October.