Oxford: A week on the canals

After months of walking on towpaths and watching the narrowboats ply the canals last fall, we were finally ready to board our own boat and try our hand at maneuvering around England’s waterways. We took the train from Glasgow to Coventry and then grabbed a cab for the short ride to the Coventry Basin, the home of Excellence Afloat at Valley Cruises, our boat rental company (see circle 1 on the image Our narrowboat journey, below). Continue reading “Oxford: A week on the canals”

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Scotland: Whiskey, castles, and scenery

We took our second road trip through Scotland, but this time with company and a different itinerary. We met my sister and brother-in-law, Janice and Mike, at Gatwick Airport, and rushed them off to the train station to board a train for Saint Pancras and then a switch at King’s Cross for our long train ride to Glasgow. Ken and I were well-rested after a night at the Marriot (on points, of course), so didn’t mind the 6-hour train trip. Our travel partners had just completed a 9-hour flight but still managed to appreciate the interesting vistas provided by the train ride through the English and Scottish towns and countryside.

Continue reading “Scotland: Whiskey, castles, and scenery”

Deal: Sea swap

Having enjoyed the warmth and ocean of coastal Cyprus so much, we were a bit apprehensive about heading back to the UK in April. Pre-booked flights and train trips, and a committed house sit (not to mention the lack of accommodation elsewhere), won out and we set off for our next adventure. Continue reading “Deal: Sea swap”

Limassol: First (and last?) impressions

While planning what to do after our house sit in Kalkan, Turkey, we found a 2-week house sit in Cyprus. An island just south of Turkey, Cyprus appeared to be a really convenient next stop as it is an island nation just south of Turkey. As we always do before applying for a sit, we did a quick transport check and found that we could fly from an airport near Kalkan to an airport on Cyprus quite cheaply and quickly.

Continue reading “Limassol: First (and last?) impressions”

Turkey: Istanbul

Istanbul. A city split over two continents (Asia and Europe). A city with a countable population that is roughly half that of the entire country of Canada. The Turks speak of the country’s uncountable population (refugees and their growing families, primarily) as, well, uncountable–nobody knows how many more this adds to the population number–and Istanbul is a significant landing pad for many residents in that category. Continue reading “Turkey: Istanbul”

Kalkan: Our first taste of Turkey

The flight plan was Bologna to Istanbul with three hours to spare before our connecting flight to the Dalaman airport in Turkey’s southwest. Thanks to the remnants of The Beast from the East causing icy-rain conditions on the morning of our departure from Bologna, and the lack of available de-icing fluid at the airport, our departure was about 2 1/2 hours late and, needless to say, we missed our connection.

Continue reading “Kalkan: Our first taste of Turkey”

Bologna: Short and sleet

OK, it wasn’t all sleet, but there certainly was snow. And icy rain. Bologna was our home during the second half of the Beast from the East, the unusually harsh winter in the UK and Europe at the end of February and first few days of March. We were flying to our next destination from Bologna, and we had a few days free between our Naples house sit and that flight. Hanging out for a few days in Bologna seemed a good option. Continue reading “Bologna: Short and sleet”

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