In mid- May we're planning on going by train from Paris to Venice. We both enjoy train travel, find plane travel boring and squashed* and have got a bit fed up with long car journeys. Hence the decision for the train - although it's not the Orient Express which is the picture alongside and which I have actually been on - a day trip to Bath, a birthday present from a previous admirer.
I first went to Venice when I was quite young, still in single figures and back then (hey, I'm not so old) a holiday like that was called Going to the Continent. My dad had planned this journey for what seemed like half my lifetime, every available surface in our house was covered by the maps he had got from the AA, there were handbooks for all the countries we would be driving through (France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany) and my mum and dad were in a state of mild and then extreme excitement in the run up to the Big Day. All I worried about was whether Caroline, my doll, would have enough clothes for such a mega-trip.
It's nearly 40 years since my first proper holiday and I can still remember so many things about it:
- My dad wasn't allowed into St Mark's Cathedral because he was wearing shorts
- there were huge daddy long legs on the ceiling of the first French hotel we stayed in
- in Switzerland I slept under a duvet for the very first time
- by the Simplon Pass I had the best pastry of my (shortish) life
- We broke down on the way to Florence and sat by the roadside eating fresh watermelon (well my mum and I did, my dad was in a panic)
- I got lost on the beach at Rimini and a man with a loud hailer who had been looking for me did, eventually, find me. It seemed like days but it was probably only an hour or two that I was lost.
- An Italian waiter patiently taught me how to twirl a fork to eat spaghetti and I could probably win an 'eat spaghetti and still stay clean' contest' to this day.
- We went on a boat ride on Lake Constance and I was sick
- My parents kept saying 'wow, just look at the view' but I wasn't really interested to be honest.
*the only time I've not felt squashed on a plane was when Virgin upgraded us to first-class for a trip to New York -( a previous blog entry under holidays if you are interested, but it was one of my first bloggings and is probably a bit stilted)