It’s not that Jonathan Swift wrote a book that described his travels to far off and exotic places, he just was fed up with England and wanted to get away in his own mind. Sometimes, you just have to get away. I don’t mean the current Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black either (it could have been so much funnier handled in another way). Carol and I needed to find out if I could actually have enough stamina to spend a couple of weeks away from home. The answer was a resounding yes.
We went to Bologna, Venice, got on a cruise ship and visited Santorini ( the best that there is), Mykonos, Olympia and Corfu in Greece. It’s nice to be old and still have a few bucks to do these things. We went with our good friends Bill and Kathie. The nice thing about them is that they ( especially Bill) take care of everything.
There is no one on this earth that can get better prices and arrangements on Priceline than Bill. At one point we were staying at a very nice hotel for 25 Euros. By the way, the Euro is getting stronger these days- a buck forty six. It was so much nicer when it was one for one.
We arrived in Bologna after a wonderful flight on Jet Airways ( an Indian airways). It was probably the nicest plane ride Carol and I have ever taken. This was all courtesy of Bill, who got us a deal that you can hardly believe. Yes, we had one stopover for a couple of hours in Brussels, but it was sure worth it.
We had a great tour of Bologna and a tasting tour of a Parmesano Reggiano factory. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how they make the cheese, but it is magnificent. We toured a balsamic vinegar factory with vinegar made one hundred ninety six years ago (according to the guide) and a prosciutto factory. In between we had a snack that consisted of 7 courses ( including wild boar and rabbit) and a ton of Greek dancing in which we participated. The snack, which included wine, water and beer was so overwhelming, we did not eat for a day.
We also had a town tour of Bologna, which has the honor of having the oldest university in Europe- 1088. The architecture, the churches, the parks and the gelato are the greatest. If you want you can go to school for 3 weeks and learn how to make gelato. It would really go over big here in Harrisburg. Beats the heck out of Dairy Queen.
Our time in Venice before and after the cruise was highlighted by long walks for hours in the largest tchachkie shops in the entire world. We even managed to get to Murano and buy some stuff. Our daughter in law needed some Murano jewelry and a couple of cans of the real Nutella.
The actual cruise was spectacular, if you like to eat 24 hours a day. They had some great shows. One of the acts were 4 Spanish guys, called 4ever. Three came from Spain and one from Uruguay. They were beyond great. Each of their voices could have been a fine solo. One of the young men hit a c above high c, whatever that means. I was told that he did. It was so high, I could hardly hear it.
We gambled, of course. Bill shoots craps and wins and I play the video poker machines and lose . The odds on most of these boats in somewhat lower than the usual odds in casinos. They are very nice to you, plying you with free drinks while you gamble away your Euros.
This was a perfect vacation and proof positive to me that I can still spend money. That was something that concerned me after my heart procedure.