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Ten weeks and counting

While I haven’t blogged much in January, it doesn’t mean that I’m idle. What has been occupying much of my time is the planning for the next trip – I leave on Easter on a TransAtlantic cruise out of Miami, going to NYC, Bermuda, the Azores, Lisbon, Vigo (Galacia, Spain), Southampton and debark in Le Havre. That’s 17 nights aboard the MSC #Meraviglia.

Once in France, I see the cathedral in the port and then, after activating my Eurail pass, head to Amiens. The Cathedral Basilica of Notre-Dame de Amiens was the cathedral that triggered my obsession back in 1999, and I want to revisit and get updated pictures. Plus I’ll attend a performance of the play “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”. Then on to Laon, for a quick trip to Soissons, and visits to the cathedrals before heading into Champagne Country – the city of Reims. After climbing the tower, I’m off to #Luxembourg, followed by Trier, Germany.

Back again to France to the cities of Metz and Strasbourg, with a concert recital by the Metz Opera Chorus. Then onto Switzerland and Basel (symphony concert of Hollywood music) and Zurich (Haydn opera “Il mundo della luna”) before I head east to Liechtenstein and Chur. On Sunday 10 May, I’ll ride the Bernina Express past St Moritz on my way to Tirano in Italy before heading to Como to begin my Italian leg of my itinerary. By that point, I’ll have visited 26-28 cathedrals, feeding my obsession.

Rather than including more detail now, suffice to say I’m going to visit #Milan and attend a ballet at La Scala; in #Venice I hear an opera at La Fenice, and I have a day trip from Rimini to the country of San Marino. Then on to Cinque Terra before 5 days in #Florence and Siena. I hear Beethoven’s Ninth in Firenze. Then on to #Rome and Vatican City, which includes a 70’s pop crooner singing at the Baths of Caracalla. Continuing southwards, to Puglia, with stops in Bari and Brindisi, I will then cross to the Amalfi coast before getting to the toe and Reggio Calabria. A ferry to Sicily and Messina, then Palermo and Agrigento. After visiting Catania and Siracusa, I head to the southern most point and take the ferry to Malta.

In #Malta, which will be my fifth new country on my personal list, after 3 days I fly back to the States. From Valletta, it’s on to Frankfurt to change for the United flight to Newark. We get in too late to continue to Florida, so I’ll stay at the airport for 8-10 hours and then fly home to Sarasota on Independence Day. The entire trip will take 12 weeks. Fourteen countries, and if I hit my tally for cathedrals visited, I should top 120, bringing that life total to 600. I hope to post brief updates here in the blog periodically, with pictures, as well as short blurbs on Facebook.

Another blog will detail more of the Italian leg of the itinerary, but if anyone has suggestions for places and things to see and do, please send me a message and I’ll see if it can fit into the plan. This will be my fourth two-month trip in Europe in as many years, and I hope I can keep this up!

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