19 Days

Trip Start Mar 26, 2010
1
14
Trip End Apr 04, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Sunday, March 7, 2010

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travels sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

You know those moments when you think 'Well, if I could...?' I had a moment a few years ago where I asked myself 'Well, given the opportunity, where would I travel?' I decided that if I could choose, I would go for either England or Russia. England because I adore the United Kingdom, and Russia because the architecture is amazing. Ever seen pictures of Catherine the Great's palace? Pretty fabulous.

Last year, I was at a conference in Philadelphia where there were brochures on a Reformation Bus Tour of Germany. When I got home my mind wandered over the possibility of going. Who would I go with? Why would I want to go? I mean, it's Germany, I've never felt inclined to go to that particular country, I know nothing about it. However...it is a chance to go somewhere. A chance to see something that I may never get the chance to see ever again.

I decided against going. I didn't want to go on my own, and as everyone I know is either a broke college student, married, or not travel inclined, I didn't bother asking around. I mentioned the trip just as a matter of conversation to a Ms Jones one Sunday and almost without hesitating she said 'Well don't decide to not go just because you can't find someone, because I might go with you.'

I almost didn't believe her, to be honest. A lot can happen in a year, I thought. And it did. I was invited to go on an Alaskan cruise for the next spring, and someone tickled my ear with the hint of a possible Mediterranean cruise. And then I found out that Ms Jones was serious.

She invited me to her house after church one Sunday and had laid out maps, brochures, travel diaries, books, and other paraphernalia all over her dining room table. She explained that she didn't want to go on the bus tour, but she was interested in going on a river cruise, and if I wanted to, we could go on one together. I had never heard of a river cruise before, but I adored the idea of no dash-in-dash-out hotel arrangement. I hate hotels, and here was the chance to go traveling on a floating hotel! She let me pick out the river cruise, too, with the requirements being no Russia, China, or Amsterdam. I drifted towards the Russia cruise as a matter of course, but the matter of it being a longer trip and just plain more expensive than some of the others, I decided to go with the cruise that was closer to the original tour idea: the Elegant Elbe Tour. It starts in Prague and ends in Berlin, and we hit Dresden, Wittenburg, Potsdam, and some places I've never heard of before. 10 days on a floating hotel, in the beginning of spring.

Fast forward 6 months later and we have 19 days left. Where did all the time go?? It seems like it was only yesterday when I opened my very large Christmas present of a suitcase, bought a fascinating book on German culture-isms, and my Grandmom saying, 'I keep hearing about these planes that crash and all I can think about is you going on your trip.'

Ahhh, grandmom.

I have all my paperwork, my passport, and am on the lookout for comfortable walking shoes and my camera recharger. I can't seem to find any of my rechargers, and I wonder if I stuffed them somewhere out of sight for Christmas and have forgotten where...

For a more detailed itinerary of my upcoming excursions:
http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/rivercruises/europe-elbe-prague-berlin-2010/vcs/itinerary.aspx
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