Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sicily ➞ Provence ➞ the Basque Country ➞ Barcelona

The genesis of this trip can be traced to "birthdays".
 
Ian
Judy
 
First, our good friend, Ian, celebrated his 70th birthday in 2015 and invited friends and family to join him and his wife in Ménerbes, France.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second, we have enjoyed a long-term birthday celebration tradition with two other close friends.   
Lynn
Curt
 

The tradition began 19 years ago in 1996 when we agreed to go away on all birthdays ending in a zero or a five. Gus and Lynn have the same birth year and Joan and Curt share the same year. This was the eight celebration we were to enjoy together.





In planning the trip the goal was to spend time with each pair of friends that would be memorable and enriching yet not too hectic; Gus & Joan also wanted some "alone time". It is clear in travel planning, anyone can browse an airline or accommodation website, click and pay. But it's the tricky decisions before that ... the time-consuming process of researching and sifting through and attempting to compare a dizzying number of itinerary options ... has made anything more ambitious than Point A to Point B jaunts a bit challenging. The challenge was welcomed and met; an itinerary was developed, coordinated with all, and  settled upon:
 
Sicily (Lynn & Curt), Provence (Ian & Judy),
Basque Country and Barcelona (Alone Time)
Dates were set, reservations made, and anticipation initiated. Further detailed research began ... Gus found Pinterest to be a terrific tool to organize destination specific ideas and thoughts:
 

Our itinerary:

Dates
 
Location
Arrive Depart
Nights
City
Country
5/26
5/27
1
Travel: San Francisco (SFO) to Paris CDG)
U.S.
5/27
5/27
0
Travel: Paris (CDG) to Rome (FCO)
 
5/27
5/27
0
Travel: Rome (FCO) to Palermo (PMO)
 
5/27
5/29
2
Italy
5/29
5/29
0
Travel: Palermo to Sciacca (by car 1½ hrs)
 
5/29
5/31
2
Italy
5/31
5/31
0
Travel: Sciacca to Ragusa (by car 2½ hrs)
 
5/31
6/3
3
Italy
6/3
6/3
0
Travel: Ragusa to Zafferana Etnea (by car 2 hrs)
 
6/3
6/6
3
Italy
6/6
6/6
0
Travel: Catania (CTA) to Munich (MUC)
 
6/6
6/6
0
Travel: Munich (MUC) to Marseille (MRS)
 
6/6
6/12
6
France
6/12
6/12
0
Travel: Marseille (MRS) to Barcelona (BCN)
 
6/12
6/12
0
Travel: Barcelona (BCN) to Bilbao (BIO)
 
6/12
6/15
3
Spain
6/15
6/15
0
Travel: Bilbao to Elciego (by car 1¼ hrs)
 
6/15
6/17
2
Spain
6/17
6/17
0
Travel: Elciego to San Sebastian (by car 1¾ hrs)
 
6/17
6/20
3
Spain
6/20
6/20
0
Travel: San Sebastian (EAS) to Barcelona (BCN)
 
6/20
6/23
3
Spain
6/23
6/23
0
Travel: Barcelona (BCN) to Paris (CDG)
 
6/23
6/23
0
Travel: Paris (CDG) to San Francisco (SFO)
U.S.
 
 
28

Let the adventure begin!