Europe 2006

Below is the journal for our self-guided trip to Europe, for three weeks between September 23, 2006 and October 14, 2006. We spent part of the trip traveling with Ken's mom (Marilyn) and brother Mark, and part of the trip traveling by ourselves.

We flew an open-jaw itinerary from home (Minneapolis) to Rome via Cincinnati, and then back from Paris via Atlanta. Our choice of destinations was focused around visiting Mark, who moved to Rome last year. Although we did see Italy on our last trip to Europe, we were happy to get the chance to go back and spent some more time in the area. After a brief stop in Rome, we traveled with Mark and Marilyn to Venice, Florence, Siena, and Rome again, before leaving for France on our own. In France, we stayed in Versailles, Bayeux, Chartres, and Paris before flying home.

We followed Rick Steves' "Europe through the back door" philosphy of travel, and for luggage we each packed only a single carry-on pack (see also the One Bag web site). The pack we chose is the MEI Voyager. The Voyager is a weatherproof nylon pack with a built-in minimal frame and hide-away harnesses and straps, so when packed it looks like a nice carry-on bag. Normally, we would have carried it on and checked no luggage, but with the FAA "no liquids" rules in place during our trip, we ended up checking both bags and carrying on our day pack.

Since we were gone three weeks, the journal is broken up into three sections. In each section, there is an entry for each day. The journal entries all include links to related pictures taken with Ken's Canon Powershot A70 digital camera.

We've tried to make the journal entries as compact as possible while still telling you some of the interesting things that happened each day. Hopefully, we've struck the right balance. If you'd rather slog through the entire set of pictures we took while on our trip (there are around 500 of them, split into six sub-albums), you can check out the Gallery page. There are lots of pictures in the gallery that didn't make it into the journal.