Europe 2011

Below is the journal for our self-guided trip to Europe in the winter of 2011. Julie was in Switzerland for work between January 23 and February 11. Ken flew over to meet her for a 2-week trip after that. We met in Cinque Terre and also spent time in Nice, Provence, and Barcelona before flying home.

The most exciting part of the trip was how we met up. Ken flew from Minneapolis to Genoa, caught a bus across town to the train station, and got on a train to Riomaggiore. Julie came by train from Switzerland and had to get there earlier than Ken to pick up the apartment key. Neither of us had a cell phone and the apartment office wasn't open except by appointment. So, it could have been a mess if either of us got lost or delayed. Fortunately, we found each other in the train station. It was quite a relief to both of us. :)

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.

Since we were in a few different areas, the journal is broken up into several different sections. The journal entries were originally entered on our Travel Blog and were later converted to this format. Some journal entries include links to related pictures, taken with Julie's Canon Elph 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 450 of them, split into several 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.