Yes I know, that sounds gloomy, even though everytime we travel to Europe, it "could" technically be our last trip. But since I wanted to add a little life to the board and bring some dreaming on, I figured we could try this one if it hasn't already been done. It's the last trip you are making for whatever reason, and you know this, so where would you go in Europe? Say you had about three months to stay, and though you don't have money to burn, you can afford to spend three months away from home. Which countries/cities would you visit, and what things would you want to experience and see for the last time? Dream on.
I would have to start in England. I'd be in Liverpool to see my beloved Reds one last time, standing in the Kop of course. Then I'd hit France for some pain au chocolat. A return to Rome for the sheer beauty of it. Vienna for the elegance. Finally to Poland to meet up with friends we met during our trip there in 2004. That's the only trip where we've met lasting friends. We even hosted them in our home once at Christmas.
The Highlands of Scotland- at least 3 -4 weeks. A bit of Wales, then England with at least a week, maybe more in London. Then Salzburg for a few days, maybe a day or two in Vienna. A stop in Budapest. Oslo for short stay, too. Ireland, esp. the Ring of Kerry. And some places I've not made it to yet.... Rome, Greece, Spain, Parts of the former USSR, Poland, Chek rebulic, Solvakia, Moscow, Finland, St. Petersburg, Oh heck... Scotty, where are you and the transporter when I need to beam somewhere???????
It would have to include the places of mystery: Stonehenge, Avebury and Tintern Abbey; Lands End; maybe some in Britanny; and the beauty of stained glass: St Chapelle, Chartres and maybe some "Rose" windows. The rest would be out in the country, Dordogne and the English moors
I'd rent a car and drive it repeatedly through the restricted areas in Italian cities, stopping to pose next to the license plate with a big smile.
My last trip ever? Europe is great, but I'd have to say if I knew I was never going to travel again, I'd go back to New Zealand for at least 1 of the 3 months and then hop over to a few places in the South Pacific I haven't made it to yet and I would end the trip here in the US and go back to the Grand Canyon for a week.
Before I retired, I was a Hospice Chaplain so, for some, this isn't an exercise but reality. For me, I'd go to SW Ireland. I love the countryside, the sights and the people.
I'd park my butt in Munich and travel around from there - knowing I can always return to Munich!
An interesting question as I am torn between the places I have not been to and the places I have been to really want to go back to. I am assuming going by car to maximize flexibility. In the UK, London and the Cotswalds. On the continent, Paris, Normandy, the Loire, the Dordogne, Provence, Copenhagen, see the Nurgurgring and take at least on lap around the Nordschleife, ride a Rhine steamer through the heart of the Rhine Gorge, a couple relaxing days along the Mosel, a couple nights at the Schloss auf Schoenberg at Oberwesel, a night or two in Rothenberg (It's so nice in the evening when the day trippers have gone), Salzburg and then the drive through the Brenner pass to Castelroto, a day and night in Stein-am-Rhein Switzerland and of course a some time in the Lauterbrunnen valley in Switzerland. As I age and become more aware of my mortality the thought has crossed my mind that a great way to check out would be to have dinner in Lauterbrunnen on the front porch of the Hotel Oberland sitting on the north side of the table looking down the valley and just fall face forward into my empty dessert plate.
I'm actually considering phasing myself out of European travel. My next trip is to villages in Cornwall this spring. I yearn for the seashore, village life, pubs, and pasties of England. The people are great and I will be able to speak English anytime I want. And every room I stay in will have the fixings for tea. I've been to all the places I "always wanted to visit," and I'm not yearning for another trip to Paris even. I want to take my RV around the USA, visit relatives and friends, and see some of the natural wonders of our country. Hawaii will probably see me again; I haven't decided about Alaska.
Last trip. Three months. Italy, no question.
If I am limiting myself to just one country: Ireland. Not saying where because I don't want a bunch of Rickies discovering it.
If I had to pick just one country, I'd travel all over England. I just love everything about it... I love the people and the history and the culture... I love the food, whether it's traditional English (beans on toast, pasties, etc.) or the many ethnic eateries. I even love just relaxing at home, watching the BBC and especially the quiz shows. I think many Brits have a highly underrated but extremely enjoyable dry wit :)
France, especially Paris, and mainland Greece & Santorini.
Spain!!! Andulicia, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Soria,Toledo, Zamora In otherwords, A To Z in Spain...love the people, the history, the sites.
If you want to go cheap and memorable, Eastern Europe is amazing. Roaming around in Praha (Prague) takes you back in time. For me, personally?... I'd wander through the British Isles. My father's family came from Norwich, England and moved to Boston in the 1690s as indentured servants. It's like going home. :o)
I'd spend as much time as I wanted in Paris, and then drive around and see all of France. I'd rent a nice villa in Tuscany, and drive around and see all of Italy, and spend some time in Venice particularly. I'd experience beautiful art, architecture, (perhaps some music also), visit great cafes, people-watch, and shop till I drop.
Tough call between going back to beautiful places and seeing something new. Might get sad thinking it was the last trip, so I'm going new experiences: I'd want to become really comfortable with driving on the otherside of the road and meander the British Isles as mentioned above. See a few concerts at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, the O2 in London, and some touring acts in Carcassonne & Vienna. Go to a couple of those crazyall weekend summer music festivals. See favorite operas - not just any ol' opera-in La Fenice, La Scala and the paris and Vienna Opera houses. Drive faster than ever in Germany. Sit still on the French Riviera beaches. Visit more Roman ruins. Run a list on the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
So I'd want a car,some train tickets, at least 3 or 4 guidebooks, a few picnics , rolling luggage and some euros before i get on the plane <g>.
Hmm... Go back to places visited with fond memories, or experience and create new memories? Maybe a bit of both. I think I'd travel 360 degrees around the world with an around the world plane ticket and head to Europe first. I'd have my bucket list with the priorities, and try to knock one off the list every day. I'd go back to my favorites, Dublin, Portugal, and my soon to be favorites after September (Tuscany). And then continue to go east. Heard great things about Budapest and Prague, have to see the Pyramids in Egypt, would love to go on a Safari in Africa, then off to the Thailand, Vietnam, then Australia, and New Zealand. On the way home, stop off on Kauai for some relaxation, and if time was remaining, I'd fly to the east coast, and zig zag my way across the good ole US of A hitting those 7 states I hadn't put my foot in yet and end up back in California. A couple years ago, someone gave us a book; Journeys of a Lifetime, 500 of the worlds' greatest trips. I'd use this as the basis for my bucket list.
I have thought about this recently because the long flights have become not so easy. We are going to England this August, and I'm assuming I will do a couple more at least. I would choose England again, Sweden which I love, and I would go back to France and finish out the trip we had to shorten when my husband got sick.
I can't even decide where I'm going this summer with my FF miles. Do I want to explore Germany, where I've never been, or go back to London (theatre, theatre, theatre, and afternoon teas) where I had such a great time last year? Honestly, I can't think of anywhere I've been in Europe (except Tallinn, which was lovely BTW) that I wouldn't like to return to. And my list of wanna-sees just grows and grows. And that's just Europe.
Ten years ago when I first visited Italy I heard about a woman who spent a month each fall in Lucca. I have a hard time imagining 3 months in one place, but one month sounds good. Two Aprils in a row, 2008 and 2009, I spent nearly a month in Paris. I stayed in various hotels and apartments. Now I think I would enjoy a month in a Marais hotel, preferably Hotel Jeanne d'Arc, which is centrally enough located and has markets and restaurants nearby. Plus, there is a small square surrounded with eateries and supplied with trees and benches. I find that very long flights with connections to be too exhausting now that I am approaching "old age." The ten-hour flights from San Francisco to London are the best tolerated by my legs and energies. So, I fly to London and stay there a night to deal with jetlag. Then I go on from there to Paris or wherever. This time I will be going on to Cornwall and other parts of SW England.
Without one minute to think about it my last trip would be Ireland and wish it was still the 70s. It is a country that is so beautiful with people to match. A peace I always find in Ireland.
Eli, great question..... Rent a cottage in Cornwall for a month.....then move to Yorkshire for a month....the last month..2 weeks in the Cotswolds and 2 weeks in London.
In the last 10 years, I have been from the Scandinavian countries down to Spain & Portugal & Italy, from the shores of western France thru Eastern Europe and Turkey and have seen most of everything in between. If I only had 3 months to do a "last trip to Europe" I would probably lay out a plan and try to see it all one more time for one last time. When I get to the point where I can not travel to Europe any more,
I want to be able to sit in my big stuffed chair and watch RS shows on TV and be able to say that "I was there"! aloha