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Just signed up: 21 Day BOE in 2018!

Okay, I took everyone's advice, and agreed that my DH's idea of celebrating a BIG anniversary by retaking the 21 Day BOE was a good one. The next difference of opinion was when we should go. I was plumping for September, when our actual anniversary falls. But DH suggested the first tour out of the gate, in mid-April. (As some of you know, he's very active in politics, and 2018 is an election year. Most state and local races are up for grabs in 2018. So he doesn't want to be gone in the fall.)

The more I thought about it, the better the earlier date seemed. For one thing, it comes a lot sooner! I was not happy thinking it would be over a year before our next tour. And most of the towns we visit will not yet be sick of tourists.

I've been thinking a lot about retaking tours, and do see some value. For one thing, we know what parts of the 21 Day BOE we weren't crazy about in 2011. So we're already planning ahead, deciding what we will do in those segments of the tour, what changes we will make this time.

So, only 258 days until our tour starts! Woo-hoo!

Posted by
8198 posts

Whee!! I think the only thing that would be a negative for this date is that some of the trails in Switzerland may still be snow-covered. My guide, Dimitri, on my 21 BOE told us he had to cut steps in the snow in June so his group could do the Mannlichen to Kleine Schidegg hike. However, since you've been here before you may have an idea on what you want to do.

I think I remember someone posting that they were changing the Switzerland hotel from Stechelburg to Muerren but don't remember if it is 2018 or 2019.

I'm so glad you are taking this again. It make me want to do it over as well. I loved this tour!

Posted by
1068 posts

Always good to have plans. Enjoy the heck out of your tour!

Posted by
127 posts

Retaking tours? Lucky you! I'm nowhere near being ready to revisit places I've been before. I won't even consider tours that greatly overlap previously explored turf. There is too much more I want to see/experience before I am unable to travel.

That being said, I suspect that your second BOE trip will be a completely different experience than the first time around. Happy anniversary and safe travels!

Posted by
11450 posts

Since the maximum amount of time in any one spot on the tour is just two nights , I imagine one could revisit most places many times and still find something intersting to do or see !! Enjoy the second time around !

Posted by
1902 posts

How lovely for you to have this fabulous tour to look forward to. It sounds amazing from the great reports people have posted.

I'm traveling mostly to places I haven't seen, other than London, Paris and Rome, which I have visited multiple times. They have a magnetic pull for me! 💕

Posted by
935 posts

What fun to do such a great repeat tour. We loved the 21 day tour and would do it again, although there are other tours we would like to take before a repeat.

I'm interested in your alternative plans. What are you thinking of doing?

Posted by
4565 posts

Thanks, all, for your good wishes.

Pam, I thought about that - conditions in Switzerland - but it (obviously) was not a deal-breaker. I would prefer to go when it's a bit warmer everywhere, but I'll pack my silk longies, and be just fine. And the last time I brought up the subject of the hotel there, I was assured by a RS staffer that the hotel will be in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Hope it still is; that was one of my favorite parts of the tour.

Nance, we're just beginning to think about this, but the two places the tour visits that we weren't crazy about were Venice and Cinque Terre. Venice did redeem itself when we discovered the Chorus Pass and spent most of our free afternoon wandering through the back lanes, visiting amazing churches. So we promised ourselves then and there that we would indeed some day return to Venice, but we would not come in high tourist season, and we would get off the beaten path. When we were there before, not only were the crowds ridiculous, but we were not happy with the walking tour with the local guide. That was unusual - usually the local guides are first rate. So we're thinking of skipping that part, as well. We'll see.

I'm not sure yet what we'll do with our free time in Cinque Terre. On the Village Italy tour this year, the group stayed in Levanto, just north of the CT, and we enjoyed it much more. No huge crowds, a great walk out of town to a neighboring village... Much of the CT trail is still closed, so we'll have to wait and see what transpires. Maybe pick one of the less popular (?) villages, and wander its back streets.

Posted by
4565 posts

And I do appreciate people's comments about wanting to take new trips, rather than repeat. On the whole, I agree. But this was my DH's idea; BOE was his favorite trip, and he thought it would be a great way to celebrate our anniversary. I was surprised that he even mentioned celebrating in this fashion, so I immediately agreed. When he suggested recently that we could choose another tour if I preferred it, I mentioned a couple places we hadn't been. But when I again mentioned our upcoming BOE, his face lit up, so there we are.

There's a reason we've been married this long...

Posted by
524 posts

Congratulations on your decision! I am sure it will not be a disappointment. I fully understand about the timing. Although Wayne is not involved with politics, his part time (now mostly full time) job infringes on our travel time. We have tentative plans for April/May 2018. However, I have told him we are taking VI 2019 in October, which is our anniversary month. October by far has been my favorite month to travel, with May coming a close second. Our next travel date is only 6 weeks away and I am so excited.

Posted by
4565 posts

Debra, I've lost track; where are you going next? I remember you were talking about VI and Ireland...

Posted by
524 posts

Oh, in September we are taking the Germany Tour. I think we booked it before we went to Sicily! We were trying to decide what to do for our anniversary. Last year, we stayed in a cabin in Broken Bow,OK, which was fun with lots of hiking. We started out with ideas of Grand Canyon, and wound up booking Germany. Crazy right?? Wayne wanted to take longer trip this year, because of his job. Next Sept/Oct will work out better for GC trip, but who know where we will wind up!

Posted by
4565 posts

We've camped at Broken Bow; it's gorgeous, but lots of ticks.

I'm curious to know how you like the Germany tour. For some reason, Germany has never attracted me, but I know I'd enjoy it. I was in Munich briefly many many years ago, on a shoestring budget (student hostel, crackers for lunch) and still managed to have a good time. Art museums, I think, is what I did.

Posted by
697 posts

We did the 21 day tour in 2015, started April 16 (or maybe it was the 19th) and ended in early May. One absolutely fabulous thing about this timing is Keukenof Gardens! It's tulip season and honestly was a highlight for me. Another? Rome, Spanish Steps, azaleas. Gorgeous! It was quite chilly atop the Schilthorn during this time of year but we brought layers.

A negative......having to pack for all kinds of weather. It was our first trip to Europe but we still managed with a carry on each and a Vera Bradley weekender bag as my "personal item". Our last tour was late November/early December and this coming trip is October. I must say fall is one of my favorite seasons but with the flowers in the Spring.....I think that trumps fall!

Posted by
697 posts

I'm not sure yet what we'll do with our free time in Cinque Terre. On the Village Italy tour this year, the group stayed in Levanto, just north of the CT, and we enjoyed it much more. No huge crowds, a great walk out of town to a neighboring village... Much of the CT trail is still closed, so we'll have to wait and see what transpires. Maybe pick one of the less popular (?) villages, and wander its back streets.

We did do the hike (as mentioned in one of my previous posts) from Monterosso to Vernaza but all the others were closed at that time. We took the train to the rest then hopped on the ferry for the trip back to Monterosso. We did venture out in all the other towns with the exception of Corniglia. I think I would like to take all of those steps up to that town and check out the wine they are famous for. I imagine the uphill hike makes the wine tasting all the more deserving!

Posted by
4565 posts

Kathy, DH just mentioned the tulips! We've been to that part of the world twice, but never in tulip season. And the same for Rome: we love azaleas. So thanks for the ideas. I am a bit concerned about the range in temps as well, but as I mentioned, I'll just pack my wonderful silk long underwear and whatever else I normally take. That's what I did when we did best of London and best of Sicily in February and March, and it worked fine.

Posted by
4565 posts

And, Kathy, when we were in Cinque Terre in 2011, we did the hike from Vernazza to Moterosso. It would have been fine except: A) we were in a hurry because there was a group happy hour planned. B) we foolishly did not have enough water with us, mostly because C) the hike was longer and harder than we had been led to believe.

So if we do it again, we will be much better prepared.

Posted by
524 posts

Jane, the tulips are fabulous. We took our Belgium/Netherlands tour during tulip season. The gardens are awash in color, I still look at those pictures. One suggestion for the walks in Cinque Terra, go early, as in get up around 5:30. This will help you beat the heat and most of the tourist. That's what we did way back when we took 21 Days.

Instead of walking between the villages, here is a suggestion for an alternative walk found on Sarah Murdoch's Blog site.

Posted by
4565 posts

Debra, that's the walk we took! And we certainly enjoyed it. We took the easier version; maybe next year well hike the trail that parallels part of the walk. Thanks for the link; I bookmarked it.

Posted by
4565 posts

Got the tour confirmation today; funny thing, the first and last hotels are the same as when we took this tour in 2011. I thought Rick had moved away from Rue Cler, or so somebody had posted.

I was just rereading my trip notes from then, to verify that the Haarlem hotel was the same, and noted that we spend four days in Haarlem before the tour. And never ran out of things to do. And that was without going into Amsterdam!

Posted by
815 posts

how fun!! we will discuss at our meeting. We booked our two tours also. Looks like we will be gone the same time. 8 day Ireland April 15-22 and 10 Scotland april 23 - may 2.. Boy am I ready for that cooler weather!!

Posted by
503 posts

Jane, one very nice thing about your travel time is that the days will grow increasingly longer and throughout a 21 day period you will surely notice that. If you were to travel for three weeks in the Fall, you'd notice the days getting shorter! Have a wonderful year anticipating your anniversary trip!

Posted by
4565 posts

Thanks Lisa; that's a good thought.

Kim, I hadn't thought about the fact that we'd be gone at the same time. In fact, I was assuming I'd be able to talk Stan into going in September, when our actual anniversary is. I almost had him - when I told him that if we took the tour that begins August 26, we would be spending our anniversary in Paris! A smile spread across his face, but then he said, "So when is the first tour next year?" Rats!

So we may need to get Jesse to run our Travel Group meeting, or just cancel the April meeting.

See you August 19.