The time is 0600 (GMT-6) on Monday morning, January 23, 2006. For those of you time zone challenged, that is Central Time. I have been up since 4AM trying to lessen the impact of our (+7) hour time difference to Europe today/tomorrow. This will be the first of many (hopefully) entries into my web site while we are gone. Of course, this will all depend on finding Internet access throughout the trip.
Our flight from Houston leaves a little after noon arriving in Newark at 4:35PM. We then leave for Zurich at 6PM arriving at 7:45AM on Tuesday morning. Zurich (as are all our destinations in Europe) is 7 hours ahead of Houston or GMT+l.
Our trip will be 12 days and we will step in 6 countries. Our planned destinations are:
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Salzburg, Austria
- Southeastern Germany (day trip)
- Venice, Italy
- Cannes & Nice, France
- Monte Carlo, Monaco (yes this is its own country)
- Milan, Italy
We have key activities planned for each area. My research has been exhaustive and I am very nervous about going simply because of the unknown, language gap, and food of course. The last two weeks have been very stressful. We have packed light with a single bag and back pack for each of us.
We will be in transit for just over 24 hours once we take off from Houston; not something I'm looking forward to. We must be able to sleep on the flight to Zurich if we stand any chance of having any sanity when we arrive. We will be taking a train from Zurich to Salzburg. That ride is 5 hours and 49 minutes, but should be scenic as it passes through the Swiss Alps. We leave Salzburg on Friday on train to Venice. We will be staying in Venice only one full day and proceeding to Cannes, France on Sunday. This is the main purpose for the trip (business). We will visit Monaco on Tuesday for the afternoon. We finalize the trip by taking a train to Milan, Italy on Wednesday morning flying back from Milan through Newark on Friday morning.
Sounds hectic, right? It was worse until I realized how long it took to get from one place to another on the trains. The only unconfirmed item on our agenda is actually getting into and out of Venice. We were unable to confirm those specific train routes. I am to do that in Zurich once we arrive there.
Well, I will close my initial chapter and write to you as soon as I can. We are looking forward to sharing our unique experiences with you when we return.