I haven’t been posting much these past few weeks because all of my spare time has been spent on our travel plans for next year. The research is just about complete now; so everything will be back to normal soon.
We visited Ireland and southern Europe the last few years and we traveled “down under” earlier this year. Next year we thought it would be time to tackle central Europe. So our plans call for visiting a total of five countries in the heart of Europe in 23 days.
- Our first step in our adventure will be to fly from San Francisco to Zurich with a stop at Washington, DC.
- We then will stay four nights in Zurich before boarding a bus to Basel.
- At Basel we embark on a seven-day cruise down the Rhine River to Amsterdam. Our stops along the way include Strasbourg in France and Mainz, Koblenz and Cologne in Germany. We’ll also be visiting Heidelberg, Germany.
- We then will stay in Amsterdam for three nights before boarding a train to Osnabruck, Germany.
- Most of our three nights in Osnabruck will be devoted to genealogical research and we will be visiting various locales where my Theler ancestors lived during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
- We then travel to Cologne and transfer there to a train to Aachen where we will meet some friends who will drive us to Verviers, Belgium where they live.
- After a night in Verviers we will travel to Nivalles, Belgium to see another friend from high school and his family.
- After a night in Nivalles we will travel to Brussels where we will spend two more nights.
- Our last train ride will be to the Amsterdam airport where we will spend our last night in Europe.
- We then fly home to SFO, stopping again in Washington, DC.
We looked at several cruise lines that go up and down the Rhine River and decided on Avalon Waterways, part of the Globus empire. It took just three phone calls to or from Anna, a very efficient Avalon agent in Colorado, to arrange not only our cruise but also the four nights in Zurich and the round-trip flights from home to Zurich and from Amsterdam to home.
We used TripAdvisor.com to select and book all of our other hotels besides Zurich and our primary travel guidebook was Frommer’s Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg (12th edition) by George McDonald.
What’s left to do: arrange a one-day trip to Lucerne during our Zurich stay; arrange a one-day tour of Bruges during our Brussels stay; and analyze whether it would be cheaper to purchase train passes before our trip or to pay as we go. We’ll probably buy the passes.
In the next few months I will be posting some family history articles on our Theler research as well as photos from some of our favorite trips during the past 40 years. Then we will be off to Europe in the Spring. Now it’s time to get ready for Christmas! Oh-oh, only nine more shopping days! What has happened to the time?