Saturday, March 20, 2010

Need Help in Trip Planning

While a major reason for my big move was to leave the Sydney Diocese, an equal reason was to move to a cool climate and another was to free up the funds tied up in the block of land next to my house in the Blue Mountains.

I purchased the block a few years after the house in the mid 80's. It protected the view over the valleys from my house and I  enjoyed landscaping the upper section of it. I did not enjoy maintaining the garden as I got older.  It had a cliff of about 10 metres dividing the upper 20% from the lower 80%.  I do not remember when I last went down the bottom.  My house block was similar but the upper section was more  like a third.

A problem developed when I became eligible for an age pension from the government. The Australian government takes into account all assets other than the family home and block in assessing the amount of pension. They counted the neighbouring block of land as an asset but I could not earn any interest on it nor spend any of it.

I knew it would be very hard to sell on its own and most potential purchasers (young couples) of the house were uninterested in the extra land.  I was very thankful when a middle aged couple agreed to buy both.  I have allocated the money from the land sale to future travel.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I need to at least book my flights soon.

I have long ago booked and paid for 2 nights in Oberramergau (Sept 20&21) so planning hinges around those dates. I want a month in Europe before and a month in USA/Canada afterwards

A Round the World Trip allows 5 stopovers. I intend them to be Sydney, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Chicago-Toronto, and San Francisco or Los Angeles. Bangkok and LA or SF are mainly to allow me a good sleep as I detest long flights.

My vague itinerary at the moment is to arrive (after 10 days in Sydney) in
Frankfurt on Aug 20(1n)
Train to Copenhagen (1n)
Overnight ferry to Oslo(1n)
Train to Bergen (1n)

Board Hurtigruten ship for 10 nights cruising the Fiords up to Kirkenes and back to Trondheim

Train back to Oslo (2n)

Train to Copenhagen (2n) (I visited Oslo and Copenhagen in 1974 but guess they have changed)

Train- overnight ferry-train to London about September 9.

Undecided here for 10 nights except I have a dream to attend the Last Night of the Proms (ok in the park opposite) on September 11 and must be in Munich on September 19.

I have never been to Ireland, would love to return to Lakes District and have a friend in Bradford. (Have not been to UK since 1980).  Paris always beckons but perhaps I could give it a miss and hope for future trips as I spent 2 weeks there in both 2002 and 2007.

After Oberammergau, I hope to fly from either Munich or Frankfurt to Chicago on Sept 22 (arrive 23) and stay 2 nights. (I spent 24 hours there in 1999)

Back on trains I plan to travel to New York (undecided about travelling on Lakeshore Limited or Cardinal)

I want to worship with Rev Elizabeth at Chatham on September 26 and there is also a possibility of a Brokeback meeting in New York that weekend.

I have about 9 days to see Boston (was there in 1980), perhaps visit Fran in Albany (Hi Fran) and Motheramelia in Maine and see the Fall colours.

The last Cat from Yarmouth to Portland is about Oct 9 (2010 timetable not yet posted).

I have allocated 6 nights to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island then back on train.

Overnight to Montreal (4 n)

Quebec (2n)

Ottawa (3n)

Toronto (4n with a day to Niagara and back)

Not sure why I allocated the nights that way, am certainly open to advice there.

Then possibly 2 nights in either SF or LA. have been to both and prefer SF  but would like to visit a church in the Diocese of LA.

Finally Dunedin via Auckland.

Some comments - I hate flying but know it is a necessary evil if I want to travel from the bottom of the world.  It is why I go for so long at a time - to make the trip worthwhile.

I love train travel and am quite fond of ship travel although am wary of a long cruise and this will be the longest I have ever spent on a ship at one time but hope the Norwegian scenery will make it all worthwhile. I think I would be bored on a long ocean cruise.

Would appreciate any advice either publicly or by private email (see profile).


Birdie said...

Wow! Do you need a personal assistant? :D

I would love to meet you in Chicago! Let me know your plans and I'll work around them.

birdoparadise AT sbcglobal DOT net

Leonard said...

Central America? Have you done Mexico? Latin America is fabulous (albeit sometimes a bit hair raising) time plan a visit to the foot of the volcano.

Happy everything,

Doorman-Priest said...

If you do Bradford, then you can add in Leeds (and meet up), then go to the Lake District and on to Edinburgh.

MLBuchanan said...

Be sure to let us know when you will be in Chicago. We would love to meet you.

motheramelia said...

Looking forward to your visit. Just to let you know, though that the CAT Ferry to NS from Maine has been canceled. They announced that in January. It's no longer being subsidized. There are rumors that it might go out of Boston, but haven't heard anything definitive. Canada is not a long drive from here though.

toujoursdan said...

Let me know when you're coming to NYC. I can also give you lots of tips/advice regarding Ottawa.

You'll want to switch your trip agenda in Canada to Quebec City then Montréal then Ottawa and then Toronto.

Ottawa and Montréal are only 160km apart so it's a short journey (by Canadian standards.) Quebec and Ottawa will probably be of the most interest. Lots of museums and tours.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Sounds lovely!

(not at all jelous that you're not coming to my little island, which is located midway between Copenhagen and Oslo)