Summer 2014 was wonderful. I took some extra time off as Alain had just retired. This was the first time I had been off work for six consecutive weeks since Terry was a small baby and it was a real treat. In Canada we are not spoiled with vacation and until last year I had never had more than three weeks of vacation. Those three weeks had to be spread out over the entire year. For 2014 I managed to get some extra leave along with a pay cut (Leave with income averaging).
We booked a flight early after arranging our house exchange in November 2013. Here is our itinerary:
Montreal to Rome – Two days in Rome – mostly to visit the Sistine Chapel which we had missed on our previous trip.
Rome to Split Croatia via Easy Jet – Spent 4 days in Split – an amazing city.
Bus from Split to Dubrovnik – Spent 4 days in Dubrovnik.
Easy Jet from Dubrovnik to Orly, Paris. We spent two days in Paris with Sophie and Martin who flew over to join us for the first part of the house exchange.
TGV (High speed train) from Paris to Mulhouse, France. We were met at the train station by our wonderful house exchange hosts. We then drove our hosts to the airport after handing them our keys and having a lovely lunch together.
We spent just over three weeks in Illfurth, Alsace. During the three weeks we did many day trips including to Germany and Switzerland. Sophie and Martin spent the first two weeks with us. They left and we then had a few days before Terry arrived to spend the rest of our vacation with us.
At the end of our stay in Illfurth we met our hosts at the Mulhouse airport, handed them their car, rented a car and drove off to spend three days in Vevey, Switzerland with a family friend. We landed up in Switzerland unexpectedly so flying out of Brussels no longer made much sense but it was easier to fly from Geneva to Brussels rather than to change our bookings. We loved Brussels so it was well worth it even though we spent just one full day in there – then back home.
Although we had been travelling for six weeks neither of us were ready to get back home and getting back into the daily routine was very difficult. For Alain, not so bad as the new routine is “retired”.