On a Fall 2018 Return

Embed from Getty Images


Greetings fellow bloggers!

Some have noticed my return from comments. I haven’t posted since 18th September when I announced my blog break. On that post, some may have wondered where I was going, but Eleanor blatantly asked. After all, some of my blog breaks are travel oriented – but not all!

It’s time to confess. This blog break was about travel. Long-time readers know we enjoy cruising – but nope – not this time! However, we did partake in another passion – Europe!

When 2018 started, we’ve never taken a bus tour. Oddly enough, this year involved two bus tours. The first was the 2-week bus tour of many US National Parks in the west. Although I have already posted some initial thoughts about the experience, posts about the those sights are finally in the queue.

Meanwhile, many Americans are acquainted with Rick Steves from his Europe travel shows on PBS. I’m guessing many Canadians also know this American travel guru. Because we know a good number of people who have taken and raved about Rick Steves’ tours, we decided to take one to a past of Europe that is new to us – Eastern Europe.


A couple of notes about the image. The numbers inside the circles indicates the number of nights in that location. We had an extra day in Prague before the tour started. The tour ended in Lake Bled, then we extended it with two nights in Trieste, Italy (red dot & my birthplace) and one night in Venice (blue dot as it was our inbound airport).

Although I hope to do dedicated posts about each stop in the future, below is short adjective for each stop.

  • Prague, Czech Republic – romantic
  • Krakow, Poland – surprising
  • Auschwitz/Birkenau, Poland – somber
  • Slovakia (drive through) – naturally beautiful
  • Eger, Hungary – quaint
  • Budapest, Hungary – grand
  • Plitvice National Park (Croatia) – stunning
  • Rovinj, Croatia – soothing
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia – urban relaxation
  • Lake Bled, Slovenia – enchanting
  • Trieste, Italy – a time capsule
  • Venice, Italy – It’s Venice!

I’ve returned to my normal home routine of ballroom dance, the handbell choir, working at the golf course, and more – so now is the time to return to my WordPress friends.

Before ending this post with a video, I want to announce that Pronouns: The Musical resumes on Saturday, 21 October at 1 am (US Eastern) with Act 10 featuring songs with They in the title. (It’s more difficult than I imagined.)Upcoming acts are Them and It.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the song!

60 thoughts on “On a Fall 2018 Return

  1. Welcome back from what can only be described as a magical bus tour from the itinerary alone (to borrow another musical description and LOVED that video-what delightful artists). Looking forward to your posts about your tour. While I have not been to many of the eastern destinations, Prague is one of my most favorite cities in the world. And of course Venice…I mean who doesn’t love Venice?! It stole my heart for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read somewhere that of all the eras of recorded history, ours is the least violent. I can believe that, the Afghanistan war notwithstanding. It is evidence of this, I submit, that one can take such a bus tour of sites that were previously inaccessible to Westerners. Like it or not, the world is becoming ever more connected. I look forward to learning more about your travel, including, hopefully, whether you perceive English is continuing to gain ground as the interconnectivle language.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim,
      We cruised the Baltic in 2012 – and to think we were in St. Petersburg for two days seemed surreal … and now to visit many of the countries behind the Iron Curtain today was a similar feeling. English in all cities is like the rest of Europe – very available. The front desk attendants at every hotel were solid. So yes – English today is the Latin of old …. and even more so.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mouse,
      Of our local friends, we’ve never heard a bad thing about them … and some of the friends have done more than one. A couple on this tour was on their fifth! Yes – love his books, so we’ve used them on our trips.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frank I wish I could get back to a regular post… but as we continue to improve on the golf course, time is just not there for me… I still like to keep up reading the regulars even though I don’t always comment. Apart from the fact that I also manager the farm now with 350 head of stud cows and bulls also 14 different species of wild life totalling 300 head. Keeps an old guy very busy, but I love it. Up before the sun and most evenings home after it goes down..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bulldog!!!!
      Wow … I’m touched by your mere presence! Thanks for your update. You unquestionably are keeping busy, so that’s a good thing … and loving it is makes it that much better. I’m glad you keep up when you can. By the way, I hope you stop by Wednesday for the next post. You’ll love the photographer’s paradise!


    • Rachel,
      Coming up with the short descriptions is a challenge in itself, so thanks for the news that you got something from it. I foresee dedicating a post to each location. I generally try to keep them simple and not too long. On the other hand, the number of nights on the map may also serve as a guide to the number of posts. I’ll figure that our once I start studying the pictures. Slovenia is unquestionably beautiful, so keep thinking about it! Have you ever been to any of the surrounding countries?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As I said in my reply to your comment, how nice to hear you again, well come back dear Frank. Right now I am listening to this song, and also writing too…. Seems that it would be exciting to follow your next posts dear Frank,.. But you came very near to us, why didn’t you visit us too!
    Thank you, have a nice day, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Did you happen to run into my cousins? They traveled this same route about the same time. I’ve been seeing their photos and hearing of their adventure. I will now await hearing about yours! I’m sure it was truly wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Frank!
    Welcome back from your awesome adventure. You sure get around. Looking forward to all upcoming posts about your travels. I also look forward to THEM!
    Great rendition of Dock of the Bay. Thank you!


  7. aFa: What a spectacular trip. For decades, when travelers say they have been to Europe, they have meant Western Europe – France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland – but not Eastern Europe. The fall of the Soviet Empire opened up a whole new side to European travel. Other than Venice, I have not been, but would like to go, to the other spots in your trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • C-A-L,
      These countries have an interesting history – especially in past 100 years. Each seemed to embrace western life, although some are politically moving toward the Right and Russia – but time will tell. Bottom line – yes – a spectacular trip and we are glad we went.


  8. Today I completed my backward journey through the AFA posts I missed while in Hilton Head searching for the Holy Grail of golf swings. I will spare you the details, but know that I plan to contact Cincinnati Enquire sports columnist Paul Daugherty to report my results, given his lifelong quest for the same.
    As to your post, it ranks among my all-time favorites, partly because I share your passion for Europe and secondly because I can’t wait to hear the individual city reports you’re promising to share in the future. By the way, I liked the list of adjectives for the cities you visited, and I found your reference to traveling behind the former Iron Curtain intriguing and thought provoking.
    Being a big fan of Rick Steves, I look forward to hearing more about his company’s tours. I’ve taken many of his recommendations for hotels, museums, restaurants, and trains during my European travels, but I’m curious to see whether his way of travel could overcome my aversion to bus riding brought on by the 2681 bus trips I took with band students during my teaching career.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Besides posts about individual stops, I’m also preparing a post about his tours. At this point I can assure you that the bus was not yellow and the passengers were not teens. Meanwhile, sorry to see you’ve given up on embracing my approach to golf.


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