Sunday, April 2, 2017

MY FIRST OVERSEAS TRIP IN OVER TWO YEARS....

In four more sleeps, I take off on my adventures again after a two-and-a-half year hiatus. This past stretch has been difficult for someone who has itchy feet like mine. First my husband was in poor health and was unable to travel, then he passed away, and I devoted most of 2016 sorting out his estate.

Last September I started planning my travel again with much joy and excitement, and one shock.(See http://stampsinmypassport.blogspot.ca/2016/10/solo-travel-is-now-for-me.html)

This is not my first solo travel by any means, but it does feel different with no one to talk to about my upcoming explorations and no one to come home to. One thing I am interested in experiencing is more of my fellow travelers and meeting more locals — couples tend to be left alone and singles are more approachable.

Today, my camera gear sits ready in a corner of my office. The mail is on hold, the newspapers cancelled, and my phone is unlocked. My hot weather clothes are laid out on the spare bed.

Fez, Morocco
I'm flying to Paris and thence to Morocco for a month. I have chosen to start with a small-group tour of the whole country with Explore, a British company. A good friend whose judgement I trust recommended Explore to me and I have been delighted with their customer service so far. The low British pound and reasonable solo supplement are a bonus.

The tour takes a busy two weeks but once it's over, I'll not be done with Morocco. I have built in a rest in a resort in Marrakech for four days, during which I shall also see what I missed with the tour.

Fes is next for a week, but here I will be staying in a traditional riad — a large house surrounding an inner courtyard with a fountain that has been converted into a small hotel in the medina or old quarter of the city. I will have spent 36 hours here already but have plans for a day in a cooking school and a private guide for another day to show me what I've missed.

Prado (Wikimedia CC)
I will be spending my final week in Madrid. I've visited a lot of Spain
already but I want to focus on the famous art here, especially in the Prado. I thought it was silly to fly back to Paris overtop of Madrid without taking the opportunity to stopover.

I may not have internet everywhere I'm going but I plan to post when I can, both impressions and images. Stand by!!