Travel plans so far for August – November

Here are my travel plans as they currently stand for my six months off, for folks that want to meet up with me in foreign lands, or who just want to keep tabs on where I’ll be.

Flights and times are booked/confirmed, unless there’s a question mark:

August 4th – Fly to Colorado, meet
August 13th – Drive to Arizona, hike Grand Canyon
August 19th – Race in the Boulder Muddy Buddy
August 21st – Say goodbye to Bastion and Soo, fly home to Toronto
August 25th – Compete in Canadian National Wife-Carrying Competition finals with Butler?
September 1st – Fly Toronto to London
(While in England, will stay in Oxford with & Skye; visit Robin in London; see my Aunt Elsie, Uncle Ken, Cousin Kathryn and 2nd cousins Emma & Heather)
September 16th – Meet at Gatwick, fly to Rome
September 28th – Say goodbye to Chrissy, leave Rome, travel either by ferry via Greece or train via Austria/Hungary/Romania/Bulgaria to Istanbul
October 3/4th? – Meet Jen in Istanbul
October 18th – Say goodbye to Jen, fly Turkey to Egypt (Cairo)
November 8th – Fly Cairo to Morocca (Casablanca), meet Zeena?
November 23rd – Fly Marrakech to London
(Possibly fly or take train to Geneva to visit Brett while he’s preparing for the opera?)
November 29th – Fly home to Toronto
December 19th – Celebrate 30th birthday!

Will post more detailed travel plans when I know what they are. The Egypt and Morocco portions of my trip are with GAP Adventure tours, specifically:
– the Absolute Egypt, which takes me through Cairo for the Pyramids, Great Sphynx and Tutankhamun’s tomb, into Aswan for Nubian food, the temple of Philae, the unfinished Obelisk and Abu Simbel where I will see what ‘s family members and ancestors worked on, a felucca trip down the Nile, a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, the oasis at Dakhla, the White Desert, Baharia, the oasis at Siwa and the library at Alexandria, and;

– the Highlights of Morocco, which takes me through Casablanca, Rabat, Keknes, Volubilis, Fes, Merzouga, Tineghir, Todgha Gorges, Dades, Gorges, Ouarzazate, Ait Ben Haddou, Imlil, Aremd, Essaouira and Marrakech. I’ll visit the Atlas Mountains, the coast and remote desert regions, the Royal Palace, the Oudayas Kasbah and the Marrakech spice markets. Really excited about riding a camel out to see the 150 meter sand dunes in Merzouga (highest dunes in North Africa, apparently).

Suggestions on things to see and places to stay while in Turkey or adjoining lands welcome (, I’m looking at you here!)

16 thoughts on “Travel plans so far for August – November

  1. I totally need to dig out this thing for you to read before you go anywhere near Morocco.

  2. Wow! Just wow.

    I want you to remember one thing. Midnight Express. Behave in Istanbul!

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha! We haven’t even left London on the itinerary and already I’m confused as to where I’m supposed to be. 🙂

    Sorry, I was writing this down in a hurry this morning without consulting my tickets. I promise to be at the right airport when the time comes, never fear.

  4. FYI – my UN boy tells me that gals are harrassed mightily in Cairo. Not in a super scary way, but you can probably expect to get multiple marriage offers walking down the street.

  5. Thanks for the warning, babe, but let’s face it: multiple marriage offers on the street happen to me ALL THE TIME, right here in Toronto. My magnetic personality is a heavy cross to bear, but somehow I live with it.

  6. Hey Ben, I posted in one of your old entries about my first, kind of humiliating attempt at Guitar Hero. Go back and read about how badly I suck!

  7. Oh, have SO MUCH FUN!!

    I look forward to hearing about your various adventures!!

  8. I keep saying that if I ever wanted to stake a claim in the “crazy homeless guy” or “migrant worker outside of Home Depot” demographics, I would clean up.

    have fun!

  9. I have a feeling we’ll miss each other – Amy & I are flying out at 9:15 on the morning of the 2nd – but maybe not?


  10. Oh my goodness, we can totally do another of our patented “hello, goodbye” one-day meet ups in London! Not 100% sure when my flight is, I’ll have to check my ticket when I get back to Oakville tonight, but I will for sure arrive on the 1st, so in theory we can go for a pint at a pub by the Thames to wish you off home and you can toast the start of my adventure. 🙂

    I like this idea, I will give you more info once I have it.

  11. seriously, give my brother a shout for Morocco info, esp. on things like haggling in markets and other such fun things. good thing you speak french, non?

    i still stand by the belief that you should go to Cappadocia, it’s seriously insane and amazing. if that’s not really an option, find your way to Ephesus instead. the Virgin Mary’s house is there (even if you’re not catholic it’s still pretty cool, and with a great view of the valley) and the city ruins are AMAZING. you can also visit the ephesus theater, which is seriously cool and probably in that 1000 Places to See Before You Die book.

    i’m sure you have a lot of hints on places to see in Istanbul thanks to your friend, but i would recommend the Spice Bazaar for sure! lots of fun and the merchants aren’t as pushy.

    as for bella italia, try checking out any of these places:

    Rome – The Beehive (…go either for the dorm (the bunk beds are a little creaky but not a huge issue) or the apartment, the latter of which is in a *slightly* dicier area but close to the Esquilino market (which is awesome) and has kitchen facilities. the beehive’s site also has a booking site for hotels/hostels in Florence and Venice

    Venice – i stayed at alloggi gerotto caldera on campo san geremia, literally three minute’s walk from the train station. decent place and cheap, but check reviews to be sure.

    don’t spend more than a couple hours in Pisa if you go; that’s really all the time you need. definitely take a day trip to Siena from Florence if you get the chance. when travelling to Venice from Florence, see if you can stop in Ferrara (you’ll have to take a bus from the station to the main town), it’s a beautiful little place and very easy to walk and/or bike around, since cars aren’t allowed in the historic center. also, because Ferrara is located in Emilia-Romagna (home to balsamic vinegar, parma ham, parmigiano-reggiano, and really good pasta), the food is pretty amazing.

    i would also say to go to Cinque Terre in the Italian Riviera but that may throw you off your travel plans. but i will say that it’s an amazing place….

    okay really i’ve said too much, but last thing: if you’re booking hostels check out if you haven’t already because it’s a pretty good resource in terms of where to stay and what to avoid. the Thorn tree forum on is also really good, but may just paralyze you when you realize how many options you have.

    happy planning!

  12. Dude, your Egypt itinerary looks fantastic. Most people never get more than a stone’s throw away from the Nile (I sure haven’t), so I expect you’ll see some cool stuff off the beaten track when you head inland. Oh, and when you’re in Alexandria, try to find a place that sells fatir, the local (and superdelicious) pastry. It’s kind of like a crepe and kind of like phyllo pastry, filled with all kinds of delicious things (from spiced sausage and eggs to coconut and sugar). Yum!

    I’m so excited for you!

  13. Actual question posed of my father when strolling through the Aswan market with Nicki:

    “How many camels for the girl?”

    Nicki thought it was the funniest thing she’d ever heard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *