Italics are used for my original journal entries.
Thursday, May 29, 2014 – A travel day.
Laura and I flew out of Portland to Dallas, then onto London.
Arrived at American desk by 10:50 am. Security, Starbucks, gate.
I said, “There’s no one in the whole world I’d rather go on this trip with than you.”
I believe she meant me and not herself.
The previous fall I turned 50, Laura would turn 50 while traveling, and in between our birthdays was our 30th wedding anniversary. To celebrate all three, we planned a five-country, two-month trip. We would just bring backpacks. We would stay almost exclusively in hostels.
We had never traveled like this. We tried to plan it as cheaply as possible, while also seeing and doing as much as we could without feeling rushed. We weren’t really sure that it would turn out that way; there was only one way to find out.
Dallas. Arr. 5:45 pm.
Dep. for London, 7:50 CT
May 30, 2014 – Our second air travel day.
11:25 am GMT landing at London-Heathrow.
11:22 – First glimpse of England! Dreamt of since I was a lad.
Caught bus @ 1:15 to Stanstead (Airport). Bob Marley on the coach radio. Freeway driving on the M25 outside London – looks like the I-5 in Oregon: trees and power lines. Further along, the country opened to fields, farms and clusters of old brick houses.
The highlight was glimpsing St. Alban’s Cathedral rising above some trees.
Our flight for Rome left at 6:19. We ate and slept while waiting.
On our flight to Rome, we sat next to a woman, Amanda, from Rome, who made the following suggestions:
[Three pages of notes by Amanda, her favorite places, including bakeries.]
After landing, we took a bus to Ciampino Train Station and walked half a block to our hostel.