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We've picked an itinerary for our honeymoon!

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: We've picked an itinerary for our honeymoon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We've picked an itinerary for our honeymoon!

It was probably about a year ago that we decided that we should have a less expensive wedding, save our nickels and dimes (or our baek and oh-baek coins) and take a huge trip for our honeymoon. A quick look at our finances and projected incomes for the new year made it seem like we could do it, so we decided to go forward with making it a goal. A year later it's still a goal, but it's morphed so many times that it's almost kind of scary to commit to an idea because we've dreamed of going to so many places. How do you decide where to go when a trip has been planned (at least in your head) as a round-the-world trip, an all-of-Europe trip, a Western-Europe-only trip, and a tour-of-German-speaking-countries trip? Well, it really helps when you have a healthy appetite and a desire to go somewhere a little less likely. Now it's time to reveal what we're tentatively planning. After our wedding, we want to head to one of the culinary capitals of the world, and explore a place that both of us have talked and dreamed about going to for years.

Our current honeymoon itinerary
Sorry, Paris, you're just not on the itinerary for this couple. We plan to start our trip with a flight to Madrid, where we will spend a couple of days seeing the works of a few of our favorite artists, grand cathedrals, beautiful squares, and oh yes, eating lots and lots of tapas. After Madrid our itinerary has us traveling to Barcelona for a few days along the Mediterranean with more art, tapas, and cathedrals. Spain is essentially unknown to both of us, aside from what we learned in our high school Spanish classes and from watching foodie shows on the boob-tube that propelled it into our itinerary. Have I mentioned that we're only completely excited about seeing the Moorish architecture?

When we've had our fill of EspaƱa, we will head east to the Mediterranean shores of France. We plan to stay in Nice, and fill our bellies with ratatouille and aioli. A visit to nearby Monaco is currently in the cards. This will give us the chance to have plenty of French pastries, baguettes, and all of the other delights that we dreamed about during our initial planning of a honeymoon in Paris. After a few days our waistlines should be screaming for us to move on, but they'll get no relief as we move into Italy.

After a visit to Rome, which I imagine will be a whirlwind tour of places like the Pantheon, St. Peter's Square, the Vatican, and other must-see sights, we plan to travel to Napoli and the Amalfi coast. I can't tell you how exciting it will be to wake up with Mt. Vesuvius in the distance, and to finally visit Pompeii. Pompeii has been a minor obsession of mine since the 5th grade, when my "gifted and talented" class did a thematic year on Rome, learned a bit of Latin, and of course a 5th grade boy would be most interested in the greatest natural disaster of the era.  I won't even talk about the food I'm imagining during this portion of the trip, because it wouldn't be very nice to torture myself like that as I live in Korea and it's widely unavailable. We'll cross the peninsula and board a ferry to take us to the parts of the honeymoon that I find to be the most foreign, exciting, and intriguing.

Our ferry will put us back onto dry land in Croatia. We're quite excited about this part of the trip, because there are few places that look so ancient but are yet so recently rebuilt on our itinerary. I'm imagining crystalline blue waters, cliffs, and a rugged landscape. I'm interested to meet people who have survived one of the worst civil wars on the planet that I can remember in my lifetime, and I'm sure we're going to have plenty of opportunities to meet them as we travel through the Balkans, from Croatia, through Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Everything I have read or seen on television raves about this region's wines, foods, scenery, and beauty. I can't wait to see, smell, and taste it all for myself. After transit through Bosnia, Montenegro, and Albania, we will begin our tour of the ancient world of Greece.

Greek cuisine is one of my favorites in the world. It might be my favorite. I can only imagine it tastes much, much better in Greece. Our loose plan at this point includes stops in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. I somewhat want to book one of those package tours of ancient sites, but time will tell whether that's a good idea or not. When I imagine Greece, I basically imagine white buildings and blue seas. I imagine a place where the world seems much bigger than it really is, where the gods of old still play their terrible games with people, and where the people remain full of smiles and hospitality even though they've often been given a hard situation to live in. I hope I'm right about that part. After spending sufficient time in Greece, we will board yet another ferry and cross into Turkey.

Our time in Turkey will be spent  first by exploring the Aegean coastline. Once again I'm imagining a somewhat stark contrast between rocky shores and clear blue waters. I'm also imagining kebabs and baklava, but that's beside the point. There should be plenty of beautiful things to see on the slow trip from Ephesus to Istanbul. Once we arrive in Istanbul, the former-art-history-professor in my is going to go wild. I've always had a fascination with Byzantine art, and Istanbul was Byzantium, right? The Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and all sorts of sites are already beckoning me. I believe that old Constantinople will have plenty of tricks up its sleeve to amaze us with, as well as plenty of delicious foods that look like they will keep our bellies full, olfactory glands in overdrive, and have us smelling, tasting, and remembering the end of our honeymoon for the rest of our lives. 

So there it is, the official itinerary that we're going to try and make happen so that after we say "I do" we have about four or six weeks to ourselves, in a place that we've always dreamed of being, to get ready to start the next big phase of our life together. I think this is going to be the perfect way to get our heads cleared out and to hang the big carrot of travel over our minds as we get ready to start new careers in a new place, and hopefully not too long after that a family of our own.

Have you been to any of these places? Have any travel tips? Know any friends with big couches? If so leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!

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At June 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM , Blogger C dub said...

I'm pretty sure 'excitement' cannot fully describe how I feel about this!

At June 26, 2012 at 10:05 AM , Blogger SJ Begonja said...

WOWZERS, this is an amazing adventure.

We'd say take the 6 weeks, no way will 4 weeks be enough to enjoy all of that food and culture.

Let us know where in Croatia you want to go, and we can recommend some places to visit. We don't
have a couch as yet, but if we do when you get there, we'll happily welcome you two.

I can say that many of the places you wish to visit are great choices and you are going to have a fabulous time!

At June 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Charlie Patrick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At June 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM , Blogger Charlie Patrick said...

I think the only places we know are Dubrovnik, Pag, and Privlaka (thanks to your blog!), there's going to be LOTS of reading done over the next month!

At June 26, 2012 at 9:46 PM , Blogger JW said...

Morning, Charlie! I have been to Monaco, Rome - but only the airport, Sorento (the Amalfi Coast), Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Dubrovnik (Croatia), Kotor (Montenegro), Ephesus, and by the time you go - I think - Istanbul. Let' swap some emails about what was great, what was interesting and what you might want to skip. When is this honeymoon to take place?

At June 26, 2012 at 11:58 PM , Blogger Jennifer W. John said...

Looks great. Marseille will be along the way and its a great way to get a feel for cosmopolitan French, southern style. Rome is awesome. I'd recommend spending less time in Athens and more in the islands. You can camp in Santorini. You might consider it for saving dough, but then you're hauling gear. Dawn and Jason went to Dubrovnik, if you need more tips about that.

And get a Eurail pass. If you book your trips right, you can sleep on the train or ferry instead of a night in a hotel.

And don't forget to plan the wedding.


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