Itinerary- Day Three

12 03 2007


There are very few things, if you ask me, that are as exciting as planning a trip. Well, maybe going on the trip is as exciting, but…I love to peruse maps, read books, make notes, research on my computer- so many possibilities to explore, so many adventures to anticipate. At the same time, we don’t like to over-plan; in other words, to attempt to micro-manage every last detail like booking our hotels in advance and reducing the trip to a grocery list of places to go and things to see that one can check off like, well, like a grocery list. We like to leave room for the pleasant surprise, the serendipitous, the unexpected. So, with these thoughts in mind, here then is our itinerary:

First stop: Paris, to meet Marcel and arrange for our transportation on the first leg of the Grand Tour. We will, bien sur, meet him at the Ritz (GPS coordinates:N48.52.0625 E002.19.7538). Next, we’ll take the old Roman road to Arles, France, to check up on Vincent and bring him some much needed painting supplies from Pere Tanguey in Paris. We’ll stay with him in the yellow house for a few days, depending on what kind of mood he’s in. Then we’ll proceed to Siena, Italy (GPS coordinates N38.01.37 E12.43.05), a town that’s said to remain closest to it’s Medieval origins and is therefore of interest to Marcel for it’s architecture and to me for it’s pottery and ceramics. Next stop will be Delphi, Greece, for reasons which will become clear later. Onward through Konya, Turkey, home of the Sufi mystic and poet Jalal al Din Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes, and Catal Hoyuk, to participate in the dig there. In Syria, we’ll visit the ancient city of Mari on the banks of the Euphrates and Aram, the oldest inhabited city in the world. Down through the Levant to the Alexandrian Mouseion in Egypt (GPS coordinates N29.97.7712 E31.13.2604) to learn what we can from the scholars. From Alexandria we’ll take a newly established train line all the way across the top of the African continent to Morocco. In Morocco I hope to learn the art of making tangines and the foods one can make inside them. On to Spain, to visit the Alhambra and take the St. James of Campostela pilgrimage in reverse, then back to Paris. We plan to follow the dictates of previous Grand Tourists, who would “…return with crates of art books, pictures, sculptures, etc..” and the dictates of our hearts, meaning we plan to buy things that will have an essence of the place in them that speaks to us. Some items will be for inclusion in the Riversleigh Mouseion, some will be for gifts, some Marcel will keep, and some will reside with us.

The day for departure nears, the pile of luggage grows, the goodbyes are being said. Be with us on our journey, and we’ll share as much as is possible of what we learn and experience. Bon voyage!




One response

12 04 2007

Just a simple plan on the back of an envelope then! You’ve mapped out one heck of a journey – have fun!

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