What exactly will we be doing and when? Glad you asked!
We will start our trip flying from Chicago to London. We're going to try to stay up all night and through the next day to get our body clocks adjusted. We'll see what these old bodies can do. If I was in my twenties again, I'd say "no problem". But I'm turning 50 while we're in Europe, so . . .
Next day is our trip up to our AirBnB, with a stop in Oxford. I love Oxford. When I lived in England, I made a few trips there with friends (it was about two hours away by bus) and fell in love with that city. But we won't have a ton of time there. I'm hoping to see the Bodleian Library and The Eagle and Child, the pub made famous by it's patrons J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and, I think, Mervyn Peake (I could be wrong on that last one). Then we will wander a bit and then head to the little cottage we're staying at on the north end of the Cotswolds.
Saturday, we road trip to the famous Welsh "booktown" Hay-on-Wye. I'm not bringing any books with me except these:
I am really hoping to focus on my writing while we are away and plan on taking extensive notes on oddities, story ideas, experiences, etc. So I am not taking anything to read. But I am saving some space in my luggage for books that I will surely buy in Hay-on-Wye. I hear from people whose opinions I value that Hay Cinema Bookshop is not to be missed!
Sunday, we go off to Bedford, near where I used to live as a teenager. We'll go to church with my old congregation. Here's to hoping that I'll see some (very) old friends there! Then we will tour The Priory at RAF Chicksands, the haunted priory that my friends and I used to . . . visit . . . late at night . . . through a window . . . often.
Monday will be our actual "tourist" day in the Cotswolds. We have booked the day through Kooky Cotswold Tours and are very excited to tour with them! We shall be seeing Cirencester, Bath, and Bibury as part of that itinerary. Tuesday we will take a self-guided walking tour, also courtesy of Kooky Cotswold Tours. We are very much looking forward to some long walks through the English countryside! Of course, we will take pictures!
Wednesday we have the morning before we need to get to London to catch our next flight. I am hoping we can quickly visit one of the many ancient monuments in the area (barrow mounds, roundhills, standing stones, etc). I've got some advisement on must-see locations, now I just have to pick one or maybe two.
We fly from London to Munich Wednesday afternoon. We will pick up our rental car, a Mercedes convertible (yes, I am very excited about this!), spend the night in Munich, then test the Autobahn the next day. We will need to make our way down to Vienna by that night, but I am hoping to hit some unlimited stretches of the Autobahn on the way down and see just how fast this car can go! I'll have to start out slow, though, as I will have been driving on the wrong side of the road for a week and will need to get my frame of reference back.
Alright, I need to cut this short - things to do. Short story: 1 week in Austria (Vienna and Salzburg): Kunsthistorisches Museum, National Marionette Theater performance of The Magic Flute, The Eagle's Nest, then a day in Munich. See ya!