|Castle Howard, Yorkshire. I am BUSTING to see this place. Source|
It's been consuming my life for the past three months, as I've studied Lonely Planet guides, trawled countless tourism, airline, railway and review sites and Google-mapped various alternative routes between potential destinations. Exhausting, and also a big part of the reason there's been very little blogging going on. (The acquisition of a PVR earlier this year might have also contributed. All those recorded episodes of Orphan Black, Downton Abbey, Lillyhammer and Love Child aren't going to watch themselves, you know)
But this afternoon I've finally booked our last couple of nights' accommodation, so we're just about done. Well, apart from arranging hire cars and waiting for Renfe to release train tickets to a couple of Spanish destinations. Why on earth you can't book a Spanish train three months out, I don't know...
|The Alhambra, Granada. A grand finish to the Spanish leg of our trip. Source|
So narrowing down our choices has been the most difficult part of the whole exercise. I desperately wanted to visit the Loire Valley in France, but that particular region got crossed off the list early on, because we also needed to be on the other side of the country for some alpine action. *sigh*
Spain is tricky because we didn't want to drive and the trains don't necessarily go directly between cities. We wanted to pop up into the Basque region for a brief taste of pintxos (OK, and maybe some wine). That was easy enough. Getting out of there wasn't so simple. The solution was to stay an extra night, then take an early flight to Madrid. I'm still working on moving us from Seville to Granada, however. Keep your fingers crossed, OK?
|Keswick, The Lakes District: Our first destination in England. Source|
|The magnificent medieval city of Carcassonne - our final stop in France. Source|
Only seventy-seven days to go now. Can you feel the excitement? :D