• James Eric Fristad

Why this picture

Updated: Apr 7

So yeah, why am I looking at a hyper-saturated photo of some village along the coastline of a Greek island?

Well, it's a long story. Everything has changed once again, and (as you'll see if you look) the website with it. Not all places are different, but times are. And implications of weather taste a little saltier, or maybe spicier, in the coming stew of destinations.

I have mentioned that this 2021 November transatlantic voyage on a Holland America ship was in doubt. Not because vaccinated folks and masks and distance between travelin' peeps make us undesirable visitors, but because Europeans will very likely be unable to receive us with any degree of confidence. So once again I have pushed the whole thing back: it is now a generous 350 days before we depart American sod for several weeks' travel.

Substituting, more or less, for HAL's Nieuw Statendam is the Riviera of Oceania Cruises. Nice boat, smaller by a third and with even better meals. To Lisbon over the course of 10 days. I love sea days, and this has only one non-overwater period, somewhere in Bermuda.

From Lisbon it's a flight to Manchester and the Lake District region in Cumbria of UK. Wordsworth and Peter Rabbit, good, good. Rambling walks in hardwood forests, better and even better. There exists a chance (a small flame of hope I keep fanning and puffing towards) that son and daughter-in-law and two granddaughters will join us in the area for some of that time at least. Memories brewing.

There is a direct flight from Manchester to Girona, in the Catalan region of Spain, which we mean to be on. Six days of Michele reaching for Spanish vocabulary of several decades before. Then to Avignon, where I shall do somewhat the same with less-fluid-than-once French, for another six days. A long rail trek to Levanto then for a full week of Italian Riviera sights and foods and wines. Thence to Rome for the same number of days as before (four). Then

Not home. Not just yet. We clamber onto a different HAL ship in Civitavecchia for a week's sailaway to Venice. The Adriatic, pausing here and there to taste scenes, to touch history, to imprint memories. Which, with all the others, I desperately hope to capture on digital medi as both videos and stills. Video editing heaven, here we come.

I think we can afford it, adhering to our usual approach to such wandering, although the 53 or so total days of it look mighty long-term from here.

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