Paris! Venice! Bologna!

Economist husband and I have decided that we should take full advantage of our proximity to Europe while we’re living in Moscow, and do as much traveling as possible before our family grows or we move farther away (perhaps to the U.S.?)

You’d think that with Italy being only a short 3-4 hour plane ride away from Russia’s capital, airline tickets would be much less expensive than from New York or Chicago, but for some reason they’re not. We’re not sure why this is. Probably something to do with high taxes, corruption, greed, and the difficulty of doing business in Russia keeps budget airlines away.

In any case, a short summer trip to Europe has meant weeks of research and making the rounds of foreign embassies and Russian immigration offices (Shengen entry visa for economist husband and Russian exit visa for myself).

Not that we’re complaining – I kind of like all the researching and build-up. The anticipation adds to the experience, I think. Plus, we’re a good team – I make out the itinerary, and economist husband calculates the cost!

After spending the last few weeks glued to my computer gathering information on tickets, train bookings, hotels, maps and traveler reviews, I think I have our trip pretty well planned out. Here’s what I’m most looking forward to:

1) Seeing Monet’s, Van Gogh’s, Matisse’s, and Cezanne’s at the Musee d’Orsay:

2) Stopping in for a literary lecture at the renowned Shakespeare&Co bookstore (this book shop alone makes me want to move to Paris):

3) Eating:

4) Photographing Gustave Eiffel’s famous tower:

5) Getting lost in Venice:

6) Breakfast in bed (great food and no cooking for 10 days!):

7) Spending 10 whole days wandering the streets of new cities with my favorite person in the world!

(Photographs from the following sources: map, postcard, Shakespeare&Co, cafe, Eiffel Tower, Venice, breakfast, holding hands)

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