Summer 2017 European Getaway

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Hey, everybody!

It’s been a while since I’ve been on the blog but fear not! I am alive and well, thank you very much.

I hope you are all having a splendid summer vacation so far, and if you’re still stuck in the office, hang in there! Your summer is right around the corner, and I hope you get to bask in summer’s short, but sweet glory very, very soon.

This blog post is the official start of the newest series on lifewithjulia – the Summer 2017 European Getaway. Yes, we’re back in Europe again this summer. Not too hard to guess after all this time. I think this makes it the 5th summer in a row we’ve chosen to spend our precious summer stay in this beloved continent. There’s just so much about Europe – its history, the culture, the food (definitely the biggest reason), the sights, the natural landscapes – that keep bringing us back to it. We can’t stay away; Europe is too irresistible. I hope the many pictures you’ll find in this series will do it justice.

This summer, we’re doing a 12-day cruise in Northern Europe with Azamara Club Cruises.  If you recall, we’re huge fans of Princess Cruises.  We’ve done about 9 cruises with them, and we haven’t really dipped our toes in any of the other cruise lines. So, this was a pretty bold choice for us. It was a completely new cruise line, and prior to this, I’d never actually even heard of Azamara. But they were the only cruise line that offered this specific travel itinerary we were looking for, so it is with Azamara we booked.

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A few months back, I first had the strong desire to do a summer vacation in Iceland. Iceland was a destination on my “to travel” list even a year or two ago. In the recent months, Iceland had really become the vacation ‘hotspot’ and tourists from all over the world were flocking to the country to see what the hype was about. I wanted to be one of them this summer. I had this great image in my head of doing a 2 week trip solely in Iceland, getting to rent a car and driving through the roads of the country. An Icelandic road trip (minus a few Vikings). I imagined it to be the vacation of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, when I got around to searching up hotel availability, all the best hotels were already booked up (no doubt by the flock of very eager tourists) and the hotels that remained were going at crazy prices for just one night. We decided that an Iceland land trip was no longer feasible so the next best thing was to look into cruises that did a few stops in Iceland.

That’s when we found the Azamara Journey and its itinerary. A 12-day vacation on the seas, with an embarkation in Copenhagen, Denmark and a debarkation in Southampton, England. It would stop first in Geiranger, Norway (a port of call we missed out on last year’s cruise to Norway), then head to Lerwick (Shetland Islands), Scotland. After that, it would head over to Iceland and make a stop in Akureyri, and then an overnight stop in Reykjavik. The trip would end with a stop in Torshavn, Faroe Islands. Many sea days (days completely spent on the ship at sea) were scheduled in between, which was my favourite part. Nothing beats a day at sea with absolutely nothing planned, and only the wind and waves (and maybe a drink in hand) to keep you company.

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Geiranger and the two cities in Iceland are what really caught my eye. The others were never high up on my bucket list, but I thought, what was the harm in checking out these smaller European islands?

So, it was official. We’d fly to Copenhagen and stay for one night. It would be our second time in the city (the last time we visited was in 2010) but it’d give us a chance to visit the attractions we had skipped the last time. Then, we’d board the ship, start the journey, and fly straight home from England after debarkation.

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Summer 2017 European Getaway… you’re looking to be special. Keep an eye out for the upcoming blog posts for each port of call, you’re not going to want to miss those!

Happy Summer! I’ll be showing you the modern streets of Copenhagen, Denmark very, very soon!

~Julia

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