View Europe 2014 on Melbinman's travel map.
Coming as we have to the end of our travels, it is appropriate to make a few observations:
1. European travel with young kids (especially girls) does present its challenges! It is pointless dragging them around galleries and museums (or churches!) at their age and they are generally content to have a quick look at the facade of historical monuments (such as the duomos in Milan and Florence) before making a beeline for the nearest souvenir shop or gelati bar. A little frustrating for culture vultures like B and I but we have 'been there, done that' with the Uffizi etc. Hopefully we have whetted their cultural appetites a little in advance of future journeys
2. If I ever have to eat another pizza, it will be too soon (even though they were, on the whole, delicious)!
3. It is a little weird that kids are content to sit down and watch cartoons and American pre-teen sitcoms (eg Austin & Ally) despite them being (badly) dubbed into French or Italian. Clearly such shows can cross any language barrier!
4. Lastly, I confess to being a bit of a bossy boots when it came to getting everyone from one place to another, to the extent that the gals sarcastically dubbed me 'the Tour Guide'. I probably have to apologise to my family for my 'irrational exuberance' on the days we were in transit. All I can say in my own defence is that, to paraphrase what people said about Mussolini, I may have been a dictator, but at least I got us to the trains on time! Even if, on one occasion (in Como) I turned up at the wrong train station!
5. As much as we had a fantastic time, it was great to be back sleeping in our own beds again. And Samson our Labrador was ecstatic to see us! Heres a photo of him with Allira (thanks for dog sitting!) and the girls.
I've enjoyed writing this blog and I hope others have enjoyed keeping up with our travels. So until our next trip, I'm signing off.