Roland and Stephanie's Semimoon
So, what's a "semi-moon"? Using such strange wording, one might thank that I'm referring to a phase of the moon. One might think that I'm talking about the classic Quebecois demi-lune confectionary cakes. Or perhaps that I'm talking about a reconsidered attempt, in-flight, to show someone your posterior.
But no. I'm talking about friends Roland and Stephanie. Specifically, about their wedding and their honeymoon. Originally scheduled for September, the plan was for a wedding and then a semi-outdoorsy honeymoon trip - a trip that they invited some friends to attend.
As it happened, the wedding got moved back to July - but the post-wedding trip stayed put in September. Furthermore, Roland and Stephanie did in fact have honeymoon after their July wedding, albeit a shorter, simpler one. So.... the September trip wasn't really a honeymoon, but it wasn't entirely not a honeymoon either. So, I thought... let's call it a semi-moon.
The semi-moon had some hard anchors in it. The first was a visit to the Cinque Terre - an area of rugged coastline and small cliffside hamlets in northwestern Italy that had been on Stephanie's wishlist. The second was a desire by Roland for family visiting and ancestral touring, in his birth country of Germany.
Between these two, we filled in an arc of activity and locations. Given the fairly outdoorsy predispositions of the participants, a liberal dollop of hiking and mountains were included:
- Walking / hiking between all five communities of the Cinque Terre
- A visit to the city-state of San Marino, including visiting its highpoint
- A two-night stay in Venice
- Five nights hiking and climbing vie ferrate in the Dolomite mountains
- A visit to Salzburg, Austria
- A visit to two medieval cities in Germany: Nuremberg, and Rothenburg
Although Roland and Stephanie had invited a number of close friends - ourselves included - in the end only the four of us (myself, Jenn, Stephanie, Roland) travelled to Europe on this adventure.
On Saturday, September 5, after a last-minute whirlwind of planning, we departed on a direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany.