The ABCs of European Travel

Cruising down rivers and canals from Amsterdam to Budapest had its lovely moments, but the experience paled in comparison to our visit to South Africa and to my own time in Liberia in February. Not that I’m ungrateful for a season so rich in travel opportunities, but I do understand why “Another Bloody Castle” is how many sum up travel to a string of cities in Europe. Among low points: cold rainy weather and head colds when the weather improved, stretches of time on buses instead of on the ship because of water levels and ship damage, too much dependence on buses where we thought we’d be free to come and go on foot. Of course these complaints were put in perspective the night we docked unexpectedly so that a sick passenger could be taken to hospital, along with his wife. They were still in Turin, I believe, when we boarded our plane home on Monday.

European Castle

We bring home good memories, too, though. Meals and conversations enjoyed with a number of Australians on board. Our initial delight at the narrow cobblestone streets lined with old houses. How luxuriously relaxed it was to float along with scenery showing increasing signs of spring passing by. The loveliness of the Rhine Valley vineyards (and yes, castles!) A concert in Vienna. The sight of Budapest at night.

But it’s good to be home – despite the snow and the wind –  reconnecting with family and friends, our neighbourhood and our work.

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on April 8, 2009 at 7:44 am

    It sounds like an exciting trip, despite the pitfalls, but as Glinda the Good Witch taught Dorothy, "There's no place like home."

  2. Kathy Stinson on April 8, 2009 at 9:23 am

    And there's no one in the world quite like a sister!

  3. janlcoates on April 21, 2009 at 6:45 am

    Hi Kathy: I'm with you – my sister is the only one who posted a comment on my blog site! I was waffling on whether to apply for your workshop this year, but chances are I will. I'm expecting to have done all that I can with Jacob by then, but there are always things to work on…Hope you and Peter are well! Jan Coates

  4. Kathy Stinson on April 21, 2009 at 8:00 am

    We are well. Glad Jacob is going well for you.

  5. JackieKU on February 17, 2010 at 10:17 am

    hi friends,

    I am newcome here and , fatiguing to learn some things here.

    Sorry for my bad english i m Belarus


  6. Kathy Stinson on February 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Welcome Jackie. I hope you are finding what you are looking for.

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