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Biking to the International Border

The  names of the towns on our bike ride in June evoke Minnesota’s northwoods and its pine forests spreading to the horizons: Blackduck, Big Falls, Deer River, International Falls, Kabetogama and  more. Add the wildness of its streams and its settler history. Register Here

There is something unambiguous and instantly revealing  about those place names. They roll off the tongue with an easy identification that tells you exactly what this part the world is all about. It invites the wanderer and the explorer in us– and the bike rider.

To the woods and water and the logging era add one more slice of geography: The mining country that enriched northern Minnesota for more than a century, and still does. And from there on to the Canadian border.

So let’s go, “Riding to the Border.” You’re invited to this 37th annual Jaunt With Jim, a bike ride that happily ignores generational gaps and last year was honored by the Adventure Cycling Association of America with its Pacesetter Award for bringing the gifts of the Minnesota and Midwest countryside to thousands men and women and nurturing the lasting friendships of their biking community.

The dates are June 10 to June 17, beginning with an overnight pre-ride campout on June 10 in the town of Blackduck.  There was a time when this ride, back in the 1970s, was advertised in its Neanderthal years as “500 miles in 5 Days.” Within a few years the gentle wisdom of sanity intervened. We settled into the more civilized daily distances that now average somewhere close to 50 miles, sometimes a few miles more, often less, with optional routes available to the lion hearts who demand something a little longer.

This we can happily provide. But basically the ride is a reunion of the clans, always  with a standing invitation to new faces and new appetites. We camp in the towns where we overnight, often at a school campus or city park.  We like to engage with the townspeople and almost invariably find that the feeling is mutual. To shuttle your duffel bag containing your tent and traveling gear we retain a truck and trailer driven by the over-the-road legend, John Witt. And to meet any maintenance need for your bicycle the Penn Cycle people (read Pat Rivers) have been  doing this professionally for us for years and will again. We normally use bike trails where available but this year, you’ll be riding through a remote countryside on quiet roads (but PAVED),  perhaps as close as we will come to experiencing a genuine Minnesota wildwood. You will find it flecked here and there by little bridges and town halls that lift you back into another time and pace.

You’ll see some of this on our first day from Blackduck to Deer River, and again the next day riding through white pine and Norways, dappled with  cottages flanked by a small lake, and a few miles down the road a country gas station and café emerging from the woods. Then for one overnight interlude you can immerse yourself in Minnesota’s mining history (and revival) in the town of Nashwauk on the edge of the great Mesabi Range that fed the steel mills of America’s expansion for more than a century.

You’ll ride northward  through a dense forest  congenial to small wildlife—and to  passing bicyclists. We’ll lunch in a country sports bar familiar with our folks from a few years ago and then overnight in the town of Cook, not far from the shorelines of one of them most admired of all northern Minnesota vacation sites, Lake Vermilion.

One day’s ride from there we’re at the Canadian border and two nights in International Falls on the American side of the Rainy River. We’ll camp in the Paul Bunyan city park from where you’re free to explore this fascinating lumber town as well as Fort Frances in Ontario across the bridge. On your free day you’re also invited to an excursion on the waters of Rainy Lake in Voyageurs National Park. It’s a rewarding cruise that gives  you an appreciation of the breadth and diversity of the country we’re traveling through and introduces you to an island where they once found gold in—of all places—northern Minnesota.

If you’re  considering a couple of hours in Canada, please be sure to bring your passport, which is now required of American citizens traveling to Canada. That extra day, in short, is basically a refresher, a stroller’s day, one that still allows you time to stake out a few tables in the park and party with your pals. In fact, you can do all of that.

This doesn’t mean  you are spared the basic requirement of getting up at a reasonable hour in the  morning. Traditionally this is always a kind of growling ceremony tastefully reinforced by The  Conductor’s whistle inviting you to enjoy the gifts of the rising sun. The ensuing insults to the whistle blower clearly should be in good taste—and occasionally are.

From International Falls we’ll ride south past Littlefork through a broad and lonely moor that would have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle but not many housing developers. Yet it is fascinating in its pure remoteness and then pleasantly relieved by the swishing whitewater of the Big Falls rapids, where we’ll lunch before again riding through seldom traveled woodland that takes us to the vintage logging days hamlet  of Effie, and from there Bigfork for a final night out before the return to Blackduck..

The registration form on this page is your invitation to the ride. The cost of the bike ride services is $180 for the seven days. Meals on the ride are extra but often prepared by local organizations and offered economically to our group. We like to take many of  our meals together, meaning quality food at reasonable price and a chance to trade the usual amazements from the road. Experience of the last few years tells us that 150 or so is the maximum number that can comfortably be handled by the communities and our providers. For this reason to assure yourself a place on the ride it’s probably  wise to make your reservation early. Information on the pre-ride campsite in Blackduck and duffle ID tags will be mailed to you well ahead of the trip.

Register Here

Mail your registration checks of $180 per person to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, P.O. Box 47063, Plymouth MN 55447. We (I) understand that Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures cannot be held responsible for injuries or illness incurred on the trip. If you wish to join the Rainy Lake cruise include in the mailing a separate check for $20 made out to Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Be sure to include the form below with your mailing.

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2010 Bike Ride

In June, We’ll Set Our Watches Back 100 Years; And Bike Along Storybook Streams

If you’ve traveled in the remotest part of Switzerland, the Engadine, a bike ride in southeastern Minnesota’s bluff country will stir instant recall. They are places alike, both inviting but out of the mainstream, seemingly fixed in another time, resisting the allure and tensions of change.

In the bluffs the traveler will hear the quirky moans of the forests of the high slopes, stirred by the wind. Not far from the trail or road is a stream, swishing and bubbling and marginally frolicsome but in no special hurry. In towns like Rushford, Harmony and Fountain, life slows down or sometimes backs up a little Out on the farm flanking the road a team of horses works a field. It might have been the opening scene of an old Henry Fonda film, but the man with a broad hat and beard, guiding the horses, is an Amish farmer. You may see him again, riding his horse-drawn buggy into the town of Harmony, near limestone caves that you can still explore, not far from the Iowa border but very far from the hot-breath tempos and the glass obelisks of the metropolis. So for a week, June 11 to 18, you’re invited to step back and travel in a part of Minnesota where long ago time ceased being tyrannical; and when you get up in the morning, ready
for the day, you can hear the silence broken by the sounds of egrets overhead.

This will be the 36th Jaunt With Jim, which annually brings together some 150 cyclists for what has become a reunion as much as a bike ride but retains its annual nvitation to any of the curious who would like to join us.

The Gift of Silence

There are not many stop signs on the roads in the southeastern Minnesota bluffs. This is a part of the world that seems comfortable with itself and with the hidden glens of its hills above the Mississippi River. It wears its age gracefully, its old mills and occasional ghost towns and the apple orchards that are part of its commerce. Add the palisades above the town of Lanesboro. Add the widening Mississippi at La Crescent and Winona, evoking the blend of today with the times of the pioneers. These are the river towns that preserve the relaxed tenor of the past without trying to keep it private

Since we have bicycled in the bluff country before, why return? The better question might be, why not?

The civilized way to bike the bluff country is to travel on the widely admired bike paths of the Root River trail where they are available, which means 80 per cent of the time on our route. The original trail and its expanded links weave together the towns of Fountain, Preston, Harmony, Peterson, Lanesboro, Houston and Rushford. We’ll visit all of them and overnight in Harmony, Houston and Rushford in addition to the apple orchard haven of LaCrescent and the college and art center of Winona, two of the jewels of the Mississippi River directly beneath the highest of the bluffs.

Most of the riding is in the valleys at the base of the bluffs. There’s a day out of La Crescent when the route moves up for a few miles to a spectacular overlook above the Mississippi where you’ll stop for refreshments to enjoy the airiness and the woods

and the meadows; and take all the time you want on the way to Winona. We camp overnight in community parks or school grounds, take many of our meals together, bring duffelbags for transport of our equipment from camp to camp, and set one day aside as a kind of R&R recess. But on that day we also also offer one or two optional events open to all.

The registration price covers the cost of the duffelbag shuttle service and the Penn Cycle maintenance van, ably handled by Pat Rivers and John Witt, the use of public grounds and services, the annual T-shirt and incidental services connected with the ride. The cost of this year’s ride is the same as last year, $170. A registration form is provided in this newsletter.

Add an Early Evening River Cruise and Pizza Party

The daily distances are basically humane. In deference to the younger riders, who occasionally have to woof and strain to stay within range of the septugenarians, we’re averaging 45 miles or so a day, with optional extra miles to satisfy the inexhaustible. Most of the people who enjoy group bike rides are by nature sociable and vocal folk whose wry gifts for assessing a day on the road are most easily stirred by an off-hours boat ride. So we will have a boat ride on our second day in LaCrescent, June 15, when we have chartered a modern river boat for a supper cruise on the Mississippi featuring an all-you-want pizza party. The total charge for the boat experience, covering cruise, transport across the river to and from the dockside in LaCrosse, WI, plus pizza and beverages including some temperate quaffing of beer, is $25.

The registration form provided here covers the cost of the bike ride services, $170. For the river cruise the charter service prefers that all who are interested in the ride make their payments to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, to be consolidated into one payment from JKA to the charter company. So if you are interested in the cruise, include a check for $25 in addition to the check for $170 for the ride, both made out Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures. Meals on the ride are extra, but are often prepared economically by civic or church groups.

All are welcome. But largely in the interest of The Conductor’s sanity, it’s strongly suggested that you mail your payment(s) sooner than later. We had some disappointed people last year because 150 is about the limit of what is practical on our bike ride, and there may also be some limit in the number that can be accommodated on the
river cruise.

We’ll gather in the late afternoon and evening of June 11, a Friday, at the high school in Chatfield MN southeast of Rochester. For your cars there will be ample parking for the week in the high school parking lot and plenty of room to tent in grassed campus nearby. We’ll have breakfast at the school June 12 and after 15 miles or so join the bike trail at Fountain and spend our first night on the trail at Harmony. From there our stops will be Houston June 13, LaCrescent June 14 and 15, Winona at Winona State University June 16, Rushford June 17 and return to Chatfield June 18.

Instructions on how to reach the school in Chatfield, together with ID markers for the duffel bags will be mailed to all registrants well in advance of June 11. Day to day itineraries and T-shirts will be provided before breakfast at the school.

In packing those bags, please have mercy on John Witt, the driver who loads them. This is a bike ride, not an expedition to K2. At Harmony you’ll have the option, at nominal cost, of exploring Niagara Cave, a major attraction of southeastern Minnesota two miles west of Harmony, our first overnight on the trail.


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2010 Spain in Autumn

Spain in Autumn—A Traveler’s Feast: Barcelona, The Sea, Flamenco and Granada 

Spanish Dancers

When you’re touring Spain, it helps to be an unapologetic romanticist. So it follows that the most lyrical introduction to this country of irresistible landscapes and the timeless broth of its cultures is to listen to the voice of Placido Domingo, celebrating the allure of a city engraved in Spain’s history:

“Granada, land of my dreams, mine becomes a gypsy song when I sing to you…”

We are probably not going to mingle with gypsies when we travel from Madrid to Granada on our tour of Spain from Oct. 3 to 14 this year. We are going to see Granada’s Alhambra, which for hundreds of years has been a centerpiece of the Spanish experience.

You begin with the admission that you are not going to see all of Spain in two weeks, nor would you in two years. What you can see and feel is the sweep of 2,000 years of history in the grace of the Alhambra, Barcelona’s cathedrals and striking modern architecture, the antiquity of Toledo, the outdoor markets of Valencia, the surf of the great Mediterranean shorelines of Costa del Sol and the near-desert beaches of the Cabo de Gato.You can visit the places that bred the genius of Picasso, Dali and Miro, Segovia, Sarasate, Ibanez and the Cervantes of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza; and at night gape at the electrifying skills of the flamenco dancer. You can walk down the main business street of Barcelona and wage an internal struggle to remind yourself that you can’t walk past ALL of the shops because you are not going to come this way very often. And then you walk to the vast esplanade that opens to the Barcelona harbor, surmounted by a towering monument to Christopher Columbus. Seeing it, you tardily make the connection—between the history of Columbus’ world of 500 years ago, and ours of today.

The Alhambra, Picasso and the Harbor of Barcelona
You’re invited. The airfare by Delta, Minneapolis-St. Paul to Madrid, returning via Barcelona, is currently $1,100. Some choose to use frequent flyer miles, which reduces the overall cost by almost a third. The land costs, including the use of a private bus and city guides, hotel accommodations, all breakfasts and five dinners, will be $3,350. This per person cost is based on 10 participants and two-to-a-room occupancy. Please indicate if you want a single room and we will advise you of the additional cost. Also indicate if you wish to share accommodations and would like to be paired with another single traveler.A deposit of $750, payable by May 30, is required to assure space on the trip. All bookings are being handled by Suzanne Zapolski, a longtime partner of Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures in the organization of overseas travel. Checks should be made out to Borton Overseas Travel, 5412 Lyndale Ave.S., Minneapolis 55419, marked attention Suzanne.
Jim will be the tour escort. Suzanne will be able to assist you in flight arrangements, travel insurance, additional hotel bookings and in planning potential trip extensions.Suzanne can be reached at 612-661-4624 direct, or (cell) (612) 644-6404 or (800) 843- 0602. Fax (612) 822-4755. email suzanne@bortonoverseas.com. Jim is at (763) 258-1371 and jim@jimklobuchar.com.

Here is my (our) registration deposit of $750 for Spain in Autumn with Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures Oct. 3-14 in 2010, due by May 30. I (we) understand Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures and Borton Overseas cannot be held responsible for illness or injuries incurred during the trip. Because the deposit is non refundable, purchasing trip insurance is recommended.

We’ll be traveling in early autumn, an ideal time because the temperatures are moderate, the height of the touring season is past and the skies as you may have heard are gloriously sunny. And there are times when that marvelous oceanfront of the Costa del Sol is practically private for great stretches of the road.We’ll fly to Madrid and spend two nights there, embracing the color and spectacle of the animated street life in the heart of the city. There the antiquity of the centuries and museums co-exist without clashing with the 21st Century’s bustle and futuristic architecture, not far from the bull rings and the street singers. You’re never far from the music of Spain, or music of any description. It is a city remindful of the power struggles that grew out of Europe’s Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. But its vast and immaculately-kept parks and cypresses present a stroller’s paradise.And yet that unique amalgam of passion, art, struggle and grace that seem to define Spain for the traveler as well as the historian are dramatically just ahead. From Madrid we travel little more than an hour south to Toledo, where the Gothic towers of The Cathedral leap above the cobbled streets. It’s where El Greco painted his masterworks and where some 1,500 years ago Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together more or less amicably in what we now call the Dark Ages, until the religious wars convulsed this part of Europe. It is the city of the famed fortress Alcazar, of shops, museums, homes, churches and restaurants with international menus jammed into a architectural potpourri that defies order. But it vividly reflects the ages of its history.

And after we spend the night in the town of Ebeda we travel south toward the snow-ridges of the Sierra Nevada mountains to Granada, where centuries ago the Moors built a fortress and palace and spectacular gardens. They called it The Alhambra, where you need almost a full day to draw some conception of the immensity and nobility of it, and above all its timeless loveliness.

Where the Gladiators Fought
We’ll tour in a comfortable private bus that allows us plenty of time to admire the seaside beyond Granada, stopping where it makes sense and heading toward our overnight in the city of Nerja near spectacular caves. From there it’s on to Valencia, the site of a huge and celebrated open market (they grow a lot more than oranges in Valencia’s environs). As much as any other sizeable city in Spain, Valencia presents a striking contrast of ancient Spain with modernity. It’s a place of robust business, but also a place to explore at leisure. We’ll spend a night there and then head back toward the sea for Tarragona and its stunning harbor. Here once more is the imprint of the Romans amid the ruins of the chariot stadium, the Circ Romans and the Amphitheater, where gladiators fought. You’ll find little fighting, however, on the somewhat naughty beach of Sitges.And from there we spend three climactic days in one of the great cities of the world, Barcelona. Millions met Barcelona for the first time in its memorable presentation of the Olympic Games in 1992. Yet older generations will remember Barcelona’s brave resistance during the Spanish Civil War, won eventually by the Fascist leader Francisco Franco. But the country eventually cast off the dictatorship, and in the years since, Barcelona has emerged as a magnet in international travel. It’s an energetic and creative player in world trade and business, embracing modernism in architecture and the arts, but hardly shy about preserving its Catalan heritage. Our three nights in Barcelona, culminating in a farewell dinner, will give us ample time to follow our own interests. There is no better way to explore Barcelona than to walk down the city’s main drag of La Rambla toward the spruced-up waterfront, window shopping, snacking, mixing with the shopkeepers, sipping, gawking and having a bundle of fun.Day by Day in Spain

Oct. 3 Depart USA.

Oct. 4 Arrive Madrid 9:35 a.m. Transfer to hotel. Afternoon city tour. Welcome Tapas Dinner. Overnight Madrid (D).

Oct. 5 Day at Leisure in Madrid. Overnight Madrid. (B).

Oct. 6 Drive to Toledo by motorcoach for city tour. Continue to town of Ubeda for overnight.(B,D).

Oct. 7 Drive to Granada for tour of Alhambra and Gerenalife Gardens. Overnight Granada (B).

Oct. 8 After breakfast depart to town of Nerja and it’s remarkable cave complex near Malaga. Overnight in Nerja. (B).

Oct. 9 Drive along seacoast to Valencia along renowned Costa del Sol Overnight Valencia. (B,D).

Oct. 10 After a morning tour of Valencia, drive to seacoast city of Tarragona. Overnight Tarragona. (B,D),

Oct. 11 Tour of Tarragona and Sitges with lunch in Sitges. Drive to Barcelona for overnight.(B,L).

Oct. 12 Morning city tour of Barcelona. Overnight Barcelona (B).

Oct. 13 Barcelona at leisure (B,D). Farewell dinner.. Overnight Barcelona.

Oct. 14 Depart Barcelona at 11:20 a.m. Adios,Espana,Gracias.

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2010 Istanbul & Greece

Discover the Magic of Istanbul & the Greece of Athens and Santorini

Blue Mosque

If you are entranced by the tales of Scheherazade and sagas of Homer and Helen of Troy—and if you have imagined yourself sitting at an outdoor café in spring on the island of Santorini high above the sapphire sweep of the Aegean Sea—you should mark the dates of this invitation for April 17 to April 28 of 2010.

Join us for a tour of the great intercultural crossroads of Istanbul, and the Athens of both ancient and modern Greece; the islands of Crete and Santorini, a cruise in the Saronic Gulf and nights beside the surf of the Aegean.

When you travel this part of the world you find your sense of time shifting effortlessly between life in the 21st century and antiquity, between the mythic and the real, because in the Eastern Mediterranean they blend uncannily. Scheherazade was poetic. Istanbul of the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque are real, and so are the East Meets West atmospherics of this great metropolis.

And not far from there are the Athens and Parthenon, and the Agora where Socrates taught. From Athens it’s an hour to the alluring ocean fronts and mysteries of the Mediterranean island of Crete.

And then Santorini, the jewel of the Aegean, and the site of a vast volcanic explosion 3,000 years ago that gave rise to the legend of the Sunken Continent of Atlantis.

So it’s no wonder travelers experiencing this part of the world bring a wide mix of curiosities. The reality they find is the legacy of two extraordinary civilizations that in their expansion and quest for power spread art and learning along with conflict. The Ottomans of Turkey receded centuries ago but the country is a treasure of discovery for the westerner. What we know about Greece is that it was a fountainhead of science, medicine, drama and democracy. The evidence and history are still there in Athens, as are the surviving splendors of its art and architecture.

For the romanticist stirred both by ancient literature and mythology, these ten days in the Mediterranean of Greece and Turkey fill the senses daily from the Straits of Bosporus to the heights above of the great blue caldera of Santorini.

The land cost of this tour will be $3,350 per person, double occupancy. Arrangements can be made for those traveling single. It includes the service of an English-speaking guide, air conditioned bus, all meals as per itinerary, air costs from Istanbul to Athens and from Athens to Crete, an all-day cruise in the Saronic Gulf and a cruise on the Aegean from Crete to Santorini. Because of changing fare conditions and airline policies, early commitments are a wise and significant part of international travel. Travelers increasingly are making use of frequent flyer mileage to cover airline costs. Where that option is available we urge you to make use of it on this tour. For those wishing to purchase airfare, Northwest/KLM currently has a consolidator fare of $1,030 per person. In all cases we urge you to consult with Suzanne Zapolski at 612 661 4624, toll free at 1-800 843-0606 or cell 612 644 6404. Suzanne is associated with the Borton Overseas agency in Minneapolis and is familiar to hundreds of members of Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures as a quality booking agent. She can advise you on your frequent flyer plans as well as current ticketing options. We strongly suggest that you contact her soon to take advantage of current rates as well as prospective ones.
The deadline for the initial deposit of $750 to secure a place on the trip is Nov. 20 of this year with final payment by March 15, 2010. If you have questions, please contact Suzanne Zapolski by phone or Suzanne@Bortonoverseas.com. or Jim Klobuchar at 763-258-1371 or jim@jimklobuchar.com. You can make your check payable to Borton Overseas at 5412 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis 55419, Attention Suzanne, or contact Suzanne for a credit card deposit.

For the traveler drawn to the architectural treasures of antiquity, there are few sights to equal twilight over the spires and domes of the Blue Mosque and Sophia Basilica in Istanbul or the preserved elegance of ancient Greece evoked by the Parthenon and the amphitheaters in Athens. It’s a part of the world hard to resist at any time of the year but in the spring the Aegean is glorious and Athens and Istanbul, both the historic and the modern, are still easily accessible without competition from the summer throngs.

If you’re fascinated by the turbulent history of this part of the world, Istanbul is the perfect start. Here is the hinge of Europe and Asia, their land masses symbolically linked (but still separate) in the form of a bridge over the Bosporus, one of the longest suspension spans in the world. This is the onetime stronghold of the Ottomans, who hundreds of years ago spread their empire from Asia Minor to North Africa, Spain, the Balkans and southeastern Europe. It was an era reflected by the elegant Topkapi Palace once ruled by sultans who were then among the most powerful and certainly most acquisitive rulers on earth, judged by the congestion of their harems.

Here is my (our) registration deposit of $750 for Springtime in the Mediterranean with Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures April 17-28 in 2010, due by Nov. 20.

Today the jeweled opulence remains along with the courtyards, but the harems have disappeared into the librettos of operas and James Bond movies. It is still very much Istanbul, a huge polylingual city touched—like Cairo—with an atmosphere of intrigue and mystery that is not imaginary. There is profuse international commerce and politics here. There is also a lot of fun, in the coffee houses and the shops, in the discovery of genuine Turkish cuisine, and in the Grand Market of nearly 4,000 (that is correct) shops under roof. There the merchants compete and customers haggle, stroll and banter with the shopkeepers, and the goods are incredibly diverse and often high quality.

Athens, of course, is much more than the locale of Aristotle’s Greece. It’s bouzouki music and impetuous cab drivers, gyros you can’t imagine and the shops, arcades and hawkers, cafes and the indestructibly live music of the Plaka district.

Here is the daily itinerary for those flying Northwest-KLM. Frequent Flyers will have the identical land itinerary.

April 17—Depart Minneapolis NW 565 p.m., arrive in Amsterdam 8:15 a.m. April 18.

April 18—Depart Amsterdam KLM 1613 at 9:25 a.m. and arrive Istanbul 1:45 p.m. Transfer to our Celal Aga Konagi Hotel for welcome dinner at Karavansary night club. (D)

April 19— Half day tour of Istanbul Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace Museum. (B, L)

April 20—Half day tour of Istanbul: Grand Bazaar, cruise in Straits of Bosporus. (B, D)

April 21—10:30 a.m. flight to Athens and transfer to Herodion Hotel. Afternoon tour of Athens including Parthenon on the Acropolis. (B, D)

April 22—Cruise in the Saronic Gulf with time ashore on the islands. Overnight Herodion. (B, L)

April 23—Flight to Crete, transfer to Rinela Beach Hotel. (B)

April 24—Day at leisure on Crete with options. Overnight Rinela Beach Hotel. (B)

April 25—Transfer to Heraklion harbor for cruise to Santorini. Transfer to Astir Thira Hotel. Explore Santorini. (B)

April 26—Day at leisure on Santorini with options. Overnight Astir Thira. (B)

April 27—Flight to Athens, also covered in land costs. Farewell dinner. Overnight Herodion Hotel. (B, D)

April 28—Transfer to airport for early departure of KLM 1572 at 5 a.m., arriving Amsterdam 7:30 a.m., transfer to NW41 leaving Amsterdam at 10:20 a.m. arriving Minneapolis 12:20 p.m.

Bring cameras, swim suits, suntan lotion and be primed to be amazed.

Cordially
Jim Klobuchar

The Voyagurs were robust and impetuous French fur traders who paddled their canoes, sang their songs and left their mark on the history of what are now Canada and northern Minnesota.

We’re going to bike this June through the land and among the waters where those rollicking Frenchmen roamed, places whose names now evoke their passage and their explorations—Grand Marais, Pigeon River, Grand Portage and more.

The format of this 35th annual Jaunt With Jim will be altered somewhat this year because of special opportunities available to us to enjoy the lake country as modern Voyageurs, except that these will travel with short pants and water bottles.

The dates are June 12-19. We’ll begin by biking along the most absorbing of all of the seascapes of the North Shore drive of Lake Superior, from Tofte to the Canadian Border. We’ll camp for three different nights in Grand Marais, and then ride the Gunflint highway into the interior of the Boundary Waters Canoe country of the Superior National Forest. There we’ll spend two nights at the renowned Gunflint Lodge on the shore of Gunflint Lake, part of the original route of the Voyageurs.

To do this we’ve made arrangements with the management of the Gunflint Lodge to reserve virtually all units of the lodge for our use under special discount rates. These include 22 of its immaculate and tastefully furnished lakeside cottages, offering from one to four bedrooms that can accommodate from to 2 to 12 people. Also available to us are bunk houses normally used by canoeing parties in the Boundary Waters but for June 16th and 17th also offered to our group.

The Gunflint segment of the ride departs for two nights from our customary practice of camping overnight in city parks or on the school campus of communities en route. We will be tenting the rest of the trip, for three nights in Grand Marais, one in Tofte and the other in Grand Portage near the Canadian border.

Tenting by a group our size is not available at the Gunflint Lodge or any similar facility on the Gunflint Trail. We certainly want all who have biked with us through the years—plus newcomers —to share in this experience. In order to do it fairly and to allow you choices, options for our stay at the Gunflint will be provided in the registration form below.

This is the route: June 12, pre-ride tent camp at the Birch Grove school on the south edge of Tofte, a 5 to 6 hour drive from the Twin Cities. We’ll park our cars there. Parking information will be provided later to all who register. June 13—Ride to Temperance River Gorge then to Grand Marais. June 14—to Grand Portage near the Canadian Border. June 15—Ride back to Grand Marais. June 16—Down the Gunflint Highway to Gunflint Lodge. June 17—Gunflint Lodge—canoe, hiking tours, biking to end of Gunflint Trail. June 18– Return to Grand Marais. June 19—Ride to Tofte.

The distances between overnights this year are shorter than the average of previous rides and generally will be around 40 miles, the Gunflint Trail ride being closer to 50. In each case we’ll recommend scenic extensions of up to 15 and 20 miles. These will obviously be devoured easily by the high energy stars of our group. The North Shore is always lovely but the ride from Grand Marais to Grand Portage is spectacular. The Conductor believes the nearby casino at Grand Portage will present scant temptation to the few casual gamesters in our number. As a bonus: When you’re riding beneath the forested cliffs of the great Lake Superior headland, the lupine season will be in full glow, spreading the hills with purple, white and vermilion.

In the arithmetic that follows here, please remember that the five meals included at the Gunflint Lodge are equivalent to the cost of the catered meals normally provided by civic and service groups on our ride. Registration for the ride will be $165, which covers services of the duffel bag shuttle truck, the Penn Cycle maintenance van and other services we receive in the communities and schools.. The traditional t-shirts will be distributed the morning of the first day along a detailed daily itinerary.

Camping is not feasible on the Gunflint premises. The total cost of two overnights in the communal bunk houses at the Gunflint Lodge is $15 per person. Nearby showers will be available. The per person cost of the lakeside lodge accommodations will be $25 a night, $50 total, a huge reduction from the lodge’s normal summer prices. The cost of five meals at the lodge will be $37. This means the total cost for your two-day stay at the Gunflint Lodge, with de luxe cottages and all meals plus free access to its fleet of canoes, will be $87 per person, tax included. If you prefer a bunk with meals and all the other services included, the cost will be $52.

We want these choices to be offered fairly in a way that will help you to arrange for lodge partners if you choose. In all of the cottages, individual privacy is assured. All of the multiple units have at least two bathrooms with showers and, in some cases, Jacuzzis. The lodge offers eight cottages with one bedroom each. All have one king bed that can accommodate a single or a couple. For understandable reasons, couples will be given preference, but there is ample space in the rest of the cottage to accommodate singles. The lodge has four cottages with two bedrooms that can accommodate four to eight people. From there it has cottages with from two to four bedrooms that can accommodate from six to 12 people. Your registration form includes the usual contact information plus space to indicate your lodging preference–cottage or bunk. It will also ask you to indicate whether you wish to share a cottage with friends and to identify them so that we can align as many people as possible with their friends. Please recognize that there may be a surplus of that type of reservation. If decisions have to be made in that regard, the postmark of your registration will be governing. If consultations by email or phone make sense, we’ll do our best to accommodate you. The lodge management will not be involved in the allocation of rooms. But there should be enough space to accommodate all of you who choose a cottage. We also should have some flexibility once we’re into the ride.

Your registration should include a check for $165 made out to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, and a check for either $87 to Gunflint Lodge, or $52 to Gunflint Lodge, for lodging and meals, depending on which of the lodging options you choose. The bunk accommodations are simple but comfortable and close to the center of lodge activity.

We’ll be arriving at the lodge by early to mid afternoon on June 16, a Tuesday. The lodge’s canoes are available to all riders free of charge during our stay. The next day is completely open. One of the prime options is a guided canoe trip with two manageable portages to Ham Lake, and a lakeside lunch. If you haven’t experienced a portaged canoe trip in the lake country, this one’s perfect as a starter. An option is a guided nature hike to the heights above the lake. Another is a bike ride to the end of the Gunflint some 15 miles away. Or you can simply enjoy the lodge ambience and it’s the lakefront.

We’re going to be camping three separate nights on the campus of the Cook County high school above Lake Superior, and have our breakfasts there. Because of relatively early arrivals, we’ll have plenty of time to explore this historic town where the Voyageurs once traveled, and to dine in some of its numerous and sociable lakeside cafes. The ride from there to Grand Portage will give you an opportunity to spend time at the site where the great nine-mile portage began for the Voyageurs on their journey up the Pigeon River. En route we’ll pass the storied Naniboujou Lodge beside the great sweep of Lake Superior, where gangland figures from Chicago of the 1930s were said to have dodged the FBI as well as the IRS.

Our only pursuers are the gulls of Lake Superior


Here is my (our) registration for the 35th Jaunt With Jim bike ride, “Echoes of the Voyageurs.” Enclosed are checks of $165 to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures and $87 or $52 to Gunflint Lodge for accommodations and meals June 16 and 17. I (we) prefer cottage or bunk (circle one) accommodations. (If cottage, indicate whether you prefer to share the accommodation with friends, and list their names. Mail to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, P.O Box 47063, Plymouth MN 55447.

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2010 The Himalayas

Everest Base or the Allure of Waterfalls and Junipers.

Himalayas in April

These are the Himalayas in April: For two days you walk through gorgeous forests of rhododendron trees and junipers and cross bridges over whitewater streams that pour out of mountain glaciers four miles in the sky. The views suddenly open and you will come to villages like the one called Phortse. There the tree line recedes and, seemingly in defiance of all known natural law, the sky erupts with stunning snow summits materializing out of the clouds thousands of feet above you.

In this little settlement of Phortse you will find a small K-through 8 school, potato patches tilled by the villagers and a snug travelers lodge built by a Sherpa trekking guide named Lhakpa. He will greet you warmly and modestly, apologizing for his limited English. Lhakpa’s face summarizes the faces of humanity, bronzed and seamed by the Himalayan winds and sun in more than 25 years of carrying loads beyond 27,000 feet on the great ridges of Everest. One of his sons, Dhorje, has stood on Everest’s summit at least thirteen times and it may we more by now because we haven’t seen him for more than a year.

Lhakpa, Jim and Gyaltsen

Lhakpa, Jim and Gyaltsen

These are the kind of Himalayan guides and companions with whom we will travel when we go to Nepal and the Himalayas April 15 through May 5 in 2011. Dorje may be off on another Everest climb. But Lhakpa, his longtime partner Gyaltsen and their friends will trek with us. It’s important to understand that Himalayan trekking is simply a form of hiking. It is not mountain climbing in the technical sense. Here we travel basically on broad trails, carrying light packs, led by our Sherpa friends and companions. The heavier loads have gone ahead. What sets this tour apart from our earlier travels in the Nepalese Himalayas? This time you’ll have choices that reflect your preference of the ideal approach to the Himalayan experience, one well within both your aspirations and capabilities.

The historic base camp of Mt.Everest, from which Ed Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first reached the summit, is available to you on this trek. From the 17,600-foot base camp you can look up at the world’s most famous climbing route, from the eerie Khumbu Icefall and beyond to the Western Cwm, the Lhotse Face, the South Col and then the summit ridge. Or if not base camp, from the high village of Gorek Shep you can move up to the promontory of Kalapatar at 18,000 feet, from where you have a sensational head-on view of Everest soaring to more than 29,000 feet, the highest mountain on earth.

Options That Make Sense

But this trip, the 18th in the Himalayas organized by Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, is not confined to those who want to travel to base camp or an overlook close to it. For those who prize the Himalayan experience for what it is– an odyssey into another world and time, a pilgrimage as much a journey—you can choose destinations well short of the somewhat more taxing base camp. If you do so, you can still travel deep into the Himalayas with day hikes to and from Namche Bazaar, Kunde, Tengboche and Phortse, locales filled with the lore of the Himalayas but where you can spend enough time to absorb the culture and some of the personalities you are bound to encounter, apart from the scenery. All of this is available equally to those who have traveled the Himalayas before and to those who until now have nourished the hope and opportunity of doing so.

Travelers to the Himalayas often will ask: “What’s it like?” Encountering the Himalayas for the first time—or the second or third, for that matter–produces a sensation unlike any you will experience. From the predictable patterns of your daily lives you are lifted into an exotic land of prayer flags flapping in the wind, the droning voices of monks in their monasteries reciting their mantras, churning streams, caravans of yaks on the trail, women with tump lines on their foreheads, carrying bamboo baskets of produce down the trail. You exchange greetings, “Namaste.” In its most lyrical translation, you are bidding each other, “I praise the God who lives within you.” Miles above you the sun’s rays create a dazzling light show on the icefields of Ama Dablam and Themserku. You sometimes want to gather yourself for a few minutes and ask: “Was I really expecting all of this?”

If you weren’t, the reality is something to carry away for the rest of your life. Much of the time our two groups will be able to travel together. All of our overnights will be in simple but clean rooms in lodges where we will also take our meals. Whichever choice of route you make after conferring with Lhakpa and MountainLegend, our provider, the total ground cost of the trip, based on double occupancy, will be the same. Those costs, $2,985, will cover 14 days in the mountains with overnight lodges en route, all meals on the trek and four nights (pre and post trek) at the Shangri La Hotel in Kathmandu. This will include the dramatic roundtrip flights from Kathmandu to the Himalayan village of Lukla at 9,000 feet. For those traveling without a partner, we can usually arrange to pair singles where that can be done sensibly.

The Airfare: The price under the package plan of a round trip Delta air fare from Minneapolis to Tokyo to Bangkok, plus Thai Airlines’ Bangkok to Kathmandu and return , will be $2,431. You are free to make your own arrangements with bonus miles. Kari Jerstad Olson in Oregon, our longtime booking agent for the Himalayan treks, will assist you whether you prefer to travel using frequent flyer miles or will be flying under the group plan. She will provide you with all the information you need in preparation for the trek—tips on clothing, trail aids, packing, entry forms plus passport and visa information. She can be reached at 503-632-6869 and by email at jerstadadv@msn.com. Kari is the daughter of Lute Jerstad, one of the first Americans to reach the summit of Everest. She is the person to consult on all logistics matters, including advice on frequent flyer plans that will reduce the cost of the trip substantially, basically to the land cost. Kari will be sending information packets as soon as you enroll with the $500 deposit that will assure your registration.

At Whatever Altitude, Something Glorious

In the 26 years that Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures has been escorting the venturesome into the Himalayas, the realities of Himalayan travel can pretty well be condensed with this observation:
You don’t have to be a super creature to enjoy two weeks in the Himalayas, and a few days added when you include four nights in exotic Kathmandu. You don’t have to be a climber. You don’t have to be a world-class hiker. You do need curiosity and reasonable physical condition and energy, which are more or less the admission cards for anybody with an urge to discover the faraway places . And nothing in our catalogue of travel comes closer to fulfilling the ultimate expectation of the traveler than the Himalayas or the sight of what the earliest dwellers on the Tibetan slopes of Everest called “Chomolungma,” their Goddess Mother of the Earth.

Our friend Lhakpa will be there to lead the Base Campers. His partner Gyaltsen will lead those trekking at a moderate altitude but to equally spectacular overlooks. On some days the two groups will merge and the opportunities will be ripe to exchange war stories about the Yeti somebody almost saw.

Lhakpa and Gyaltsen have been our friends and trailmates for more than 15 years, reliable and quick to assist. They will be again in April of 2011 when you’re invited to join us on a journey that has become the ultimate experience in wild nature for those who have walked in this marvelous high country and joined their lives, if only for a few weeks, with the wonder and gifts of these mountains.

The $500 deposit due by Sept. 30, 2010-, is refundable by Nov. 30, 2010. Make checks payable to Lute Jerstad Adventures, PO Box 612, Beaver Creek OR 97004 or forward to Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures, PO Box 47063, Plymouth MN. 55447. Payment for airfare may be made by credit card. Payments for the land portion are by check only. The total land cost less the $500 deposit is due on March 16, 30 days before departure.

Registration

Please add my (our) name(s) to the To The Land of Everest trek with Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures. Enclosed is a $500 deposit for each. In submitting this application I (we) agree that Lute Jerstad Adventures and Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures act only as booking agents for the company or companies performing service and can assume no liability for acts of omission or negligence of such companies.
The itinerary for the combined trekking groups
(the air schedules apply to those flying under the trip’s package plan.).

April 15 Depart Minneapolis-St. Paul on Delta flight to Tokyo and transfer in Tokyo for Bangkok.

April 16 Arrive in Bangkok.

April 17 Depart Bangkok at 10:35 a.m., arrive in Kathmandu at 12:45 p.m. and overnight at Shangri La Hotel.

April 18 Full day in Kathmandu, city tour, shopping and afternoon briefing by MountainLegend. Overnight Shangri La.

April 19 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla at 9,000 feet; meet the Sherpas, snack and begin the trek from Lukla to Phakding, primarily downhill to the banks of the Dudh Khosi River to overnight at Phakding.

April 20 Trek to Monjo at 8,700 feet. Crossing bridges, walking through groves of Himalayan fir and receiving your first views of the immensity of the Himalayan landscape.

April 21 Namche Bazaar, 11,300 feet. This is a full and spectacular day, when you receive your first view of Everest and thread your way through a vast forestland of Himalayan fir. After gaining more than 2,000 feet, enter the celebrated Himalayan market center of Namche Bazaar.

April 22 Namche Bazaar. This is an acclimatization day for both groups. You can spend time in the fascinating shops and outdoor markets, or take a guided hike on one of the numerous trails criss-crossing Namche.

April 23 Here the groups split for a few days. The Hillary group bound for the high country heads for an overnight in Tengboche, the historic monastery village at 12,600 feet from where views of the massif of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse spread before you. The Tenzing group hikes over a pass to a broad amphitheater of pastureland encircled by Himalayan ridges and summits. Temples and prayer flags introduce the villages of Khumjung with its school and Kunde with its clinic, both institutions built by Ed Hillary. Overnight in Kunde.

April 24 The Hillary group treks to its first of two overnights at Dingboche, 14,250 feet, beyond the monastery village of Pangboche. The Tenzings explore Kunde, and then take the trail to visit the school and enjoy the ambience of Khumjung.

April 25 This is a day of acclimatization in and around Dingboche for the Hillarys while the Tenzings move up to the famed monastery of Tengboche at 12,600 feet and a panorama of the highest of the Himalayas, making Tengboche both a hallowed ground for Buddhists and a paradise for photographers.

April 26 The Hillary group treks from Dingboche past the crossroads village of Pheriche and on to Lobuche at 16,200 on the trail to Everest. The Tenzing group gets a bonus day in Tengboche.

April 27 The Hillary group hikes a moonscape route above the glaciers to Gorak Shep, then descends in the afternoon for the climactic trek on the glacier to Everest base camp at 17,600 or to the top of Kala Patar at 18,000 feet and then heads back to Lobuche. The Tenzing group hikes to Phortse at 13,005 feet along a high and airy trail, one of the most spectacular in the Himalayas.

April 28 While the Tenzings explore Phortse and its environs, the Hillarys descend through Pheriche and Pangboche to Phortse for the reunion of the groups.

April 29 Both groups descend to Namche Bazaar.

April 30 Both groups descend to Monjo.

May 1 Both groups descend to Lukla.

May 2 Fly to Kathmandu.

May 3 Kathmandu, last night in Nepal.

May 4 Fly to Bangkok.

May 5 Fly from Bangkok, 5:55 a.m., arrive at 1 p.m. same day at Minneapolis-St. Paul via Tokyo.

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2010 Venice, Slovenia and Switzerland

Our European Gem in Autumn: 2 Weeks in Venice, Slovenia and Switzerland

Venice Italy

In Venice, the iconic city on the water, you can stroll over the Bridge of Sighs and find yourself stirred instantly by the sagas of the ruling Doges of the Middle Ages and the journeys of Marco Polo. Add the splendor of San Marco Square and the Cathedral.

In Switzerland you can find yourself staring up at the stunning ridges of The Matterhorn, the most photographed mountain on earth. You can munch fondue 8,000 feet beneath it in the storybook village of Zermatt. Or you can hike to the tiny lake at its foot, following the same trail that has invited thousands of climbers; or you can take a cable car and lunch at leisure in the midst of the great amphitheater of the Alps.

But first we’ll explore the fascinating little Balkan country of Slovenia, seemingly lifted live from a Franz Lehar operetta and until now one of the undiscovered gems of European tourism. There you can boat to an island where a church and steeple rise in perfect symmetry out of waters that seem to ask a question:

Can it get much better than this?

Actually, it can. From Oct. 3 to 15, we’ll be touring Slovenia, Venice and Switzerland, all of this linked with Milano and the amiable shoreline of the Lago Maggiore of Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms in the lake country of northern Italy. From there we’ll follow mountain streams into the heart of the Alps. And after three days there we’ll ride the renowned Swiss train system through some of the world’s most memorable scenery including Lake Lucerne on our way to our final destination of Zurich.

Swiss Dancers in Zermatt

You’re invited. This is a trip as comfortable as you want, although if the urge to experience an Alpine trail through the larches and pines of the approaches to the Matterhorn or Monte Rosa stirs you, the hike is not that arduous. Or you can take a train to the international ski resort and overlook of the Gornergrat. And if you ski, you can take the cable lift to the slopes beneath the Matterhorn and ski, and ski, and ski.
On the other hand you can enjoy Zermatt the village and, after breakfast at your hotel, hike to the village of Findel in the high meadows, lunch among the chalets and then walk down to the sound of waterfalls and cowbells.. The Heidi of your schoolbooks lived in the Bernese Oberland a little north. So you’ll be the Heidi of the Matterhorn.
But before that: You begin in Slovenia in one of the charming capitals of Europe. In Ljubljana (Lewb-yana) not far from Austria, columns of willow trees dip their branches into a river flowing through the center of the city. There you can raft or canoe or simply enjoy the ambience of the city. The country’s poet laureate, France Persheren, left his prints and the lilt of his verse in every corner of the city’s modernized center of arts as well as the old town with its tiny cafes and outdoor luncheon tables arrayed along its winding streets.
From there, it’s relaxed travel in our chartered bus through the valleys of the Juliene Alps to Lake Bohinj and pleasant hotel quarters near the mountain streams. From there we enjoy the widely photographed Lake Bled and the castle-like church on its island beneath the cliffs. It’s a view that especially stirs the pride of visiting Minnesotans, Chicagoans and Clevelanders whose Slovenian ancestors emigrated to a growing America and its steel mills and iron ore mines in the late 1880s.

Church on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

From our last overnight in Slovenia our charter bus takes us through the Slovenian and Italian countryside to the city of Mestri on the mainland just outside of Venice. From there canal taxis and buses, called vaporettos by the Italians, take us on an exploration of Venice, truly one of civilization’s marvels. We explore with guide and then by ourselves in ample time over two days. You’re not going to see it all. You couldn’t in a week or month. But here is the Venice of the ages, its art and antiquity, the city built on the ocean. Its history, grace and gaiety are threaded through its canals, bridges, palaces and museums rising above its waters. The shops and cafes invite your attention and a pardonable amount of your cash. But you don’t really have to spend or worry about the tourist bustle. There are no automobile horns or traffic jams here. You get around on the walkways and over the bridges and if you’ve seen all you want or need you can sit San Marco Square at the outdoor dining tables and listen to musicians playing the love songs of the Italians, or the polkas of the Austrians or a few bars from Rigoletto or Sorrento. The world seems to come together on this lovely esplanade. The day after our guide introduces you to his Venice, you’ll have plenty of time to free lance and breathe in the antiquity, art and the undiminished vitality of this city on the ocean.The land cost for this tour is $3,250 per person based on a minimum of 10 participants. The cost assumes double occupancy. If you’d like to travel with us but don’t have a roommate we can often pair people traveling alone, given their mutual agreement. Otherwise, a single supplement is available for $750. We normally like to travel with a group of 10 to 20 people. A deposit of $500 is due immediately in order to secure space at the hotels, refundable less $250 until June 15, when the final payment is due. After that time the trip costs are not refundable, and therefore travel insurance is highly recommended. Airfare, the other cost, should be booked as soon as possible to guarantee the best fare. Payments may be made by credit card or check.About flights: Our travel agent for this trip, Suzanne Zapolski, has been a partner in scores of international tours offered by Jim Klobuchar’s Adventures. In the past we’ve been able to secure a special discounted flight rate with a minimum of ten passengers. That’s still possible on this trip, but with airlines increasingly requiring long term advance commitments, we recommend the use of frequent flyer miles if they are available to you.

Please contact Suzanne at your earliest convenience to let her know you want to join this trip and to decide on the best flight plan available to you. She will then email or mail you a reservation form to be completed and returned to her as soon as possible. She can be reached at Email: Suzanne@bortonoverseas.com. Cell phone: 612-644-6404. Office: 612-661-4624.

As the group escort, and honorary guide in Switzerland, Jim can assist you if Suzanne is not immediately at hand. Contact him at any time at (preferably) 763-258-1371 or c-612-998-6005, or at jim@jimklobuchar.com.

Venice, Slovenia and Switzerland Day by Day Oct 3, Mon Depart USA to Slovenia. Oct 4, Tue Arrive Ljubljana. After customs you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel. Your afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. The group will meet together for a Welcome Dinner tonight at the hotel. Overnight Grand Hotel Union. Dinner included.

Oct 5, Wed Your tour of Ljubljana with a local guide will include a walk past the major sites of the Old Town and a funicular ride to Ljubljana Castle. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight Grand Hotel Union. Breakfast included.

Oct 6, Thu After breakfast, travel by private motorcoach to Lake Bohinj. The scenic drive will take you into the heart of Triglav National Park and the southern edge of the Alps. Overnight Hotel Bohinj Bohinjsko Jezero. Breakfast and dinner included.

Oct 7, Fri After breakfast, you’ll take a cable car to Mt. Vogel to enjoy panoramic views, then drive to the idyllic setting of the church on an island in the center of Lake Bled, arriving aboard a traditional a pletna boat guided by a local oarsman. Overnight Hotel Bohinj Bohinjsko Jezero. Breakfast included.

Oct 8, Sat Today you’ll explore the Brda region renowned for its quality wines with wine-tasting sips and rustic lunch nearby. On the return to Bohinj, you’ll stop in Kobarid at the WWI museum on the Soca River.Overnight Hotel Bohinj Bohinjsko Jezero. Breakfast included.

Oct 9, Sun You’ll have an early departure for your motorcoach trip to Venice, where you’ll stay in Mestre, the mainland town connected to Venice by rail and bridges. Hotel check-in before boarding a vaporetto to Venice for a walking tour. Overnight at Hotel Alexander. Breakfast and dinner included.

Oct 10, Mon The day is free to explore and enjoy Venice on your own. Overnight at Hotel Alexander. Breakfast included.

Oct 11, Tue This morning you’ll travel by motorcoach from Venice to Milan and then turn north through the Italian lake country into Switzerland. The coach ride is a mountain spectacular to the train station in Taesch where you’ll board a local line to Zermatt. Overnight at Hotel Bristol Zermatt. Breakfast and dinner included.

Oct 12, 13Wed and Thu. For the next two days you’ll enjoy the village of Zermatt and the glorious Alpine surroundings. It’s a place Jim knows well from his years as a mountain climber and tour guide. It’s a place that appeals alike to the stroller, hiker, skier, and devotees of train rides into the mountains; also to the cable car rider, to lovers of a chalet in the forest and to anyone attracted by the sound of church bells in the valleys. Breakfast included. And dinner Oct.13.

Oct 14, Fri You’ll travel by Swiss train though lush valleys and mountainside to Zurich, spend the night at Hotel Montana in Zurich. Breakfast included.

Oct 15, Sat After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the Zurich airport for your departure flights. Breakfast included. If you’re a romanticist, this is your trip.

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