Sherman, relaxing at the Burnt Corral Campground in Arizona. Photo taken February 24, 2015!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Barbados! Arrive on October 25th!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Help us choose a destination!

We had been wanting to visit Algeria in March or April. They don't get many visitors, but every report we have read from people who have been there has been positive. It's a Muslim country, and they have an old bureaucratic Soviet style visa system, so most Westerners simply avoid the place.

But we're not most Westerners.

So I did the research into getting the visa. The first obstacle was that we had to apply from our home country.

That's why we waited until we were here in Ottawa. Of course Ottawa is the capital of Canada, and the Algerian embassy and consulate is located here.

I had read online that they weren't overly helpful at the Algerian Embassy in Ottawa, but that wasn't my experience. I spoke to a very helpful fellow who answered all of my questions on the phone.

It would cost $75 CAD per person, for a single entry visa. And it would only be valid for 90 days past the issue date. This presented the first problem, because we wanted to go in early April, and it would have been expired by then.

The second problem is that they require 7 business days to process the visa, and during that time they have your passport. When I was talking to him, we would have had that time frame to work with, but what if something went wrong? We needed to have our passports in our hands for our January 1st flight to Barcelona. And this wouldn't have left any leeway, and we simply weren't comfortable taking that chance with several holidays in between.

And so Algeria will have to wait for another time.


On the bright side, this opens a whole range of possibilities. We've got our two month motorhome trip in Spain and Portugal that ends March 6th. Then, we have from March 6th to April 15th (six weeks) to find somewhere to go. We still want to go to Morocco for three weeks, but for the other three weeks we're open.

With cheap European discount airlines, the possibilities are almost endless. But to get the best prices, we have to book soon.

Italy? France? Tunisia? Germany? Turkey? Greece? Or somewhere else?

Where would you like to see us go?

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51 comments:

  1. OMG! How do you choose? With my YOLO attitude and you never know when you will die we would select Italy or Greece and would put Greece first due to history of Greece. So exciting!!!!

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    1. That's the problem, how do you choose?

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  2. Replies
    1. I think that may be in our plans! :-)

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  3. Merry Christmas my Friends STILL IN THE SHADOWS WATCHING

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    1. Hi Pete and Pam, glad to know you are still following along. Merry Christmas to you both as well, we hope you had a great day.

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    2. Had a great day. Hope yalls was also. Enjoy your up coming trip.

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  4. Greek Island hopping, that would be an interesting thing or completely different how about Ireland, you would love the hikes there. A very happy Christmas to you and the family xx

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    1. No Greek Island hoping this winter. We would love to visit Ireland but think the weather still won't be quite warm enough for us. Plus, if we go there we will want more than 3 weeks to explore it.

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  5. We went to Crete ten years ago and it was amazing, very different in feeling to France and Italy. I think anywhere you go in Europe would be amazing. Budget wise Greece could be good. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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    1. Greece is definitely somewhere a country that we want to visit but it isn't going to happen this winter.

      Merry Christmas to both you and Peter, we hope you had a wonderful day.

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  6. Put the countries in a hat and draw a country....I agree anywhere in Europe is good including some middle eastern countries i.e. Turkey, Lebonon or Iraq. I heard the Himalayas are beautiful to see, hike.

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    1. That's an idea except that we really want to find the cheapest price that we can to one of these countries rather than just picking at random.

      Would love to go to the Himalayas but not at the beginning of March!

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  7. Although I've never been, I've heard nothing but rave reviews from people who have been to Croatia. It's on my bucket list and I'd like to get there before it's 'discovered'

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    1. Yes, Croatia sounds wonderful. We have seen many pictures of it and our son has already been and thought it was fantastic. I do believe that it is already discovered and gets lots of visitor's, maybe not like France, Italy and some of the other western Europe countries but still very popular. Looks like Croatia will have to wait for another time though.

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  8. We spent some time in Italy and really ejoyed the beauty and history. Paris was also fun to visit.

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    1. Looks like Italy is the winner! :-)

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  9. I vote Ireland. Great hiking and the most beautiful sights. Have fun deciding!

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    1. But Ireland in March and April doesn't sound warm enough...

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  10. I vote Turkey or Croatia The Blue Mosque and the Istanbul market are amazing

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    1. Turkey was my vote but Kevin said that the weather isn't quite as warm as we are wanting for that time of year so we will have to leave it and Croatia for another time but they are both high on our list.

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  11. turkey has been one of our very favorite countries to visit. as long as you stay on the western half, and fairly north, you should be ok - not many of OUR friends would go, but you are the intrepid travelers. Have you ever thought about a land tour with a group? we do our tours with www.gate1travel and have found a group of people in ALL our tours with them that are savy travelers - don't hold you back in a group - and the prices are cheaper than doing it on your own. With a country that is "iffy" right now, I would go with a group. Just my humble opinion.

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    1. Turkey is high on our list but it won't happen this winter, and it's not because of what has been happening over there, that wouldn't stop us from going.

      No we have never thought of doing a group tour, it really doesn't appeal to us. We have done the odd bus tour for a day and decided that we just don't enjoy being with a group of people unless it is the only way of seeing something in particular. We like being able to move at our own pace and if we want to stay an extra day or two somewhere then we can. We highly doubt that any packaged/group tour could do a trip for less than the price that we could do it ourselves for, we are pretty frugal travels. ;-)

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  12. Most greek islands are almost closed down this time of year just fyi although I am sure there is still the odd place open. I would recommend if you do Greece to stick to the mainland or do research to see which ones would be good to go to year round like Rhodes or Crete. I love Turkey but things are so heated right now there, so sad, such a lovely country. I would go to France in a heartbeat, and it is relatively close to the other countries you are visiting.

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    1. But it will be March and April. Yes, we're leaning towards Italy and France.

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  13. I meant to also say Merry Christmas to you both! And your kijiji tree looks lovely in your Christmas photo

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    1. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you as well! Kevin did a great job decorating our "cheap" little tree! :-)

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  14. Germany would be lovely to go to at this time of year! Did you rent a Motorhome in Europe for traveling in around Spain?

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    1. But we're asking about March and April...not this time of year.

      No, we did a motorhome exchange back in June and July. Now it's our turn to use their motorhome... :-)

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  15. Replies
    1. We think the Croatia beaches would be nicer in April or May, not March.

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  16. I have been to most countries you mention above a number of times, other than the North African ones. You can't go wrong in Southern Europe at that time of year. Turkey is a wonderful country but I wouldn't risk I now with ever increasing tensions and a crippling war next door. France and Italy can be expensive countries to travel In, especially France, so I would aim for Southern Spain (Andalusia with places like Granada, Sevilla, Córdoba, rich in culture, food, landscapes and cooperative weather). Also include Portugal with lots of interesting places going back to the Roman Empire.

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    1. We will be in Southern Spain and Portugal for all of January and February so we are looking for somewhere to go after that but before Morocco. I think Italy has won out, hopefully we are fugal enough to make the trip a good one without breaking our pocketbook.

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  17. Well I'd love to see you go to Chile but that's on the wrong continent so I'll trust you to pick a great place as you always do. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. Totally wrong continent! However, Chile is another country that is high on our list to visit and who knows that could be a possibility for next fall. :-)

      Merry Christmas to you and Dave, we hope you had a good one.

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  18. Merry Christmas to you both! Wherever you go we will follow along via computer, I like the idea of drawing from a hat, just put the names of the warm areas in it, LOL!

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    1. Thank you very much for the Christmas wishes, we had a great day!

      The problem with drawing from a hat is that we might get a country that doesn't have a super deal for the airfare. We are wanting to get to a country where the price will be really, really cheap and still hopefully somewhere that is decently warm at that time of year. We now have that solved and Kevin will be mentioning our choice in the next blog post.

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  19. Merry Christmas Kevin & Ruth! Looking forward to seeing Marrocco through your eyes 😃 With only 3 weeks my vote is for France.

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    1. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you as well.

      You will find out what our choice finally ended up being in our next post. :-)

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  20. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Have a wonderful day!!

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    1. Thank you Connie and Barry and the same you and your family.

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  21. The Cinque Terre area of Italy would suit you very well,challenging hikes, great vistas, wonderful food and lots to do. Would be lovely in April, before the onslaught of tourists from all over.
    Heard the interview. It was neat to be able to put voices to bloggers which I have enjoyed for quite a while now. Thank you for writing.

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    1. I think you may have sold us, that and the fact that our son has also visited this area.

      Glad you enjoyed our interview, hope our voices didn't let you down. ;-)

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  22. Replies
    1. You will find out once Kevin puts up the new blog post. :-)

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  23. Happy Holidays! I'm sure it's crazy with the grandchildren.

    How about Egypt? My wife has the Pyramids on our bucket list. It won't be this year but soon.

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    1. Yep, it has been a bit crazy but we are enjoying our time with them.

      Egypt, is definitely on our list but no, I doubt it will be this winter.

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  24. Hmm... I loved Tunisia when we went, but it was many years ago. The Atlas mountains are beautiful. We also took a trip out into the Sahara which was amazing. I have fabulous memories of walking out into the dunes at night and the night sky was jaw droppingly beautiful. For me the problem would be that I also love Italy. Any part of it really, but definitely Rome for the history, or Sorrento for the coastal scenery and the history, or Venice for the romance. I live in the UK so am lucky enough to have visited each of those places several times. I have recently been researching Sicily and that looks to be a great place to visit and may be worth thinking about. If you are considering the South of France I would recommend Arles, Orange and the Pont du Grad as visits and basing yourself in Avignon. It is gorgeous in its own right, but centrally located so it is easy to get out and about. I believe it is well connected to the major places of interest via public transport but I haven't used it myself. Alternatively the Picos D'Europas in the north of Spain is great for hiking and relatively undiscovered. Phew ... sorry for the long post, from a long time lurker and first time commented, Michele

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    1. Tunisia will have to wait for another time but with any luck we may be able to see and hike in the Atlas mountains when we are in Morocco. We would also love to go out into the Sahara just not sure of our plans yet and if we will have time to get down to that area but it is a possibility.

      We are looking forward to exploring a small part of Italy but I doubt that we will get to Rome, that will have to wait for another visit. Sicily sounds great but again, highly doubt that we will have enough time to get that far down. As for France we will only be going as far as Nice this time around. Too many places and not enough time, one day we will make it to some of these places!

      Thank so much for your suggestions and for taking the time to post them for us. We really do love hearing from our readers, especially when they have so many ideas for us. :-)

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  25. I too would love to read of your adventures in Croatia but after reading your earlier replies that Croatia would have to wait, I cast my vote for Sardinia.
    (lone Grey Squirrel)

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    1. No worries, one day you will read about our adventures in Croatia, they just won't be this winter. Sanrdinia, looks like a wonderful place to visit, I doubt it will happen this trip but you never know.

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