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Glenis and Robin Hinde describe their European summer trip of a lifetime as “just incredible”.

Escaping the New Zealand winter, their seven and half week adventure kicked off with a three-day stopover in Vancouver, then onto London where they spent four days taking in the sights.

“From London we travelled up to Edinburgh where we picked up a rental car and spent six days driving through the Lakes District, on our way back down to London,” says Glenis.

The next step in their jam-packed itinerary was to board a Cosmos Tour, which would take them from St Paul’s (in London) to St Peter’s (in Rome). The 12-day tour took them through Paris, Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, Venice, Florence and Pisa before winding up in Rome. From there the couple flew to Toulouse where they met up with Glenis’ penfriend of 40 years, who now lives with her husband in the South of France.

“It was great because we were able to use their house as a base while visiting nearby villages and places we might not have otherwise seen.” After 10 days living the French café lifestyle, Glenis and Robin moved on again to Paris (for a second visit) and spent the next two days exploring the city, away from the confines of an organised tour.

Next it was on to Greece where they wandered through the streets and ancient ruins of Athens and spent time relaxing in the beautiful Greek islands of Paros and Santorini - a perfect end to the European leg of their trip.

The couple’s last stop – in the ninth country – was San Francisco, where they had a final three-day stopover before returning back home to reality.

Glenis and Robin’s complex itinerary was carefully prepared by travel designer, Rob Johnson. “Although Rob doesn’t really know us personally he knew what type of people we are and what type of trip would best suit us,” says Glenis.

“There were no hiccups and everywhere we went people were expecting us. We had a lot of internal flights, which all went to plan, and all of our accommodation was good.”

When asked if she could name a favourite place, Glenis is quick to answer. “Everybody asks us that and it’s hard to say – it was all great!” she says.

“We loved Greece, the people were friendly and it was very beautiful. We had low expectations because everybody kept asking why we wanted to go there after the problems they’ve had there recently, but we felt safe and enjoyed being there. Of course the Greek Islands are out of this world!” she says.

Published in Best's August 2010 newsletter

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