Wow, this must be some record: an entire week without posting…

Thing is, last Wednesday I had an emergency operation for an ailment that will remain mercifully unnamed here (hint: this stuff will be a sine-qua-non component of my diet henceforth). Anyway, being sick really sucks. The doctor who operated on me strongly urged me to cancel the Europe trip, which would begin exactly a week from that day. He followed up during my hospital stay with dire warnings about extreme pain and post-op complications.

As it turned out, most of the warnings were groundless – at least in my specific case. I needed no painkillers at all except during the operation itself, of course. I managed to cut my post-op hospital stay to 36 hours instead of the recommended 72 and everything is fine, under the circumstances. So, the trip is still on, and we’re leaving on the afternoon of May 19th. In all fairness to the doc, I talked to some acquaintances who have had similar operations in the past, and they all recounted daunting tales of week-long hospital stays, month-long convalescences, morphium drips and infections… it was as well that I hadn’t heard of that before the operation! 😉

To prevent a relapse, I’ve been looking at software to interrupt my tendency of doing extremely long sessions at the keyboard. So far I’m testing Dejal Software‘s Time Out! and it works quite well… I may write something like that myself, later on, to my exact requirements.

So here’s our proposed itinerary. We arrive at London (via São Paulo and Amsterdam) sometime on the afternoon of May 20th. We plan to find a quiet little hotel somewhere and take it easy, with some short trips around London, until our cruise ship leaves on May 25th from Dover. Ports of call will be:

May 26: Kiel (Germany)

May 27: Warnemünde (Germany)

May 29: Tallinn (Estonia)

May 30-31: St. Petersburg (Russia)

June 1: Helsinki (Finland)

June 2: Stockholm (Sweden)

June 3-4: Copenhagen (Denmark)

June 6: Dover (England).

No Oslo (Norway) unfortunately… well, one can’t have everything…

There will be Internet access on the ship, but prices are outrageous: US$0.40/minute and up! Bah. On the MacMania 2001 cruise to Alaska I paid US$100 for unlimited access, and found even that a little steep. Charging US$100 for a little over 3 hours can’t possibly be technically justified.

After that, our plan is to take advantage of our BritRail passes and go all the way to the northern tip of Scotland and back. We’ll take the return flight from London early on June 22nd and will be safe at home sometime on June 24th – schedules aren’t favorable, unfortunately.

Should you, gentle reader, be interested in a meeting somewhere along the way, e-mail me with details as soon as possible; I’ll check in periodically at an Internet café. Suggestions for side trips and places to stay in Northern England and Scotland are also very welcome.

More as it develops…