How excitement! We’re gearing up for (another) epic Zorbaletto trip of a lifetime. This time, the bucket list items we’re ticking off is travelling back to our ‘Mother Countries’ with our families. Yes, that’s right, both of our families. Sadly not both of our entire families – my sister Susie and her husband Ben and kids Indi and Sam can’t join us.
What started off as ‘sitting in a Greek village for a month’ to celebrate a milestone birthday of Zorba’s, has morphed into an epic family European odyssey to Cyprus, Greece and Italy with Zorba’s mum Katie, his sister Marnie, husband Con (Italian) and their 11-year-old triplets sons – Leo, John and Matthew, and my mum and dad, Gina and Walter. Ten of us travelling together for 21 days (with the Greek side departing then; my parents staying on for another 9 days). For anyone into star-signs, six of us are fire signs (3 x Aries, 2 x Leo and 1 x Sagittarius), plus a Scorpio and three young Capricorns. With three generations together, our ages ranges from 11 to 74. It’s either going to be heaps of fun or a complete nightmare. Either way, it’s a dead set certainty to create some entertaining travel stories!
So dear reader, be prepared for updates about the trials and tribulations of travelling with family.
If you’d like to ‘meet’ the family to get to family better, head to my About page here.
32 days, 10 people, 4 countries, 3 generations, 2 families,
1 epic adventure
Here’s an outline of our itinerary:
- Dubai – 1 night stop over just to break the trip up
- Paphos, Cyprus. It looks super touristy, but we’ll find places off the beaten track. This is where Katie’s father was born (Zorba’s grandfather)
- Kefalonia, Greece. The family ancestry for Zorba’s side of the family is somehow connected to Kastelorizo (Kazi for short), but we couldn’t quite figure out how given his grandparents were born in Constantinople (now Turkey), Lebanon, Cyprus, Lesbos and his mother in Egypt. Plus Kazi is a major pain in the butt to get to and there’s only about five choices of places to stay. It’s so close to Turkey you could swim there from Kazi. So we settled on a Greek island that was easier to get to from Cyprus and not as touristy as Santorini or Mykonos. Hello Kefalonia, mia birra parakalo
- Positano, Italy. Now we’re talking. We have a whole week here and I already know I won’t want to leave. It’s heaven on earth, besides the 40 million tourists, or as Italians call them, ‘stranieri’ (pronounced stran-yeah-ree). Con’s family, my brother-in-law (the Italian) has family about two hours drive from Positano. Mum’s village is also two hours drive from here, but in a different direction. The plan is to visit the place where mum was born. Bring on beach, limoncello and incredibly steep walks.
- Roma, Italy. Ah, Bella Roma. My favourite Italian city. Just a few nights here to see the sights with the nephews, eat gelato every day and immerse ourselves in the crazy chaos that only Rome can deliver. Here, we farewell the Greek side: Katie, Con, Marnie and the boys.
- Treviso, Italy. Mum, Dad, Zorba and I will take the train to Treviso, where my surname ‘Bortoletto’ is from. Dad was born in a little village somewhere between Treviso and Venice. Our mission is to find it.
- Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy. George Clooney invited us and it was rude not to. Ha! Kidding. We decided that while we were in northern Italy, it would be a great place to end the trip.
- Dubai – two nights stop over so Zorba can get his fix of Arabic food and so I can fill every single spare cubic centimetre with new clothes. Really, we just wanted to break up the flight home to minimise the horror of jet lag. Here, we farewell Mum and Dad who take a flight to Sydney.
- Perth, ‘a casa’. Stop.
- Asap, Margaret River, because I know I’ll be missing it so much.
Zorba and I are often referred to as the Zorbalettos – a combination of his nick name and my surname, Bortoletto 🙂