What ever happened to 2020?
All of us who planned to be part of Paul Tiller‘s 2020 Moleside Holiday Programme know that Covid-19 insured that none of it could work. But we’re hanging on to the plans he published then to remind us of what might have been – and in the hope that some of his plans will be resurrected in 2021 when we have the protection of the new vaccines.
Naples & Almafi Coast – Sun 18 to Sat 24 October 2020
ESTIMATED Cost £1300 per person , extra for single rooms.
18 October – Sunday
Leave Cobham at 13.30pm to fly direct to Naples with British Airways BA2610 leaving Gatwick at 15.55. Arrive and transfer by coach to La Medusa Hotel. This modern luxury 4 star hotel is situated outside the town of Castellamare di Stabia on the bay of Naples, It is very well located being central to all the locations we will visit. Light dinner in the evening at the hotel upon arrival.
19 October – Monday
Breakfast at the hotel, in the panorama dining room with amazing views across the bay of Naples as far as Capri Island. Depart to visit nearby Pompeii with guided tour around this amazing city buried by volcanic ash in AD79 and rediscovered in the last century. Afterwards we will go to a beautiful location very close by for lunch and wine tasting. Return early afternoon for rest and relaxation either at the pool or in the gardens and lemon orchards. Dinner at the hotel.
20 October – Tuesday
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart for a ferry to Capri Island. On arrival on the Island we will be met by our special guide, Salvio and we will proceed to make a round trip of the Island by boat which takes an hour, seeing the famous grottos and landmarks. We will then tour the island by mini buses visiting key sites of interest in both picturesque villages, including a lunch stop. In the afternoon, we will return by ferry to our hotel. Dinner at the hotel.
21 October – Wednesday
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart by coach for city tour of Naples with our guide. We will visit the old city and some of the key sights in the centre. Lunch in Naples and return in the afternoon. Dinner at the hotel.
22 October – Thursday
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to the royal palace of Caserta, built by Charles 111 of Bourbon, it is the largest royal palace in the world! We will also have the opportunity to visit the Baroque gardens of the palace which are spectacular. After a light lunch, we will return to the hotel. After some relaxation, we will depart for the special dinner in a village restaurant high in the mountains called La Limoneto and have a typical Italian meal in this quaint family setting.
23 October – Friday
Breakfast at the hotel. Take our coach to the port of Sorrento where we catch a ferry along the magnificent coast of Amalfi as far at the village of Amalfi, then after a coffee stop there, we travel up into the mountains to discover the village of Ravello. In Ravello we will visit 2 villas, Villa Rufolo has beautiful gardens and a much history linking Wagner to the place. At Villa Cimbrone, again there are spectacular gardens and views of the coastline also. This was the home of Mr Grimthorpe the architect of Big Ben in London! Then we return to Amalfi and back by ferry to Sorrento and then to the hotel for our farewell dinner.
24 October – Saturday
Depart from the hotel at 8.30am for Naples Airport, take flight BA2607 leaving at 11.20 for Gatwick, and return home to Cobham.
Most meals, drinks and all entrance fees as well as all travel and hotel costs are included. A deposit of £300 per person is required to be paid to Brian Manners payable to Moleside Probus Club ideally by bank transfer to account 20605867 sort code 20-31-52 by January 20th 2020 at the latest.
And here is Paul’s programme for our earlier 2020 holiday in Georgia
Georgia Mon 25 May – Mon 1 June 2020
Mon 25 May – Travel
Depart from Cobham early evening by coach to Gatwick airport to catch the direct flight to Tbilisi with Georgian Airways. It will be a direct 5 hour flight, so we will arrive in the early morning Georgia time (+4 Hours)
Tues 26 May – Rest
We arrive early morning and transfer by coach to our Hotel called “Rooms” in the city centre. This a modern hotel 4 stars and very comfortable. We will be tired from the travel, so the rooms will be immediately accessible and you will have day with no activities until the evening when we will have dinner together at the hotel. However it will Georgia National Day and in parts of the city there will be some celebrations, parades etc, so those who wish can go independently to see what is going on if they wish.
Wed 27 May – Visit Tbilisi
After breakfast, we will have a guided tour of the city of Tbilisi with our 2 guides who will be with us most of the time during the trip and who have helped me to organise the visits. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and is an interesting mixture of old and new. Georgia is predominantly an Orthodox Georgian society with long traditions. We will see some of the modern architecture and the very old churches as well as the influence of the Soviet era. A main point of interest is the Museum of the History of Georgia in the Treasury building which we will visit.We will have lunch together and spend some time seeing the sights on foot and some time in the coach for the more distant locations. Dinner will be at the hotel
Thurs 28 May – Visit Gori & Chateau Mulchvani
Today we will travel to visit Gori, the birthplace of Stalin and its museum. We will have lunch at the luxurious Chateau Mulchvani where we will enjoy excellent Georgian food and wine produced on the estate. These places are close to Tbilisi and we will return for a light dinner at the hotel.
Fri 29 May – Mtskheli
This day we will travel by coach to visit the nearby royal city of Mtskheti and its cathedral of Svetitskhoveli. It is here that Christ’s mantle is claimed to be kept. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and the cathedral dates back to the 10th century. We will have lunch and return to Tbilisi hotel for a special dinner in the city to be arranged.
Sat 30 May – to Kaheti wine region
After breakfast we will set off for the wine district of Georgia, leaving our hotel in Tbilisi. The journey will take about 2.5 hours. Our first stop will be the beautiful monastery of Bodbe, which is inhabited by nuns, we will have coffee and admire the special views and old and new churches as well as the gardens. Then we will proceed to the quaint town of Sighnagi. Here you will have a chance to wander the streets of the pretty little town and see the market and historic centre of the town. We will have lunch in a restaurant there and again taste some local specialities. Then we will travel on to our lakeside hotel at Kvareli. This is a brand new hotel in a beautiful location with all comforts and peace and quiet after a busy day.
Sun31 May – Wine and Fun
Now we are close to the centre of the wine region. So we will start the day learning about the ancient and unique methods of making wine. The Georgians claim to be among the earliest winemakers 8000 years ago! First we will visit a little family that make Kvevri. These are wine containers, it is quite fascinating and interesting to see how these are made. Then we will visit one or two wineries and maybe learn how the wines are made as well as some of the local favourite dishes are prepared. We will have lunch as we move around. In the evening we will return to our lakeside retreat for our final dinner perhaps with some entertainment.
Mon 1 June – Return home
We will start the day with leisurely activities to be decided, followed by a light lunch, then we will travel by coach back to Tbilisi airport directly to take our flight home. We will leave about 19.30 but land back in Gatwick at about 22.00. Then home back to Cobham.
THANKS PAUL – here’s to 2021