I’m sure we’re not the first victims or the last, but it appears that the Covid-19 coronavirus situation is finally impacting our planned trip to Europe this year.
Our 3-week trip is supposed to happen 16 April – 7 May. It includes stays primarily in Switzerland, France, Italy, and Hungary. We also transit Slovenia and end up flying home from Vienna, Austria. However, I had to make a big adjustment today. In Italy, we were going to stay in Venice for 3 days with another couple from Canada who are friends. But just yesterday, the Italian government issued a quarantine order today for most of northern Italy, including Venice. So … I canceled our lodging there.
It’s too bad because Venice is one of the best places I’ve ever been. I was there in May 2008 with Peter on a Mediterranean cruise and fell in love. The only negative was that it seemed ridiculously crowded to me, at least in the afternoons, and especially around St. Mark’s Square, but everyone said early May was much better than the summertime. I’ve always wanted to go back and Lucia has never been, so we were excited to add this to our itinerary. The quarantine is in effect until 3 April, so if the epidemic improves, I guess we could re-book.
I have not yet canceled our transportation from Venice to Tihany, Hungary, but probably need to do that at some point. I checked with them yesterday and can cancel up to 24 hours beforehand. It’s a car service. The plan was to drive from Venice through Slovenia to our AirBnB in Tihany, including a 90-minute stop in Ljubljana, the capital, for lunch. Slovenia, of course, is the homeland of our lovely First Lady, Melania Trump.
The rest of the trip is now iffy too, though. Depending on the trajectory of the virus, other countries may impose quarantines and travel bans. The next week will be critical. The growth of Covid-19 new cases in China has dramatically slowed down, so hopefully the growth of new cases in Europe will also begin to slow down. Johns Hopkins maintains a statistical dashboard that I check frequently. See it here. Growth in new cases outside China does show a slight decline just in the last 24 hours, so maybe we are starting to turn a corner.
I still really want to go on the trip, if we can. It would be really cool to be a tourist when all the other tourists are gone!
If we don’t go, I would also miss a chance to conduct some genealogy research. Our plan includes 4 days in the eastern French region of Alsace because my mtDNA ancestor Rosie Reist (1801-1890) and her husband Lawrence Whaley (1792-1870) came to America from the historic province of Alsace-Lorraine, reportedly the city of Colmar, and I was hoping to see what I could find.