In November 2021, I wrote that we had rebooked our tour of the Waterways of Russia for June 2022.

Well, what is said about ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’? They ‘often go awry’. (Robert Burns) He certainly knew a thing or two, even 140 years ago. Our trip, originally planned as a special celebration, has definitely gone awry.

First came Covid causing all cruising to be cancelled and ships sat idle. We received a very generous offer of 125% of the cost of our tickets to be used on any future cruise with the same company. We decided to accept this in the belief that Covid would be eradicated and life would return to normal in a few months. Sadly, this did not happen and, as I wrote in the previous article, we waited and finally made a booking for June 2022. We were so excited that we would finally be able to fill a ‘bucket-list’ entry.

Oh dear, President Vladimir Putin has managed to destroy our hopes and dreams. Who would have thought that?  But we don’t give up. One day we will get there but for the time being there are many other places to explore.

We had already planned to fly to Rome from St Petersburg after the Waterways Cruise to do a week-long cruise to Greece and the islands so, with Putin throwing a hammer in the works, we changed to another Viking cruise around Italy. The swap was without hassle and, because this one is shorter and, thus, cheaper, it gave us excess money. As it has to be spent on the cruise we have been given 2 nights in Rome at the start and 2 nights in Venice at the end as well as the Junior Penthouse Suite which means we will be treated as honoured guests. There is also enough for a fair amount of spending money for excursions. Wow!

The result is that we have a few extra days between the 2 cruises and so we are planning to buy a Eurail Pass and visit some cities in Italy as we return from Venice to Rome to board the ship to Greece. What blessings we have received. We are trusting that nothing more creeps in before June.