Much of my planning remains fluid, but I’ve now got a rough plan for my whole time abroad this spring-summer.
I am in touch with two former students in Turkiye – both of whom I’d hoped would get to visit me in Virginia, but that never happened. Now I’ll get to see them both! Any one who teaches knows that some students just especially impress and touch you, inspiring a deep fondness that would be hard to describe to anyone who hasn’t known some sort of nurturing profession. That’s the case here; two people who are so special to me, I can tear up at the thought of seeing them again. Their response to my coming to Turkiye has been touchingly warm and kind.
So: my friend in Ankara wrote that May is not the right season for a gulet cruise, saying it will still be too cold for swimming and sunning. And in fact, it seems unreasonably cold so far this spring in much of the US and Europe. So, change of plans! I will stay on in Turkiye a second week and possibly more, not sure if in Istanbul or elsewhere, and then go to Venice and Milan. This means meeting up with Kristian in France rather than in Turkiye, so that we may travel a week and half or so before Margaret arrives to join us in Avignon. This stage of planning is now up to Kristian, to see when he can get away and where his best flight options are.
France, then, second half of May till around June 18; Brussels with Margaret, to visit Helene; Jun 21, Eurostar to Deal, Kent, to visit Diana; Denmark, to visit Arne and Inge in Faxe Ladeplads, and probably spend a couple of nights in Copenhagen; and then back to Turkiye, where I will again see my former students, one again in Istanbul and my Ankara friend at her summer home. I think I will stay on in Turkiye through August, and take my last Schengen allowance in France in September, with the possibility of another week in Italy somewhere along the way.
Schengen allowance: we non-Europeans can be present in any Schengen country for 90 out of 180 days. We can come and go, it’s a rolling 180 days, but I’m only out of the US for 165 days this season, so, no reset, 90 days is my limit. Schengen is tough. It’s not just the EU but also Switzerland, Iceland and much of eastern Europe. My time in the UK and in Turkiye is non-Schengen (bless them …) and, at least this year, Croatia is also non-Schengen, so I had thought I might split to Split for a while. I had actually booked a beach cottage for a month, but decided to go on to Turkiye instead. (A friend had seemed enthused about traveling in Turkiye with me, so I was going to wait for him, but when he backed out, I decided to go ahead as soon as possible.)
I have moved my Schengen count to a sidebar, for easier referral and updating.
It seems Schengen counts any moments of a day inside the zone as a full Schengen day. That’s very disappointing. I hoped it would be overnights that counted. If that were the case, I’d visit some Greek isles when around the Turkish coast, since they are near and there are lots of ferries. I would really like to do that. But an afternoon stop is not worth a Schengen day count to me, when I want to use my days mostly to consider where I will next live.