Have you ever dreamed of navigating world-class cities like a local?
Sample. Savor. Explore.
Doug & Charlene Fike invite you to wander the backstreets of Barcelona … Paris … London … As they have for decades.
Join us for the Toccati 2019 EuroCities Excursion
Every Toccati Excursion is a fresh and fascinating adventure, grounded in wide-ranging explorations of years past. This year we’ll return to three cities we love on the far side of the pond, traveling from one to the next in comfort and style by hi-speed train.
We love sharing favorite corners in faraway places with friends new and old. Revisiting neighborhoods that provide that elusive back-door connection to the essence of a city. Lingering over memorable cuisine in quintessential eateries or beholding beauty in transcendent spaces - creating experiences that enlarge us, and convey the heartbeat of an era or the soul of a culture.
The euro-train experience
In Europe, train travel is hands down our preferred mode when not exploring the countryside by car: more comfortable and convenient than flying, exceedingly convivial with friends, and usually the most efficient way to travel from city center to city center.
We’ll cover miles in style and take in the amazing scenery of southern France via first-class TGV Duplex from Barcelona to Paris’ magnificent Gare de Lyon. Then we’ll cross the Chunnel to London on the iconic hi-speed Eurostar, straight to vintage St. Pancras Station in the heart of London. Careful planning ensures a relaxed but efficient pace with latest-model trains depositing us near fun digs perfectly located to maximize our time in each city.
Let’s do this!
We’ll gather for three days on the front end in Barcelona. We’ll take it slow as we settle in and absorb a salutory dose of Catalonyan culture and cuisine to help shift those internal gears.
By Day 2 we’ll be a million miles from home, absorbing tapas and Gaudi in equal measure, strolling the Gothic quarter with our obligatory sensory overload moment at the Mercado de la Boqueria. Vermouth tasting before our perennial visit to check-in on the world’s only cathedral-in-progress, a family tradition dating back well over three decades.
In Paris we’ll stay in the heart of the 10th Arrondissement, perfectly situated to walk one of the planet’s premier urban trekking destinations (according to our in-house Expert Who Knows). From our chic hotel it’s just a convenient stroll to several uber-Paris experiences.
Absorb the buskers soundtrack on the steps of Sacre Coeur while looking out over the city spread like a carpet below. Savor Gascon fare at an achingly French eatery on a cobbled Montmartre street. Browse the trendy shops and galleries of the Marais. Share drinks along hipster Canal St Martin. Finally we’ll toast la joie de vivre with lunch at an iconic rail-station brasserie before boarding the train for London.
Upon arrival at venerable St Pancras we’ll stay in London’s beating heart. We’ll stroll the Thames waterfront, wander neighborhoods, gawk at world-class graffiti under bridges and in tunnels.
We’ll scan last-minute discount tickets in the Theater District, and maybe catch a play. Grab some scotch eggs or a Cornish pastie around town, then surprise everyone with amazing fare at an upscale British gastro-pub (no joke). Cap off another nourishing day with drinks at a cozy wine bar or a crazy-creative craft mixology den.
Do it your way …
As with everything Toccati, we’ve framed a unique travel experience designed to quickly transport you from the ordinary into carefully-crafted “bounded open space.” We do the planning, care for the groundwork, build in the essentials (including room to breathe), walk alongside - and you take it from there.
As with each Toccati Excursion, we’ll remain on the go (but at a humane pace). Group size: intimate (just enough folks to catalyze a bit of raucous camaraderie). We’ll lead the way, guide and translate when we can, and establish rendezvous points (without micro-managing).
We’ll gather an always-intriguing assortment of the kind of folks that tend to seek out these experiences … and the magic will start. Yet again. Along the way we’ll gain fresh perspective, have that breakthrough thought. Practice being fully present, cultivate the discipline of reflection and the art of seeing. And we’ll be freshly reminded of What Really Matters.
Craft your own experience as the days unfold. Prioritize rest, reading, solitude if that’s what you need. Set a slow pace, arriving last for breakfast and heading first to bed, if that’s in order. No guilt!
Or fill your days with art, culture, and sights. Head out on a quest with your new-found travel buddy. Join the group for targeted exploration or a designated outing … or strike out on your own. Add a museum visit or take in one of the city’s iconic landmarks if you wish.
In either case, you won’t want to be elsewhere when we gather each day for yet another of those by-now legendary Toccati culinary experiences featuring great food and stimulating conversation, likely lasting into the wee hours.
Excursion Package: $3760
(price for 2 persons, double occupancy)
The package includes:
8d/7n Excursion including lodging in a standard room, two meals per day including drinks and gratuities, intercity train transport, hotel transfers.
Assistance with airfare or supplemental travel plans. Airfare can be added by prior arrangement.
Room-upgrade supplement: $600. A good investment if you’d like more space, a better view, extra touches like bathtubs or balconies as available.
Does not include entrance fees, cost of optional activities or day trips, additional ground transport around town.
Please inquire about a single supplement, or for help finding a roommate if needed.
A non-refundable $1000 deposit, per person will register you for the Excursion and hold your space. We’ll invoice you for the remainder after helping you craft your plan.
Arrival & departure
Plan on arriving in Barcelona by mid-day, Saturday, October 26.
Depart London Saturday, November 2. For those continuing on to the Toccati 2019 Immersion cruise, van transfer is included direct from London to the cruise port in Southampton. Note: Stonehenge is conveniently located enroute 😇. We're happy to help you pursue that or other back-end tour options if you would like.
Informal group reflection and coaching is included in this and all Toccati travel experiences.
If you’re planning to pursue a Legacy Project on the cruise-retreat following this trip, the Excursion will create timely reflection & preparation space that can be integrated into your coaching package. Your coach will work with you to craft your plan.