In 2008, 2009 and 2010, we travelled mostly in the Caribbean, US, Canada and Hawaii. We were just too busy to post travelblogs, and Facebook has been easier to post pictures to, although not as good as this site. Hopefully we'll get back to posting our world travels to this site!
We've returned from our Fall 2007 trip to Europe, visiting Switzerland, Côte d'Azur, and Italy.
We've returned from our 2007 trip to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. As usual, we haven't completed all the posts, but will work on finishing them up.
We've returned from our 2006-2007 four month around the world trip through the US and British Virgin Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Finland, Hungary, England, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii. We're still catching up on the blog posts from Hawaii!
In 2005 we travelled to Paris, Geneva, Zermatt, Zurich, Interlaken, Bern, Lucerne, Lugano and Prague. That trip comprises the first part of the blog.
Make sure to check out some high resolution photos in the "Gallery" link just below.
October 27th 2007
It's the weekend and time for a roadtrip with Bryan and Cheryl! We chose the French area of Switzerland, specifically Montreux at the East end of Lac Lemac (Geneva sits at the West end of the lake). Along the way we stopped in Fribourg for some lunch. After searching for quite a while for the best place to eat, we settled on a pizza/pasta restaurant. Afterwards, we spotted a nice little bakery for dessert with lovely pastries and hot chocolate, bien sur! We love that in Europe you can take your dog anywhere. We were tickled to meet a little dog at the table next door with the oh-so-perfect name of Chanel! We decided to check out the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, first built in 1283, after lunch. You can pay to visit the top of ... read more
October 24th 2007
We decided to give ourselves a break and stop for the night in Lugano on the way back to Zurich. We enjoyed our visit to Alba so much that we ran out of daylight to make it back (and in truth, weren't quite ready for our magical journey to end). It took a bit of work, but we found a room right on the lake for a decent price (breakfast included) and headed out for dinner. J's well proven technique for late night hotel negotiation is a shrug and "Is that the best you can do?", once the first price is given. Nearly without fail or regards to language this will yield a price drop. As you may recall, we visited Lugano last year () and part of the main square was under construction so we ... read more
October 23rd 2007
Not far from Serralunga d'Alba, on the road back towards the highway, is the much larger town of Alba. We decided to stop here for lunch and we are so glad we did! We found a sun-bathed cobblestone pedestrian street full of shops and restaurants to explore. We quickly discovered that Alba is known for its white truffles and the truffle festival is actually going on this month (but closed while we were there, perhaps only open at night?). A friendly shopkeeper sold us some white truffle gnocchi to make back in Zurich and pointed us in the direction of a wonderful restaurant. I had pasta with porcini mushrooms for lunch and J had a gnocchi with local cheeses. Of course, you can add white truffles to any dish for an additional 40 Euros! J convinced ... read more
October 23rd 2007
As we have mentioned in the past, driving distances in Europe are deceptively short and so our journey from Monaco to Serralunga d'Alba, Italy took nearly 3 hours. We rolled into the tiny town in pitch black darkness, following signs through turn after turn from the highway as the road became smaller and smaller. It was not unlike driving to Gourdes, where we could see lights dotting various hilltops across the blackness. We checked into our B&B and walked next door for a fabulous dinner (see photos). Once again, we went to sleep anticipating an amazing vista upon awakening, and we were not disappointed. Opening the front door to the house was like stepping into a different life - one of golden light, row upon row of grapes growing, cobblestone streets, and castles near and far. ... read more
October 22nd 2007
No trip to the Côte d'Azur would be complete without a stop in Monaco. Monaco is an independant principality that is basically a small urban area on the coast of France. It is the second smallest country in the world (Vatican City is the first) and the most densely populated given its small size. It's legendary wealth comes from its status as a tax haven for Europe's wealthy. Well that, and a beautiful location on the sea. To get to Monaco, you basically take an exit off the highway in France, high above the ocean and drive down towards the water. It took about 30 minutes through heavy traffic until we happened upon the famous casino from the James Bond films. Parking there was quite easy, so we parked under the casino gardens and walked over ... read more
October 22nd 2007
We read about the town of Èze on Wikitravel. It was listed as one of the alternatives to the large city (population nearly 1 mil) of Nice. It sounded nice (no pun intended), so we skipped the city and drove up to Eze. It's one of those drives where you see this small set of stone buildings perched insanely high on a peak rising from the ocean and your heart actually skips a beat - "I think that's where we're going..." Eze is by no means undiscovered. It is well set up for tourists and has been visited by many famous people. Bono has a cottage in the old village, and Neitzche spent his last years there. U2 actually filmed the video for "Beautiful Day" in Eze! Despite its popularity, it is still a very magical ... read more
October 22nd 2007
We drove a huge amount of the French Riviera last night looking for a place to stay. We wanted to get partially towards Cannes, and discovered that most of the towns along that section of the Riviera are pretty much shut down this time of year. We stopped by a few places that were either closed or not very nice. We ended up about 3 KM from Cannes in a little town called Miramar. When J saw the Miramar Beach Hotel was lit up and had four little gold stars on the sign, he knew that this would be CM's choice before she even went in to check availability. Turns out they were having a "special, just for today" for 105 euros. That's a pretty good deal for this part of the world, so we were ... read more
October 21st 2007
Saint Tropez is one of those names one associates with Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. After a long drive down from Gordes, we made it to the coast and spent an additional half hour driving to Saint Tropez, which is on a peninsula in the Mediterranean. Upon arriving, we realized that this was not really a driving town, but it was getting late in the afternoon and we didn't really have time to park and walk. We negotiated tiny streets and managed to stumble across a very old church backed by a beautiful winery right on the sea. According to a plaque, it was the first place liberated by the Americans which makes it even more special. We drove through town and almost made it to "the Citadel", but were stuck behind a tow truck ... read more
October 20th 2007
Our friends in Lyon told us about this little town in the hills that was still preserved with the original 1500s architecture. It was a bit off the beaten track, but we decided to book the local Best Western and drive the three hours. By the time we got off the expressway, we were about 30 dollars lighter in toll money and it was dark. We dilligently followed the signs on country roads, and in about 20 minutes, we were at the cutest Best Western we've ever seen. In Europe the BW chain isn't as low budget as it is in the States. We checked in, and drove the 4KM up to the village of Gordes for dinner. The village appears, lit up on a hill, out of the darkness of the French countryside. We followed ... read more
October 19th 2007
We were hoping to go to St. Petersburg, Russia with Chizzy and Bryan who left today, but the visa proved to difficult to get. Also, we didn't have two blank pages in our passports to fit the visa! So instead of going to "Mother Russia", we will have to be happy driving a loop through the French Riviera :-) Our initial stop on the trip was planned to be around Lausanne, Switzerland. CM contacted a co-worker she had never met in Lyon, France to get some tips on nice places to visit. She insisted that we stay with her and her family, so we drove all the four and a half hours to Lyon. We were a bit late, but ended up having a great dinner of French Provencal food, topped off with a chocolate souffle ... read more