Amber

Amber00131

Amber

I have a passion for travel! While I have typically been mostly attracted to tropical locales, in the past year, I have had the privilege to see other parts of the world. I love exploring new places, meeting the people, eating the foods, soaking up the culture and enjoy sharing my travel experiences with family and friends.

One of my favorite quotes... “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain



Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Pisa May 16th 2017

Our last morning, we enjoyed our final breakfast at Sole De Luna and then off to the train station. We are proud of the fact that we haven't missed a train or gotten on the wrong train the entire trip. It was a great way to be able to see so much of this beautiful country. After a few days we were able to read the schedules, navigate the ticket machines easily and Alec was the mater of remembering to validate the tickets before we boarded the trains. Our plan was to spend the day in Pisa, seeing the sites there, and then returning to Florence for dinner and a very early morning flight! We are all pretty tired from the week and it was very hot this particular day. We were able to store our ... read more
Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Portofino May 15th 2017

Our last hiking day takes us to Portofino, probably the most anticipated village for both Ralf and I, but not before we make our longest hike yet from Rocco to San Fruttuoso and then on to Portofino. Maybe it was just because it was such a long hike, but there were honestly times in the last few hours where I questioned if we'd accidentally missed a turn-off and taken a longer route because it took so long to actually see Portofino. In the end, we were on the right path all along and eventually we did make it to Portofino. The only unfortunate thing about the day was Portofino was a bit of a disappointment (more on that later) but it was a amazing hike, despite the strenuous terrain. Rewind....to start the day we took the ... read more
Rocco- Camogli -San Fruttuoso - Portofino
Rocco- Camogli -San Fruttuoso - Portofino
Rocco- Camogli -San Fruttuoso - Portofino

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Riomaggiore May 14th 2017

Today we decided to forgo the recommended hike to Portovenere since we'd already spent some time there. Instead, we decided to explore several of the Cinque Terra Villages which weren't on our self guided hike itinerary: Manorola, Corneglia and Riamaggiore. We took the train to Riamaggiore which is the first village (most southern) of the Cinque Terre. The village, dating from the early thirteenth century is known for it's historic character and it's wine produced by the town's vineyards. Naturally, we decided we should discover the finest of the town by starting our hike with a glass of the local wine and a plate of local cheeses at a great little spot with an amazing view. Our plan was to hike the Via dell'Amore (Love's Trail), a seaside trail leading to Corneglia, but it was closed ... read more
Riomaggiore - Manarola
Riomaggiore - Manarola
Riomaggiore - Manarola

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Vernazza May 13th 2017

These are the trip notes for today's suggested hike: Cinque Terre Park; Coniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso- The walk today really allows you to explore the National Park of the Cinque Terre. Starting from Monterosso, you walk along the olive groves with panoramic views of the sea. Your path continues gently towards Vernazza, an important and historical village being the only natural harbour of the Cinque Terre. Return by train. Distance 9km; approx. 4 hours walking. Ascent 300m, descent 300m. We started today's hike in Monterosso which is located at the very center of a tiny natural gulf. Starting from sea level, we climbed about 500 meters over a couple of hours to arrive at the Sanctuary of Soviore. This is the oldest sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the whole area. Recently the archaeological excavation conducted ... read more
Monterosso to Vernazza
Monterosso to Vernazza
Monterosso to Vernazza

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Portovenere May 12th 2017

Day Two of hiking brought us our first variation from the Trip Notes suggested itinerary. We were to take a train to La Spezia where we were supposed to take a city bus to the medieval town of Portovenere. We followed the directions to the bus stop but there happened to be a huge outdoor flea market that day in the area of La Spezia where we were to find the bus stop. Traffic on the roads in that whole area was limited to one direction and as a result the bus route must have been modified. We did figure out that we needed to buy tickets for the bus at the Tobacco Store which we did but it was still unclear where the bus stop was relocated to. After a couple hours of chasing buses ... read more
Portovenere
Portovenere
Portovenere

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Sestri Levante May 10th 2017

Leaving Florence by train through the Tuscany Region and then arriving in our "home" for the next week, Sestri Levante. We were able to walk to our hotel, the Sole e Luna, which was located right at the beach with amazing views from our balcony. For the next five days we'd start out there each morning after a quaint breakfast with "Mama Mia" and travel by train to one of the villages of the region and then spend the day hiking to one or several other villages. For first day of hiking, we took a Train to Levanto and then walked to Monterosso. This is the description from our walking tour notes; "This morning take a train transfer to Levanto and spend some time in the historical centre dating back to the 12th Century. From here, ... read more
Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante
Levanto - Punta Mesco - Monterosso

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence May 9th 2017

This blog and the days following is to chronicle a most amazing trip Ralf and I had with Alec to celebrate his recent college graduation. We flew into Florence and the next day embarked on a Self Guided hiking tour of Cinque Terre and surrounding villages. Words cannot really describe the beauty of this area so I will be including many pictures. For our first day, we stayed at a cute little hotel (Hotel Alessandra) in the downtown area of Florence. From there we walked around and saw many of the major attractions of Florence and also enjoyed an evening gondola tour capturing views of the city from the Arno River. By recommendation, we saw Michelango's David and the Duomo. Both were breathtaking. Of course we found a cozy little restaurant for our first dinner in ... read more
Florence
Florence
Florence

Europe » Germany » Saxony » Leipzig October 2nd 2015

I got to see the third city in the trio of significant Saxony cities, Leipzig, which was the trade center in the trio years ago. (Dresden was where the royalty lived and most of the social activity occurred and Chemnitz was the manufacturing/ working class area. Ralf had a meeting there so we stopped on the way back from Berlin and I explored the city on foot for a few hours by myself. I missed my German tour guide but managed to find the market area and got some good shots of the ever impressive architecture.... read more
Leipzig
Leipzig
Leipzig

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 1st 2015

While the primary reason for our stop in Berlin was business, it ended up to be a very enjoyable, albeit brief, visit! We had planned to meet up with one of Ralf's friends. Sven, that he attended university with in Kiev. I always enjoy our visits with him because he speaks English a little which helps and he is a very interesting man. Anyways, we had phoned him the day before to confirm out dinner plans, he told us to meet him at his office at 4:45 and dress warm because we were going on a dinner cruise on the Spree River through Berlin. Admittedly, I was a little concerned because it seemed pretty cool for that, not to mention all the awesome choice of restaurants in Berlin, compared to the standard fare available on tourist ... read more
Spree River boat tour
Spree River boat tour
Spree River boat tour

Europe » Germany » Mecklenburg-Vorpommern » Usedom October 1st 2015

This visit to Germany, we decided to spend some time at the Baltic Sea as Ralf had traveled there in the past but this was the first time for me. We stayed in the Usedom area which I learned is actually an island, with a string of adorable little seaside villages, many of them connected by wooded trails for biking or walking and boardwalks along the sea in the villages scattered with little fish smokehouses and shops. The leaves had just started changing colors so this was a beautiful time to visit and I thoroughly enjoyed the crisp sea air in contrast to the unbearable heat and humidity in Florida all summer. My first glimpse of Baltic Sea life was Zinnowitz, where I quickly became familiar with a common sight of covered basket seats at the ... read more
Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz
Zinnowitz




Tot: 2.472s; Tpl: 0.037s; cc: 17; qc: 84; dbt: 0.0587s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb