I love to travel and this is a great way to record my memories and share the photo's.

Europe » France May 27th 2011

Leaving Nice we went to another medieval town called St. Paul de Vence. This is another cobblestone walled town that is pretty much an artist community. I loved it here!!! Just loved it. Art and sculpture everywhere and the shops in this place were full of artists as well. (I bought a handcrafted leather purse here - the artisan was sewing them in the shop - if only I had room for more!!). I was so happy to have several hours here and I suppose if I had more I would have spent a lot of money. Lunch was overlooking the view of the countryside and the Mediterranean in the distance, a great salad and great wine. If you are ever in this area, I highly recommend a stop in to this town. On to Avignon. ... read more
From the walls of St. Paul de Vence
Baby Olives
City of Avignon

Europe » France » Alsace » Strasbourg May 8th 2011

Strasbourg Arriving in Strasbourg was not so bad. Stupid taxi driver should have pointed to the street I wanted instead of giving me attitude and driving me but whatever. I had booked this hotel (a Best Western, the first on the list and I my internet connection was troublesome so I took it and hoped for the best) at the last minute- just that morning actually and it turned out to be a good pick. I walked in feeling weary and disillusioned from that jerk of a taxi guy and they made me feel SOOO welcome and at ease! They were friendly, helpful, gracious, sweet and wonderful. I know that sounds over the top and maybe it was my state of mind but let me tell you it was like a breath of fresh air and ... read more
View from castle window
St. Odile
Mosaic inside church

Europe » Italy » Piedmont May 8th 2011

Asti I spent time in the morning before leaving Venice, I walked by a glass sculpture about 5 times before I decided I just can’t justify the cost and the hassle of carrying it home. Sigh. I will forget about it some day… and then headed to the train station to be sure I was understanding my travel details. Without belaboring the point, I do not understand why they advised I take such a late train to Bologna (there were several that left earlier!) although there was a comment, if I understood it properly, about a train strike. I managed to get on the right train, transfer to the next correct train but had to share a tiny space with 5 people and one older gentleman who alternated between snoring or singing along to his iPod. ... read more
Corkscrew museum

A drive through the French Alps- so breathtaking!!! I have to say that my pictures are simply not enough to show the majesty of these mountains. I will include the best of them here but I think a better camera is needed. We climbed toward Mont Blanc- the highest peak in France. It was stunning. The place this night is at Chamonix which is basically a ski town. I was here at the end of April and there are still skiers going up the hill. The hotel I stayed in this night had a view of Mont Blanc - sit on the balcony and stare at the mountain and the glaciers. Amazing. I think I said that already. The town itself was cute - lots of shops (ski shops!), restaurants, taverns and hotels but strangely enough, ... read more
Mont Blanc close up
Sunrise on the peaks
Annecy - old town

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 26th 2011

I had some internet connection issues and so this is all being summarized very late. But better late than never!! It also takes a long time to sort through the hundreds of pictures I end up taking. I have to say a netbook is nice because it is small and lightweight but it can be a real hassle to do any decent work on one. The high speed train (TGV) took me to Paris. My reception in Paris was pretty good - this taxi driver was super friendly, even teaching me how to speak some French on the way to hotel (and offered his services as a personal tour guide but lets not get in to that…) First night in Paris - well, there really isn’t that much to comment on except that it is a ... read more
Eiffel Tower of course
Place Vendome Column
Velezay cathedral

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 21st 2011

First a bit on the traveling part because these parts took up a significant part of a day and I think are the most useful pieces of information for others also traveling (and maybe to people who do not know me that are possibly searching these blogs for just this bit of information). We paid an insane amount to get a taxi to the Athens airport but mostly because we had to go during morning rush hour and the idea of squeezing into the very crowded Metro trains with all our bags was just too much. So we ignored the exchange rate of the dollar against the Euro and went for it. It was a long drive. I had 4 hours or more to waste (my flight was later but we just went up together to ... read more
Gondolas and cafe front
Bridge over canal
Pillars on waterfront Piazza San Marco

Europe » Greece April 20th 2011

We left Cape Sounion regretfully because it was just so nice. Off to Athens we went with a few stops to try to snap pictures and then the hassle of Athens and traffic. Our last day in Greece we walked around a bit again, some last minute purchases and decided to go back to the same restaurant where we had the most wonderful lamb dish at the start of the trip. It was "lamb in paper" which was (I believe) leg of lamb, or possibly shank? with potatoes, some onions and peppers (I think they were those light green bannana peppers) and feta cheese all wrapped up in parchment paper and baked. The lamb is so tender you don't really need a knife, and everything is flavored so well. Of course a plate of olives ... read more
Ruins in Athens

Europe » Greece » Attica » Cape Sounion April 20th 2011

I have been remiss in adding to my blog. I'm 2 countries later and I need to catch up. It may end up being more pictures than typing since it takes an insanely long amount of time to upload pictures with mediocre connections. Or maybe I'm just too tired at the end of a long day and ready to sleep!! On that note, I'll wrap up Greece... Temple of Poseidon - Sounio (Cape Sounion) Driving from Delphi to Sounion was pretty and relatively uneventful for the first half. The second half however was back to the stress of driving in Greece. Bits I didn’t add to the blog about driving: the roads are not well labeled AT ALL. If you have a map that is actually labeled to show you the road number, it probably doesn’t ... read more
Temple of Poseiden
Temple of Poseiden
Another temple shot

Europe » Greece » Central Greece » Delphi April 9th 2011

We arrived in Delphi after driving over more beautiful mountains. It was a long drive from Kalambaka- about 4 hours - but the roads were all in good shape. Thankfully. The major road was mostly a two-lane road and for half of it snaked it's way over the mountain - twisty and turny hair-pin turns with plenty of cars, buses and trucks. Not wanting to make like a local and pass trucks and buses on blind curves, I happily puttered along behind slow vehicles until I could see plenty far ahead. One road-side stop had my first experience with the infamous squat toilet that is seen in many other places- for those of you reading this that are not familiar with this, it is essentially a hole in the floor... I think you can figure out ... read more
Dedications area - close ups
Treasury of the Athenians
Temple of Apollo and valley view

Europe » Greece April 9th 2011

The title is a Monty Python reference for those who don't know and it means I am going to veer away from talking about the sites for just a little blog on driving in Greece: One thing that has become obvious is that there are no obvious rules here for driving! At least it seems that way to this foreigner. Speed limits and stop signs seem to be only suggestions until and unless the police decide to set up what I can only guess are speed traps or road blocks? That is when the step out on to the road in front of on-coming traffic and wave you over to the side. When the speed limit is 80 km/hr, we will be doing about 110 and are passed regularly - 30 km/hr over the limit is ... read more

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