Page 4 of Donel Travel Blog Posts


North America » United States » Florida » Orlando July 9th 2016

Today is the 2nd trip to Universal Studios where we are headed to the Islands of Adventure. This is Elijah's big day! He is going to meet SPIDERMAN!!! We were not disappointed. his enthusiasm is very infectious. Spiderman took the time to talk with him and autograph Elijah's book and T shirt. We visited EVERY gift shop and attempted to get Elijah on every ride. Yes it is still screaming hot & humid. I have learned that when we show up at the park I have to get the cameras into the heat as quick as possible to get rid of condensation on the lenses.We attempted to go on the newest ride Skull Island but it was shut down after 55 minutes in line....nice...... read more
SPIDERMAN
Captain America
Spiderman Ride

North America » United States » Florida » Orlando » Disney World July 8th 2016

Well this certainly going to be an endurance test. Up fairly early and into the oppressive heat. Even the news stations down here and reporting that it's abnormally hot (and humid). That is not going to stop us. Into the Universal Studios today and tomorrow is the Islands of Adventure. Express Pass works like a charm! We met some interesting minions, Shaggy & Scooby, terminator, beetlejuice, optimus, megatron, agent J and was entertained with Fear Factor live. All the time moving from concession to concession trying to keep hydrated. Dinner at Bubba Gumps (we did quite well at the trivia from the server). Day 2 coming up!... read more
Shaggy won't stop talking...
Beetlejuice
Optimus

North America » United States » Florida » Orlando » Disney World July 7th 2016

We flew out late yesterday after being delayed for 45 minutes sitting at the gate. A nice flight except for an under the weather Elijah. A little pale and an upset stomach. The Customs agent was slightly concerned and sent him and Elke to the secondary inspection room. We all had visions of being turned around and sent home. Turns out, the agent didn't want him to pass out and create a lot of paperwork (my words not his). A few warnings of turbulence and into the humidity we go! Collected the rental car and crashed at 2:30 in the morning. Sleep in day! Sort of ... free breakfast ended at 9:00 so we had to get up at 5 to 9:00 to make it. OK so where are we?? Drove around to figure out where ... read more
A gaggle of gators
Even the buzzards are trying to get away from the heat
Gator Wrassler Abby

Europe » Vatican City September 12th 2015

Another early start today for the Vatican. Up at 6:00 to make sure we met the tour group at 7:55 for the skip the line tour. A sound check with the “whisper” machines and in we go for the walk through the museum. All of the masters are here, Rafael, Michaelangelo, Caravaggio, Botticelli, Leonardo & Donatello. We were just awestruck with looking at these great works of art and this is just a small part of the treasures that the Vatican has. Every room has a selection of paintings, statues, frescoes and tapestries and then we are told that some of these rooms were the living quarters of some of the popes. After a while it all turns into a blur and becomes overwhelming. We walked through the Sistine Chapel (no pictures???) which was just amazing. ... read more
Augustus of Prima Porta
Museum courtyard
Modern art in courtyard

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome September 10th 2015

I am going to include the 2 days in Rome in this 1 blog with the final day in the Vatican. Today is another transfer day. A late start since we had to wait for our turn to leave the ship. Had to wait for our transfer shuttle from Civitavecchia to Rome. Last off the shuttle so we got a good tour with a drive around the city. Another observation… crossing the street is taking your life into your own hands. Everyone is texting & driving – including the scooter drivers! In the morning we got on the Hop on Hop off bus which takes us to all the highlights of Rome. The first stop is the Forum, the Palantine hills and then the Colosseum. It’s still hotter than you can believe with extreme humidity so ... read more
Santa Maria Maggiore
First sighting of the Colosseum
There are carvings everywhere you look

Europe » Italy » Campania » Amalfi September 9th 2015

A very early start today – we were the first group off the ship at 7:00! This tour is mainly a drive along the cost stopping along the way for quick visits before the big tour at Pompeii. Tour guide Angelo and driver Agostino were a great team. Driving skills for this bus driver are unparalled manoeuvering the bus within inches of other vehicles and the walls alongside the road. For a short bit of the ride they allowed me to sit in the jump seat beside the driver. What a treat, a spectacular vista out the front of the bus which provided some great pictures. I also gained a great amount of respect for the abilities of Agostino. The terrain here is extremely steep and yet many houses and villas are carved into the side ... read more
Sunrise in Naples
Amalfi coast
Amalfi coast 2

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Taormina September 9th 2015

Looks like another excursion in the heat. We docked in Catania and our excursion today is to Taormina on the northeastern coast which is another walled city, this one being started before the Greeks conquered this land. Quaint little alleys and streets with shops, restaurants and apartments jammed into every possible corner. Our guide gave us the overview not only of the city but of the island as well and it’s many different rulers. Sicily was always considered as a province onto itself ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Angevins (?), Spanish and Italians. During these different governments they all came to Sicily for their holidays adding all of their art and influences. Also due to all these rulers Sicily has a distinct language very different from Italian - according to our guide it is ... read more
Greek ruins in Catania
Roadside fruit stand
Italian style parking

Europe » Malta » Malta » Valletta September 7th 2015

Through open the curtains this morning and was surprised with the walled city of Valetta! Looks like every building is made out of the same type of stone. All limestone and lots of it still here. Hagar Qim (pronounced ha jar keem) OLDEST STRUCTURE ON THE PLANET!!!! Carbon dated to be 500 years older than the pyramids. Now the site is tented to protect it from the elements. What an amazing travel discovery. Going to have to do more reading about this when we get back. We have been invited to the sail away party which is on the helipad and the premier place to watch the port slip away (with champagne of course!). Fireworks in the harbour as we pulled away made it complete. Sadly no pastizzi. Tomorrow Sicily... read more
Valetta harbour
walled city
everything made out of limestone

Europe » Montenegro » Kotor September 5th 2015

Today we are being tendered into Kotor, Montenegro. Waters were very calm so no issues there. Anikea began to tell us about a very old culture with too many changes in their history to list. The bus ride to our first stop… well that’s what you needed the gravol for…. We were to go to visit a small village for a snack after traveling over the mountain. Enough switchbacks that they have the numbered. 29 is at the top. AND they only count the true switchbacks not just a bend or a tight curve. I loved the views. Absolutely spectacular. I checked all 4 corners on the bus, not a mark – before or after. Imagine getting half way through the switch back and having to back up because the bus couldn’t turn tight enough. OK ... read more
roadside market
harbour 1
harbour 2

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik September 4th 2015

Day 7 Dobrovnik, Croatia. Bus tour that took us into the Croatian countryside. We stopped at a small farm and were shown how olive oil was pressed for 250 year until the introduction of hydraulic presses. The olives are placed into the crushing vessel and the horse is then walked around the circle to rotate the 2 stone wheels. Once the olives are turned into a paste it is shoveled into coconut woven bags and placed under the press. The first pressing (extra virgin oil) is the first oil that is produced. The oil runs out of the press and into a water filled container. Since oil floats on the water, they wait for any sediment in the oil to drop out and then scoop off the oil. The second pressing is helped along by the ... read more
IMG_5166
Horse drawn olive grinder
IMG_5177




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