Page 30 of MrsMac Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice September 16th 2008

Geo: 45.4345, 12.3384On Sunday 14th, we said goodbye finally at breakfast to our fellow travelers and went for a walk along the Bosphorous. We stopped for coffee at the water's edge and it was very pleasant sitting there for a short time. After an hour or so we returned to the hotel and then were taken to the airport where we flew to Venice via Budapest on Malev airlines. We arrived about 7pm and were able to take a bus from the airport for only 3 Euros each to Piazza de Roma from where we walked to our hotel, albeit we had to drag our suitcases up and down steps in the dark. Fortunately it wasn't far!!Fletcher was keen to see St Mark's Square so we set out along the main pedestrian path from the railway ... read more
Giants' Staircase
Rialto Bridge
San Marco Square from the lagoon

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul September 14th 2008

Geo: 41.0245, 28.9881Istanbul is an intriguing city. It is full of the old and the new and around every corner there are more sights to see. The first thing that struck me as we drove in to the city were the number of mosques clearly defined by their minarets. This, of course, is not suprising, but coming from western countries where church spires are more common, it is a reminder of the prevalent culture. We had had a long day driving from Sofia. After a great night in Sofia with Steve and Jenny at an Italian restaurant, we had left our hotel at 7-30am. We had stopped on the drive at a couple of service statons but nothing of great note had been seen or done. I did text to Jo Armour to wish everyone well ... read more
Hagia Sofia
Inside the Blue Mosque
Main Street of the Grand Bazaar

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 11th 2008

Geo: 42.7105, 23.3238this morning we were taken on a city tour of Sofia. Left the hotel at 8-30 right into peak hour traffic. As we sat in the traffic jam our guide Valery told us about the background history of this place. I discovered that Bulgaria in Ancient times was Thrace. This was very interesting news. We were driven to a square where we alighted from the bus. This was just outside the Presidential Palace which had two ceremonial guards on duty. The opposite building was the Archaeological Museum which is housed in an old Mosque, no longer in use. My ears pricked up at that! !! From there we walked back along the road to the National Art Gallery where we went inside but only as far as the souvenir shop. This was an excellent ... read more
National Theatre, Sofia
Presidential Palace
St Sofia's Church

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia September 11th 2008

Geo: 42.7105, 23.3238I have had an interesting 60th birthday!! It started in Ohrid, progressed through lunch in Skopje and ended in dinner in Sofia. As we left on the bus from Ohrid, our tour guide, Piotor, announced my birthday and handed out the words to a Polish song, "We wish you to live one hundred years". All the bus joined in !!! We drove through the Macedonian mountains towards Skopje, the capital city. We arrived there at 11. Walked to see the old city across the stone bridge into the Turkish quarter. There was the old Turkish Baths building which is now an Art Gallery and an old Byzantine church. Wandered through the Turkish Bazaar but there was little to tempt us. Wandered back to a restaurant our guide had recommended and found ourselves swamped in ... read more
Old Turkish Baths, Skopje
Stone Bridge, Skopje

Europe » Macedonia » Ohrid September 10th 2008

Geo: 41.12, 20.82An exciting city tour of Tirana awaited us this morning!! We drove from our beautiful hotel along the main boulevard of Tirana, the street of the Martyrs of the country through Mother Teresa square and stopped in Skanderberg Square. Along this main street, built by the Italians during their brief ownership of the country in the 30s, most of the main buildings are situated. We passed the President's palace, the parliament building, the University and some other government buildings. The Main square, Skanderberg is named after a hero of the 15th century and there is a massive statue to him there. There are also many ugly buildings, remnants of the Communist regime of Hoxha in the 60s and after. The traffic is chaotic and I was most amused watching policemen with batons trying to ... read more
Bunkers in the mountains, Albania
Lake Ohrid
Main square,Tirana

Europe » Albania » West » Tirana September 9th 2008

Geo: 41.3317, 19.8172This morning we left Dubrovnik very early, at 7-30am. We headed down the coast, stopping for a photo of the city from the clifftop. Continued on to the Croatia/Montenegro border which we passed through without too much difficulty. Our first major stop was in the old walled city of Kotor in Montenegro. This is on what they say is the only fiord outside Scandinavia. Strictly speaking it is not a fiord but is a magnificent inlet. We drove right around it before we got to the city. There are two small islands in the middle, each with a small church on it.Kotor was an interesting place. Narrow streets, many Orthodox churches and small squares. It was another hot day, sunny and bright. We meandered through the streets and had an early pizza lunch at ... read more
Adriatic coast, Montenegro
Islands in the lake near Kotor
Narrow streets Kotor Old Town

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik September 8th 2008

Geo: 42.6537, 18.0948We left Split at 9am with the depressing news that the Crows had been beaten by Collingwood. Unfortunately there were Pies supporters on the tour so we had to endure a short(thankfully) rendition of Good old Collingwood Forever.!!We drove along the Adriatic coast. Every turn brought us to beautiful bays and inlets with stunning views. We crossed the border into Bosnia -Herzogovina where we made a stop in Neum. This is the Bosnian access to the sea and is only a very narrow strip of land. We had an icecream so we could claim it as another country visited!!We arrived in Dubrovnik at 1pm and had an hour before we could check into our rooms. Fletcher and I wandered down to the local beach where we had a quick lunch of Pizza and salad ... read more
Dubrovnik walls
Fletcher in Bosnia
Harbour in Dubrovnik

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Split September 6th 2008

Geo: 43.5127, 16.4424We left this morning early and drove south. We were driving along the Adriatic coast and there were many picturesque scenes along the way. Our first stop was by the Krka river which had rocky cliffs on either side and mussell farms along the banks. From there we drove along the coast which had many pretty inlets etc. Our next stop was at Trogir. This is situated on an island and is a very ancient city. We were taken into the centre of the city and then given free time. We walked back to the main square and went into the Cathedral of St Lawrence. This was dated from the 13th century with a wonderful entrance arch depicting Adam and Eve. We looked into the interior and then climbed up to the bell tower ... read more
Central Courtyard, Diocletian's Palace
Necropolis, Salona
Venetian Fortress, Trogir

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Zadar September 5th 2008

Geo: 44.122, 15.2381We are now in Zadar having spent a fabulous two days seeing various aspects of Croatia.We spent yesterday morning further exploring Zagreb, returning to some of the monuments of the Lower Town we had only seen from the bus. These included the National Theatre building in Tito square and the parks that form a green U around the city. We also went back to the markets which were now open and we browsed through the various stalls selling flowers, fruit and fish. I bought a beautiful hand embroidered table cloth for my back table which was not expensive. There were some lovely more modern sculptures in the town too, including one of an old lady I particularly liked. We had lunch at a cafe near the main square which was great.We left Zagreb about ... read more
Franciscan cloisters, Zadar
Groovy statue
Harbour, Zadar

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Zagreb September 3rd 2008

Geo: 45.8069, 15.96147-45am. We left Vienna at this ungodly hour, on a day that promised blue skies and warm weather. Our bus headed down Highway 2 towards Graz, a southern city in Austria. We saw the famous Vienna woods in the distance but the rest of the scenery was green fields and small farms. After a brief toilet stop we continued across the border into Slovenia and stopped for lunch at Maribor, the second largest city in this country. The main tourist attraction here was a 400 year old grape vine, underwhelming to say the least. We did have a pleasant lunch overlooking the Drava river, tasting some of the local fare.Back on the bus we drove to the Croatian border. Here a Passport Officer came on board and at least looked at our passports, but ... read more
Cathedral, Church of St Stephen
Church of St Mark
Church spires of Zagreb

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