Philip Farina

Phil Farina

Philip Farina

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík February 4th 2019

Reykjavik Final Day The weather forecast for our final day in Iceland was calling for snow. Since most of the roads we had traveled on were treacherous enough already, we chose not to head out and tempt fate with more snow scheduled to fall. We decided to intentionally sleep in a little and spend another day exploring Reykjavik. We awoke to see snow beginning to fall. The sky was filled with dark gray snow clouds, which did not allow in the sunlight. This morning was the first time it was actually twilight at 10 AM. This is what we had expected all week. The temperature had risen a bit but was still a degree or six below zero. The main roads in Reykjavik are well prepared for snow. First, they are not smooth surfaced cement or ... read more
The Penis lamp, a MUST have
Proof it exists
Snow on our last day

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík February 2nd 2019

Iceland Road Trip Day 3 Another day dawned in the most northern capital city in Europe. The plan was to get up around 7 AM and drive along the more southern tier of the Golden Circle. Good plan, but not perfect execution. We got up at 9 AM and hit the road just before 10 AM. It was a little colder today than yesterday, with a temperature forecast of -10 C. Also, we had a bit more wind to help drive the temperature down further, so we bundled up with everything we had and hit the road. Our first stop Reykjafoss in the Botanical Gardens in Hverageroi. The big attraction in the gardens is supposed to be the water falls or FOSS in Icelandic. In conjunction with that, there was a geothermal park right outside the ... read more
Beautiful Farmscape
Breathtaking Scenery
Pjorsardalur Valley

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík February 1st 2019

Iceland Road Trip Today, the plan was to get in the car and drive the Golden Circle around Iceland. If you do it right the entire trip is 140 miles and should take 5.5 hours. Not for us! It took nearly 8 hours and 195 miles. The plan was to get up at 7AM and hit the road by 8 AM. Best laid plans of mice and men… Last night we didn’t get home till well after 1 AM from the Aurora outing. We have been up nearly 24 hours, and, well, quite frankly, we were exhausted. The alarm went off as planned, but we didn’t move out of bed. At 10 AM we finally got up and prepared for the day ahead. As you may recall, we are driving around in a 2016 diesel 4 ... read more
Kerio Crater
Icelandic Pony

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík January 31st 2019

Reykjavik Day One We arrived at the airport a little late, about 7AM rather than 5:30 AM as scheduled. For us, it was no problem as we were not traveling onward, to those, however, with connections it was near tragic. WOW Airlines is a budget airline, so there are no frills and no quick solutions to problems. There are some major advantages to a budget airline, COST; and some major disadvantages, if something goes wrong you are screwed. The folks going to Dublin from Detroit, made their flight, barely. Folks going to London and points further on in Europe, did not. Unfortunately for them, the next scheduled flight is tomorrow! The airline was responsible for overnight accommodations and feeding these folks so that was not bad, but what do you do while you are waiting for ... read more
Modern Reykjavik

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Reykjavík January 30th 2019

Travels to Reykjavik January 30, 2019 Another auspicious beginning to a trip overseas. Some of you may know I got a chance to go to Iceland on WOW Airlines at an unbelievable price of $220 ROUND TRIP. How can you pass that up? Well, I couldn’t. So here I am, sitting is a puddle of water up to my ankles at gate D9 inside the Detroit Airport. Please allow me to explain. This week, for work, I had to fly to Louisville KY on Monday for meetings Monday and Tuesday. A typical week for me on the job, but this week was anything but typical. It seems the entire corridor of the mid-west was stuck right in the middle of an Artic Blast subjecting the population to temperatures approaching 40 degrees below zero. Add to this ... read more
Northern Lights

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 23rd 2018

Today we have to say good bye to The Splendid Hotel and head out to Pisa and the famous leaning tower. On the way we learned that the tower was poorly designed from the start. First the ground was insecure. Some of the property was wet and some dry leading to a poor choice of location, but since the tower was designed as the bell tower for the church, location was not optional. So, they drained the water and began building. The first two rings of the tower were good, all level. Next came the third tier and they noticed it was leaning a little so they stopped construction. After some tinkering, they decided to continue the construction, but they made the columns on one side of the building larger than the other, hoping to straighten ... read more
Florence from Michelangelo Square
Loving Florence
The Bronze David

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Como June 23rd 2018

Friday morning, we departed the Splendid Hotel for a ride to Lake Como, a place frequented by the very rich and very famous. He we find the homes of George Clooney, Bridget Bardot, and many others whose fame and fortune far outweighs the rest of us. Today the optional tour was a boat ride around the lake to see where the other half lives. Cathy and I have done that several times, so we chose to stay in town and visit the churches and the shops. Como is famous for silk and many of the shops featured local silk clothes such as ties, scarves, shirts and suits. Many bore the names of famous designers. We were able to buy some ties, scarves and some smaller items for those we left at home. We perambulated all around ... read more
View of the Alps
Watch Tower turned into Pirate Restaurant
The lucky travelers

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 21st 2018

Today we leave the beautiful city of Venice and head to the city of fashion, Milan. It was a long day but well worth it. We rose fairly early and hit our private water taxi for a last look at the Grand Canal and the beauty that is St. Marks as we made our way to the ferry landing. Our bus driver, Andreus, drove the bus to the ferry and arrived at the appointed stop just as we landed in our taxi. Perfect timing. Since it was a long ride to Milan, I settled onto the bus for a much-needed nap. Both Cathy and I slept for the first leg of our journey. At about 10 AM we had a “comfort stop” at the Auto Grill. Now for those who have not been to Europe the ... read more
Our Venice Hotel
Milan Designer Shopping Mall entrance
Milan Basilica

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice June 19th 2018

Monday June 18 was my 65thbirthday and I had the pleasure of celebrating the event with my wife in Venice. We spent Monday and Tuesday in Venice the beautiful city of canals and history. Monday morning, we hit the bus and first headed to Verona, the fabled city of Romeo and Juliette. Sorry to spoil the story but there was no real Romeo and Juliette and therefore the was no balcony from which Romeo wooed the young Juliette. The story goes that one day the sleepy town of Verona was looking for a way to cash in on the story. So out of the blue they chose a particular house that was near the center plaza and claimed this was the fabled house of the story. The location was perfect, right near the city center, the ... read more
Verona Coliseum
Food Artist
Bridge of Sighs, Venice

Europe » Italy June 17th 2018

First and foremost, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads who are and to those who will be wherever you are. Today was a long bus day, but we did get to sleep in a little late for once. We rose at 6:45; bags out by 7:00; then to the bus by 8:30. Today we had a 500 km drive to Assisi. The day was bright and clear with a little lower temperature around 78 with a lovely breeze. A perfect day for travel. The plan was to travel a bit, have a rest stop, travel some more and then stop for lunch. After lunch we were scheduled to visit the graves at Monte Cassini where in WW2 thousands died fighting the Fascists and Nazi armies. After this stop we were heading to Assisi where we ... read more
St Francis Gate opens to Assisi
PAX garden with the TAU of peace symbol of St Francis
St Francis Basilica

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