Elizabeth Jane Aitken


Elizabeth Jane Aitken

My husband and I are both retired teachers and we love travelling, photography and enjoying life.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Outer Hebrides » South Uist July 14th 2014

We left Tobermory by bus, travelled to Craignure and caught a ferry to Oban. From there, we caught another ferry out to Uist in the Outer Hebrides on a beautiful sunny day. The ferry glided past Mull and Tobermory before heading out to sea for a journey of over 5 hours to Lockboisdale in South Uist. When we arrived in Lochboisdale, it was 7.00pm and the car was waiting for us. The arrangements were to use the car for the 4 days then drive it up to North Uist and leave it at near the ferry to be picked up. The car was to be left open and the keys left in the car under the sun viser. I love their casual attitude here. The landscape is totally unfamiliar to us, moorland; peat covered with heather, ... read more
Arriving at Lochboisdale
South Uist West Coast
Mosaic Mackeral at Lochmaddy North Uist

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Isle of Mull July 10th 2014

AROUND MULL 1. Staffa & Treshnish Isles Wildlife Tour. At 10.00am on an overcast Sunday morning we stepped aboard our cruise boat together with about 30 other people, looking forward to seeing puffins for the first time. We had booked this cruise before we left to make sure we had a space on the boat, but we could just have arrived and it would have been OK. The weather didn’t look too promising, windy and showery, but our captain reassured us, promising that the showers would stop and we’d have fine weather shortly and he was right. The boat sailed out towards two small islands, Coll and Tiree, stopping along the way to look at some bottle nosed dolphins. They were spotted near a group of gannets who were feeding on a shoal of fish. The ... read more
Looking out to sea
Fingal's Cave on Staffa
Medieval Nunnery

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Argyll » Isle of Mull July 9th 2014

Au Revoir to France and Hi to Scotland There was a delay in the plane’s departure from Charles de Gaulle airport, so our arrival in Glasgow was two hours behind schedule. We spent our time reading and using the free Wifi available in the airport and finally it was boarding time. We knew we’d arrived when we heard beautiful lilting Scottish accents and saw familiar street names, Buchanan, George, Queen and Argyll Streets. Our hotel, “Alexander Thompson”, was an old hotel, but had clean spacious rooms and a huge Scottish breakfast, so we couldn’t ask for more. Getting the tickets for Oban and the ferry to Mull, was easy. The trains all leave from Queen Street Station, which was only a ten minute walk away. We bought our tickets the afternoon we arrived, so we'd be ... read more
Duart Castle

Europe » France » Picardy » Amiens June 17th 2014

Arrivederci Venice Already I miss the sounds of the gondoliers in the canal beneath our hotel window. In the morning we heard their easy banter as they prepared their gondolas for the day. Later in the day and in the evening, there was often the sound of a piano accordion playing and a tenor singing, “O Solo Mio” to rousing applause by the onlookers. There was always happy chatter and laughter from the constant flood of tourists being taken for their 40-minute ride around the canals. Our home for the past four nights has been the Hotel Lisbona, an old Venetian hotel with velvet wallpaper, tapestries and chandeliers. We were on the third floor and as these hotels don’t have lifts, it wasn’t easy getting the luggage, or ourselves up and down. This is definitely not ... read more
Stairs to our room.
Riolta Bridge
The market

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 10th 2014

To get to Lucca we had to backtrack from Siena to Florence, then quickly catch a connecting train on to Lucca. When we arrived it was very hot and we dragged our luggage over bumpy cobbled stoned streets, getting more hot and lost and frustrated. Eventually we found our B&B, Anfiteatro almost at the opposite end of town to the station. It was great to be there, kick off our shoes, turn on the air conditioning and rest. Our B&B was next to the Piazza Anfiteatro, hence the name and was very convenient to many cafes and restaurants and the Medieval wall. Although Lucca is another Medieval city, it is quite different to all the others we have seen. It is a living, vibrant city and on the day we arrived, they were holding historical re-enactments ... read more
A view from our window, the road and restaurant nearby.
Views from the bell tower
The ancient Paleochristian Church under San Giovanni

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Siena June 10th 2014

Florence was a feast for the senses, a treasure trove of delights with small alley ways, cascades of rich red geraniums hanging from balconies, colourful markets, Tuscan Gothic churches and museums full of paintings and sculptures from antiquity. Michelango's David is there, so are paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, and the Great Masters. This place hits your senses visually. A walk down any road, or Via, really a lane way, brings you Medieval doorways, arches, cobblestone paving and lastly cars that shouldn't be there. Our apartment was in Via Dei Pepi, just metres from Santa Croce. The position was great and it was interesting how an unimposing exterior can reveal a cosy and contemporary interior. We had a great set up with a modern kitchen and bathroom and all the basics provided. Shopping was ... read more
Piazza dell Signoria
Lunch at the Uffizi Museum

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento May 31st 2014

Naples to Sorrento After hearing so many travellers’ tales about the Regional Train from Naples to Sorrento, I was nervous right from the start. Even the station attendant shouted to us as we went through the ticket barrier, “Watch out for pick pockets!” The regional train is beneath the Napali Centrale link from Rome and the escalator wasn’t working. On the station a young girl came up to me asking for money. Her average looking family, were standing nearby and didn’t call her back. Alarm bells were ringing. The train pulled out of the station packed to the rafters. We had to get on with our entire luggage and we were separated right from the start. “Watch out for pick pockets, watch out for Gypsies” I was told. There was even a pictogram on the train ... read more
Capri Boat Trip

Europe » Italy » Lazio May 24th 2014

We started early, ready for a big day around the Vatican. The Metro is very efficient and after walking to Manzone we bought our integrated all day tickets for 6 euros each and hopped on. The metros are built underground, but our line comes out before crossing the Tiber, so we had a good view of the river. We got off at Cipro, the Musei Vaticani station and we were on our way. We walked past the queues and into the front door smiling to ourselves that we had enough sense to buy an online ticket that enabled us to jump the queue. The Vatican Museum was unbelievable - rooms full of treasures, tapestries, mosaics, sculptures and of course the final destination to the Sistine Chapel. We took our time and used the audio guide as ... read more
John in the Gallery of Maps
Tapestry in Vatican Museum
Love the paintings on walls and ceilings and the rooms go on and on.

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 22nd 2014

Over the past couple of days we've put on our walking shoes and hit the sights. We have mastered the Metro and have wandered around, getting lost and also discovering little streets and shops off the main drag. A French couple who were also lost helped us to find the Spanish Steps and after I bought a big map of Rome we were organised. Off to the Trevi Fountain we went and we were so pleased we weren't in a tour following a leader with a flag on a stick. What a shame to have such limited time in all these places, getting lost occasionally is a small price to pay. We walked and walked to find the churches John had read about only to find they were closed until 3.00pm. We decided not to waste ... read more
Spanish Steps.
Unexpected delights
Red geraniums, so Italian.

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 20th 2014

The trip to Rome was smooth, but I couldn't sleep, so I caught up on my film watching. It was a great opportunity to see the latest releases. We landed in Singapore for a stop over at 2.00am, then another 12 hours to Rome. Twenty hours of flying East into darkness and continual night is very disorientating. The first time we saw sun was in Rome when we touched down at 7.20am. and streams of light poured in through the windows. Singapore Air have great service, great food and the Singapore Slings will be a new favourite. I'm going to buy a bottle to bring home. We took the train to the city and then caught a cab from the station. It was only a 3km drive and the driver charged us 30euro, not sure if ... read more
The Colosseum
View of Colosseum from around the corner from our apartment.
Local Deli selection

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