Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 7th 2019

The final day of our trip - always a strange day as you know that often it involves a great deal of travel in several forms. After a quick breakfast, we headed for a final walk around Munich before we had to sit for the journey home. We were able to see some of the churches we had missed the night before and it was great as the roads were much quieter at this time. Heading back to the hotel to check out, we then went to the station for what would be over 9 hours on different trains. Our first journey on a German ICE train was Munich to Frankfurt airport station. The German trains were very relaxing and on time - it was great to have so much leg room. The second leg was ... read more
Start of the journey home

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich August 6th 2019

After enjoying our last breakfast in Bologna, we had a couple of hours before our train to have a final walk around the city. We were certainly glad that we did as we found the two towers, which are mentioned in Dante’s Inferno. Bologna has its own leaning tower. Other highlights were exploring some of the smaller side streets with some of the market areas including fish, fruit etc. A vibrant city. The walk did help us to prepare for the 6.5 hour train from Bologna to Munich - we were glad we got on in Bologna as there were more getting on in Verona. The train goes through the Brenner pass which is near the Italian/Austrian border in the Tyrol. The views are stunning looking across the towns, mountains and marvelling at the amazing engineering ... read more
More arches
Neu Rathaus, Munich
Weiner Schnitzel

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna August 5th 2019

Today was our final full day in Italy before our two days of travel to return to the UK. After a good breakfast, which also included cake, we headed off back to the city to follow the map we had been sent from our Tailor Made Rail. We were to start from the Neptune statue - our first port of call was the Salaborsa, once the economic centre, now a place of culture. In this building, you could see some of the old city below through a glass floor. We did do this a little later than planned, as opening times in the summer are a little later 14:30 not 10:30 when we got there. It is worth a look, however some of the glass could do with a clean to have a better look. Heading ... read more
Anatomical theatre - old university
Anatomical theatre - old university
Anatomical theatre - old university

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna August 4th 2019

As indicated in the last blog, our friends headed for the airport around 8am sadly we did not wave them off as we were still fast asleep. It had been a great couple of days together sharing the adventure. So back to the two, we enjoyed our final breakfast at the Grand Hotel des Arts - checked out, stored our bags and headed out for a final fling around Verona to soak up the excitement and see some of the set we had seen on the stage returned to its area in the square. We went back to our little cafe near the hotel for an Aperol Spritz, picked up our bags and headed to the station to catch the 14:52 train to Bologna ( only 50 minutes away by train). The train was busy although ... read more
Dinner including the famous Bolognese sauce
Neptune’s fountain
Unfinished cathedral of St Peter

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona August 3rd 2019

With the operas finishing late I am now a day behind in the blogs - so hope to catch up today. After another great breakfast, we headed to retrace our steps to find the Duomo - we at least knew the direction of travel from our wet trip the day before. Having made it to the castle once more, the sign was spotted pointing us in the direction of the Duomo (think I missed it whilst looking down to avoid puddles) - with no such excuses this time we made it to the cathedral fairly unscathed apart from going the whole way around it to find the entrance. As you will see from the photos, the interior was absolutely stunning and the many stages of the build over the centuries just added to the splendour. It ... read more
Basilica di San Zeno
Basilica di San Zeno
Basilica di San Zeno

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona August 2nd 2019

The breakfast at the hotel is amazing - so much food and choice that keeps being replenished. It certainly sets you up for day. The four of us decided to head across Ponte Pietra to the Castel San Pietro, a high point which offers a view across the city of Verona. We headed from the hotel to pass the Arena di Verona enroute, however we were sidetracking by buying a couple of shirts, ties and a scarf on route from a wonderful shop with its origins in Milan. The shop staff were brilliant and prepared the shirt for me to try it on - never had such service in the UK. Once purchases had been made, we continued on our journey to our original destination, we decided to stop for a pitstop, which was lucky as ... read more
City walls
View from Castle
View in the arena from our seat

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona August 1st 2019

Our final breakfast in the Regina Palace hotel was another good feast - looking out to the lake. Next, all packed up and checked out, we headed to the station for our first train of the day - the 09:40 to Milano Centrale. Although a couple of minutes late, the train pulled into platform 1, the trouble was the coach numbers were not that clear so we got on the train and I went in hunt of coach 6. As I was moving down I saw the numbers increasing and thought it was ok for both of us to travel down - wrong! The numbers did indeed increase but from number 4 to 14 in one leap. We gave up and stood mid carriages and got into a wonderful conversation with a couple from New Zealand ... read more
Impressive building
Little feast for €6
Oldest bridge with 2 original arches

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Stresa July 31st 2019

Our last full day in Stresa. After breakfast, we headed out to walk to Belgirate, along the coast. The journey started off brilliantly striding out along the paths past a mini-golf site and a park with animals - however at this point the path stopped in the car park near the park and the gap along side the road did not appear to be that safe with the number of cars heading our way. So undeterred we turned around and walked back the way we had come and kept walking along the coast, passing the cable car of yesterday’s visit and carrying on to Baveno, which was less in the middle of the road - although only slightly and hoping no coach would shoot past. Baveno is a very picturesque town on the side of the ... read more
Picture from the church
Painting in church
Garden on Isola Bella

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Stresa July 30th 2019

After a substantial breakfast, although finding decaf coffee was a challenge, we headed to find the cable car to get us up to Mottarone. Leaving the hotel and finding our way along the coast to the base of the cable car, we did go further around then we needed to but signage was not prolific. The queue was already quite substantial by 9:30am when the first cable car began its ascent - we followed cyclists as well as people ready to throw themselves off the mountain with only one other person and a parachute. The first car took us to Alpina and then the second car took us up to Mottarone. The scene from James Bond fighting Jaws (silver teeth man not big fish) came to mind but thankfully not for long. At the summit we ... read more
Ticket to the top!
Where the fun begins
Chair lift to the summit

Europe » Italy » Piedmont » Stresa July 29th 2019

As the title of this blog indicates there were a few challenges to our travel but more to come on that. The morning, after enjoying breakfast in the hotel’s panoramic breakfast room overlooking the lake and the Alps, started with another walk by the lake to keep the legs stretched out before our 2 hour trip from Lausanne to Stresa. The views across to Evian and Thonon ( both places we have enjoyed) was stunning with the sun glinting off the water. Very relaxing. Later we headed up the steep hills to reach the old town with its impressive gothic cathedral, which is amazing inside with an impressive organ and console - it would be good to try that out! The building was so peaceful and the colours of the stained glass windows created amazing colours ... read more
Stained glass window
Evening in Stresa
Organ console

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