Tracey & Bernie Gaffney


Tracey & Bernie Gaffney

Tracey and I love to travel, but when at home, Golden Retrievers rule.

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 24th 2015

This morning our first stop was Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, the Spanish Steps. There are 135 steps that climb the steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti at the top. Once again we had the benefit of an early start and found the steps to be relatively deserted before 9.00am in the morning. I have to say that the steps were much bigger than I remembered them and at the moment they are adorned with potted azaleas and look fabulous. An (Italian?) woman asked me to take her photo and she said that she had never seen the steps with flowering plants on them before. We climbed to the top and then returned to the bottom of the steps before making our way up the Pincian Hill ... read more
Top of the Spanish Steps
View from Pincian Hill
View from Pincian Hill - St Peter's

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 23rd 2015

This morning the forecast suggested that there might be some rain later in the day so we set out with our umbrellas ... just in case. We left the hotel just after 8.00am heading for St Peter's Basilica. Our route this morning took us for an early morning stroll through the Piazza Navona. What a difference it makes to walk the streets and piazzas of Rome in the early morning; there's hardly anyone else around to get in the way!! Without all of the crowds that descend on the square later in the day were were able to photograph the Fountain of the Four Rivers that surrounds an Egyptian obelisk in the middle of Piazza Navona and the 17th-century Baroque church Sant'Agnese in Agone. Aiming to arrive at St Peter's Basilica before the hordes we continued ... read more
Overlooking the Vatican gardens
Overlooking Piazza San Pietro
Vatican Post

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 22nd 2015

This morning we turned right instead of left as we stepped out the door of the Hotel Regno to head south-east towards the Colosseo. We found our way really easily because as soon as we turned onto the Via del Fiori Imperiali from the Via del Corso we could see it!! When we reached the Coliseum we were able to enter straight away and exchange our voucher for the Underground Colosseum tour for our tickets for the group departing at 9.40am. Our guide arrived slightly before 9.40am to hand out audio devices for the tour. Just as we were about to head off a woman rushed up to say she should be on the tour, but she just had to round up someone?? Her husband, family?? Our guide, Barbara, said OK, but please hurry. We waited ... read more
Inside the Coliseum, Roma
Backstage at the Coliseum, Roma
Coliseum, Roma

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 21st 2015

We set the alarm for 6.30am this morning so that we would have plenty of time to have breakfast downstairs at the hotel and then walk to the Vatican. After about six of hours of sleep we were awake at 6.15am anyway so decided to get showered and dressed and aim to be in the breakfast room close to 7.00am when it opens. There was plenty of food to choose from for breakfast with the buffet including: fruit, fruit juice, cereal, bread, rolls, meat, cheese, croissants and pastries. And, if that wasn't enough to choose from we could order a cooked breakfast! After a modest breakfast, considering what was on offer, we cleaned our teeth and then set off for the Vatican. Rather than taking the most direct route, and risk getting lost in the small ... read more
Pinacoteca Vatican
Vatican Gate
House of the Gardener

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome April 20th 2015

I don't think that I am a fan of these middle of the night/very early morning departures. We have been on the go since about 8.00am Sunday morning so it's been an 18 hour day by the time our flight starts boarding ... at about the time that it should have been departing! Just before the flight started boarding all of the passengers started to arrive in the gate lounge. We were lucky enough to have a large (family?) group take up seats near us and then a member of their party proceeded to cough up her spleen. Oh, just wonderful, if we don't catch her cold/fu from the departure lounge we'll be getting it recirculated through the plane's a/c for the next seven and a half hours!! Finally we were all loaded up and on ... read more
Trevi Fountain
Angels on the corner
Tempio di Adriano

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Tullamarine April 19th 2015

Our last day in Australia before flying to Rome in the wee, small hours of Monday morning! After helping Michael celebrate his 50th birthday down in Drouin we spent Saturday night at Bernie's Mum and Dad's place. After breakfast we loaded Gidget and Finbar into my little car as the CX-5 is having a holiday too ... in Drouin in Mum and Dad's garage. The weather was pretty cold and wet as we drove back to Hallam. With the weather turning so wintry in Melbourne it made us very happy to think that we would soon be enjoying springtime in Rome! Back in Hallam we finished our house cleaning and crammed all of worldly possessions for the next eight weeks into our bags. We both felt like we were packing a fairly minimal amount of clothing, ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 7th 2014

This is not strictly a travel blog, but those who were following our Tasmanian holiday might be interested in seeing the *NEW CAR* that was referred to in last Thursday's blog. Following some miscommunication between us and the salesman (our bad) delivery did not take place on Tuesday - I had to wait two more days until today to collect my brand new Renault Clio Dynamique. I have been so excited about making this purchase because I have never actually had a car of my own - even though I have been driving for 34 years! I have had to make do with driving first Mum's car and then Bernie's car and, since we have been married, 'our' car because we have always made do with just the one car. We arrived at the Berwick Renault ... read more
Tracey & her NEW CAR at Lysterfield Lake
The Renault's distinctive front end
Passenger side view

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne August 3rd 2014

Thank goodness we didn't have to sail back to Melbourne on Wednesday or Thursday night when the weather was so wild. Bernie's brother, Michael, posted a synoptic chart/weather forecast for all of the southern Australian coastline and Tasmania that showed a 10 metre swell EVERYWHERE and asked if we were on the boat. Fortunately not!! The crossing was not as smooth as when we sailed to Tasmania - we had a slight roll all night and could hear the waves slapping against the hull - but we didn't get sea sick or tossed out of our bunks so it was all good. In fact, it was a fast crossing that had us docked at Station Pier ahead of time at 5.30am this morning. Not wanting to crash in on our house sitters too early this morning ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Devonport August 2nd 2014

This morning's first stop was at Cataract Gorge the final passage that the South Esk River navigates before flowing into the Tamar River. After the rain of the last two days the river was absolutely gushing through the gorge in spectacular fashion! We parked the car near the First Basin area and walked down into the Cataract Gorge Reserve. I believe there is a swimming pool in the lawn area near the basin, but this was completely inundated by the amount of water flowing through the gorge at the moment. From the lawn area we took the path to the supspension bridge from which we were able to stand over the torrent of water flowing underneath and be in awe of the incredible force of nature. The gorge is a world class kayak run, but I ... read more
Cataract Gorge
Cataract Gorge Suspension Bridge
Bird of the Day

Oceania August 1st 2014

If the view from the Bed in the Treetops was lovely yesterday afternoon it was spectacular this morning with blue sky and even bluer water! We went upstairs to Bruce and Marianne's dining room to enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast looking out over Georges Bay and the Tasman Sea and watching Tasmanian Green Parrots eating at the feeding stations on the balconies. Bruce and Marianne deserve all of the awards that they have earned for their delightful B&B in the trees with a sea view. Best of both worlds - sea and trees! With the sun still shining we headed off to see Binalong Bay in the daylight - beautiful - and then headed north towards The Gardens along the southernmost section of the Bay of Fires. This is yet another gorgeous area of Tasmania to ... read more
Treetops View
Binalong Bay
Bay of Fires

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