Wayne and Liz


Wayne and Liz

Couple who love to travel, meet people, try new foods and enjoy the scenery.

Europe » Sweden » Västra Götaland County » Gothenburg June 27th 2018

June 23 we flew from Venice to Gothenburg via Brussels, and were met by Wayne's second cousin, Anders, about noon. He drove us the approximately two hours to Stromstad, a pretty seaside town on the west coast. Along the way we stopped by a roadside cafe for some Swedish fast food: a smoked salmon plate and a shrimp salad. If you don't like seafood, you may be unhappy in Sweden, because it turned out that we ate shrimp and lox at every meal with Anders's family. We enjoyed it, especially one "torta" (cake) made with a dark bread crust topped with shrimp, egg, and salmon in a cream cheese sauce. Anyhow, back in Stromstad we met Anders's wife, Monika, and two children, ages 7 and 4. We all got into their small outboard boat for the ... read more
Anders and Wayne load the boat
The cottage on Oddo
View from the front lawn

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice June 25th 2018

June 20 our Overseas Adventure Travel group left Brixen and rode to Bassano del Grappa, where fierce battles were fought in WWI, and also the site, during WWII, of a massacre of partisans who revolted against the Nazis. Dozens were hung on trees (now designated with plaques) or shot by firing squad. We met and had a talk with a member of the Alpini, skilled mountaineers who originally had the job of defending the northern Italian border and who now perform peacekeeping missions around the world. They are recognizable by their felt hats with a black feather - very dashing. Sadly, this was our last stop as a group, and we said goodbye after a relaxing veal dinner accompanied by a duet (16 and 21 years old!) performing jazz on piano and saxophone. Now Wayne and ... read more
Row of trees commemorating heroes in Bassano
A member of the Alpini, with characteristic hat
At the Bridge of Sighs in Venice

Europe » Italy » Trentino Alto Adige » Brixen June 20th 2018

From Verona we drove to Trento, or Trent to English speakers. This is where the Council of Trent met in the 16th century to form an agreement between the Catholic pope in the south and the Holy Roman Empire of Germany in the north. This area of Trentino and South Tyrol has changed hands so many times. 2000 years ago the Romans were here and established posts to control trade routes to the north. Then in Medieval times more Germans/Austrians moved in, and that is the predominant language here. In the 19th century, Italy finally united as a nation, but this Tyrollean area was not a part of it. In WW1, Italy at first stayed neutral but then entered on the side of France and England when promised that they could annex this region. Once it ... read more
Typical cobblestone street
Street scene in Trento
Back courtyard of the castle in Trento

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona June 17th 2018

15 June - Our group traveled by bus to Verona, setting of Romeo & Juliet. The city is divided by an S-shaped River, Adige, crossed by several bridges, the most striking of which is Ponte di Castelvecchio. Like so many Italian cities, there are remains dating back to Roman times visible in random archeological digs spread around the town. Verona was a strategic location along trading routes going both east-west and north-south, so it changed hands several times, from Romans to northern Barbarians to an independent city-state , to Venetian control, to Austrian takeover, to Italy today. So there is a lot of German/Austrian influence in the culture and food here in Northern Italy. On this Friday the city was quite crowded, but our group managed to follow a local guide through the cobblestone streets and ... read more
Narrow street in Verona
The arena in Verona
St. Anthony's in Mantua

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Franciacorta June 15th 2018

We left Tirano June 13 and drove to the Franciacorta region via Aprica (ski resort) and Edolo. Franciacorta is a wine-producing area near Lake Iseo, famous for sparkling wine since 1961. We had an hour walk through vineyards to the Berlucchi winery, where we had a private tour through the cellars and heard the whole process of putting the fizz I sparkling wine. Basically, after the usual fermentation, a mix of yeast and sugar are added to each bottle, and it is sealed up, to let the gas and pressure build in the bottle. Eventually the yeast dies and the bottle is turned regularly to let the yeast settle out. Finally, the bottle is left upside down, so all the yeast is collected in the neck. Then the neck is flash frozen to get the yeast ... read more
Machine for harrowing between the rows
Bottles of Franciacorta in the cellar

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Tirano June 11th 2018

On June 10 we left Milan to travel by bus with our OAT group to Tirano via Lake Como. We made a couple of stops on the way near the beautiful lake where George Clooney, Johnny Depp and some other celebrities have villas. The first stop was at a village called Bellamo to see a flume ("l'orrido di Bellamo"). The second was at Varenna, a town that was overrun with tourists and weekenders from Milan on this perfect Sunday afternoon. We had gelato and a light lunch by the lake and toured some botanical gardens. Everything grows here with a mild climate year-round! We continued on, turning into the Valtelline (a valley region known for wine and apples) and ending at Tirano, a walkable small city split into a modern half and a 17th century half, ... read more
Lake Como and Varenna
Castle Nuovo ("new") near Tirano
Petroglyphs near Tirano

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Milan June 10th 2018

We arrived in Milan at about 9 am on June 8 and had a transfer to our hotel, Sina Hotel de la Ville, right in the center of Milan near the duomo (cathedral). There we met Paulo, our Overseas Adventure Travel trip leader and fellow traveler Pam from Florida. Paulo took us on a brief walking tour to get oriented, and then Wayne and I toured the duomo terraces (roof), interior, and museum. It is a must-see in Milan with over 100 spires and thousands of statues and gargoyles. The interior feels like a forest with its giant columns. Best of all, someone was playing the pipe organ, something that I had always wished for when visiting other cathedrals in France or England! Back at the hotel, we met the other people on our tour. We ... read more
On the roof of the Duomo
Inside the Duomo
Water is safe to drink

Europe » Ireland » County Kerry August 23rd 2017

August 19 We are heading off down Sleahead Drive on the Dingle Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. First stop Inch Strand Beach. Weather is windy as always, but no rain today. Really cold out on the beach, so anyone swimming had a wetsuit on. You wouldn't go to Ireland to lie on the beach, I think! A highlight of the day was holding a brown lamb at Caenn Sleibhe. He seemed to enjoy it as much as we did! Beautiful mountain and water views today, which we had to appreciate given the bad weather ahead. At the Blasket Center we learned about the hard life of fishing and farming on Blasket Island, just off the coast. Just a few hundred people lived here and scraped by until too many of their young people emigrated and ... read more
We left Wayne in the Kilmainham Gaol
Meditative orangutan at the Dublin Zoo
Jean in her glory

Europe » Ireland » County Galway August 19th 2017

We were sad to be leaving Westport today, because we would be saying goodbye not only to many of our tour companions but also to the Hazelbrook B&B with its supernaturally cheerful host, John, who was always singing and whom one guest described as a real-life leprechaun. We got all our fellow travelers together for a nice dinner upstairs at An Port Mor with monkfish, pork belly, crab salad, and various other specialties. Early morning loop walk past cow pastures. I love the abundance of walking and biking paths In Ireland and the UK! We had some laughs trying to arrange pick-up times with our tour leader because of his accent. He would say, "I'll be stopping by at eight-torty-five," and we didn't know if he was saying 8:35 or 8:45 (the former). This happened almost ... read more
Ashcroft Castle Hotel
River walk in Galway
The wild Atlantic

Europe » Ireland » County Donegal August 16th 2017

Continuing on our Rabbie's tour, we left Northern Ireland (UK) and drove west back into the Republic of Ireland - back to euros. We had had one embarrassing incident the night before in Portrush (Northern Ireland) when the restaurant we chose said their Visa machine was out of order. No problem, we'll pay in dollars or euros, we thought, but no, the local currency was pounds sterling! and that was all that they would accept. Fortunately we were saved from washing dishes when their credit card reader came back online just in time! Most mornings we are served a full Irish breakfast, which has lots of very thick bacon, fried or scrambled egg, sausage, "pudding" (another sausage?) and tomato. It gets a little heavy after a while! I will let the photos and captions speak for ... read more
Eske Villa, our B&B in Donegal
Fairy house on the Bank Walk in Donegal
Cemetery where poet W.B. Yeats is buried.

Tot: 0.153s; Tpl: 0.007s; cc: 17; qc: 89; dbt: 0.0917s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb