Page 4 of WayneandLiz Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 7th 2015

Back in Edinburgh after our highlands tour, we have already seen some of the highlights (see previous blogs), so now it's time for some quirkier activities. Also, we're just hitting the first day of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, so we attended two comedy shows - hard to choose from among the (literally) hundreds of plays, concerts, and other acts listed in the phone-book-sized Fringe guide. We chose well in Erich McElroy's "Imperfect Guide to Picking the Perfect President," an hour-long routine illustrated with short video clips of some of our illustrious candidates "finer" moments. With Donald Trump as the current Republican front-runner, there was plenty of material to work with, and it was quite hilarious. Also, we got a bit of education about the differences in our two countries' electoral practices. Other activities highly recommended were ... read more
Royal dining room on the Brittania
Edinburgh Zoo
Scottish Parliament

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 4th 2015

We're off on a three-day tour of the Scottish highlands and Isle of Skye with Rabbie's Tours. Weather is on and off rain, which makes the mossy glens more mysterious (to look on the bright side)! We are glad not to be driving on the winding roads which are handled well by our driver, Graham. The first day of the tour involves a long drive from Edinburgh to Portree on the Isle of Skye with many stops for scenic viewpoints of lochs (lakes), glens (valleys), and bens (mountains). Everything is green. Signs are in English and Gaelic, with lots of unpronounceable "gh" and "ch" names. We felt the water in Loch Lubnaig, and I would guess it to be about 55-60 Fahrenheit. Too chilly for swimming, one would think. But no, suddenly two swimmers appeared, towing ... read more
View from the breakfast room
Rush hour on the Isle of Skye
Neist Point

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 2nd 2015

We have arrived in Edinburgh from Massachusetts with just a couple of minor mishaps on the way. Landing at Heathrow for our London stopover last night was a little rough as we teetered on one wheel before thumping down on the other and rocking side to side a fair bit. Hadn't experienced that before. A long wait for a "Hotel Hoppa" bus ensued, but as we had plenty of time, we decided to be proactive and get directions to the terminal we would need the following morning. "Virgin Atlantic to Edinburgh departs from terminal 3." Wrong! This morning we arrived at terminal 3, waited for 20 minutes or so in the Virgin Atlantic bag check line only to be told we should have gone to terminal 2, since it was a domestic flight. Fortunately we could ... read more
Colorful Victoria Street is worth a visit
Arthur's Seat above Edinburgh
Made it to the top!

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Berne July 12th 2014

Switzerland 4 - Bern and Stein am Rhein, July 11-12, 2014 The last portion of our Swiss vacation began with the train from Wengen to Bern where we spent a few hours in the middle of the day. The old city is very beautiful and pedestrian-friendly. We had read that one should see the chiming of the Clock Tower, with little figurines that come marching out at five before the hour. So, we got to the clock with time to spare, took a few photos, and waited until well past the hour without seeing anything. Were we on the wrong side? Was it broken? No, we were not at the Clock Tower; we were one block away at a tower with a clock, but it was not the famous one. There were a couple other puzzled-looking ... read more
YES the clock tower
Anni's B&B
Colorful murals in Stein am Rhein

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Wengen July 12th 2014

Switzerland - Wengen, July 8-11, 2014 Our good luck with the weather finally gave out as we awoke to heavy rain in Zermatt on the 8th, reinforcing our appreciation of the great views we had enjoyed. We had five legs of train travel to reach Wengen near the scenic attractions of the Jungfrau. Our plans for the day kept evolving in consideration of the wet weather. One intermediate stop was Interlaken, and on the spur of the moment we decided to visit Jungfrau park there instead of going directly to Wengen. There were convenient lockers large enough to hold our big suitcases at the station, so we could proceed relatively unencumbered. Also convenient was the fact that bus 103 to Jungfrau Park left right from the train station. With the Swiss Flexi Pass, bus tickets are ... read more
View of Lauderbrunnen from Hotel Caprice balcony
Staubach Falls

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt July 8th 2014

Switzerland - Zermatt, July 5-8, 2014 Our train travel from Lutry to Zermatt was not uneventful, because, first, we thought it was unnecessary to reserve seats, but the first leg of the journey was very crowded, so we were kicked out of the seats we chose, and with the enormous suitcases, it was not easy to relocate, and every seat was taken. Also, we had been told to change in Visp, and when the conductor finally came through to see our tickets, he told us that this train did not in fact stop in Visp, and that we should get off in Sion and take the next train that came along to Visp. Fortunately he told us this just before Sion! So it might be wise to reserve seats when traveling second class on popular routes, ... read more
First view of the Matterhorn
In search of marmots
Cable car from Sunegga to Blauherd

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lutry July 5th 2014

Switzerland - Geneva & Lutry, July 2-5 The kind proprietors of our AirBnB in Geneva, Jean-Philippe & Xuong, were most understanding about our late arrival, due to having to change planes in Vienna. We didn't get to the Geneva airport until after 10 pm. Fortunately, they had told us about the free train ticket that tourists can get in the baggage area. This gives you a seven-minute ride to Geneva Centre, and that in turn was only three blocks from the apartment - very convenient. At 11:30 pm J-P & X gave us a snack and a quick tutorial on Switzerland along with advice for catching our boat the next morning. Great hosts! So far, experiences with AirBnB have been positive. Hosts advertise their apartments or rooms online, and you arrange your stay with them through ... read more
Lutry as seen from the lake
A mudslide blocks the trail
Lutry vineyards

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 3rd 2014

Istanbul June 30-July 2, 2014 I'll combine the last three days, as things are winding down here for our visit in Istanbul. My most memorable event of June 30 was getting stuck in the elevator. Wayne was at his meetings, and I was heading out for a walk. I boarded the elevator, and it started down but stopped suddenly, and all the lights went out, as in pitch black. I had heard of this happening and always wondered what I'd do, and now I know. My first thought was that I could use my cell phone as a flashlight to see where the emergency telephone might be. Wouldn't it have been more sensible to use the cell phone as a PHONE? Anyway, before I had a chance to embarrass myself further, the power came back on, ... read more
Galata Tower
View from Galata Tower 1
View from Galata Tower 2

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 30th 2014

Istanbul June 29, 2014 Today we caught up on work after breakfast and didn't leave the room until 11:30, but my feet were glad for the extra rest. Today is our day to go to Asia! That sounds more adventurous than it actually is. Asia is a ten-minute ferry ride ($2.50) across the Bosphorus (Kabatas to Uskudar). Another 70-degree day with a nice breeze made it very enjoyable to walk the half-mile or so along the water to the view of Maiden's Tower which is on a rocky island just off the shore. You can eat in a restaurant in the tower if you have reservations and don't mind the expense. We opted for the very attractive Filizler Restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the tower and waterfront. New dishes we tried were lentil soup, a staple ... read more
Mosque janitor's work is never done
A pistachio "Drumstick"
The aqueduct

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 29th 2014

We woke up at 6 am Istanbul time, 11 pm back home, feeling quite normal, which we can credit to melatonin, perhaps? Our hotel includes a buffet breakfast, and we weren't sure what to expect, but it was pretty spectacular. Among the unusual items were figs, hazelnuts, and a big sheet of real honeycomb. I also love the practice of almost every country other than the US of offering hot milk beside the coffee dispenser. Missing, however, were any pancakes, waffles, or other syrup-topped items, but we certainly found enough to sustain us, almost for the whole day, as it turned out. We had booked a half-day old city highlights tour that began at 8. Our first stop was the Blue Mosque, a giant building with "elephant leg" columns (so named) and stunning domes. Before entering, ... read more
Blue Mosque spoiled
Liz  in required Blue Mosque attire
Hagia Sophia

Tot: 0.427s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 10; qc: 86; dbt: 0.0474s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb