Page 4 of alikim Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei June 23rd 2011

Day 52 -55 Pompeii &Vesuvius and naughty goings on! On the 24th August 79 AD, in the Bay of Naples, the Volcano Vesuvius erupted , an immense heatwave and rock, pumice and ash covered the surrounding towns and villages, killing many people instantly. We have travelled south to Pompeii to see one of the largest ruins. It is spectacular, the ruins cover an area the size of Bromley town. They were only excavated by the mid 18th century, and some of buildings, like bathhouses, villas, houses even brothels are well preserved. The site includes an amphitheatre, with two other smaller theatres. It was so good we spent nearly 10 hours there. Our jaunty new hats came in handy once more! We are staying in a camping ground, named Zeus only 200 yards from the ruin entrance, ... read more
Pompei and Vesuvius
Pompei Tourists
Ali Tomb Raider

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei June 22nd 2011

Day 51 Tivoli Gardens Villa d’Este En route from Rome to Pompei we had been advised to pop in on Tivoli. An interesting historic town in itself, but mainly we wanted to see the gardens of the Villa d’Este. The sat nav took us a very interesting route around the very narrow streets of Tivoli. It kept saying the villa was near, but we were unable to access it. We decided we had to park up and walk. However parking also proved difficult, thank goodness we have a small camper, we would never have been able to stay otherwise. The villa is right in the pedestrian area of the town (no wonder the sat nav had problems). It was on the site of emperor Hadrian’s villa, but is now an example of a 1550’s villa of ... read more

Europe » Italy » Campania » Pompei June 20th 2011

Bongo, or to give it its full name is a Mazda Bongo Friendee. In its original form its a 8 seater MPV that converts into a camper sleeping two up two down, and I think that’s how it derives its name cos you have to be very friendee to all sleep in it (boom,boom...oh suit yourself). A turbocharged 2.5ltr diesel automatic driving all four wheels, its very easy to drive and powerful enough to make short work of getting over the mountain passes we’ve been through. The 4WD is also useful for the snow and wet campsites we’ve had to contend with. Its not as big as some motorhomes, but it fits in normal parking spaces, and we would never have manoeuvred a larger vehicle through some of the mountain top villages we have been through. ... read more
The Hatch to the bedroom
Alison in the Bedroom
In Bongo

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome June 18th 2011

Day 47 to 49 ROME a wonderful surprise! We had planned to meet my sister Viv in Rome, but boy did we have a surprise when she brought Megan with her! It was so lovely to see them both. They also brought us great gifts of DVDs and curry sauces!! They were only here for a fleeting visit of 2 nights and bravely agreed to camp with us in a site just outside Rome. We travelled into Rome by train and caught a bus tour, first stop Colosseum. Although busy it was a great site, as you can see by the pictures. (Is that the 3 vestal virgins on the pillars ?!!). Back on the bus we got sunburnt as we travelled around the Rome sites. Off at the Spanish steps and a walking tour to ... read more
Vestal Virgins?
Welcome Party
The guest room

Europe » Italy » Lazio June 17th 2011

Day 46 ROME St Peters and the Vatican All roads lead to Rome, so the saying goes, it seemed to us all the queue’s lead to Rome. We made an early start to make a day of it in Rome, to mainly see the Vatican Museum and St Peters Basilica. We had heard that queues could be long, so thought we should get in early. At the start of the queue there were many ambitious tour touts, One said it will take us 2 and a half hours to reach the museum, saying we could skip the queue for the princely sum of 45 Euros with guided tour - the usual price is only 15Euros, we declined - after a wait of 40 mins we were inside! The Vatican museum was great, although there was queuing ... read more
Roma Gnome in Roma
Vatican Museum Statues
Vatican Museum

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome June 16th 2011

Days 40 to 45 Sun, Sea ,Sand and Saturnia Decided we could take some time out and rest awhile at the sea. We chose a campsite at Castiglion della Pescaia on the west coast of Italy about 100k south of Pisa. We chose the site on the basis of the beautiful swimming pool, and we were not disappointed, it was great. There was also a picturesque beach about 200m walk from the camp, which had some free beach. We have found much of the Italian coast is inaccessible as it has been bought either by hotels or camp sites for their sole use, or a sort of lido ‘pay on enter’ system to access sun beds and beach. But we were ok here, spent our time between the beach and pool, really relaxing. Well....ok we did ... read more
Cycling to the Market

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Castiglione della Pescaia June 10th 2011

If, your of a nervous disposition, or have no interest in insects , skip the next couple of paragraphs. In the first week s of our voyage Ali was delving in to one of the storage boxes, she screamed, as she had picked up a cling film box with an earwig, which she promptly hurled at my head - with Earwig inside. I mentioned to her , that as we head south, the bugs were going to get bigger and more intrusive. I was pleased though today, that on seeing an Earwig, she picked it up between her forefinger and thumb and threw it out the Bongo door. Unfortunately I was in the door – has she got something against me? The downside of camping - of any sort. is that you eventually have to co-exist ... read more
Tuscan Lunch Break
Big Blue Bug
Tuscan View Chianti Region

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 8th 2011

After the 5th person we spoke to told us we must see Lucca, we decided to take the advice, a day trip from our current campsite in Troghi (south of Florence). We were really pleased we did, it was lovely. A uniquely walled town, different to the others we had seen because you can walk or cycle around the wall, to one side seeing the town, the other evidence of fortifications, mainly grassed over. We decided it was also a ‘people place’ as there were lots of green park areas, and the town is mainly pedestrianised. This made a pleasant change to dodging the mad Ferraris in the other cities and towns we had visited. There were also less people... not sure why. Of particular interest was a circular Piazza del’Anfiteatro, a complete circle of buildings. ... read more
Lucca Street
Cathedral san Maximo
Old Police Station

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 6th 2011

We took a bus from the campsite into Florence for the day, along with half of the campsite residents it seemed! They had to lay on an extra bus. Once there the story was similar with lots of tour groups arriving. We quickly headed for the Academia (Art/sculpture museum), hoping to get there before the queues started, only to find it was shut (Mondays), as were other museums and gardens we had wanted to see. Those who know me will be surprised at my mistake, I have a love of guide books, but clearly have chilled out too much and wasn’t engrossed in them as I usually am. So we wandered Florence, and I suggested we went up the Duomo. This trip takes you inside the dome right up close to the frescos, (of the Last ... read more
Cathedral and Campanile
Inside Duomo
View from Duomo

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence June 5th 2011

Travelled back down into central Italy to Tuscany. Arrived at a very welcoming camp site just south of Florence, which was holding a rally for what seemed to be the smallest caravans ever! It was a good atmosphere despite the stormy weather. The following day.... my birthday we had some time to chill out by the pool, and sun ourselves. Also a catch up with Abi in Sydney by skype. Another incredible rain storm that evening meant we ate inside the restaurant instead of overlooking the Tuscan hillside, but hey the food was good! ... read more
Smallest Caravan in the World?
Skyping Abi
Fancy Sleeping on Car Roof

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