John and Cheryl Bruce


John and Cheryl Bruce

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 8th 2011

How sad to say it is our last day in Rome. John has done his shoulder in, so we are going to take it easy, in the hope that he is then in less pain on the flight home. Of course it would be the fault of my suitcase which he pulled along the cobbled road/footpath for 1km to our hotel. (he has been pulling my bigger one, and I his only slightly smaller one) Yesterday we had some showers through the morning, but still managed to walk all day from 9.30am - 9.30 pm, with some short stints on the hop on hop off buses. Mostly although we have bought a 2 day pass, the stops are sometimes a distance in the opposite direction, then you have 15-25 mins, so it is often easier just ... read more

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome October 6th 2011

Today was a day of travel, and missed connections by two minutes! We had to catch a taxi on Capri to the Ferry port, missing the ferry by about 2 mins, we were actually sure it was still there, but the ticket office is a mile away and we didn't know which number/boat to run to, so had an hour to pass then at the port. From Sorrento we then had to catch a bus to the train station. John ended up at the back of the bus, and I was in the middle with the bags. Four wheelers are great for walking, but terrible on buses and trains as they just roll around, so for most of the trip up a windy road, I had one foot on the ground, one foot trying to stop ... read more
Trevi Fountain before sunset
Then we made a wish and tossed a coin in for luck

Europe » Italy » Campania » Capri October 6th 2011

Today we were the commanders of our own ship, small though it may have been, we were free! For a whole two hours! We hired a small speed racer, bought some beers and a half bottle of wine (but forgot that we needed a cork screw for the wine, so poor John had to give over one of his beers to his dear mrs. Earlier in the day we decided to visit the Grotto Azzurra (Blue Grotto) by way of 3 connecting buses, so that we didn't waste too much of our time on the boat waiting for our turn to go into the cave. You have to wait to be transferred from the jetty, or a bigger boat (if you have come by sea) into the little timber boats, and squeezed in on top of ... read more
The little timber boats pickup from the larger boats
The boats lining up
Getting ready to go in

Europe » Italy » Campania » Capri October 5th 2011

We finally made it to Capri, an island off the Amalfi Coast which we had been looking forward to returning to for many years. Tomorrow we will hire a small boat and explore the island from the water, and it's many caves (grotto's) - blue, white and green, named for the colour of the water (blue & green) or the rock (white one). I think the green or white grotto we can swim into, but the blue grotto has a tiny cave entry and every has to anchor and climb into small boats with experienced guides. They time the entry with the tide/swell receding and everyone lays back on top of each other in order to get through the small gap. Of course you have to tip extra if you want them to sing while in ... read more
The colour of the water is incredible
2 Capri-01343
2 Capri-01349

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento October 4th 2011

Well we have not been doing anything exciting to blog about in Sorrento. We have been enjoying a slow relaxing few days as we are close to the end of our trip, sadly. Rome will be a busy last few days, so we have been taking it easy and aside from the day in Positano, haven't ventured out of Sorrento. The location of our accomodation has been fabulous and a nice walk up to town in the shade. Today we head to Capri and are very excited to be heading there for two nights. Our last trip we had only a day trip to the island and loved it. We caught a taxi from the hotel to the marina to catch the ferry to Capri - and the taxi driver was a scream. He was telling ... read more
Piccolo Marina Sorrento
Sorrento main street
Piccolo Marina Sorrento

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento October 2nd 2011

Well it has been a few day since our last confession, oops, I mean blog! We have visited so many churches I am confused! We have moved on from Tuscany to Sorrento, back on the coast but more south than we were earlier in the trip, and back to seafood on the menus, yippee. I have never been so excited to see broccoli, as I was last night. After four weeks of the only sides on offer being chips, or occasionally actually roast potatoes, very bland salad (can’t get a caeser or greek, just mixed green salad with no dressing), and mixed grilled veges (eggplant, zucchini & capsicum usually). Broccoli in garlic was just the thing, with a beautiful steak. (one of only two good steaks that we have had – rarely do they have any ... read more
Museum of science ceiling
River Arno and it's rowers
Leah, the makeup artists have it tough!

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Colle di Val d'Elsa September 28th 2011

Cooking class with Divina Cucina Today I enjoyed my true Tuscan experience of a cooking class with Judy Witts from Divina Cucina. Lucky me, I was the only one in the class today, so I got to pick what we would cook. We started with a coffee and cake of course at the patisserie, because that is how a true Italian starts their day! Not being a coffee drinker I asked for hot cioccolata . I should have learnt after 3 weeks to ask for cioccolata calda con latte (hot chocolate with milk) and even though they look at you very strangely for wanting milk with your hot chocolate, without milk, you get hot pure melted chocolate in a cup! Quite rich and thick for my tastes! We then ventured to the local butcher, whose family ... read more
Chooks with their heads
getting the meat minced
Judy and Erica

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Montespertoli September 27th 2011

(A note from CB - John sent this email to a friend, so I thought it was worthy of adding to the blog, as you can just hear him when you read it!) You'd be proud of me mate - I did something stupid. I went on a 35 km bike ride with an organized bike tour fella, through the Tuscan hills. Well I hadn't being on a bike for 5 years, how hard could it be? It started with a wine tasting and tour of local castle, included lunch half way and there were 25 of us. Also there was a back up vehicle for any problems. I felt like a real professional in my stubbies while everyone else wore professional attire. I must say, I don't know how any of us didn't get run ... read more
1st photo stop - professional looking lot aren't we
at least this part was down hill
Back to the bikes after lunch

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » San Gimignano September 27th 2011

OMG, I have never been so excited to see a supermarket open, as I was yesterday afternoon. We arrived in San Gimignano to a lovely self contained rural house, and no groceries. Ready to give up at about 4pm on Sunday(yesterday), and even going so far as saying a prayer to find the supermarket and have it be open, we found a PAM (like woolies, but only Italian style foods). Might I add this is only the 3rd supermarket we have seen since arriving in Italy over 3 weeks ago. We have been wondering where the locals shop and decided it must be at the local market on market day, and too bad if you work that day. There are no shopping malls, the biggest we have seen is a supermarket with about 5 shops/cafes along ... read more
Will you still drink that bottle of wine?
Chianti region
John's next Bunnings car

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » San Gimignano September 25th 2011

Well after half a day we are ready to give up and give the car back to the rental hire people! After nearly not getting it, as our credit card, although it had enough credit, was refused, and they don't take debit card or cash, I remembered I had brought a second one as a desperate backstop and stored it in a different location in case luggage was stolen or went missing. Many an argument was had at the Hertz counter today. We had booked a GPS and resigned ourselves first to the cost of 78 Euro, then had an email saying it was an extra 50E for the GPS being returned to a different area, and after our mad unsuccessful dash to purchase a Europe card for our own one, we booked the GPS at ... read more
View of San Gimi from our garden
View from our garden

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