Mary Kowalski


Mary Kowalski

We leave tomorrow for Switzerland and my very first trip to Europe. I hope I can think of more interesting things to say after I actually get there!

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Lake Como September 22nd 2012

Our first night at Lake Como no one, especially Jim who drove the narrow winding SS583 lake road from Como, wanted to go anywhere, so we opened our bottle of Chianti Classico and celebrated arriving in one piece. The next day we just hung out at our beautiful place on Lake Como (Ca de l'Üga Dulza, another great find of my sisters). The view was amazing and we enjoyed a slow day. In the afternoon, our friends the Wilhelms hiked up the hill from their B&B and we joined them on a hike up our “road” to a church about a mile up the hill. At the church, our road met the local hiking trail and we took it to an agriturismo, a local goat farm and cheese factory, run by a lovely young women. The ... read more
Lake Como sunset
Road above our place
Goats at the Agriturismo

Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Lezzeno September 19th 2012

Just a quick look at our ride to Bellagio today on SS583, which runs along the shore of Lake Como. My brother-in-law Jim is at the wheel. The word narrow doesn't even begin to describe this road. What is truely amazing is that we are often passed by locals more familiar with the turns and twists or they just have a death wish, I don't know. Ciao, Mary... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany September 13th 2012

On Thursday, after leaving Sienna, we drove through the Chianti region to finish our road trip through Tuscany. It is really stunning with hillsides of grapes and olive trees every way you look. Our luck held again when we choose a place for lunch, the Ves Cine Winery; the food was amazing and the wine just as good. We keep attracting free liqueur samples at our luncheon stops (life is hard, but we are up to the task).Today it was Agricanito, sweet liqueur made from the grapes at this winery.Oh was it good, so in addition to a bottle of their Chianti Classico we also purchased the Agicanito (good marketing on their part). On Friday Pat and I did the “twin thing” on a day trip by train to Florence or Firenze as it’s called here. ... read more
Chianti Vista
Ves Cine winery Chianti for lunch
Lunch, Chianti

Europe » Italy » Tuscany September 13th 2012

We arrived by train in Pisa Monday about noon and decided to skip the tower and go straight to Lucca. Lucca is walled city in northern Tuscany. There are actually 3 walls, the original Roman, surrounded by the medieval and finally the Renaissance wall. My mental picture of the city walls was very different from reality. They are quite broad, with walking and biking paths and large trees growing on top the wall; Pat and Jim road bicycles around the top of the wall before our arrival. We are staying in an apartment in an old building inside the walls of the old city that has been rehabbed with all the modern amenities. Only local residents and taxies are allowed to drive inside the walls. A good thing, since the narrow streets were not designed with ... read more
M and P
Mary and Gary,

Europe » Italy September 9th 2012

The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go astray and instead of the Colosseum, we had a tour of the Umberto Primo Pronto Soccorso or the ER of the local university hospital. We know just enough about the medical system to be concerned about which hospital to pick because of Gary's complicated medical history. We had help from the American Embassy in Rome and their advise on the hospital was golden. Gary had started having hip pain yesterday and was unable to put any weigh on his right leg. The good news is, his hip replacement is fine, but he has extreme inflammation of his hip. He is on crutches and pain meds, but we can continue our trip. We couldn't have asked for a better hospital experience; the doctor spoke English, was extremely ... read more
Dinner, Sunday in Roma

Europe » Italy September 8th 2012

Ah, Roma it's exciting, hot, tiring and fascinating all at once. Our arrival yesterday had an exciting twist when some of Gary's luggage was left in the van from the airport. Our driver, Stephano, generously brought it by later in the afternoon allowing for a much needed siesta. We were so jet lagged that all we could manage was a walk to the Colosseum, which is only a few blocks from our tiny Roman apartment, and dinner. Today we "did" the Vatican. Talk about sensory overload. The good old boys sure knew how to collect art. There are literally 2 halls a quarter of a mile long with room after room filled to the brim with paintings, sculpture, tapestry, mosaics, addition to the picture gallery, Egyptian gallery, Raphael rooms, and an ancient sculptuer gallery. The ... read more
Gary close to our apartment
St. Peter's

Europe » Italy September 5th 2012

We leave for Italy tomorrow to celebrate our (i.e., my twin sister Pat and I) 60 birthday. Pinch me!!!! I have been waiting for 10 years for this trip and can't belive I'll be in Rome tomorrow. Ciao, Mary... read more

Europe » Switzerland September 20th 2011

This is our last stop in Switzerland. It is such a beautiful city, but we are beginning to feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and are longing for home. On our arrival in Zurich, Gary of course had to try the cuisine at the train station; one must never leave a sausage uneaten! As always, our friends the Wilhelms have showed us the best of Zurich. We wandered the streets, visited the University and the Framunster Reformed Church with windows by Marc Chagall. My highlight though, was lunch at an amazing vegetarian restaurant; the selections and the marvelous food even impressed Gary (yes, the same guy the ate choucrute 3 days running). We took a local tram to the airport for the flight home. We eschewed the shuttle service offered by the hotel as ... read more
Zurich cuisine
Directions to our hotel
Our hote in Zurich

Europe » Switzerland September 18th 2010

We leave France today to return to Switzerland. On our way we stopped in Freiburg, Germany. We were able to see the local farmers market on the square in front of the cathedral and wander the curved streets of the old city. Unlike Colmar, there are few cars on the narrow streets and the few tourist trap shops are mainly close to the cathedral. After shopping (Verena knew of a lovely shop with items made only in Germany, not China) and lunch we returned the car to Basel and took off on the train to L'Aubier. There was a problem with a train stuck on the tracks near Bern (the first problem we had on the entire trip) which required some rerouting, but thanks to our friend's knowledge of the Swiss train system our delay was ... read more
On the road to L'Aubier
La Chaux-de-Fonds
The SBB train

Europe » France September 14th 2010

Tuesday it must be Alsace. We took the train from Bettmeralp to Brig and then to Basel. What a surprise that the abbreviation for the Swiss intercity train system is SBB (for those of you not from lab land this is one of the credentials we have in the lab) and the name of the paper in the town was the DNA (Dernier Noevelle Alsace not deoxyribose nucleic acid). I take this as a sign that I was meant to take this trip. In Basel we went to a lovely private museum the Beyeler Museum; unfortunately it was under renovation but the grounds were beautiful and we had a good time with our friends the Wilhelms. Basel is very close the the boarder of Switzerland, Germany and France so on the way to our destination in ... read more
Mairie of Village Neuf
Village Neuf

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