richard cameron


richard cameron

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence September 21st 2023

After a couple of days in Venice, a day in Verona and a couple more in Florence, I'm feeling a little cultural overload - and I like going to museums! Lynn and I spent several hours in the Accademia in Venice and, today, in the Uffizi here in Florence. Both have wonderful collections of paintings from the Middle Ages up through the Renaissance and into the Baroque period. It's fascinating to see the gradual shift from the stiff poses and flat surfaces of the mediaeval works to the dynamic, life-like compositions of Botticelli, Raphael and Caravaggio (to name a very few). We varied the museum round with a walk in the hills north of Florence yesterday. We even broke out the hiking boots and poles again! The hills surrounding the city are an attractive mix of ... read more
A lesser-known Botticelli: the Calumny of Apelles
Walking in the hills above Florence

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice September 17th 2023

We just arrived in Venice, but I want to catch up on our hike in the Dolomites. From Salzburg we took the train to Bolzano, the main town of the Alto Adige (if you're Italian) or Sudtirol (if you're Austrian). There's still a very strong German-speaking presence here, even though the area was grabbed by Italy after the First World War. On Monday we took a bus from Bolzano to Selva, a small town in the beautiful Val Gardena, and started our hike. At first it was a pleasant stroll up the gently climbing valley, enclosed on both sides by towering, jagged peaks. Before long the terrain became much steeper and we climbed up on stony trails to the first rifugio, Puez. It sits in a high meadow, just above the cliff over the valley. It's ... read more
Lynn on her way down a crumbling hillside
In the fog, just before the rain came

Europe » Austria » Styria September 9th 2023

We just finished a 3-day hike in the mountains east of Sazlburg - an area called the Salzkammergut. The first day we started out at a pretty lake called Offensee, and climbed a rather steep path to gain about 800 metres. When the trail levelled out, we reached Rinnerhütte, a small hut where we had bought coffee and cake to go with our packed lunch. A gentle climb of a km or so brought us to Wildensee, a small but deep lake with cows grazing on the far side. Lynn, who had cleverly brought her bathing suit, had a brief dip in the very cold water. Another few km of up and down and we reached another hut, Albert-Appelhaus, where we stayed the night. We were greeted with cold beer, and later had a massive bowl ... read more
Crazy limestone
Lunch at a high pass

Europe » Austria » Salzburg » Salzburg September 5th 2023

Yesterday we spent most of the day at the Schoenbrunn Palace, Vienna's answer to Versailles. Originally the emperor used it as a summer palace, but the last few lived there full time, right up to the abdication of the last emperor in 1918. We toured the state rooms, which are highly decorative in an 18th/19th century way. Unfortunately, no photos allowed inside. Like Versailles, the palace is surrounded by huge, beautifully designed grounds. We spent a couple of hours exploring the paths and looking in bemusement at the faux Roman ruins and strange fountains. Back in central Vienna we had our best dinner yet at a (mainly) vegetarian restaurant. They did veg variations on some standard Austrian dishes, such as the mushroom schnitzel I had. Very delicious! Today we took the train to Salzburg and spent ... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna September 3rd 2023

This is our third day in Vienna. The first we passed in a somewhat zombie-like state. We managed to visit St Stephan's, the cathedral, and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant in a quiet courtyard. Yesterday we were more adjusted to European time, and we went to the Kunsthistorisches Museum - the main art museum. They have an impressive Greek and Roman section, which I explored in great detail, as well as a large collection of paintings from the Renaissance onwards. After a picnic lunch we visited the Albertina, a small art museum in an old palace. It concentrates on 20th-Century art, with paintings by Monet and Picasso as well as Austrian artists like Egon Schiele. We had dinner at a very traditional Austrian restaurant. We chose not to have the enormous Wienerschnitzel, but did have a ... read more
Kunsthistoriches Museum
The Jesuit Church

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Nice October 3rd 2021

Moustiers turned out to be a pretty village clinging to the side of a tall limestone cliff. A rushing stream runs right through the middle of the village, dividing it into two parts that are joined by two or three bridges. Above there are two tokens of religious fervour: a chapel perched on a rock perhaps 100 m above the village, and a gold metal star hung from a chain that spans the gap the stream has carved in the cliffside! I climbed up to the chapel, just because I wasn't already tired enough after 66 km of riding. The next day we embarked on the challenge of the Gorges du Verdon. The ride actually started with a long descent from Moustiers to the point where the river emerges from the gorge, to feed a hydro ... read more
Gorges du Verdon
The upper Verdon
Arrivés à Nice!

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Forcalquier September 29th 2021

After crossing the Rhone - and stopping in Chateauneuf du Pape for a delicious lunch accompanied by a glass of the famous red wine - we had a day climbing though another spectacular gorge. I think the authors of the guide we're following have a passion for river gorges! Unlike the gorge of the Ardèche, where we were riding along the edge between the plateau and the valley for most of the time, in the gorge of the Nesque we climbed steadily from the valley bottom (at the upper end of the gorge) to the lip of the gorge, just before the valley broadened out at the downstream end. (Hope that's not too confusing!) At that high point there was a magnificent view across the gorge at a huge, monolithic spur of rock. We ended the ... read more
Summit of the Gorges du Nesque
Lynn zooming downhill

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon September 26th 2021

After Mende we spent two more days wending our way through the quiet, green hills of the Cevennes. Then yesterday we stumbled into Tourist France. The first hint was the flotilla of multi-coloured kayaks floating down the Ardèche river. Then we reached Pont d'Arc, an incredible stone arch carved by the river over millennia. An awesome spectacle - and a destination of bus tours and helicopter charters... We stayed at a chambre d'hotes nearby, and had another brush with meteorological disaster. Minutes after we arrived at the house, the skies opened with a furious deluge. The thunderstorm lasted all night and into the morning. We were starting to wonder how we could avoid getting soaked on the day's ride when the storm ended (after 16 hours!) almost as abruptly as it started. A good thing, too, ... read more
Ardeche Gorge

Europe » France » Languedoc-Roussillon » Mende September 23rd 2021

Since we left the Perigord, we've been following the Lot river. Some of the time we've been riding right beside the twisting river, through narrow gorges as well as places where the valley widens out and the flat valley bottom is carpeted with farmland. Our route has also taken us up to the plateau above the river valley, with amazing views across the valley or to distant hills. Today we had the most challenging ride so far. We started and ended at towns on the Lot - St Geniez d'Olt and Mende. However, in between we climbed an incredibly steep road to a summit at 1022 metres. Most of the climb happened over 4.3 km with a grade of up to 12%! From the summit we could see some old volcanic mountains. It was an amazing ... read more
The Lot in a more vigorous mood
Lynn at the Col de Goudard

Europe » France » Aquitaine September 19th 2021

We've just spent three days crossing the Périgord. We stayed in Les Eyzies, where we visited the Font de Gaume, a cave with marvellous prehistoric wall paintings. It's the only French cave with multicoloured wall paintings you can still visit. (Lascaux, for example, is out of bounds - but they've built an exact replica of it that you can explore!) We were with a small group and led by a really enthusiastic man. He gave the tour in French, but every once in a while tossed and English word or two at us ("bison", "engraving", "don't touch"). The next day we stopped in Sarlat, a very beautiful town full of buildings glowing with the local golden stone. Also full of tourists - especially since we were there on market day. And what a market! Lots of ... read more
Welcome to Occitanie
Rocamadour in the mist

Tot: 0.158s; Tpl: 0.007s; cc: 17; qc: 78; dbt: 0.0931s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb