Europe » Italy March 31st 2018

With a very early start, we began our last day in Rome. The alarm sounded at 4:45 and all 44 of our group was on the bus by 5:50. Since we were unable to view the Basilica of St Peter yesterday, we chose to start extra early to be there before it opened so that we could see it and admire its grandeur. It did not disappoint. Since it was so early, traffic was fairly light but the skies were dark. The bus was able to drop us off fairly close, but it still required walking. We all gathered in front of the fountain at the Basilica and then joined the line that had already formed - before 7 am. We went in and was immediately impressed by the structure and the statues. One of the ... read more

Europe » Italy March 30th 2018

Today is Good Friday and what better place to spend Good Friday than in Rome. Though it does have a special significance, it was not our original plan. In fact, when the tour was booked they were told specifically that we did not want to be in Rome on Good Friday and Easter for the crowds would be overwhelming and some of the areas would be closed in preparation for the events of the weekend. But somehow the trip schedule got reversed and we have ended up doing exactly what we did not want to do. But we made the best out of it. We arrived in Rome this morning and met our informational guide at the Basilica of St Paul. He told us about the Basilica and the meanings and symbols of the some of ... read more

Europe » Italy March 29th 2018

We woke up on the high seas - or maybe it was the low seas - this morning. We had crossed the Ionian Sea and were on the Adriatic Sea. The rocking ferry finally calmed down enough to get some sleep last night but I had suffered all I could in that tiny cabin and had to get out. I went down to the reception area and found numerous people sleeping in the chairs and on the stair wells. Not sure if they just got a cheaper ticket by not selecting a room or did not like the tiny cabins either. After a brief walk on the outer deck a few of our group started to stir around. We all ate breakfast and waited for the ferry to arrive at port in Bari. At some point ... read more

Europe » Greece March 28th 2018

The first Olympic games were held nearly 2800 years ago and today I stood where they competed and held victory so long ago. Our travel group was up and ready for the day and the first stop was by all accounts an Olympic one. We visited the first Olympic Stadium in Olympia, Greece. We met our guide for the day, an older Greek woman with so much knowledge, that time ran out before she was done. She told of how the participants came, how they camped by the river with their families and where they competed for each sport. She spoke of the temples and Zeus, of how the men competed naked due to the temperatures and how women were not allowed into the stadium at all. When thinking of an Olympic Stadium, I expect something ... read more

Europe » Greece March 27th 2018

Today started quite early with a quick breakfast at 6:30 and then we loaded the bus with all of our belongings. We were leaving Athens and heading to Olympia. Our first stop of the day was at the Corinth Canal. It was extremely deep and made me a little dizzy looking at it. The canal has a traffic light on each end so that only one boat will go through at a time. It allows the barges to pass and is deep enough that tall equipment like cranes and fit with ease. However, the canal is narrow and never gained the traffic initially thought. After everyone had their peek at that modern marvel and grabbed snacks from the store, we were on our way again. The 2nd stop was at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus located ... read more

Europe » Greece March 26th 2018

Today started like most days at home - sitting in traffic. We were stuck in Athens rush hour and nothing we could do about it. Our guide for the day said it was worse than usual and might be because of the sand in the air. The air was hazy with a thick tan haze. Unbelievably, it was sand from the Sahara Desert. Not sure how they know where exactly the sand came from, but it was there and stayed the entire day. We began the tour by driving through the downtown area of Athens to get an understanding of the city and the people. Approximately 11 million people live in Greece and almost half live in Athens. After seeing Athens, I totally believe it. That city is jam packed. Building after building, level on top ... read more

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese March 25th 2018

Among the Greeks The alarm sounded as soon as I closed my eyes. At least it felt that way. So after getting roughly 2 hours of sleep within the past 48, we were all up and ready for the day. All 37 of us. The trip package included breakfast and dinner each day and a large spread was waiting for us this morning. These tours have learned through the years that Americans eat a great deal more for breakfast than the Greeks do. They usually just have a roll and coffee. That will just not suffice for us. They had pastries, eggs, ham, turkey, fruit, coffee, juices, rolls, olives, cheeses, cucumbers and tomatoes. I guess all Greek meals have the options of bread, tomatoes, cheese and olives. There was no real plan for today since our ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam March 24th 2018

A few months ago, I received a message from my sister that she had an extra discounted ticket for a trip to Italy and Greece that she was organizing for students at her school. And she wanted to know if I was interested in going. Seriously? A trip to Italy and Greece for about 75% of original costs plus being a chaperone - of course I was interested. And I mentioned that my daughter would love to go if another opportunity became available for she has always wanted to go to Greece. And then it did - so both my daughter and I were able to attend this ‘once in a lifetime trip’ with my sister and her son and 33 other people. Happy Graduation to Shelby (my daughter). The trip was planned through an agent ... read more

This was our final day at Glacier, so we had to make it count, even though the weather was not taking our last day into consideration. At breakfast we enjoyed conversation with other guests at the Bed and Breakfast and upon their recommendation we decided to go hike the Avalanche Lake Trail. Though we had rather go hike one on the east side of the park, the amount of travel swayed us from that trek. Donald had briefly considered driving to the Yaak Valley area of Montana in search of Tom from the show Mountain Men. He would have loved to have purchased an animal fur that Tom himself had trapped and skinned. But that would have been a 3 hour drive there and a 3 hour drive back, so we stuck with the decision to ... read more
Donald in his poncho
Avalanche Lake
Forest growth

Today began with a loud gobble, repeated a few dozen times. The sound came from the woods behind our room and before long a big 'ol Tom came prancing out in the meadow. He was strutting big time for his lady companion but she didn't seem impressed. We have been fortunate to have daily visitors from the woods at the B&B. We have seen several deer, guineas and turkeys. That just adds to the charm of this unique place. We decided to head back to the east side of the park today with no real plan in mind. The west side is more of a hub for all the planned activities and is a bit crowded. Lots of bicyclists, boaters, tours, kayaks, group activities. The east side is more of the scenic side and less congested. ... read more
Canadian Border crossing
Panoramic view of Waterton Lakes
Mountain goat

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