Madalyn and Gary


Madalyn and Gary

Europe » Italy » Campania » Sorrento October 6th 2016

Ascona to Sorrento On our day scheduled to leave Ascona, as happened in Oslo and Lauterbrunnen, it was raining lightly. It must be time to go. The Hertz station in Locarno, adjacent to Ascona, is in the train station parking lot, so we dropped the car there and got on the train to Sorrento, Italy. A short trip to Bellinzona, change trains for Milan, then the new Italian high speed train to Naples, via Florence and Rome. The Italian trains may not have a good reputation, but the high speed rail is very quick, efficient, economical, comfortable, and on time. It is a delight to zip through the countryside at almost 250mph. In Naples, however, we had to shift to a different train company, Circumvesuviana, providing local suburban service south of Naples. It is the only ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » Locarno October 6th 2016

The original stimulus for our wonderful trip to Europe was for Madalyn to attend a special Dream Tending workshop at a location known for Karl Jung and other notables to meet and discuss advanced concepts, both in psychology and other fields. The developer of the Dream Tending concept, and founder/president of Pacifica University, has previously been included in such discussions in recent times, and he wanted to offer it to his students whom he sees in retreats in Montana. Gary did not attend this workshop, but rather used the time to explore some of the surroundings. Ascona is at the northern end of Lake Maggiore, a short distance from the Italian border. It is in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, and most of their tourists come from northern Switzerland or Germany. As such, German and ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Lauterbrunnen October 3rd 2016

The first morning at the hotel was amazing as we looked out our window, seeing the Lauterbrunnen valley, sheer cliffs, and Staubach waterfall so clearly it seemed able to reach out and touch them. This valley was stunning. As a Californian, I feel guilty in saying it, but the area was more spectacular in many ways than Yosemite Valley. The sheer cliffs were not as high, but the surrounding mountains were much higher. We had two main goals in the Bernese Oberland, as the region is called: the Jungfraujoch and the Schilthorn. When we went would depend on the weather. Fortunately the first two days were to be beautiful. We first headed to the Jungfraujoch, taking two different cog railways. The train station was a very short walk from the hotel, making most journeys easy. The ... read more

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Oslo October 3rd 2016

We left Oslo wishing we had more time, but it was time for the next adventure in the Swiss Alps. The mist of the day before had turned heavier, sprinkling lightly as we walked back to the Oslo terminal. Fortunately again, it was just a few yards to the covered walkway. We had a ticket on SAS, code shared with Swiss Air, actually operated by Helvetic, a Swiss Air subsidiary. We had a shock trying to check in the night before the flight and being told “that ticket is invalid for check-in ” at SAS. It took some sleuthing but found the reservation on Swiss Air, but we still couldn’t check in. We gave some more margin to get to the airport. “Check-in” was easy by waving a barcode from an email under a scanner. Then ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen September 28th 2016

Bergen, Norway It is hard to make time for daily jouraling while very busy exploring and having fun. It is long past, but I’ll update on the rest of our time in Norway. We arrived in Bergen by bus instead of train, since the rail line was washed out. Our hotel was closer to the bus station than the train station anyway. We had not thoroughly checked the location of the hotel so stopped at the info desk in the station to ask. The agent did not know the hotel and pointed us to the wrong one, but it was in the direction we needed. Fortunately we saw it a block behind us. It turned out to be right across the street (actually a major highway) from the bus station. Bergen is the ancient capital of ... read more
Bryggen alleyway, Bergen

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Flåm September 20th 2016

Welcome to our occasional blog about our wonderful trip to the Norwegian fjords, Swiss Alps, Lake Maggiore, and Sorrento, Italy. Today we fulfilled a lifetime dream of seeing the magnificent fjords of Norway - well some of them. We departed Flåm at 9am on the small ferry that serves a few villages in the area, ending in Gudvangen. The ferry could take automobiles, but it didn't look used for that very often. Most villages have good roads going to them now. It is off-season so there was lots of room to move around the shp and catch the scenery from different locations. The fjords really were spectacular, with special emphasis on the waterfalls and reflections in the calm water. The mountains were only 3-4000 feet high at most, and most with sloping sides into the water.We ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London September 13th 2015

We'll be brief tonight after traveling for 17 hours. We got up early and took a taxi at 6am to the Santiago airport, arranged by the hotel and shared with another hotel guest. We can't say enough about the wonderful service we got from the Hotel Altair. At every turn, if they saw something they could do for us they jumped to do it. Santiago completed a new terminal about five years ago to accommodate the influx of pilgrims and it was rather impressive. We took Ryan Air to Madrid. We hope we never have to take Ryan Air again; passengers seemed like a nuisance to them, unless they could find more ways to add expenses and fees. And in order to get in more rows, not only did the seats not recline at all, there ... read more

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 12th 2015

Today we went on a tour to Finisterre, the end, and the Atlantic Coast with Jesus (as in heysús) as our guide. He picked us up in a van at our hotel before picking up six others at another hotel. So the nine of us headed west out of Santiago for a full day of adventures. Our first stop was a wide river with a picturesque Roman bridge, a wide, short waterfall and old mill. Everything is lush and green, we were glad to have only gray skies, no rain. Our companions were from Kentucky (a mother and adult son who spoke passable Spanish) and four Spanish men. Luckily Jesus' English was very good and easy to understand. We also visited the Waterfall of Ezaro that is much higher and falls into the ocean. It is ... read more

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 11th 2015

The Productive Learning workshop officially wrapped up last night so today is a free day. We slept in till 8:00 when Gary got up to go to the official "office of pilgrims" to get his certificate of completion. To get the certificate a walker must collect evidence, in the form of decorative ink stamps at cafes and hotels along the way, of having walked 100 km. Bicyclists must show 200 km, and horse riders 300 km. (We were passed by many cyclists but did not see any horse riders till a group came into Santiago yesterday.) By getting to the office when it opens at 8:00 Gary hoped to avoid the long lines, which reportedly reach 2-3 hours long as new pilgrims arrive. Surprise, the office chose to open at 9:00 this morning only, so Gary ... read more
P1030820 shopping
P1030818 two Marias

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 10th 2015

Today is the final day of the workshop part of our trip, beginning with a tour of the cathedral. The cathedral holds the bones said to be of James the apostle, miraculously discovered in 813, the whole reason for the Camino and the historic pilgrimage. The cathedral has been much modified over the centuries, starting as romanesque and containing Gothic and Baroque styles and more. Further there have been so many additions to the sides that most of the windows have been blocked. (There is plenty of artificial light.) The tour began in the museum and continued through the sanctuary, including a walk past the silver casket of James. There were those in the crypt who were very fervently (quietly) praying to the saint, We marveled at their spiritual dedication and gave them credit. We declined ... read more
P1030781 censer

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