Blogs from Europe - page 4


Europe » Greece January 30th 2016

Monday, Jan. 18. Piraeus, Greece. Cloudy, cold, chance of rain. 6C!! Set off at 8:45. Sophia was our guide. Gave us a history of Piraeus, which in its current state is an industrial port town less than 100 years old, having been rebuilt after both natural and manmade disasters, most recently . As we approached central Athens itself, we started to see the ruins of many temples, ancient agoras, etc., along with lots of Orthodox churches. Construction is a problem in these ancient Greek places as one never knows what even a shallow shovel may unearth. One of the prizes of Piraeus is a series of statues unearthed by workmen digging a drain. They revealed what is thought to be a stash of loot forgotten by invading Romans, over two thousand years ago. And of course ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete January 30th 2016

Tuesday, Jan. 19. Iraklion, Crete. Cloudy and cold. 8C. Had some rain. Hail in places we hear. Some sun toward the end of the day. Arriving in Crete, we see from the harbour that the peaks were more than a little snow-capped. Even though about 20% of us are Canadian, the Greeks cancelled one of the excursions as there was snow on the roads at the upper heights. Evidently snow driving is not a skill imported to Crete and they don't want to alarm the tourists. Cab drivers, however, were happy to take loads of tourists into the hills for the day. In the central region is a plateau area nestled in the mountains, a verdant valley full of farms, windmills and artisans. The capital city, Iraklion, or Heraclion, is a wonderful maze of streets, pedestrian ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Hampshire » New Forest January 30th 2016

As August turns into September and the children return to School it is time for the people with no responsibility for these children, my wife and I included, to load up the car and head off to somewhere nice for that much needed break. This year we had the added bonus that as if by magic the weeks of what seemed like endless rain were replaced by a cloudless blue sky. The New Forest and Lymington were our destination, I actually owed my wife a New Forest trip as I had rather mucked up a previous attempt by not knowing exactly where the New Forest is. If you head out of Southampton you need to head south…lesson learned! Travelling from Bristol it is a straight forward route, take the A36 and head towards Salisbury. I must ... read more

Europe » Italy » Marche » San Leo January 30th 2016

On a holiday all days are special but some more special than others. Today started with a reunion, to deliver a bottle of wine, with Agostino the patron saint of rescuing stranded women on bicycles. He had moved but as fate would have it we found him loading wood, onto his truck, on the side of the road near his new house in the same street. Then started the pilgramage back to the pasticceria in Fossombrone for MORE delicious cakes. How many can one respectfully buy without being greedy! So many choices- such decisions. As fate would have it again (how blessed we are today), we met some locals who were fascinated with our 'french' car, and one of these three lovely gentleman was writing a book about the history of Fossombrone and could speak English! ... read more
Calories! The best!
Beautiful house San donato
Fossombrone chiasa

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich » Zürich January 30th 2016

Just robbed a bank to get some cash... read more

Europe » Italy » Marche » Gradara January 29th 2016

Took it a bit easier today. Drove to the Adriatic (Anna is such a terrible passenger!), I got 200 meters before I decided I was a better passenger than driver on the wrong side of the road 😓 , then a beautiful journey along the coastal cliffs north from Pesaro to the end of the coastal national park at Gabicce mare. However the coastal scenes here are not a match for the great ocean road - the water is flat and still with NO waves - peaceful however, yes. We then drove to the beautiful medieval castle at Gradara, where we paid 5 euros each to view inside the castle and walk along one side of the battlements: extraordinary. As usual it was difficult to take photos that did justice to the splendour we were viewing. ... read more
Gradara Castle walls
Amazing views

Europe » Italy » Marche January 28th 2016

Today we wanted a quiet non-city day so set off to try and find the Nationale Reserve Gola del Furlo. It is harder than one would think to get off the main roads however after several attempts and going through some beautiful smaller towns, we found the Strada Sant Anna which led to the amazing pass between two mountains cut in half by the river. The Furlo Pass is a gorge on the ancient Roman road Via Flaminia in the Marche region of central Italy, where it passes near the Candigliano river, a tributary of the Metauro. The tunnels in this pass, of which there are two, were built for emperor Caeser in 76 AD. as a trade route which became terrorised by bandits but the tunnels still remain unaltered. Anna and liz had ridden through ... read more
Chiasa sant Anna
Fossombrone old steps

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh January 27th 2016

In our search for more snow, we drove through the Lake Dristrict to Windermere. Andrew always wanted to see the Lake District and I had never been so we thought we might as well. It was just as pretty as the pictures. With the cobble streets lined with little shops and snow on the mountains it really was beautiful. We wished were staying and not just passing through. As it was a Saturday, it was quite busy and there were cars everywhere. We stopped for lunch in a little tearoom which overlooked the street. It snowed a little too. From there we took off for Scotland and as we headed further north, the snow fell harder and harder. It blanketed the fields and the mountains. Andrew stopped by the roadside so the boys could get out ... read more

Europe » Italy » Marche » Urbino January 27th 2016

In 2014, Liz and Anna were cycling from Pesaro to Urbino, then to Gubbio and finishing at Assisi, only to arrive at Urbino towards darkness, unable to find the accommodation and led astray by the 'trusty' Tom Tom. After much drama they were rescued by a wonderful, kind Italian who looked after the bikes and drove them to the B and B which turned out to be another 25km away! oh Lordy! Therefore, this trip included a revisit to the historic, hill top, university town they did not get to see at all and to put to bed some bad memories! Alora! Success. This town is built almost entirely from bricks, apart from the paving, the cathedral interior (which was almost entirely marble) and facades of important buildings. There was very little stone to be seen ... read more
Another aspect
City wall
City street

Europe » Malta » Malta » Valletta January 27th 2016

The Man in the Middle approached a landmark birthday. After the success of our “warm weather” training mission to Malta in 2014, a plan was hatched for refreshments with football in the winter sun. The Motor Man flew back from the Jacaranda City for the occasion, fresh from relaying Page 48 and Page 49 of the secret manual of success for the natives. They must have been impressed. A return journey to run through Pages 50 and 51 has been pencilled in for March. The Python booked himself on the trip. A rare appearance for the now married man – missing in action since Portugal 2004. He turned up, doing a passable impression of Paddington Bear. A label carefully pinned to his chest in case he got lost – “Return to Meadow Lane, Nottingham. NG2”. There ... read more
Fort St Elmo

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