Are Friends still friends after you’ve travelled together?

It started with a phone call from my sister 10 years ago asking if we could help her get to Rome … Rome? My husband’s career was with an airline and sometimes we can help family members get a better rate … Rome?  Why ya goin’ to Rome?  A Mediterranean cruise, wanna come?  Well!

Suddenly I reeealllly wanted to go to the Mediterranean.  I had passed through 30 years earlier and had such great memories of it.  Of course, the result is , we DID join them and that was the beginning of our travelling foursome.

We have made 5 trips together and have travelled in Continue reading “Are Friends still friends after you’ve travelled together?”

The Cook’s Tour of Buenos Aires

We were coming to the end of our stay in Buenos Aires and didn’t want to later say, “We didn’t know THAT was there!”  or  “I didn’t know we were that close to THAT”  or  “I wish we had …”     … so we took a tour.    Through the streets of Buenos Aires … Additional photos can be seen at Beyond the Brush Photography Below are … Continue reading The Cook’s Tour of Buenos Aires

Free-Ranging in Buenos Aires

We had gone free-ranging yesterday, hitting the streets of Buenos Aires with no specific goals, to let the city unfold un-prompted.

We had ridden the subway …

… the cars like something off the Orient Express—wooden windows, wooden seats wooden doors … that didn’t necessarily close all the way or when they were supposed to, or even stay closed for that matter. But it was reasonably clean and efficient enough at moving people.  The fare was less than one peso, about 25¢ and, we later learned, can even be free if one arrives just as something liquid has spilled into the ticket machine rendering it temporarily out-of-order.

We had  strolled Continue reading “Free-Ranging in Buenos Aires”

Impressions of Buenos Aires

Snow and ice and plummeting temperatures prevailed at home, but Argentinians were approaching their longest day of the year and at 6 p.m. on a December evening the sun was still high, the air was still warm, and the streets were bustling, noisy and at times congested, but also bright and green.

My first impression is of a relatively pretty city as cities go. Not particularly keen on cities, we prided ourselves on the fact that during our last excursions to Europe we had succeeded in avoiding all contact with large cities, except for the necessity of arrival and departure at a major airport.  Buenos Aires though presented an abundance of bloom  – purple blossoms hanging in great profusion from the many trees, yellow and rose-coloured blossoms, and gorgeous blue bulbs.
Argentinians, we found, Continue reading “Impressions of Buenos Aires”

Tales from South America

Off again.  This time to South America.

South America is not a place I ever thought I would visit, although I’m not sure why that was so. My images of the continent were derived from Romancing the Stone, and Indiana Jones movies and films from the 1940s of slow, lazy ceiling fans wafting the air in oppressive heat, and men in Panama hats; of people who escaped to the southern continent and purposely lost themselves in its out of the mainstream cities.  But the opportunity arose … Continue reading “Tales from South America”

Heading Home

We had arrived in France at the end of September and it was now almost November.  We had driven south through the centre of France, from Paris to the Mediterranean coast;  we had walked the streets of mediaeval towns, traversed gorges and  bridges; afternooned in Spain, tootled on the canal, soaked up the ambiance of numerous villages and seaside ports; we had survived the roads of Italy, dwelt in a small Tuscan hill town, lunched in a marble quarry, and dined on exquisite pasta to die for … and now it was time to head home.

We headed northwest from our hilltop village of Verrucole, and soon we were heading through the mountains … I mean through the mountains, as in tunnels.  Many tunnels.  There were 33 of them in the first 60 km from Aulla to Rapallo. Some so close together that only a hundred metres, or less, separated them. We popped out of one, had a few seconds of daylight and then entered the next one.  We eventually went through 106 tunnels on the way north to the mother of all tunnels – the Mont Blanc tunnel.

The tunnel took six years to build, completed in 1965, and runs under Mont Blanc.   For all that effort it reduces the route from France to Turin by 50 kilometres (31 mi) and to Milan by 100 kilometres (62 mi). We entered the tunnel from Italy, at 4,500 feet and exited seven miles later in France at 4,200 feet.   This is a shot of Mont Blanc.

  Continue reading “Heading Home”

Tuscan Excursions

My previous post in tis series was The Pont du Gard.

In my post Points of the Compass Italian Style I wrote about the drive into Tuscany in search of our next house rental and in Our Teeny Tiny Tuscan Town I described the delightful hill town of Verrucole.

I thoroughly enjoyed our stay in our Tuscan village but, as I described in Points of the Compass, it was tucked well away in the Tuscan hills.  When we had booked and finally found our teeny tiny town on a map we immediately started checking out nearby sites  to visit.  Lucca, a place of interest with its Renaissance-era city walls was described as being 40 kms from Verrucole.  With that as our benchmark we widened our circle and boned up on interesting places to visit …

What we failed to understand until after arriving was just how high we were over the Serchio Valley …

Continue reading “Tuscan Excursions”

The Pont du Gard

My last post in this series was French Villages.

Two weeks into our vacation we departed our St-André apartment near the Spanish border and headed east to Italy.

We had a full day ahead and that necessitated some time driving the major highways, but near Nimes we veered off in the direction of the Pont du Gard.

Continue reading “The Pont du Gard”

Photo Hunt: End of the Earth

Karen at The When I Feel Like It Blog has announced a new photo hunt.

“Show me the place that is “the end of the earth” for you …”

This photo was taken by a friend and travel buddy who passed away not long after our return from this trip.  Ushuaia, Argentina on the Beagle Channel, is the southernmost city in the world.

I have to admit that the next one Continue reading “Photo Hunt: End of the Earth”