Saturday, 11 February 2017

Holiday Travels Pt 4

Florence! We decided  to brave the crazy Italian drivers and hire a car!.......
With Megan driving, Hayley navigating - and me a (not appreciated) back seat driver! - we made it out of Florence and headed up through the hills north of Florence to our "home" for the next 4 days - a Tuscan Villa....

 
....with some great views....
And...quiet spots to catch up on some reading or just relaxing.......when not sight seeing!
A day spent in Florence - the impressive Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)....
....explored little streets, found a market, shared a delicious pizza.......
.......and finished off the day at the Boboli Gardens - overlooking Florence.
There was a spontaneous trip to Pisa - for the obvious.....
......a driving day - exploring our "local" area... some very narrow roads but spectacular scenery......
Another drive this time to Fiesole where we wandered through cool forest paths to the top of a hill overlooking Florence and where Leonardo Di Vinci experimented with his 1st man-made flying machine!
                            All too soon we were were watching our last Tuscan sunset ......
........and once again on the move.......
After navigating our way back to Florence to drop off the car another day of train travel awaited us  - next stop Levanto - back to the coast and adventures on the Cinque Terre! 

Till next time!
Asta




Saturday, 4 February 2017

Holiday Travels Part 3

A day of travelling - 2 trains (Rome to Naples then Naples to Sorrento) followed by an hours drive (courtesy of Megan's partner James who joined us for a week - with a car!) ... and we arrived here...... Marina Del Cantone!
Photo courtesy of Megan
...... the view from our "home"  - a self-contained bungalow - for the next 5 days !!


 After the hustle and bustle of Rome it was so pleasant to have a few relaxing days.....While Megan and James went off on scenic jaunts Hayley and I "chilled out" at the beach....

with what became our drink of the day (or whenever)  "Aperol Spritz" ...........Enjoyed some relaxed dining out.........

 







and some quiet reading time...
We all did do some sight seeing together........
On one of our days off from "relaxing" ......and after a 2 hour drive...... we spent a few (very hot) hours discovering ancient Pompeii.....



Another day.... a "hair raising" drive along the Amalfi coast......windy narrow roads and traffic jams - including 2 buses trying to pass each other!
Villages hanging precariously to the sides of the hills.......and more amazing scenery!
.......finally our destination - Amalfi........
A few hours later - having had lunch and a bit of a wander we followed another windy road up into the hills to Ravello - sitting high above Amalfi..... stupendous views, interesting shops & gardens......

and a great cocktail - " Amalfi Spritz" (limoncello, sparkling wine, mint & soda!) .....
 To complete a "round" trip we decided on a more peaceful drive home over the mountains...into the back of Naples............... sunset over Naples & Mt Vesuvius.....
through peak-hour traffic in Sorrento (no photos - too busy keeping an eye on the traffic!) and finally nearly 12 hours later we were "home" and ready for bed! 

 All too soon our holiday by the sea with absolutely brilliant weather was over - once we worked out how to fit our luggage in - we were on the move again.... James drove the 3 of us to Sorrento from where we  started the next leg of our Italian holiday - by train to Florence! Meanwhile James dropped the "little"car off at Naples and returned to England.
For those reading this - we are 1/2 way now....... although this memorable holiday was a number of months ago it is bringing back such wonderful memories as I go through photos deciding which to put in - there are so many!! - and reading back though my journal! 
Till next time
Asta


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Holiday Travels Pt 2

After Estonia it was on to Italy..... and 1st stop Rome! 

We had 3 days in this busy, exciting city.......so - with our trusty map in hand - routes marked out for each of the 3 days we had here (marked out by our very helpful hostel manager) we headed out! 
Over the next few day we walked, walked and then walked some more - with the occasional bus ride thrown in - mainly to get back"home" at the end of each busy day! We explored and discovered.....
...The Roman Forum
The Colosseum....

....Vatican City,
 including St Peters Basilica and.................. The Sistine Chapel.....

The crowds at Vatican City were amazing and luckily we followed the advice of our very helpful hostel manager who advised us to buy our tickets before hand - online - ques were still long but nowhere near as long as the "other" one! 

.... Spanish Steps (taken through glass as they were supposedly doing some work on them!! 

The Trevi Fountain - of course!

And.... we discovered a little hidden corner of Rome - Trastevere - an atmospheric warren of Medieval cobbled streets......

We walked many kilometers during our 3 days in Rome - nearly 45! Around every corner there was another photo opportunity! 
and luckily plenty of tempting fresh fruit stands as our weather was quite warm!!
but every afternoon exactly when the weather forecast said it would - there was a storm....they were so exact that we could plan our days around them - making sure that there was a restaurant close by and stopping for lunch......
All too soon our 3 days of discovering Rome came to an end and once more we were packed and ready for the next adventure!
Time now for some sea and sun as we were about to head off to Marina Del Cantone on the west coast.....
And so to Part 3 next time.....

Asta