VIDEO 3: Lists

VIDEO 3: Lists - student project

My Favorite visits:

Switzerland:  Olympic Museum

                       Hike near the Matterhorn

France:  Ivoire on Lake Geneva

               Paris:  Notre Dame

                          Montmartre

                          The Eiffel Tower at night

                          The Catacombs

Italy:  Cinque Terre: Hike and swimming

          Rome:  guided visit of the Coliseum and surrounding area

Rome:  guided evening driving tour to the main sites: Fountain of Trevi, Coliseum, Vatican, etc.. the guid was knowledgable, it was fun to hop in and out to see all the favorite sites lit up in the evening.

Venice:  Gondola ride

               walking the streets during the day and evening

Florence:  seeing the David

                 walking to the Palace gardens and on the Ponte bridge

Milan:  El Duomo is worth a visit, walking on the roof to see the city is a must

             Window shopping is a lot of fun

 

Lake Como:  our day visit was too short, planning to visit another time to explore the area

 

Bucket list:  Easter Island

                     Hiking in Tibet

                     Going on a photo safari in Tanzania or Kenya

                     Visit Machu Pichu

                     Hike on the Great Wall of China

 

Video 2: Brainstorming one of my trips

Italy, summer 2018

This past July, my two daughters and I got to join our cousins for a two-week trip to Italy, 10 people in all.  Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre to end our trip in Milan with a day trip to Lake Como.

We spent 5 days in Rome in an apartment in one of the hills of Rome. We pre-booked a guided tour to the Coliseum and Forum, our guide always managed to find shade for us while she gave us our history lessons.  Turns out that gladiators were shaped more like Danny de Vito than Russell Crowe. The second guided tour was to the Vatican which I also recommend as there is so much to see and so many “doors”. The teens and young adults enjoyed the tours as much as we did.  The sites were so beautiful during the day that we all wanted to see them during the evening. Somehow we managed to find a company that could drive us around that evening. Two vans picked us up at our front door and drove us to all the major sites. It was very relaxing with a very entertaining guide, what a great way to see so much in a couple of hours.  Being in Rome is very special as you walk among ruins left by the original romans. Rick Steve’s guidebook to Rome was very helpful to plan the tours and decide where we wanted to go.

From Rome we took the train to Venice, from the train station we got in a water taxi to our apartment.  We spent three wonderful days in Venice, I loved being surrounded by water. Like Rome Venice gets a lot of visitors but, unlike Rome, in the morning and in the evening the streets clear up and the walks along the canals are wonderful. Of course we took a gondola ride, we used the water bus to go swimming at the Ledo, but the rest of the time we walked.  We noticed that there were not that many pigeons in Saint Marks plaza, it turns out they have banned the sell of grain to silly tourists. However, pigeons don’t seem to care how they take off or land, be prepared to duck. The highlight of the trip was walking late at night to go look at an abandoned haunted house. While we were admiring the spooky empty house it started to rain then lightning lit up the house, who could ask for more?  Screams and scattering ensued but the younger group waited for us to catch up to them. We didn’t know our trip coincided with the yearly celebration of the Redeemer. Venice’s amazing fireworks show started at 11:30 pm and lasted for 45 minutes.

On the way to Florence we had to change train in Pisa. Since we had an hour and a half until our connection some of us piled up in a taxi to go see the leaning Tower of Pisa. Our driver was friendly and fun, he dropped us off close by and waited for us.  The tower is a lot shorter than I expected. People don’t stay in Pisa they just seem to find their way there for the day as that seems to be the only thing to visit.

Florence can’t be compared to Rome as it is a medieval city so it’s history is much more recent.  We had tickets to see Michelangelo's David as it opened. I am glad we did that, we beelined for him before the rest of the crowd got in.  It is an amazing statue worth going to Florence to experience. We spent two full days walking around the city. While in Florence it is a must to eat their steaks.

Arriving in Cinque Terre is breathtaking, the train took us through tunnels to open up over the Mediterranean sea.  Everybody in our wagon gasped at the view. It is a beautiful area waiting to be explored. We hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia, a hit with everybody. The views along the hike make it well worth the 1 ½ hour walk to enjoy lunch at the next town, we rode the train back.  We swam in Vernazza and Monterosso. The train makes it really easy to travel from town to town. The consensus is that everyone wants to go back and explore that area more and hike more towns.

Back on the train to Milan, there were no available tickets to see the Last Supper but the Duomo is worth a tour as is the beautiful shopping center next to it. We got tickets to Lake Como for the next day, it was overcast and cool but still breathtaking.  A nice break from the heat of the summer and much less crowded then the major cities, Varenna is a beautiful town on the shore of the lake. Overall a great way to end our trip and say goodbye to Italy. Ciao!

 

 

VIDEO 1: List of trips over the years 

It was fun to think back to the trips I have taken over the years.  This exercise helped me come up with an idea for a post.  

 

1980 - La Rochelle, France with my girlfriend Nicole (first trip ever, took the train, slept on it)

1981 - Athens, Mykonos Greece with Nicole (took the train to Brindisi, Italy then the ferry across to Patras (sleeper cabin that we shared with some children) then bus to Athens.  Boat to Mykonos, back home to Switzerland by train through eastern Europe

1982 - Rhodes with Marina my cousin for our 20th birthday, our first airplane ride

1983 - Left Switzerland to go learn English in the USA

1983-1985 Lived in Washington DC

1983 - NY City, San Francisco and Northern CA

1985-1989 Lived in Alexandria VA

Baltimore, Williamsburg VA, Disney World Orlando, Philadelphie, Harpers Ferry, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Shenandoah Valley, Delaware, Myrtle Beach NC, Panama City FL

1989 moved to Edmonds, WA

1990 - Now, trips to Switzerland to visit my family

1993 - trips around WA state and Vancouver BC

1999 - Road trip to Disneyland through the Oregon Coast

2000 - Victoria BC

2002 - 2016 Oahu, HI several trips over the years

2007 Yellowstone National Park, road trip

2010 another road trip to Disneyland this time through CA route 101

2011 Big Island, HI

2012 Maui

2013 Kauai

2014 Cruise through the Caribbeans with the cousins, stop in the Everglades before coming home

2015 Switzerland, Milan

2016 Los Angeles, San Francisco

2017 Switzerland, Paris

2018 Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Lake Como, (two week trip the cousins) Switzerland, Paris in September

2019 Going to South Africa, Jeffrey’s Bay to visit my brother and his family in mid March


VIDEO 2:  Brainstorming one of my trips

Italy, summer 2018

 

This past July, my two daughters and I got to join our cousins for a two-week trip to Italy, 10 people in all.  Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre to end our trip in Milan with a day trip to Lake Como.

We spent 5 days in Rome in an apartment in one of the hills of Rome. We pre-booked a guided tour to the Coliseum and Forum, our guide always managed to find shade for us while she gave us our history lessons.  Turns out that gladiators were shaped more like Danny de Vito than Russell Crowe. The second guided tour was to the Vatican which I also recommend as there is so much to see and so many “doors”. The teens and young adults enjoyed the tours as much as we did.  The sites were so beautiful during the day that we all wanted to see them during the evening. Somehow we managed to find a company that could drive us around that evening. Two vans picked us up at our front door and drove us to all the major sites. It was very relaxing with a very entertaining guide, what a great way to see so much in a couple of hours.  Being in Rome is very special as you walk among ruins left by the original romans. Rick Steve’s guidebook to Rome was very helpful to plan the tours and decide where we wanted to go.

From Rome we took the train to Venice, from the train station we got in a water taxi to our apartment.  We spent three wonderful days in Venice, I loved being surrounded by water. Like Rome Venice gets a lot of visitors but, unlike Rome, in the morning and in the evening the streets clear up and the walks along the canals are wonderful. Of course we took a gondola ride, we used the water bus to go swimming at the Ledo, but the rest of the time we walked.  We noticed that there were not that many pigeons in Saint Marks plaza, it turns out they have banned the sell of grain to silly tourists. However, pigeons don’t seem to care how they take off or land, be prepared to duck. The highlight of the trip was walking late at night to go look at an abandoned haunted house. While we were admiring the spooky empty house it started to rain then lightning lit up the house, who could ask for more?  Screams and scattering ensued but the younger group waited for us to catch up to them. We didn’t know our trip coincided with the yearly celebration of the Redeemer. Venice’s amazing fireworks show started at 11:30 pm and lasted for 45 minutes.

On the way to Florence we had to change train in Pisa. Since we had an hour and a half until our connection some of us piled up in a taxi to go see the leaning Tower of Pisa. Our driver was friendly and fun, he dropped us off close by and waited for us.  The tower is a lot shorter than I expected. People don’t stay in Pisa they just seem to find their way there for the day as that seems to be the only thing to visit.

Florence can’t be compared to Rome as it is a medieval city so it’s history is much more recent.  We had tickets to see Michelangelo's David as it opened. I am glad we did that, we beelined for him before the rest of the crowd got in.  It is an amazing statue worth going to Florence to experience. We spent two full days walking around the city. While in Florence it is a must to eat their steaks.

Arriving in Cinque Terre is breathtaking, the train took us through tunnels to open up over the Mediterranean sea.  Everybody in our wagon gasped at the view. It is a beautiful area waiting to be explored. We hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia, a hit with everybody. The views along the hike make it well worth the 1 ½ hour walk to enjoy lunch at the next town, we rode the train back.  We swam in Vernazza and Monterosso. The train makes it really easy to travel from town to town. The consensus is that everyone wants to go back and explore that area more and hike more towns.

Back on the train to Milan, there were no available tickets to see the Last Supper but the Duomo is worth a tour as is the beautiful shopping center next to it. We got tickets to Lake Como for the next day, it was overcast and cool but still breathtaking.  A nice break from the heat of the summer and much less crowded then the major cities, Varenna is a beautiful town on the shore of the lake. Overall a great way to end our trip and say goodbye to Italy. Ciao!