A Travellerspoint blog

Walking Lots Day 30

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Finally 24 hours late we got to France. Hurray hurray.... Yes Ann as you so elegantly put it " shit happens" but the sad thing really for us is that we have lost one of the special 3 days / nights in this magic area.
Well the trip from Italy was long started at 8 .30 am & finally arrived here in Annecy at about 8pm . It was easy once we got to Lyon I knew we had to catch The Rhone Express from the airport to Gare de Part Dieu. The express is kinda a tram / train takes about 1/2 hr to reach city . I was my usual anxious because we basically had just over that to get to the station & find our platform . Wow it was so easy the trammy stopped right outside the Le Gare & we found our train on the electronic board but horror not platform number . We then remembered from last trip to France that the platform number is often only put up at the last couple of minutes. Yep that was it platform J . On the train & off we went for a 2 hr ride through quite stunning countryside.
Only few moving pictures take from the train sorry but today we should have some great shots.
This town is the capital city of the area but not very big. We are actually only 35 k from Geneva & 1.30 hrs from Chemonix the famous Mt Blanc . We hope to get there tomorrow but it depends on how much we see here today. We leave at 6 am for the long haul trip to Cahors Le Lot on Friday morning. So will just have to see how things go.

Posted by Billdeb 23:57 Comments (0)

Walking Lots Days 28 29

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Wasn't even going to bother writing regarding the last two days but maybe in years to come we may
" treasure" these memories. Currently we are just bloody annoyed .
Sunday was a nice day still in Catania had a really great walk in the park right on the city edge. I guess it is the solace for the people of Catania living in their dreary apartments / tenements . I think most of Catania & it's tourists were out in the park & environs . The weather was lovely warm a little humid but pleasant for long walk.
We walked I think the entire way round the city then into it where I did buy an interesting bracelet my taste but I think I know a tall blond who may covert it . Description very thick silver wire with a black something stone lump held in a cage of wire. Very me .
Bill bought a shirt Sicilian made blue & white with a bit of red white & blue stripe too. Had lunch in one of the alfresco restaurants . First course was fine & we were happily chatting & of course drinking rosso vino. Took us an hour perhaps before we realised we hadn't received our 2nd course...much confusion but then it appeared then limoncello & dessert that we had not ordered . There way of saying sorry or sometimes thank you. Limoncello is an acquired taste that I really am not acquiring . Bill did consume both.
Now to yesterday....what a bloody disaster. Got to airport in lots of time as I like it. Flight was duly up on board & we did all the usual etc with bags & through quite stringent security . Then we waited for the flight & waited & then some more. No English really finally ascertained the flight would be about an hour late. This still gave us plenty of time in Rome but no finally ended up two & half hours late leaving. We had no hope actually saw our plane on Tarmac when we finally arrived.
We then had to try & sort out what the hell to do. No more flights to Lyon so figured we could perhaps get to Zurich then bus over the border from Switzerland to France. Bit dodgy because there may not have been a bus that late. Decision to be made & it was that we would stay in Rome over night & catch flight today. Ok so €400 later that's what we did.
Insurance will perhaps cover this but who knows at this stage.
All in all we were exhausted & very angry & now have to repeat the exercise today .

Posted by Billdeb 23:13 Comments (1)

Walking Lots Days 26 / 27


semi-overcast 16 °C

Hi all sorry all who were waiting for the next instalment of our yet again amazing adventure. We left Taomina around 10.45 am bound for Catania and apart from the extremely nerve wracking roads on cliffs once again the trip was uneventful & we gazed mesmorized at the stunningly beautiful if not ominous Mt Etna. Taxi to our hotel which is about 10 mins from the old city. Quite convienent really.
We had a little rest then headed into the old city to see what it has install for travellers. Interesting centre very much Baroque & very beautiful but once again heaps of people Oh well I can,t expect it all layed out just for me. (Sorry if the typing is a bit strange & I am using a comma instead of apostophe but wifi is lousy today in the room so using the computer in lobby. Italian keyboard & doesnt seem to have the same things we have)
We did have a late long lunch with far too much vino made our way staggering would be the way to describe the walk back to hotel. Made it sometime around 4pm. We finally have Sky TV so able to watch some movies in English. Think we may have overdone it ...3 movies later & finally went to sleep about 11pm. Oh as we had such a late dinner we had a bad dinner of chips & fanta . Oh dear its getting ridiculous at times.

Great nights sleep & late breakfast once again took off to have a proper look around. Huge cathedral oh my is this turning me into some religious freak ! On to the museum five levels up stairs & once again traumatic effect on me . I did make it & saw all the over the top stunning artifacts strange religious paintings some very beautiful old vestements & incredible gold embroidery.
I do appreciate the artistic value of these amazing pieces but oh how boring are the repeated subjects. This is the cynical me coming out again. What would man have done with his gods ! Bloody hell there are a lot of blond blue eyed Jesus & Mary works : Strange me doth think.

Finally we discovered the unbelievable fish market ...it was an amazing sight men everywhere fish of every shape & size including live eels. Fortunately we are in a hotel & Bill had no possible way of being able to cook anything. It was very crowded & lively. Lots of fun . On the road above was the meat & veg etc market equally frenetic ...wasnt big on the entire sheep sliced in half right through their heads . Yuk !!

Finished the day off with a walk to the port...very industrial & really nothing I found interesting. So we find ourselves back in the hotel for a rest & a few more movies. Think we do need to have a couple of days with a bit of laziness involved. I havent worn my pedometer everyday but had it attatched today & it was just on 7 ks think that is about an average each day & sometimes more. Fine if it was just on flat ground but this is generally on hills & up & down stairs . Im whinging again I know but hey I m allowed arent I ?
Ciao for now going to go see whats on TV... so excited to be able to zone out for a while ...

Posted by Billdeb 06:17 Comments (0)

Walking Lots Day 25

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Late start this morning didn't go to breakfast till almost 9am . Breakfast was delightful we chatted to dear old lady 90 in fact. She was Italian but had lived in England for 60 years. The interesting thing was she had been coming to Taomina for 60 of her 90 years & explained how the place had changed so much . Frankly it must have been quite amazing way back when only the very rich could afford to come & visit. Can't imagine how long it took to get here from below on the coast. The road is a series of severe switchbacks . I stand corrected if this is not the term but a road that zig zags back on itself. It's an OMG type of trip anyway.
We started off at the museum which is housed in Palazzo Corvaja . Interesting ,interesting lots of day to day life wares moulds made from metal & wood for chocolate or pastries from bygone days etc etc. Stunning old embroidery & a few old garments. Lots to see but I won't keep going.
Guess we managed a couple of hours there then headed to the "piece de resistance " the Teatro Greco. This is how it's described ..... Perfect horseshoe shaped theatre suspended between sea & sky. Built in 3rd C BC and is considered the most dramatically situated Greek Theatre in the world.
Well , you know what we have been to Greece twice for reasonable periods & seen Delphi , Epidaurus, Olympia & lots more ....believe me they are spectacular but they are not in this truly amazing setting. Hang on there Bill says Delphi is just as spectacular but this has much more settlement around it & the sea vistas of course.
I do however need at this stage to admit that my many phobias are coming to the fore on this trip . I really don't like heights in fact I get quite scared . I just was not able to walk either up or down the stairs between the rows of seating in the theatre. It didn't stop me seeing everything as there were other ways to get down into the actual floor area. BUT looking over the edges at the views my heart was fairly pounding.
I wonder how many people do collapse on these excursions really some of the people look so unsteady & are so old they were frightening. You see many elderly Europeans with long wooden or metal walking poles. They still look bloody dangerous navigating some of the steps , stairs & rocks we constantly find ourselves on.
The place was fantastic & apart from my on going phobias it was a great few hours.
To finish off that part of our day we found our way to the Villa Comunale a beautiful hanging gardens created by an English woman related to The British Royals . From what I could ascertain she created them in late 1800's . Perhaps I need to Google her too. The gardens I can only assume are called hanging because they perched on a cliff top. Of course they are just to encourage my phobias ! !
Finally around 2.30 exhausted we made it back to our hotel . Oh forgot to say lunch was a yiros sounds strange & not actually sure what it was but the guy said Turkish so whatever the equivalent is. We needed something that was not panini or pasta or or or . .... Dinner tonight will be something Sicilian with vino .
Was another big day & tomorrow off to Catania & perhaps Mt Etna not sure yet may just look at Mackie's photos. He he !
Oh & before I forget going to take a serious look at that bracelet. It's really the first thing that I've felt I needed .So that's lucky for the finances at this stage . Ciao all xx

Posted by Billdeb 09:18 Comments (0)

Walking Lots Day 24

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Off to Taomina today...well it took some 5 hours first to find where the bus left from the invirons of Palermo Railway Station. Not always easy so many buses & where the hell to buy the tickets is always a problem. Sorted that problem. The 3 hr bus ride was quite pretty farming country they sow crops on most unlikely hill sides .Glad I'm not sitting in the tractor when they are working the ground. Wow !
Now the roads are interesting we went along valleys that were obviously prone to flooding . Consequently the duel lane roads are separated & raised sometimes up to a fair height above the flood plains . The road was relatively flat considering the undulation of the land below .
Changed buses in Catania & finally had our fist view of Mt Etna . Spectacular with snow & we could detect the puffing of smoke from the crater. Another wow inserted here.
Well , we finally arrived in Taomina about 4 at first I thought "crap" another tourist town . This is in fact true over run with tourist us included I suppose. However when the tour buses left & it was growing dark it was quite magic!
We did all the usual wandering lots & lots of designer shops amongst the usual souvenir rubbish I hate so much. BUT I did spy a bracelet I need to have . So all is not lost.
Finally went to sleep around 11 & managed to get about 7 hours straight . Did chat with Zkye on FB for some time mainly about Dewey her new little Dachshund puppy ....mmmmm she's a worry that daughter of ours.
Well off to breakfast & The Greek Theatre oh & the bracelet of course.
Ciao all

Posted by Billdeb 23:30 Comments (1)

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