S: Germany, Austria, Slovenia & Italy - 2002
BC: Furry friends are coming home! Next trip will not cram so many cities into so short a time. Humans had to throw out shoes, toothpaste etc to get us home | To Anyone not living out of a suitcase for three weeks. | May 3, 2002
FC: Germany, Austria, Slovenia & Italy April 10 - May 3, 2002
1: "Three cameras three picture takers, three views - this trip will have many pictures taken" --in Mom's words | ... then Munich and a bed - finally! | An ambitious itinerary, some nearly lost purses and passports, way too much time in airports...
2: MUNCHEN | The good news - our hotel is right off the end of the S-Bahn subway line at Marienplatz and above a lovely square and market. The bad news - the delivery man comes at 4am, the garbage man right after that and then they street sweeper passes THREE times to make sure all is clean! | Hard to tell what's smaller - the cars or the "lifts"
3: Nice to get out of the suitcase after flying Seattle to London to Munich. The travelers say the food is heavy on cheese and meat - yummy. They do lots of walking, we do lots of watching. | To: All Furry Friends Seattle and Wenatchee, WA | April 11, 2002 | Had to visit a beer hall and none better than the Hofbrauhaus. Even though none of us drink beer and the wine was so-so but the crowd and servers were very entertaining.
4: DACHAU | "Freedom Through Work" | Everything so lineal and orderly - very ironic.
5: The Russian Orthodox Memorial is just one of many religions commemorated on site. "To remember the dead. To remind and warn the living." | This sculpture is part of the International Memorial created by a former prisoner in the 1950's. | Dachau was a moving and emotionally exhausting place to visit. We did an English guided tour from Munich that covered much more than the signs on site.
6: We wandered Munich looking for some of the places Mom had visited on an earlier trip with PB's and Berg's. No luck but some very Bavarian architecture and fountains. | We got to see the Glockenspiel at Marionplatz perform. Like an overgrown music box. | Got a little stressed getting to the train to Salzburg but after a few mis-guided attempts figured out the ticket machines and were on the train!
7: Subways, walking, bicycles, buses and trains - all common and preferable to the automobile!
8: "Another generation has to do it too" | SALZBURG | Spent the afternoon wandering Salzburg and the Mirabelle Gardens. Spring is trying to arrive.
9: Pension Adlerhof not as nice a view but comfy beds. Food less than interesting - except desserts. Time zones limit calling you at home but found internet today. | To: Washington State Family and Friends (Furry and Other) | April 13, 2002 | Today was a preview of tomorrow's Sound of Music bus tour and the castle on the hill! | Best part of food - when we finally found it - was dessert - strudel and Nockerel
10: the Sound of Music Tour | The VonTrapp Family home - Frohnberg Palace in the front, Leopoldskron for terrace and lake and original location of gazebo | Mondsee Cathedral- wedding scene | Gazebo at Hellbrun Palace
11: We loved the Sound of Music bus tour. Complete with audio and sing-a-long it was a chance to see the city and countryside on our short visit to Salzburg | St Peters Cemetery where the family hid | Residenzbrunner Fountain where Maria splashes
12: The view - spectacular - even with a few raindrops | On a clear day - even a partly cloudy one - you can see the Alps! | The castle was built by an archbishop to protect the church high over the town. | Took the tram up to Festung Hohensalzurg - castle on the hill | "The cow (bull) has a saying on it's side but I can't remember what it was"
13: "Julie loved taking pictures of our backs. Says she likes to see where we are going." | A snowy trip over the Alps by train to Slovenia. Spent the night in the Motel 6 of Lubijana - Bit Center - a rec center. | The Triple Bridge - the side spans were added to a 1842 central one | Bit Center - cheap sleep and thankfully only one night - UGH | SLOVENIA
14: Decoration on the Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana | Franciscan Church of the Annunciation | We spent the morning wandering the Central Market. The Sauerkraut ladies had barrels in various flavors and they SOLD out. | Entry into the Municipal Museum was discounted as displays were rotating but saw Roman ruins
15: Come visit! We love this place. They let the cows stay inside even because this is a village! Humans says the food is spectacular and CHEAP - all meals and room for $28 | Our tourist farm - Pri.biscu - in Zareb | View over the livestock barns | TO Everyone who wasn't lucky enough to come with us | April 15, 2002
16: After German food the Slovenian food was like heaven | Ever seen pizza with a fried egg on it? | The cured meats melted in your mouth and Struekli quickly became our favorite treat | Beef Goulash (goveji gloaz), sausage and maybe veal stew. Not easy to order and little English in lunchtime restaurant or from our hostess.
17: The local area included alternative transport and some lovely roadside shrines | One of our favorite day trips was to the Bee Museum in a rebuilt castle. Learned bees can't see red but love yellow | Hay drying racks and the Alps | Bee houses in all shapes and sizes
18: Day trip to Bled. Island is site of a Christian Church since 9th Century. We didn't go see the Church. | The pletna (boat) not going, probably no demand on this dark day Visited the Castle instead. | The view from the castle
19: Savica Waterfall is 60 meters high. It originates in a limestone cave which may account for the white rocks | "Too steep for me" but when we finished our hike to the falls she met us over half way up!
20: Julie - "There are bees here!" What a surprise | South through Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps | The snow was a bit deeper and more abundant than we planned on but travel was fine. | We have to come back to ski
21: A tram, 100's of stairs, narrow pathways and high bridges. Mom did exceptionally well considering these are some of her least favorite things. Incredible interior made up for it. | Skocjanske Jame | Slovenia has over 7000 caves and this set of 11 interconnected ones are full of stalagmites, stone curtains and waterfalls. | Our second tourist farm (Turisticna Kmetija in Hudicevec) was written about in the Seatle Times and what led us to Slovenia originally but all agreed Bled was better. "Too commercial for me" says Mom
22: Lipizaner Stallions at Lipica | No Karen, you can't take him home | Cows, horses - these humans are crazy about animals. Did trains, trams, cars and buses now we doing a boat! | These gorgeous and talented horses start out black and aren't fully white until they are over 5 years old. We saw the adorable black foals and a display of classical and carriage riding. | So what time does this boat leave?
23: ISOLA Slovenia to Italy by boat | April 20,2002 | To US animals who aren't stuffed in a suitcase every night | The problem with being a tourist on the weekends is everything closes by lunch Saturday and doesn't reopen until Monday. Found no wineries but did catch a helpful wine store in town as it was closing | We used our free time to wash and dry a few necessaries
24: The Grande Canal S's thru Venice so the debate is always boat or walk. Walk has higher risk of getting lost in small streets. | VENEZIA | "Amazing. Just like all the pictures I've seen" | Hotel Marin - lovely but no lift | We took the Traghetto - the poor man's gondola.
25: In Venice everything moves by water - including the beer and garbage
26: SAN MARCO SQUARE | Many people, billions of pigeons, few places to sit and still signs of elevated walkways for usual spring flooding. View of the square from balcony behind the four bronze horses | The Square is the home of the dueling orchestras. Very Italian but means you pay $35 for lemonade - with no sugar! | St Marks Basicila Toured Doges Palace - full of art and a fascinating dungeon. Crossed the infamous Bridge of Sighs
27: We took the Traghetto across the canal to visit a morning market and bought the most delicious strawberries. So peaceful in Venice with boats! | Discovered a touring exhibit of interactive machines created from Leonardo daVinci's codices. | Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. On it's own island,equipped with a lift to the bell tower and beautiful views back to Venice
28: Warm weather means gardens in bloom | Firenze | The Duomo of Santa Maria Del Fiore IS Florence - visible from almost everywhere including our window | After Venice this city seems very noisy - full of scooters. Best part is gelato. | The Boboli Gardens at the Pitti Palace - a welcome sanctuary
29: David wasn't only sculpture | Lift meant for one person and one suitcase - although ours are getting so fat and full that fitting is becoming harder | If Karen can take a horse home I'm taking a car.
30: "We sat and drank red wine and ate cookies. What a life!!" | You can see the stripes of the Cathedral from our hotel terrace. Construction began in 1196, completed in 1215. | Torre del Mangia is second highest bell tower in Italy. A climb up it's 500 winding narrow marble stairs led to great views
31: Finally a host WE could relate to - Chico the cat. Less and less room in suitcase for us and shorter times between packings. Views out the rooms are lovely | Dinner at most unique setting. Wine is cheap making stool sitting even harder | The Campo in city center - home of restaurants and laundromats | Siena | To Friends we are starting to miss at home | April 25, 2002
32: Weather has been variable. - Got drenched by rain and then an hour later drenched by sun. Remains warm - in mid 70's - good but have wrong clothes for warm. | "Bapistry - look up at the girls, look down on me" | Another European town that doesn't allow cars
33: Took a day trip to Pisa mostly to see the tower. Standing under it and watching the clouds blow past REALLY made you feel like it was falling. Had Pizza in Pisa!
34: Drove wine road through Chianti with rain soaked stop in Castellina to buy lunch. By time reached Greve was partly sunny. | Cleanup after Greve market with a real straw broom. | No hotel planned so got off freeway in Montecantini Terme - spa town | Spent night in place not even in tour book but saw Porsche's Lamborghini's, a Mazeratti and an old Austin Martin. All you boys at home would love it here!
35: Cinque Terre | April 28, 2002 | To Car Crazy Boys in the US | Had trouble locating lodging on Liguria Coast since most towns don't allow cars. Ended up in hostel in Levanto with Australian couple and young man from Bellevue. | Good news - hostel right near beach. Bad news - hostel across street from bar!
36: Via del Amore Walk of Lovers | Wouldn't be Italy without a stop for Cappuccino although Mom persists in trying to order lattes | Vernazza | Manarola
37: Riomaggiori to Manarola was mostly paved with hand rails | Manarola to Corniglia - a bit rougher terrain best for goats | We took the train from Levanto south to Riomaggiori and started walking back. Walked to third town then took train to get to Vernazzo | Who is helping whom? | None of these towns are reachable by car - just train or boat. When seas get too rough boats are pulled into the streets | Manarola
38: and to grow grapes, fruit and olive trees in rough soil | The road to Milan is full of rugged hills but people manage to build | Stopped in Portofino to find lunch and cough syrup for mom who has a miserable cold. Too expensive to stay long.
39: Julie loved taking pictures of our backs. Says she likes o see where we are going. | A snowy trip over the Alps from Germany to Slovenia to spend the night in the Motel 6 of Lubijana - Bit Center - a rec center. | Spent night in Pavia on way to Milan and found some quaint sites among the buildings. Even in Milan we found bocce bowlers enjoying wine and competition. | Milan is a BIG city and we arrived on May Day. Nothing - even public transportation - is open today. | MILANO | No reason to worry. We will be home soon and that plane that hit the building in Milan was just bad piloting - really! | May 1, 2002 | To Home Sweet Home, USA
40: Waiting for our 15 minutes to see the Last Supper - took lots longer to find our own | Took a great bus tour of Milan. Amazing with the WWII bombing that the Last Supper fresco survived when all else around it was destroyed. | Duomo di Milan took over 600 years to build. Note the 13 foot golden virgin statue on top.
41: Fashion (and places to hold stores) are fabulous in all of Italy. Everyone looks so put together compared to most Americans. | Now this is a Mall - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele