BC: Dear Dad & Ann - Thanks for the memories. | The Grasso Family 13900 Meadowdale Drive Athens, OH 45701
1: It all started with a great idea... Let's get together and take a little trip, there's a few places in Europe we'd like to see... Well, it morphed into a seven country, fourteen city expedition; traversing 3,502 km by land and more than 1,100 nautical miles by sea.
2: Mike (and Avis) found us the perfect touring vehicle, a VW Caddy, and our trip began...
3: All loaded up... Next stop Paris, France
5: Paris, France Population: 2,153,000 This global city sits astride the River Seine and is the world’s most popular tourist destination. Famous for amazing architecture, incredible museums, world-class galleries, fabulous parks, great theaters, elegant boulevards, classy shops, gourmet restaurants, and lively cafés. Fun Fact: Gustave Eiffel first offered his tower to Barcelona, but the Spanish city rejected it.
6: The first of many hop-on hop-off bus tours.
8: Musée du Louvre Originally a royal palace, the Louvre, located in the heart of Paris, became a public museum at the end of the 18th century. There are about 35,000 objects on display, spread out over three wings of the former palace. Some of the most famous works of art in the museum are the Venus of Milo, the Nike of Samothrake, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo and, of course, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
9: Who doesn't love a little fine art?
10: Right after Paris, and nine hours in the Caddy, the nautical leg of our vacation began. All Aboard... Royal Caribbean International's Liberty of the Sea
12: Cannes, France - Absolutely Beautiful
13: First Port of Call: Cannes, France Population: 70,000 The Riviera city on the Cote d'Azur hosts Europe’s most famous annual Film Festival, and has long been a playground for sophisticated pleasure seekers. Instead we opted for a trip to: Monte Carlo, Monaco Population: 30,000 To clear up the Monaco / Monte Carlo confusion, Monte Carlo is one of four quarters of the small principality of Monaco, but is not the capital (Monaco doesn’t have one). It is the richest area, with the famous Casino and the starting point of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit.
14: Our terry cloth menagerie.
15: Good Times on the Ship!
16: Pisa, Italy Population: 88,332 A city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Ligurian Sea, Pisa is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although known worldwide for its Leaning Tower, it contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces various bridges across the River Arno, and pregnant teenage gypsies that can be thwarted with a forceful push to the neck, known as the GTP, or Gypsy Throat Push. Florence, Italy Population: 370,702 Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It lies on the River Arno, and is known for its history and its importance in the Middle Ages and Renaissance; especially for its art, architecture and cultural heritage. Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. The city boasts a wide range of collections of art, especially those held in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi.
17: More hopping-on and hopping-off... | We only look lost...
19: Rome, Italy Population: 2,761,477 The capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and commune. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy. Rome's history spans over two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe. Since the 1st century AD Rome has been the seat of the Papacy. Stato della Citta del Vaticano Population: 829 Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. Vatican City was established in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Gasparri, on behalf of the Holy See and by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini on behalf of the Kingdom of Italy. It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the Pope. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See and the location of the Pope's residence; the Popes have generally resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377.
20: Stato della Citta del Vaticano
25: Barcelona, Spain Population: 1,621,537 The capital and most populace city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Bess and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domnech i Montaner. | The weather wasn't great but the architecture is amazing
26: This part of France is Called the Cote d'Azur, or Blue Coast... No wonder why | Breathtaking | Marseilles, France - Population: 1,604,500 - Set on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille is France’s second-largest city and its most important port. Many traveler’s consider it to be dirty, rough and even down-right dangerous, but it is an exciting, colorful place, with a long history. Founded around 2,500 years ago, this is the oldest city in France and has always been a lively rowdy gateway between Europe and the rest of the world.
29: The Chteau d'If is a fortress (later a prison) located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul Archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea about a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France. It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo. | Having a grand time on d'If. Thanks a heap, Edmond | Fernand Mondego Marseilles, France
30: Bern, Switzerland - Population: 127,000 Duke Berthold V of Zhringen founded the city of Bern on the River Aare in 1191 and is said to have named it after the first animal he met on the hunt, a bear. The city is situated on a picturesque peninsula surrounded on three sides by a bend in the river. Lucerne, Switzerland - Population: 59,509 A city in north-central Switzerland, in the German-speaking portion of that country. Lucerne is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne and the capital of the district with the same name. Due to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne (der Vierwaldstttersee), within sight of Mount Pilatus and Rigi in the Swiss Alps, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists. One of the city's famous landmarks is the Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrücke), a wooden bridge first erected in the 14th century. Also, the home of a lovely B&B, the Romerohaus, but we wouldn't know; we never got there.
31: Zeitglockenturm, built in the late15th century, this intricate astronomical and astrological device displays a 24-hour clock, the 12 hours of daylight, the position of the sun in the zodiac, the day of the week, the date and the month, the phases of the moon and the elevation of the sun above the horizon throughout the year. | Not Zeitglockenturm | Bern
32: Burg Nanstein - a castle in Landstuhl, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
33: Landstuhl, Germany Population: 8,599 Landstuhl is a municipality in southwestern German and part of the district of Kaiserslautern, in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is also the home of the Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center (LRMC), a U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) post. Fun Fact: Landstuhl is the birthplace of Rob Thomas, the lead singer of Matchbox Twenty, Reggie Williams, former Wide Receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and LeVar Burton.
34: Strasbourg, France - Population: 273,000 - Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in northeastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. | Our last tour...
35: Cathedral of Notre Dame, an ornate example of 15th-century Gothic architecture, is France’s tallest church and the world’s fourth tallest. And we felt every step.
36: What an amazing vacation! | Veni... | Vidi... | Vici...