View Full Version : Europe vacation

10-17-2007, 11:40 PM
I was stressed out to the max and a trip from home was just what I needed. Even though my sister who lives in Italy was here past months, we didn't get to spend much time together. So, what a good time to give myself a break and took a trip to Italy to visit her.

As usual, we can't settle for staying in one country... so I scoured the map and platted the routes and guessed that for 2 weeks maybe we could travel through the northern parts of Italy, into the Swiss Alps...possibly getting into southern part of Germany along the Rhine, then head west into Austria and from there get back into Italy. I love bordering countries and what an adventure it would be ... my first Europe vacation with the husband. I was hoping the trip would heal my grief and re-kindle the romance with hubby.

Thankfully this wasn't an early morning flight...we're both night owls and far from early risers. We had to be at Lambert airport by 9am to catch a 1015am flight to Atlanta. I hate Atlanta int'l! Long walks between gates. Frequent flight delays. I worried constantly that our flight from there to Paris would be delayed. With not much sleep the night before I was jittery, worried constantly and could not relax. The flight from Atlanta to Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris left right on time with not even a minute to spare. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70371-jump.gif

I hate long flights and who does not but I had a good book to read called "Simple Plan"...excellent story but I'll leave that for bookworms forum. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif Three quarter way through the flight I struck up a convo with the gentleman sitting next to me...pleasant French guy heading back to his wife and family after working in the US for weeks. He gave us lots of tips on places to visit, sights to see, best flea markets for bargain prices and most of all a better route to see more in less time. Before we landed in Paris, I knew that our trip would take us through much of Switzerland travelling through the Alps...Luzern, Geneve and then into France...Canne, Nice...heading through Monaco and back to Italy.

(tomorrow I'll add pics...mi tired, waan bade and go sleep.)

10-18-2007, 08:53 AM
Looking forward to hearing and seeing the rest of this /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

10-18-2007, 09:25 AM
A Sandi trip report!!! YAYYYYY!!!!!! Great start lookin forward to more!!!


10-18-2007, 10:52 PM
I changed my mind about Atlanta intl...Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris has got to be one of the worse I've been through. The signs to gates/terminals were confusing...one minute, go here...when you get there the signs do not follow through. We must've walked over 5 miles to get to our departure gate. By the time we started going through the security check point, I swore we had missed our flight. The next thing that caught me was having to board a bus that took us to the connecting flight to Pisa, Italy.

It was 9am (Italy timezone) we were finally off the last leg of the flight that landed in Pisa. There was no more clearance, customs, immigration...all that was done in Paris. We got our luggage, picked up our rental car (good thing we booked that before we left home) and was off to tour Pisa before heading to my sister's home in Lucca.

Old fort by river Arno

10-18-2007, 10:57 PM
Pisa is an old city in the Tuscany region. Majority of the buildings are old architectural, many of them centuries old. We wanted to see the most famous Land...La Torre di Pisa aka The Leaning Tower of Pisa. That was almost a feat of futility! It took us 3 hrs of driving all over Pisa before we eventually sighted the tower in the distance.


10-18-2007, 11:03 PM
Apartments along the river bank


10-18-2007, 11:08 PM


look at the people on it /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif looks alittle shakey to me /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif
Nice photos! Europe has always been a dream of mine

10-18-2007, 11:11 PM
Leaning Tower. Lots of tourists were around on this day. I'd wanted to go to the top of the tour but settled taking pics down below.




10-18-2007, 11:16 PM
Grand architecture and vivid statues



10-18-2007, 11:32 PM
I saw the title, saw SandiF and smiled. I always look forward to your reports and pics. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

10-18-2007, 11:35 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

</div></div> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gifcan't wait for my trip /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/bannana_purple.gif

10-19-2007, 03:58 PM
WONDERFUL SandiF!!!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70371-jump.gif

I love this Forum!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blushing2.gif

The leaning tower of Pisa!!! How cool! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

Can't wait to see the rest, and I hope your heart is healing /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70459-hugs.gif

10-19-2007, 05:08 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

but look wa di pigeon dem do to romulus and remus! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

great pic/report, Sandi.

10-19-2007, 05:09 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1676.jpg </div></div>
wonder which mountain that inna di background.

10-19-2007, 05:10 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Apartments along the river bank

http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1672.jpg </div></div>
love this one, fava jigsaw puzzle.

10-19-2007, 06:36 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mountaingal</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1676.jpg </div></div>
wonder which mountain that inna di background. </div></div>That must be the Apennine range.

10-19-2007, 11:51 PM
Glad you all like the pics!

Yes, it is the Apennine range...mostly wooded and green mountain and hilltops. Some areas heavy mining of marble.

More pics coming...

10-19-2007, 11:54 PM
The houses in Pisa are more of the style that you see in these pics. We found the same in Genova. The upper decks for most of the homes were nicely adorned with potted plants in a smorgasborg of colours. Once as you get inside the apartments, nice high ceilings and large rooms.



10-20-2007, 12:00 AM
Once as we found the leaning tower got some pics, it was time to head to Lucca. We came prepared...at least we thought so...maps but I could not find the print out with my sister's address and mobile number! We don't mind being lost as that's how you tend to have the better finds on a trip.

Lucca is 20km from Pisa. It was a Sunday and I knew as much that she no longer lived within the wall but within Lucca province. Plus her directions didn't make much sense. I was just going off memory...one minute I was oh that's the street! I knew she said she wasn't far from a hotel but various hotel names were popping in my head and no one was familiar with the names I kept calling.


10-20-2007, 12:04 AM
We were all over Lucca province searching for sis. Often times we got into a community with very very very narrow roads as this one. Sometimes the roads reminded me of Junction road in the communities in the hills of St. Andrew. Here I thought we would've been stuck...if someone was coming from the other end, someone would have to reverse to the next turn around point.


This is where the narrow road took us ... to a monastery.


10-20-2007, 12:16 AM
It didn't took long for us to have our first (and only) police encounter. We got into Lucca town, drove around the wall, then we were driving on top of the wall. Took us a while to realise maybe we should not be up there. As soon as we got into the centre, a bicycle policia came over and gave us a stern warning and threatened to pound the car and put us in the lock up!

After so much driving around, not able to find my sister. Not knowing her mobile number I found a tourist info centre and got to use their computer to send off an email to her. She wouldn't see it until the next day. I wasn't worried but I definitely was tired and that's when we decided to just drive throughout the province until we find somewhere to spend the night.

We did found somewhere in an area called Camaiore. Once again signs in Europe do not seem to follow through. We were driving when I saw an arrow pointing into god he knows where, but the sign said "bed and breakfast". We ended up finding a lovely villa called "Villa Zaconni' whilst hunting down for this bed and breakfast!

At least, I can get my weary bones out of the car, get some food, brush my teeth, take a shower and go to sleep.

Villa Zaconni in Camaiore




10-20-2007, 12:20 AM
Everyone now and then the orange tops of small pockets of towns will come into the view


It was a great view off the road side. I wanted to find the path to the river below. The air was crisp and clean but only a slight breeze. If I were to live in Italy, it certainly would be the Tuscany region.


10-20-2007, 12:26 AM
Inside the wall of Lucca, which encircles the old town. This is where grand architectural buildings exist. Inside the wall is an historic district with richly built arcaded facades and campaniles...some I'm told to be as old as 10th century.




10-20-2007, 12:29 AM
Grand statues and buildings. I could see how a someone who is interested in architecture would flock to a place like this as it has so much to offer in old architectural design.

lol! just realised I took a pic of the side view and not front.



10-20-2007, 12:34 AM
Oh, by this time it was Monday. I found my sister at her office and she took us on a tour of old Lucca town. Previously she lived within the walls, which is a sought after area for living. She moved as she said it got too crazy during the tourist season. Everyone thought she was crazy for moving outside the wall.

There were a few tourists around, mostly other Europeans and a few Americans. Every now and then I'll see the tall elegant form of an African amongst the sea of faces...most from Sierra Leone or Senegal.



Most people got by on bicycles and scooters.

10-20-2007, 12:35 AM
tomorrow more Lucca old town pics and then we're off to Switzerland...mi gaawn a mi bed. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

10-20-2007, 03:58 PM
Nice trip sandiF! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

10-20-2007, 08:07 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">



I love this statue.

SandiF, do you know of whom it represents?

10-20-2007, 08:21 PM
Sandi, mi jealous. You're taking one of my dream vacations! Wonderful pics and report. Keep 'em coming.

10-20-2007, 10:15 PM
I knew this would be so great but Sandi, you outdid my expectations. Your photos are fantastic as usual and the commentary you add makes this a such vivid tour. It reminds me a lot of traveling Sweden and Finland though the countryside.

Bravo!!! more more!!!

10-21-2007, 03:26 PM
The cathedral is the Church of San Michele (St. Michaels Church). I can't remember the name of the other statue.

I shall continue...

After a couple days in Lucca we found out few things about Italians. Not many spoke English...at least, not in the areas we were and some times it was hard to communicate. They love their scooters and bicycles and are fast drivers. Where a full yard is lacking residents would hang their laundry just outside their windows.

After spending two nights in Lucca we decided it was time to travel north into the Lombardy region. After spending the afternoon with my sister we headed towards Genova (Genoa), with the plans of getting into Lake Como area before day light.

I can't remember why we decided to head towards Genova but it wasn't a good move ... neither of us liked it there. Too high traffic, a bit gritty and a sea of streets & highways that interconnect. For a while we were going in circles paying toll after toll after toll...our frustration was high and we were miserable and I was coming down with a cold!

By then it was dark and we found an hotel somewhere close to Milan to spend the night. I got my first taste of the "European Union" as hotel admin demanded that they hold onto our passports until we were ready to leave the next morning. I was adamant and got a bit pissy that no one outside of legal authority hold onto my passport at no time. I insisted to the woman that she make a copy of it and we paid for our hotel room in cash. From then on every place we stayed, we paid cash and our passports go to where it belongs...in the security of our bags.

10-21-2007, 03:32 PM
The next morning I was down with symptoms flu-like symptoms. My throat was achy, my whole body was achy and I did not sleep the night before. We loaded the few items we kept in the hotel room, went down and had a great breakfast and was off to Lake Como.

We didn't get to Lake Como, but we got to Lake Maggiore which is just west of Lake Como. Beautiful sight as we were now in the Lombardy region with view of pre-alpine areas of Italy. Lake Maggiore is a border between Italy and Switzerland and one of the largest in Europe (Como, Garda, Maggiore). We made a great choice in coming to Lake Maggiore instead of Como as it's less travel and much more scenic we were told by many who have been to both lakes.



10-21-2007, 03:35 PM
Across the lake is Switzerland.

Ferries were taking people to this little isle in the middle of the lake. I was content to stay on the mainland and not ferry it across.

closer shot...

10-21-2007, 03:40 PM
In this area we found things to be a bit more expensive than in the Tuscany area. The banks charged less for changing the US$ than the cambio. Lots of houses set in the hills and the roads were one hairpin bend after the other. With a view of the lakes we were in a high real estate market zone.




10-21-2007, 03:44 PM
Finally we were crossing the border into Switzerland. Just a quick check of our passports and we were ushered through.



10-21-2007, 04:31 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I got my first taste of the "European Union" as hotel admin demanded that they hold onto our passports until we were ready to leave the next morning. I was adamant and got a bit pissy that no one outside of legal authority hold onto my passport at no time. I insisted to the woman that she make a copy of it and we paid for our hotel room in cash. From then on every place we stayed, we paid cash and our passports go to where it belongs...in the security of our bags.</div></div>
This is good to know /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

Great report/pics so far, and I'm really loving the narratives!

10-21-2007, 06:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1718.jpg </div></div>

a yu dat, Sandi?

lovely report, makes me want to go to Italy.

10-21-2007, 10:20 PM
I really enjoy this report, thanks sandfi

10-22-2007, 06:06 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I got my first taste of the "European Union" as hotel admin demanded that they hold onto our passports until we were ready to leave the next morning. I was adamant and got a bit pissy that no one outside of legal authority hold onto my passport at no time. I insisted to the woman that she make a copy of it and we paid for our hotel room in cash. From then on every place we stayed, we paid cash and our passports go to where it belongs...in the security of our bags.</div></div>

So SandiF, I dont quite get this . If a person wanted to pay by credit card, then they must surrender their passport to the hotel staff? By paying cash you could get around giving over your passport?

I dont like even making a photocopy for staff. Who knows what they can do with that info /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif

10-22-2007, 08:02 PM
Wonderful pictures. They are just amazing. What a vacation! I can't wait to explore Europe again. I'm dying to stay at Villa D'Este on Lake Como...(wayyyyyyy out of my budget)

Please keep the pics coming. Gorgeous. Thank you! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif

10-22-2007, 08:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">



Just loving this Sandi /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif dont hold nothing back /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif

10-22-2007, 09:57 PM
When I grow up I want to be like SandiF.

10-23-2007, 12:38 AM
glad you are all enjoying my little bit of trip reporting.

mtngal, that is me. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Nylah...the hotels wanted to hold onto passport if paying for room at time of checkout. I found it to be less hassle to pay for room upfront and have my passport returned immediately. Italy & France request passport at checkin...regardless. Switzerland, you just pay them and they don't need to see any form of i.d.

Swedish...we could tell that Lake Como was more touristy and no doubt hotels were more pricey. Lake Maggiore was a charm and very beautiful.

Mutty...yu nuh waan be like me when you grow up man...no sah. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

10-23-2007, 12:44 AM
This river in Switzerland was a force to reckon with as it crashed and churned through the canyons below. I stayed on an old bridge and took this picture. It was a bit dizzying as the water was raging. Further below it was calm and folks were sunning on the rocks... It was sent in a scenic wooded area. A bit reminiscence of some areas in Utah. I almost had an unfortunate accident... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif I scuttled down the woods to get out to the rocks outscropping...saw this cistern looking thing and was about to sit on it when I saw a gazillion flies /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif




10-23-2007, 12:52 AM
I loved the style of the houses on this side of Swizterland. The houses were made out of hand laid stones with a simplistic design. The roofs were either stone or a very heavy slate about 3" thick.



10-23-2007, 12:59 AM
I could not get enough of Switzerland where it is closer to Italy. The area remind me so much of the aspen areas of Colorado and north California. My husband and I were a curiosity as people stared at us--we waved and no one waved back. Well we found this throughout the entire trip. I couldn't figure out if Europeans generally loved to stare and were not friendly.

At this point, we had to consult our map. Okay, where were we...looks like we got off the road we suppose to be on and it's time to find a bed & breakfast to spend the night. All this driving with occasional stops can be tiring.


more stone houses

10-23-2007, 01:08 AM
It was a chilly evening and the road ended at a trail where vehicles were not allowed. What a good time to take out my running shoes! My husband decided to turn back from where we had entered and drove 3 miles down the hilly winding road. Turned out I had missed this leg of the route as I had fallen asleep. So he drove and I did my running. My lungs were bursting as we were at 2000 mls elevation.

We stayed at this hotel for the night.

10-23-2007, 01:13 AM
We were now in the Swiss Alps. What a sight!




10-23-2007, 01:20 AM
By now, we were in the germanic parts of Switzerland. The style of the houses had changed and signs were no longer in Italian. We took a series of passes, travelling on very narrow roads with steep climbs and dangerous hairpin bends. Throughout these routes I drove and I wasn't enjoying it.

The snow capped mountains were in the distant and this was where we were headed.

I felt like we were no where. It was just mountains all around and the only sign of civilization was the occasional vehicle making their way through the mountain pass.


10-23-2007, 11:19 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Mutty...yu nuh waan be like me when you grow up man...no sah. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif </div></div>

I can only dream about your reality.

10-23-2007, 11:57 AM
Wow SandiF these pic's look just like the commercial with the carmel candy. Just like a postcard. So beautiful. Hope to reach one day soon.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">We were now in the Swiss Alps. What a sight!



http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1805.jpg </div></div>

10-23-2007, 01:24 PM
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif

Breathless...thank you....I can't wait!!!

10-23-2007, 03:28 PM
For Real SandiF /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif

Just wonderful, I LOVE the stone houses, and the GREEN hills, with the mountains in the background /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70377-loveeyes.gif

Keep it coming!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/hungry.gif

10-23-2007, 05:34 PM
Wow!!! Picture puuurfect /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70377-loveeyes.gifI doan think my vacay will be anything like this /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/frown.gif

10-24-2007, 11:57 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1805.jpg </div></div>

What a way di place pretty! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

10-24-2007, 01:24 PM
SandiF - thank you for sharing - beautiful, gorgeous pictures as usual /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif

10-24-2007, 01:48 PM
<span style='font-size: 23pt'><span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>BRAVO</span></span>
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>Sandif~ my family is from a small village outside of Palermo, in Sicily, any chance on you'r next trip you'll head south in that direction???</span>

10-24-2007, 05:16 PM
beautiful shots Sandi, **Bigup***

would you live in Europe Sandi??

10-25-2007, 12:23 AM
I'm glad you're all enjoying the pics and my lame attempt at a trip report /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/desdentado.gif

TSmall, we had all plans to get into Sicily via a ferry from Genova to Corsica and another ferry from Corsica to Sicily. But after spending hours upon hours driving around Genova trying to find the ferry entrance at the port...we gave up. Well, after talking to bro-in-law, he said that would've been a long heck of a ride as the ferry from Genova to Corisca was 10 hrs. So, we decided next time we visit we all go to Sicily. A good place to go I heard are the volcanic islands between the strait of Sicily and Italy.

SisCtry...if mi win the lottery mi would find a little shangrila somewhere in the mediterranean regions.

More pics coming...

10-25-2007, 12:30 AM
The mountain views were just scenic and somehow we got a pic of the Matterhorn mountain (remember Matterhorn cigarette!) and didn't realise we were looking at it. On this day, the cold I had felt more like a flu...mi feel like mi couldn't move a muscle and the weather started having a little chill to it. I did wish I could've done more running, and hiking as so often we'll see Europeans dressed in their hiking gear, peg stick and all...from grandma to little pickney. Got to give it up to them they all seem to live a very healthy lifestyle...something I don't see in the US.

Snow covered peaks

Jagged peaks...

You can see the river running through the town. The rivers were all milky all throughout the countries and reminded me of our Milk River in Jamaica.

10-25-2007, 12:33 AM
I was surprised at the number of waterfalls just pouring out of the rocks in Switzerland. I was surprised at the landscape of this country...it exceeded my expectations.


The roads weren't wide and it can be scary just looking over and not seeing the bottom of the steep ravines. My husband insist that he keep with the speed of other motorists and seem to enjoy watching me cringe and frown each time he swooped around a corner.

10-25-2007, 12:44 AM
I really marveled at the energy level of the Europeans as it seem like every guy was training for the next Tour de France. I don't know how these guys did it but they were either climbing the steep mountain pass with ease, or going down at dizzying speeds. Furkapass I was no longer at the wheels...mi couldn't deal wid the tight bends, but we wish we were touring this country on motorcycle...what a blast it would've been.

At 2400 meters in Furkapass we were probably just over 8000ft.

The mountains were shrouded in clouds and a huge glacial ice field could be seen from the distant I took this pic.

10-25-2007, 12:54 AM
On this day we were in the Interlaken area and heading towards Grindelwald. The previous night we stayed at a hotel called Hof Postel. Well, after we left there in the morning, I left my waist bag with my $$, our car and house key and my credit car. We were many many miles from there when I realised my purse was missing. I was lucky and got a free call at the service station and Hof Postel had my waist bag at the front desk. An

Well, I thought this was the Matterhorn mountain but it is not.

To get to Grindelwald we had to park the car and take a bus. No motor vehicles allowed. The bus ride was $35Swiss Francs a head and it did not take us to Grindelwald but to Klein Scheideig(sp?) which connects to Grindelwald. To get to Grindelwald we had to pay $75 Swiss Fr. per head for a one way trip! Anyway we decided to just go to Klein Scheideig and I'll do some hiking. The bus ride and view from the ride was great but once as we got there...we were no longer up in the tree lines and it was just one big bald mountain. I went hiking nonetheless.

The road was extremely narrow.

10-25-2007, 01:02 AM
Throughout the trip we kept changing our route. Some cities we missed were Bern and Luzern, and we drove through the outskirts of Geneve. That night we were close to the Swiss/French border...the area of Romandy. What changed as we drove through Switzerland was the style of the houses but the landscape remained the same.

I really liked this area and wish I could remember the name but we were no more than 15 miles from the French border.

The next morning, it was the cow festival...what a deal that was and I will tell you more about it tomorrow.

10-25-2007, 12:31 PM

At 2400 meters in Furkapass we were probably just over 8000ft.

W0W! look how they reenforced the rock behind the sign /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70402-thinking.gif

Just wonderful photos Sandi /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

10-25-2007, 02:56 PM
<span style='font-size: 11pt'><span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>I just love your report and pictures. I was wondering yesterday, if you would have considered using a guide or someone to help you navigate your way around? Following signs and knowing what is what seemed to present you with a challenge. I personally love those kinds of challenges and adventures, but you have mentioned it a few times that makes me wonder why you didn't use one. I have heard that a nice way to travel through parts of Europe is to stay in rooms that nuns rent out at churches. I have heard it is a great way to get into a culture and touch ppl and stay in architecturally beautiful buildings. I'm just curious how you came up with your plan to travel the way you did.
BTW, have you ever traveled to New Zealand? I lived there for 5 years, a few years ago and from what little I know about you I think you might like that adventure as well. A very exciting place for someone who loves the outdoors.
Thanks again for sharing your adventures with me.</span></span>

10-25-2007, 11:08 PM
Thanks for sharing your vacation pics with us...

Booooooooootiful pictures..so picturesque../forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

Mi look at pictures and will read the excerpt later.. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

10-26-2007, 10:45 AM
simply divune!!!

10-27-2007, 10:42 AM
Oooh, Aaaah, OOOh Aaaah.

Sandif, I love the adventurous spirit you and hubby have. Jump in the car, with a map and drive. My kind of vacation.

Your photos are brilliant. All I can do is oooh and aaah again.

Thanks for sharing.

11-20-2007, 11:40 AM
SandiF, you nuh dun enuh. **Impatiently waiting** Weh di tap foot smiley deh when mi need it. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif

11-20-2007, 11:19 PM
eehmm...lawd mi forget bout dis...mi soon come wid more!

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: churchgirl</div><div class="ubbcode-body">SandiF, you nuh dun enuh. **Impatiently waiting** Weh di tap foot smiley deh when mi need it. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif </div></div>

11-21-2007, 05:37 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">eehmm...lawd mi forget bout dis...mi soon come wid more!


/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/bannana_purple.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70371-jump.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/bannana_purple.gif

Yes please post more!!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70384-praying.gif

I love this one!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70377-loveeyes.gif

11-21-2007, 05:45 PM
Sigh.... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blushing2.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/inlove1.gif Can't wait to see IT all in person again..... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/yahoo.gif

More pics please...this report is not done yet!!! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70384-praying.gif

11-28-2007, 11:30 PM
Continuing... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

So here we were held up in traffic by a bovine festival. The Swiss living close to the French border sure love their cows as they were decked out in fanciful head dress and hefty bells. Just the thought of schlepping behind a big pile of cow do-do made me grimace but it was fun watching this from the car. After getting through the traffic and 5 miles down the road, we were met by more cows.



11-28-2007, 11:34 PM
Talk about vertical limits ... can you imagine working in this vinyard? We had ripe grapes within easy pickings and I still could not figure out if the workers are transported down and through the vinyard on some trolleys but I'd be scared sh!it! Lovely view and no doubt, I'd be stuffing my mouth with grapes.



11-28-2007, 11:39 PM
Now we were in France but before the day ended we got right back into Italy. So many switch backs and a lot of times we just got on the wrong road and had to figure out an alternate route back. Here we got into a ski town...the glacial ice fall was spectacular.


I found the mountains mesmerising. Often times I wanted to get my hiking boots on and head towards the rugged tops but the view from below was a feast just the same.


11-28-2007, 11:44 PM
France! To me the landscape between northern Italy, Switzerland and these sections of France did not change.




11-28-2007, 11:50 PM
This area of Italy was dry and is closer to the coast than you would think. We were maybe no more than 2000ft elevation and the area was more rustic and rugged. By now, we were travelling on the edge of Italy and France heading towards Nice.

See this house smack in the middle of trees, bushes and highway.

See the bicycle riders? These guys really rode uphill at good speed and coasted downhill at dizzying speed. The road was one continuing Ssssssss....

Another view...

11-28-2007, 11:57 PM
Nice France! I did not particularly liked Nice along the shores of the Mediterranean...too busy and parking was a pain but we got lucky. Big high dollar hotels. The beach was lovely minus sand as it was smooth stones that lined the shores.


This beach you will see huge commercial aeroplanes coming in low for landing.

11-29-2007, 12:45 AM
SandiF, these pictures are breath-taking. The sign up above showing the speed limits...is that kilometres or miles? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

11-29-2007, 12:53 PM
Sandi, I wish I could have stolen your vacation *sigh* Love the pics /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70377-loveeyes.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70409-waytogo.gif

11-29-2007, 07:05 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mountaingal</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: SandiF</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
http://friesonline.com/Italy2007/images/img_1676.jpg </div></div>
wonder which mountain that inna di background. </div></div>

Yu neva show a picture of the Baptisary chapel door.... That is a work of art, it blew me away.... She who must be obeyed and i spent a day in Pisa in 2000... We never got to Frienze though....

Also they just found the Romulus and Remus cave below the Octavian palace in Rome..

12-02-2007, 05:54 AM
Wow! That was so enjoyable for me, and everyone, to read through your trip report with all the wonderful photographs. Thanks so much!

12-29-2007, 09:27 AM
Sandie thanks for the report and photos.

This is one of the main reasons I love this website. The photos put you in the place and let you experience the beauty and wonder of the place. Great report and photos. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/notworthy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif

Yvonne N.
12-30-2007, 05:31 PM
Thanks for these eye-sights...how beautiful! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/70458-applaud.gif
I have been making repeat visits here...only just posting...:sneaky: /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/bannana_purple.gif


12-30-2007, 06:26 PM
What a fab trip report SandiF!!

This pic brought back memories of our so called honeymoon.. We were flying down this road../forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/yahoo.gif


01-15-2008, 09:09 PM
Really beautiful Sandi.

You didn't miss anything not climbing the tower in Pisa...except the odd sensation of sometimes going up the rather claustrophobic) stairs but actually going lower in elevation due to the lean...but the view isn't all that from up top, it really isn't very high.

01-30-2008, 05:54 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Compray</div><div class="ubbcode-body">SandiF, these pictures are breath-taking. The sign up above showing the speed limits...is that kilometres or miles? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif </div></div>

Those are kilometres. The only places in Europe where you find it all in miles is UK and Ireland.

Nice these pictures. I've been to some of these places (Italian lakes, Furkapass, Grindelwald), but not to Pisa or Lucca or Nice.