A Travellerspoint blog

ITALY

Umbria, Florence, Rome

sunny
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Greetings! So once again the blog has fallen into disrepair. Continuing on from last time:

Upon arriving in Migliano (a very small hilltop village in Umbria – central Italy) we decided we should take a bit more time to take in the region and have a break from the constant travel so we extended our stay. In between lazy mornings reading books, expeditions to the local café, and our own attempts at Italian cooking we explored a number of the hilltop towns in the Umbria region. Visits usually encompassed checking out the local church, a visit to the museum or other historical bits and bobs, trying the local cuisine and of course preparing for the drive home with some Gelato. Settlements here date back some 2700 years…

ORVIETO
The Duomo
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With a massive network of excavated caves, some of which were used to farm pigeons
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Maybe where we get the term Pigeon holes??

TODI
P6200123.jpgP6170067.jpgthe best pasta we found - spinach and ricotta raviolli with a cream truffle sauce - Yummmmmy
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ASSISI
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SPOLETO
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Roman house and ampitheatre

We also made an excursion to FLORENCE
The view from our camp ground:
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Back in Umbria and a bike ride on the bank of Lake Trasmino ended in a flat tyre for Helen and wasp stings for Ryan
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After two great weeks in Umbria we got back on the road – ROME
first up was the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain:
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The next day we took advantage of free admission (and a line to match!) to the Vatican Museum, the Sistine chapel and then St Peters
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We also managed to catch a glimpse of the pope departing from the Vatican - he's behind the hand....
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A quick stop at an Irish pub turned into a bit of a session as the final of the confederations cup between USA and Brasil was showing
P6280293.jpg. The result 3-2 to Brasil and us missing the last train.

This Gelataria had at least 100 flavours on offer!!
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And a visit to the Colosseum and Roman Forum
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After Rome we continued east and caught a ferry to Croatia, where we're counting down the days in our final week.

Posted by RyanHel 15:25 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Annecy, the Alps, Cinque Terre, Venice


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From the Dordogne valley we continued east and up into the Alps to stay a couple of nights in Annecy which seems to be a very popular destination with the dutch and german grey nomads and their camper/caravans. Annecy itself sits on the shores of lake Annecy.
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After two nights in Annecy we hit the road for ITALY!
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Our destination was the seaside town of Diva Marina a short distance from the Cinque Terre world heritage area that’s made up of a series of seaside villages surrounded by steep terraced hills.
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Next stop Venice
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and the best “camp” ground ever – it had everything (beach, hair salon, supermarket, waterpark, restaurants, cafes, and heaps of germans)!!!
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The pompoms are still going strong from the wedding:
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Now we’re in Umbria (near Tuscany) and have extended our stay in a hilltop village to two weeks…
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Posted by RyanHel 05:19 Comments (0)

France

Mont St Michel, St Emillion, Dordogne Valley


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After the wedding and expedition to the camping shop to source a replacement tent after ours suffered a few broken limbs due to heavy wind, we headed north to Mont St Michel:
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Then back south to St Emillion near Bordeaux – Wine Country!!
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And east to the Dordogne Valley - home to many archaeological sites, caves and cave paintings, and heaps of chateaux. They really liked building in the most difficult of places – either in the side of a cliff or on top of a steep hill. We visited Grotte de Font de Gaume which is home to some amazing cave paintings that are about 18000 years old then Gouffre de Padirac – a huge network of caves (25km) up to 100 meters high with stalactites to match – sorry no pics allowed. But here's a scanned postcard -
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Also in the valley:
Roccamador
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La Roque Gageac
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Chateau de Beynac
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Posted by RyanHel 10:23 Comments (0)

Matt & Elodie’s Wedding

Nantes


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After 4 days in Paris we travelled south by train to Nantes for Elodie and Matt’s wedding! French weddings are somewhat of a marathon in comparison to an Aussie wedding beginning on Saturday morning and finishing on Sunday arvo/evening. It was amazing!!
First up was the ceremony at the Church.
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HUSBAND and WIFE!!!

Then there was drinks and nibbles –
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Before heading to a charming old Chateau for the reception

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The reception was very entertaining - Elodie’s 20 cousins put together a play telling stories about her growing up and her time with Matt P5300116.jpg
They also made up a dance for Elodie and Matt – “the cow dance”(Elodie loves cows) that featured frequently throughout the night with everyone joining in. Other highlights included songs by Elodie’s father and grandmother, a DVD put together by all Matty’s friends back in Oz, and of course the food! After numerous courses the tables were cleared away and the dancing began continuing on until the wee hours of the morning when french onion soup was served (although of course they just call it onion soup) to finish things off – one of the many French wedding traditions.
P5300160.jpgThe first dance!
P5300166.jpga traditional dance from Brittany

The next morning we drove to the coast for “the return of the wedding” which had an Aussie theme – games and a BBQ
Boulle – a bit like lawn bowls
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Thanks Matt and Elo – we had a great time!!!

Posted by RyanHel 09:21 Comments (0)

Paris


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We arrived in Paris to some pretty warm weather – 26 and 85% humidity. The first thing to strike me was the beauty of the place – which never really felt like a huge city. Our hotel was right next to a metro station which was really good for getting around and there was often bands busking in the stations

our funky hotel:
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First stop was Notre Dam
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The degree of detail was amazing! Rock carvers would never have been short of work. Plenty of stained glass
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Chateau de Versailles – 17 & 18th Century
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Pretty much every surface is decorated in great detail - often with paintings depicting scenes of Greek gods

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Bed fit for a King?

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The gardens were massive (800 hectares!!)

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Musee du Louvre
What used to be a 13th century fortress became a royal palace then the museum:
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We could spend days or even weeks here

The Mona Lisa
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Not sure if this guy planned on being viewed by a few thousand people every day.

Arc de Triomphe
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The Eiffel Tower
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The view…P5280105.jpg

Cake anyone?
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better late than never... more posts soon

Posted by RyanHel 08:55 Comments (1)

IRELAND

a few more bits from Ireland


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After Skellig Island we made our way to Kilarney for the night then headed to Poulnabrone portal tomb at the Burren in County Clare
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It's about 4500 years old and the cap stone weighs 1.5 tonnes!!
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then we headed on to Doolin and the Cliffs of Moher:
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sadly the curse of the camera struck again and our battery died after taking just one photo :(
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after a night at the very touristy pub in Doolin we hit the road and headed to Galway
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Galway was pretty cool, we found a nice restaurant in an old mill2P5230037.jpg
and then a cosy pub serving a plethora of beers.
Next we stopped in at Tullamore to check out the whiskey business and some Tullamore Dew before heading to Newgrange, one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath. Unfortunately we were unable to view the tombs as the last tickets to the tour went to the 3 cyclists in front of us - unlucky :( after our thoughts to rob the cyclists of their tickets subsided we checked out the visitors center which was pretty good. Now we have a great excuse to come back one day!

Next stop PARIS!

Posted by RyanHel 12:34 Comments (2)

IRELAND

beautiful ireland and the curse of the camera


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We're coming to the end of our time in Ireland, here are some highlights:
The camera we brought suddenly decided it wouldn't work any more in the first few hours of our time here! The curse of the camera! We've since purchased another one - so far so good (almost)! A few photos from Kilkenny are stuck in the camera for now.

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very narrow winding roads make the trip "interesting"
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dramatic coastline at Mizen Head Peninsula - we were lucky with the weather!
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Bridge across to the Mizen Head signal station
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Spectacular folded sediments viewed from the bridge
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The boat ride to Skellig Island was a bit rough and very wet!! Luckily waterproofs were supplied :)
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Skellig Islands - 12km off the west coast with ruins. Site of a Monastic settlement 6th century onwards - a crazy place to set up camp! They definitely found the isolation they were seeking, except for the occasional viking raids. Absolutely stunning!
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Pear and Chocolate Tart mmmmmmmmm!

Posted by RyanHel 09:28 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

on our way, almost

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waiting in melbourne... for 9 hours eeeee... at least we found the pub...

Posted by RyanHel 04:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

THE MAP

Posted by RyanHel 02:14 Comments (1)

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