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High Line

The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail. It was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan. The High Line is a public park maintained and operated by the Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of […]

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Bryant Park

Bryant Park is a beloved, year-round New York City destination. Known as Manhattan’s Town Square, the park is famous for its lush seasonal gardens, free activities and al fresco dining. Located adjacent to the New York Public Library and surrounded by iconic skyscrapers, Bryant Park is visited by more than 12 million people each year and […]

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Flatiron Building

The distinctive triangular shape of the Flatiron Building, designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and built in 1902, allowed it to fill the wedge-shaped property located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The building was intended to serve as offices for the George A. Fuller Company, a major Chicago contracting firm. At 22 […]

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Pizza Class

There are a few things that are easier to make than pizza.  Apparently, things which appear simple are quite complex if you break them down.  Long story short – I have been doing every aspect of the pizza making, right down to holding the dough all wrong, absolutely every single part, all wrong.  This was […]

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Tuscan Splendour

On the way back to Sant’Anna in Camprena from Montalcino we stopped a few times to take in the magnificent vistas and enjoy the serenity of this spectacular landscape. This truly is a wonderful place and the pictures simply don’t do its justice.

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Montalcino for Lunch

There appears to be about a thousand wine shops in this village.  There are places where you can sample over 100 wines in a single wine store.  It’s bonkers!  However, our search is for some food, because it has been at least 3 hours since our last meal, and to find another gelato place, because […]

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Paggio Dell’Aquila

Promptly after breakfast today we drove out to a small family run winery nestled just below the quaint town of Montalcino.  This place produces only 18,000 bottles of wine one Rosso and one Brunello, (read no cheap and pricey)  The local oenologist, Maria, who is Spanish, gave us a great tour and a great wine […]

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San Gimignano and Gelato

San Gimignano is synonymous with the very finest of gelato, some great artisan shops and phenomenal galleries.  There is no shortage of the run of the mill tourists traps like the Museum of Torture and other junk stores but for a refined gelato junkie this place is a paradise.  True to form, we parked the […]

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Sunrise Hunting

The idea was great, the plan brilliant, the execution none of the above.  We did not find the right hill to see the sunrise, I guess you have to be in the know to be in the right spot at the right time.  We will do better next however as we have acquired a map […]

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Back to Siena

We are back to Siena.  Unlike our last time here, this time it is all about sitting around and taking in the sights.  We did go and visit a couple of places, but mostly we just ate, sat around and admired the views – including the Piazza del Campo and Siena Cathedral.  

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Tuscany – The Scenic Route

We are taking it easy today – in the plans is the short trip to Sienna. Instead of the regular Autostrada we are taking the SR2 which is essentially a local secondary road that winds through the Tuscan country side.  Slow and enjoyable, lazy morning drive, it’s perfection.

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Sunset in Pienza

About 10 min drive from Sant’ Anna is Pienza.  A small town that came to prosperity and prominence under one of the Popes.  But we did not came here for religion, we came to experience something much more spectacular, something much greater than god – a stunning Tuscan sunset.  We also scoped out some places we would […]

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Orvieto

Today we are travelling to Sant’ Anna in Camprena. We stayed here last year in the spring and loved it so much we thought we would come back and bring some friends with us to enjoy.  However, because the drive from Rome to Camprena is not long we are taking some detours.  First on the […]

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Last Night in Rome

Today is our last day in Rome, tomorrow are going to pack up and head for the Tuscan Hills.  Having said that though, there are still a lot of places to explore.  This morning we started with Eataly and a lot of food sampling and a huge lunch – naturally.  Then we wondered around through […]

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Hyenas

This is our final game drive – and once again it exceeds our expectations.  You always hope or wish but certainly never expect that city slickers like us would happen upon some hyenas and vultures feeding on a small giraffe that a pride of lions has taken down a night before.  This is some National […]

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Hippos Hippos Hippos

This morning we are mixing things up a bit.  Up at 6am, quick coffee and a cookie and out in the car by 6:15am.  We did not even get 20m into the drive when we spotted a couple of giraffes and then another 10m later a herd of elephants.  They really are not kidding when […]

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A Pride

Manfred really stepped it up today when out of nowhere in the middle of nowhere under some ordinary unassuming bush he found a band of brothers, well fed and sleeping.  They did not even raised their heads when we pulled up.  Having said that, I think the only thing that stopped the lions from eating […]

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Herd Crossing

What is better than one solitary elephant minding his own business.  Well a herd of 40 or so elephants with lots of babies.  The tiny babies were hardly 3 feet tall, hardly sticking above the grass.  So far I think this is the best and most memorable and mesmerizing experience for all of us.   […]

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Cheetah

One of the great sightings this morning was a mama and cub cheetah.  The cub was nursing at first then grooming, then playing and stretching – playing nicely for all to see.  Manfred spotted a wagging tale from about 300m.  I honestly don’t know how these guys do it, I think the animal tracking is […]

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Evening Drive

Our evening game drive was quite exciting.  We got stuck trying to cross a bit of wet land and sat there for about 20 min smoking tires and rocking the Land Cruiser back and forth.  Actually the driver did all the work since we are not allowed to leave the car.  We were permitted to […]

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Kenya

HookedOnEurope goes to Africa

It is spring break and we are doing something we have not done before – ever.  We are heading to Africa on a safari.  We booked this trip three weeks ago on Wednesday evening, on Thursday Evelina broke her leg skiing.  Crippled and undaunted we are excited for this great new adventure.       […]

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Ballenberg

Ballenberg is an open museum with a 100 original, century-old buildings from all over Switzerland, original gardens and fields. It is a working museum where people are in period, bake break, make sausages, make cheese and pretend they live in the centuries past. There are also 250 domestic animals on display as well.  This is […]

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Hasliberg

This is the last stop in Switzerland.  Apparently I can’t count to 5 so I booked us in for 4 nights. Needless to say a day before check out we needed to find a room for one more night.  Booking.com to the rescue and this is how we ended up in this village.  Dating back […]

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Seilpark Gantrisch

Doing something outdoorsy today – something right up Evelina’s alley.  Seilpark in Gantrisch has the highest forest adventure platforms in Switzerland – 36m – it is freaky.  There are 10 different courses to go through and 1.5km  of paths suspended  through the beautiful Längeney Forest.  We did 9 of the 10, the second most difficult one […]

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Lausanne Cathedral

The construction of the  Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 by an original unknown master mason. Twenty years later another master mason restarted construction until 1215. Finally a third engineer, Jean Cotereel, completed the majority of the existing cathedral including a porch, and two towers, one of which is the current […]

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Lausanne

The city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva. Lausanne has a population  of 146,372, making it the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee, which recognizes the city as the “Olympic Capital”. Since 1994 the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations […]

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Magdalena Hermitage

Directly overlooking the Lake Schiffenen is a carved out cave measuring 120 meters which was chiseled out in the rock by two hermits around 1700.  The floor, as it was recently discovered, is actually a fossilized sandstone dune from prehistoric times. The dwelling in the cliff was later expanded to its current size by the hermit Johann Dupré and his […]

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Fribourg Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg  dominates the centre of the medieval town. The main church was started in 1283 and completed by 1430. The tower was completed in 1490. It is 76 metres tall and houses 11 bells.  Originally a parish church, in 1945 it became the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva […]

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Fribourg

Fribourg is located on both sides of the river Saane, and is an important economic, administrative and educational centre on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland. Fribourg also has one of the most prestigious universities in Switzerland.  Its Old City, is one of the best maintained in Switzerland. There is a very old funicular […]

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Switzerland

We have arrived in Switzerland.  Once you pass the tunnels and the trains the views open up – no matter where you look the vistas are spectacular.  Interesting note, in Italy, the fastest drivers on the highway are either from Germany or Switzerland.  The posted highway speed is 130km/h the Swiss will do 150 to 160km/h.  The moment […]

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Revisiting Rome

After the morning museum trip and an extensive siesta from the unyielding and relentless heat, we set out for a lap around Rome.  Last time we were here the Trevi Fountain was being renovated and cleaned, which apparently is done once every 50 years or so. There are over 2000 fountains in Rome but this one […]

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MAXXI

MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in Rome and is about 5 min walk from the gorgeous apartment we are staying in. The museum was built on the old and decommissioned military compound site.  This spectacular building was designed by Zaha Hadid who passed away this […]

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Villa Cimbrone

Imagine owning the entire mountain top of a peninsula on the Amalfi coast.  Small villa, pool and massive gardens.  Originally built in the 11th century the villa was rebuilt and reconstructed over the years passing from one family to the next.  The most extensive rebuilding and renovation was done at the start of the 20th […]

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Pompeii

Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, was mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.  The city was lost and forgotten for about 1500 years.  It was […]

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Path of the Gods

We set out for a short walk, from the village of Agerola to Priano – it turned out to be about 8.5km.  Path of the Gods is one of the most famous and most spectacular trails in Italy with stunning view of the Amalfi coast and its towns, mainly Positano, Priano and Amalfi.  There are […]

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