Tag Archives: vacation
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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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Thun

Thun is a small city of about 45,000 residents.  The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age mid 300 BC. Like most Europe and Switzerland it was conquered by Rome in 58BC.  In 1819 a Military School was founded in the city, which later developed into the main military school in […]

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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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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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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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Divina Costiera

We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola.  We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat.                         […]

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Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is a sovereign city-state, located on the French Riviera. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2  and a population of about 37,800; it is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. […]

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Marseille

Marseille is the oldest continuously inhabited city in France, it is a second largest city in France after Paris and the centre of the third largest metropolitan area in France after Paris and Lyon.  Humans have inhabited Marseille and its region for almost 30,000 years, it was the first Greek settlement in France.  It is […]

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Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town.  There are great many sights to see here.  The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]

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This is Monza

Monza is an integral part of F1.  It is one of the first 7 tracks that  hosted the F1 championship in 1950.  Since then 64 F1 races were run in Italy and all but one were held at Monza.  Monza together with Monaco, Silverstone in England, and Spa in Belgium are four of the original tracks still used today […]

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Home Alone

It is 10:30pm.  The owner of the villa is staying in the private part of this complex behind a big iron gate, in a huge manicured private garden in a smaller private villa more suitable for a family.  Alexandro the caretaker and Fiona the lady who makes breakfast sleeps next to the kitchen which is […]

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Monza Walkabout

After last night it was slow going  this morning but a race day awaits.  Karen, Carlos and myself are going to carpool since they know where the good parking is but don’t feel like driving their little Lancia on the twisty Italian roads.  We were informed that to have a chance of finding decent parking we […]

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House Of Music

Villa Medici has a different look and feel to it in a daylight.  Last night I just wanted to get to bed, today I had a chance to walk around this place, in its endless maze of hallways and rooms that lead to even more hallways and rooms.  This place is truly huge and on […]

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Finally Here

This is Villa Medici.  I stood and drove around this place for 25 min and parked at least on 3 of the 4 available corners trying to figure out how to get into this place.  Apparently there huge brown door had a large metal knocker that you bang, then the doors open and you are […]

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St. Bavo’s Cathedral

The building is based upon the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction; it was consecrated in 942 by Transmarus, Bishop of Tournai and Noyon. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral’s crypt. The chapel was subsequently expanded in the Romanesque style in 1038. Some traces of this phase […]

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Ghent

Ghent started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe with some 60,000 people in 1300 AD, 70,000 in 1400 growing to 175,000 Shortly after 1500 AD. Today it is a busy city with a port […]

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Van Landschoot

After the visit at the museum, we spent almost an hour chatting with the grand-daughter of Maurice Van Landschoot and his son Gilbert who not only own but run the museum.  Van Landschoot Family tree traces back over 1000 years.  They were predominantly masons and timber traders.   They were employed to provide their expertise […]

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Main Square

The Markt (“Market Square”) of Bruges is located in the heart of the city and covers an area of about 1 hectare. Some historical highlights around the square include the 12th-century belfry and the Provincial Court (originally the Waterhall, which in 1787 was demolished and replaced by a classicist building that from 1850 served as […]

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On Bruges

Bruges is a relatively small city of about 120 thousand people, double that if you include the metropolitan area.  It is very beautiful and pristine.  It’s a vibrant and alive and obsessively clean and not as busy and commercial as Brussels, a perfect place to get a good taste of Belgium. Very few traces of human […]

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Welcome to Belgium

After spending a few hours in Amiens, we set off for Belgium.  We are going to be staying in Bruges close to the old town to reduce our travel time and to maximize our time in the city.  Our fist impression of Belgium is very positive.  It appears that most highways in Belgium are lit at night, […]

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Amiens Cathedral

Amiens Cathedral is situated on a ridge overlooking the River Somme in Amiens and it is the 19th largest church in the world. Medieval cathedral builders were trying to maximize the internal dimensions in order to reach for the heavens and bring in more light. In that regard, the Amiens cathedral is the tallest complete […]

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Farewell Omonville

Today we are saying goodbye to our fantastic little cottage in Omonville.  Despite the weather, we had absolutely fabulous time here.  I would say one of the best stays on this trip.  Don’t get fooled by this picture, it rained 30 min later, exactly when we were checking out…

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Dieppe War Cemetery

Tomorrow is the 72nd anniversary of the Dieppe Raid of 1942. Dieppe is dressed up and down with Canadian flags – it looks very heartwarming. The Canadian War Cemetery located 5km from Dieppe is unique in that it was created by the occupying Germans, as the Allied raid was a disaster and many dead were […]

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Arb’Aventure

This morning the kids asked what we are doing today?  Having fun was the reply and fun we were going to have.  In the old days you could either climb a tree or you did not, today they made that into a sport, which I think is a lot more fun. First stop for today is a Tree […]

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Weather Forecast

Yesterday in Rouen we had amazing weather – read no rain and even some sunshine.  Today’s forecast is somewhat similar.  Cloudy, with light wind, occasional sunshine and guaranteed downpour or five.  I think that by now we all got used to the idea that the beach towels we brought with us will go back home […]

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Étretat

Etretat is a small town of about 1500 people located about 100 km from where we are staying.  Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in […]

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