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  • Day32

    A more relaxed srart to the day today. Got to the train by 9:30 to get a train to Versailles. Arrived and bought our tickets at the train station. The crowds at the palace were frustrating. Could not move or see more than what was above people's shoulders. Got through the palace and headed for the gardens. Much better there. Gardens are phenomenal. Ideally would need a whole day with half the volume of viewers to enjoy this attraction. Relaxed at the hotel for a while before going out to find a place for dinner. Found a place and had a very good dinner. Stolled for a while in Latin district and then headed back to pack for home. According to my onboard health monitoring system, I have logged more than 350000 steps in September. Don't know how I am going to keep up that pace. See you soon.Read more

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  • Day31

    Started our day by checking out the train system and purchasing our tickets to the airport. Then walked to the Louvre where the office of our evening tour is located to orient ourselves. Then jumped on the hopon hopoff to see more of Paris. Saw the Opera house, Moulin Rouge, Basillique du Sacre Coeur and the Hard Rock cafe. Then found Angelina's and had quiche Lorraine and the most delicious hot chocolate. The quiche was excelent also. Walked back to the Pyramides and had wine and watched the people. Then we started our City Lights tour. They bused us to the river boat for a ride on the Seine. Very nice. Back on the bus for another tour of the highlights under the lights. It started to rain during this ride and it was pouring by this time we got to the Eiffel Tower. Went up the tower in the rain. Went right to the top and had the most expensive champagne ever. Thirty four Euros for 2 plastic glasses to toast our 45th anniversary. Next time will bring our own. Got back to the hotel at midnight.Read more

  • Day30

    Started the day with breakfast in our room. Shopped last night and bought croissants yogurt and coffee. Six Euros as opposed to 16 each. No brainer. Rode the hopon hopoff. Saw the Arch de Triumph and the Eiffel tower. Walked Champs- Elysees and had lunch there. Got caught in a traffic jam around the Concorde tower. Motorcycle, taxi and big truck. Took about 20 minutes to move 100 feet. More of the same tomorrow.Read more

  • Day29

    Had breakfast at the hotel loaded up and started our scenic drive to Paris in the fog. Fog was not bad enough to affect the driving but took away a lot of the scenery. Stopped at McDonald's for a pee break and then on to Paris. What a traffic nightmare. Dropped the car off and walked to hotel. Very nice day by now at 20C and mostly clear. Found a sports bar that had good pizza for dinner. Strolled for a while and now winding down and planning our day tomorrow.Read more

  • Day28

    Got up and out to have breakfast at a local bar/ restaurant. Not great. Got our first two wineries done by 11. Interesting watching them take delivery of the grapes and put them into the press. Very informative about their original process. Drove to the Chateau Vilandry. BEAUTIFUL gardens. The only existing gardens left that were built in this manner. Took in 3 more wineries in the Chinon area. Mostly Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc grapes. Not my favorites. They use old quarry caves to store their oak barrels for aging. The temp and humidity are near perfect for this. Stopped at grocery store and got a baget, cheese, ham, and wine. Took it all back to our hotel and ate on the deck. Back to Paris tomorrow.Read more

  • Day27

    We went to see the castle that Louis XIV liked. Got there at noon just as the rain stopped. Four floors made of marble plus the towers and gardens. Spent 3 hours and I think we only saw a third of the place. Did some wine tasting at 3 locations. One was the Cave de Vouvray. They age and store their wines in ancient caves. Very interesting. Had dinner in Vouvray in a very nice restaurant.

  • Day26

    Took a taxi from hotel to airport. Driver was a typical Italian cab driver. Hang on baby!! Got there safely. Flight was on time. Picking up the car was an exercise in patience. One hour plus to get service. Car had damage so more time needed as they said it was damage free. Navigator got us to our hotel just fine. Drove into Tours for dinner which was good. Got lost going back to the hotel at night but got there eventually. A big castle and vineyards are on the agenda tomorrow.Read more

  • Day25

    Today was a more casual day. Found the market and bought stuff. Walked across the covered bridge and up to the Piassa Michelangelo. Fantastic view from up there. Had brechetta and wine for lunch. Walked back along the river and found an ad for a concert by a local Florentine orchestra. Decided that this would be a good way to end the day. Had pizza in the square where we had been with Vic and Betty. Disappointed with this place. Went to the concert which was very good. Off to Paris tomorrow morning.Read more

  • Day24

    Up early to be ready for pickup at 8 for our tour. Bus ride to San Giovanni, a fortress called ???, a Chianti Wine tasting with a fabulous lunch and Siena. Beautiful country with villages and vineyards and gelatias and old walls. A long day as we had a 20 minute walk back to our hotel at 9pm. But it was a good day.

  • Day23

    Hit the road today to Florence. Gassed up and my navigator got us to Pisa. Walked around the sanctuary and the tower for about 1 hour then back on the road to Florence. Dropped the car at the airport and got a cab to our B&B. Checked in and then went for a stroll. Dinner was at Gigi's. Very good food but the owner could not speak English so he sang Italian opera badly. Fun place.

  • Day22

    Jumped on to the train and went back to Corniglia. Walked up the 365 steps to the centro street. Walked around and enjoyed the environment. Back to Vernazza and did the same. Weather was gorgeous today. More of the same at Monterosso. This is a wonderful place to visit. Back to Levanto for dinner and get ready for our road trip tomorrow.

  • Day21

    Awoke at 7 and got ready for our day. Bought the boat ride to Riomaggiore. Beautiful scenery. Storm abated over night. Toured the village then tried to start our walk on the scenic trail. Closed due to last night's storm. Found out that virtually the whole trail was closed. Bought two day unlimited train pass and moved to Maranola. Walked around and had lunch. Had a nice chat with a couple from LA. Hiked to the next village via the panoramic trail. Very nice walking through vineyards but had to climb the mountain first. Four hours later arrived in Corniglia in pouring rain. Took the train back to Levanto. Will do the rest tomorrow.Read more