Joined May 2017
  • Day40

    Heidi Land

    October 5, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We could have taken a more direct route between Venice and Salzburg, but were more than happy to add an hour and half driving time to the journey today so we could visit Bressanone Brixen for lunch - we otherwise know it as HEIDI LAND.

    Our lovely friend Heidi was lured from this gorgeous part of the world by the love of our other fabulous friend David. I can see why they keep coming back to visit (family still being here aside) - it is so incredibly gorgeous.

    We had lunch here, looked in the duomo (a passing tourist went out of her way to tell us it was a must). We came across a number of "Profanter" shops - we decided they are rellies, or the name Profanter is like Smith in our part of the world?
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  • Day40

    Three countries - one day

    October 5, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌫 13 °C

    We set off from Venice this morning by 9am amidst heavy fog (to be more accurate, it was smog - pollution was evident throughout Tuscany all the way up to Venice). By the time we started to gather altitude through the Dolomites though, it had cleared to a brilliant blue sky, with the drive only enhanced by beautiful alpine scenery, vibrant green grass and beautiful houses. It was amazing how quickly the architecture style changed compared to the rest of Italy.

    We took the long way to Salzburg as we wanted to stop in at Bressanone/Brixen for lunch (see next post), so ended up driving through Italy, Austria, Germany and Austria again on our way to Salzburg today. Can't do that in Australia!

    The arrival at our hotel in Salzburg went smoothly - dinner was in an inn down the road, and of course we really had no choice but to eat a Wiener Schnitzel! Finn was not hungry so ordered scrambled eggs - it was enormous!
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  • Day39

    Venezia

    October 4, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We spent another day wandering around the backstreets of Venice today. Poked in and around various art shops and free museums. There was one collection by Jan Fabre which was titled Glass and Bone Sculpture 1977-2017 - all the pieces were either glass, bone (human and animal) or glass made into the shape of human bones and fused with real human or animal bones. There were a number of installations of significant size and the kids were enthralled.

    We had received a recommendation to visit Ca'Macana which is one of the oldest mask workshops in Venice. It was amazing! Finn was quite taken with the various masks in steampunk style, but in the end we thought that was a bit impractical to try and bring home. He settled for some ghoulish mask which was also of a reasonable price.
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  • Day38

    Venezia

    October 3, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    More photos, because it such a photogenic city and I can't get enough of bridges, canals and skinny little streets you barely know are there until you have to turn down them!

  • Day38

    Venice

    October 3, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Leisurely start to the day (not sure how I am going to go back to 5.15am starts when I get back to Australia - positively uncivilised!), and then we started an epic day of leisurely meandering through the streets of Venice. Love love love!

    We didn't go into anything or line up for anything and just enjoyed a day of looking at the sights of Venice from the outside. Fabulous bridges, Venezian-style traffic jams, heard opera being sung on a gondola, marvelled at why the gondoliers thought being grumpy and disinterested in what they were doing was good for business etc.

    We looked in on some amazing art shops, and got a bit of inspiration for a few things we might try out when we get home. Kate has been collecting the entry and bus tickets throughout our journey to "do something" with them when we get home. We were inspired by some great papier mache works in one gallery today so spent this evening researching some options to give it a go when we get home. It has been four weeks since we have watched a TV (given we can't understand anything, we have gotten used to just not turning them on even when we have had them) which has been great for playing games and chatting about stuff. Each accommodation generally has a selection of games - tonight Finn and I played backgammon which used to be one of my favourite board games when I was at uni and living with my uncle who was a board game fiend.

    We got back to our accommodation around 4pm due to the urgent need to find a loo and a distinct lack of public facilities in Venice. So, had a sleep, read some book, dinner last night was so yummy Craig made the same again. All up, a perfect day!
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  • Day37

    Certaldo to Venice

    October 2, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    We said goodbye to Glen and Jeff today - they were leaving to fly from Bologna to Paris to catch a flight back to Australia - and we were heading off to Venice. I had calculated that we would have time to stop in Padova for a few hours, but that didn't quite work out.

    We did get to redeem the horrible Autogrill experience we had on our trip back from Cinque Terre and managed to find a gigantic Autogrill. We had read a review where the lady was waxing lyrical about how great the Autogrills were (giant roadside restaurants/fuel stop). We only stopped for fuel and the loo, but the food at least looked edible this time around.

    We spent a good chunk of the journey designing out new front yard and fancy chicken coop with room for 5 chickens that we are going to build when we get back home, including the yabbie breeding pond, the productive garden and research on some grape vines. Short of getting a goat, I think we have just managed to channel Tom and Barbara from The Good Life (1970s British comedy for the youngsters). We don't have a "Margo" living next door, which will be helpful to the construction ideas coming to fruition.

    Once we got across the bridge to Venice itself, we parked the car. Having rationed our gear into a backpack and our day packs, we decided to ditch the idea of spending a fortune on the vaporetto, and walked the 30 minutes to our new AirBnB accommodation. It was an easy walk and given we will do the same to get back to the car, we have also saved ourselves €60. Bargain!

    We ditched the gear and headed straight out for a walk along Fondamenta Zattere al Ponte Longo which starts pretty much just outside our accommodation. Our front gate adjoins a lane next to a gate onto the campus of Università Ca' Foscari so we had a bit of a short cut through to get to the water.
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  • Day36

    Wet day, no play in Certaldo Alto

    October 1, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We woke up to the sounds of light rain on the roof tops this morning, which was perfect really because the kids were happy to lounge around all day in their pyjamas, and we were pretty much of the same mind set given it was the last day in our "castle". It also coincided with NRL grand final day, so the perfect excuse for Craig and Jeff to listen to the footy on the radio which started about 10.30am Italian time.

    Later in the afternoon, we climbed up to the tower for our last drinks as the sun set (or moved lower behind the clouds, as the case may be). Had to lighten the load ready to hit the road again tomorrow, so two bottles of wine later... I think I am going to have to enter an AA program when I get home. I am pretty sure I have consumed more alcohol on this holiday than I have in my previous 20 years of living!

    Craig and I had actually left the house a little earlier for some reconnaissance on potential places in the village to take the parents out for dinner on their last night with us. Found a lovely place just around the corner, although they are all 'just around the corner' when your village is only about 200m long I guess.

    A lovely meal was enjoyed by all. We also had our first grappa of the holiday and Glen and I a limoncello when we got home (see what I mean - excessive alcohol consumption!!!)
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  • Day35

    Cucina Giuseppina: Pasta

    September 30, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We made a traditional Tuscan pasta called pici which used to be hand-rolled by the ladies around the table as they had a gossip. These days, use a pasta machine - much faster.

    Tip: 100gms flour and 1 egg per person - served with a pomodoro and garlic sauce and plenty of fresh parmesanRead more

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