|I love this quilted version of the Arch Rock. see here for real photo I took last summer|
or look on the sidebar under favorite places
|Sono quello che sono: Must review Italian before I go and German!|
Ich bin was ich bin?
|Another version of the agate boats|
Suzanne takes you down
Fire and Rain which contains the lyrics Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you
This week has been devoted to trip planning. I've gotten the majority of it taken care of, which is a relief. Some places, notably Venice, fill up fast. And this place in Florence where I had hoped to stay at only had alternating nights free, tough when you want a two night stay. I have 3 nights free between our major stops that I might keep free or not. They are places I think I can get a last minute reservation for. Hope I am right about that. I've been collecting relevant train schedules. I WILL be prepared.
We are flying into Milano (on different flights, hazard of getting a cheap ticket and using miles)to the bizarrely and ominously named airport Malpensa. Bad thought? From there, we take a bus to the big train station in central Milano and an hour later, we should be in Desesanzo, gateway to Lake Garda. There are 10 hour cruises on the lake, each stopping at 3 places for an hour or two. Which is the best itinerary? Looking at pretty photos for possible stops.The fly in the ointment is that only the summer schedule is online and winter starts Oct 5. When winter starts in which place is fluid.
After a 2 night stay, on to Bolzano, a cool town that we will look around for a while before catching a bus up into the Dolomites to Castelrotto. This section of Italy belonged to Austria until WW1. Mostly German and Ladino, some ancient language is spoken in this town which I guess is really called Kastelruth. We are staying in this cute Tyrolean inn for 2 nights. The Dolomites are white to pink to yellow, jagged spires, not seen here in the US so it should be interesting. Why go to mountains that look like ones here in the US? There are bus tours that get us further into the mountains. Then we backtrack to Bolzano and maybe go to Bologna (a free night, depending on the weather we might stay in Bolzano ) on our way to Firenze ( Florence) where we stay in a cute B and B for 2 nights run by a seemingly friendly ex-Bostonian Carmel in a residential neighborhood. Another free night that I think we will go to to Ravenna, even though it is out of the way before our 2 night stay in Venice, our most expensive stop by far. Then another free night which probably will be in Verona before heading to Milano for the day where we will leave our luggage at the train station so we can explore the city for 4 hours or so. Then to an airport hotel where I have stayed before. Then on to NYC.
I am balancing big cities with villages, mountains, with pretty lakes, the flat Po valley (not interesting in itself but Bologna is supposed to have the best food in Italy, we shall see) and arid Tuscany. Ravenna used to be a capital of the Byzantine Empire so it is full of elaborate mosaics not seen outside of Turkey so that should be interesting. It is a World Heritage Site.
We lost our Arts and Crafts house. It was too expensive any way. Steve is finally becoming interested in the trip and thanked me for all the hours I've put into planning and actually looked at the itinerary and maps.
I contacted the cab company that has the driver who through malice or negligence, almost hit me last weekend and got an apology and an assurance that he will be reprimanded.
And finally got some communication from the person handling my step-grandmother's estate (who died more than 4 years ago).He had been ignoring e-mails but finally at least responded. Will it be ever settled? All I can say is that Canadian laws and taxes are not as 'friendly' as those in the US. A big, big mess.
After nearly a week of ideal weather, it is cold and stormy out. And although it probably won't rain on our big bike trip Sunday, it will be cold.