A Travellerspoint blog

August 2014

Lake Pontecosi

sunny 20 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Plastering indoors using Stucco too repair a few cracks, hmm, ended up with more cracks as you can't put it on thick. Oh well another layer tomorrow.
Lovely man made lake which must have been a river originally as it has a gorgeous bridge over one of the tributaries.
Very relaxing afternoon.
Kath's legs are still throbbing so a gentle walk in the evening to get the circulation going followed by a medicinal tipple on the balcony watching the clouds roll in around the mountain at eye level.

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 22:15 Archived in Italy Tagged balcony pontecosi Comments (0)

Lucca. the walled city

sunny 30 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Have driven through the city so many times but never ventured beyond the walls.
This is a stunning town and housed a thriving market, wonderful architecture, and a culture of its own.
One of the towers even has trees growing from the top.
Poor Kath though. She has been eaten alive by the mosquitoes and was walking in pain.
Not even a giant steak could quell the pain, so time to go off to the chemist for some antibiotics over the counter?

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 09:40 Archived in Italy Tagged lucca Comments (0)

real pizza in italy out of a home made oven

sunny 23 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

After a day driving up and down various mountains including mt. Chestnut aka orrecciella all the way to the top and they didn't even have any chestnut doughnuts. We were not impressed. Maybe they didn't get the telegram staying we were arriving. How very dare they!
Still. Later on we had an authentic brick oven pizza at the house of the Irish couple.
What a treat, it was fantastic - need to upgrade the clay oven at home to retain more heat...
Great evening.

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 09:38 Archived in Italy Tagged pizza poggio Comments (0)

Market Day Castelnouvo

sunny 27 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

There's nothing like a good market abroad to show you what you are missing at home.
We found a wonderful coffee machine that is ornate and practical.
Plus the more usual items such as BRA's yes, thats right, BRA's
Kath decided that she liked one of the BRA's on display and of course had to choose the correct size...
Of course Europe uses CM's, UK sizes are in inches, so i have to intervene to calculate the correct size in metric!
So, picture this, Kath chooses the BRA, Nino has to explain it to the guy selling them.
Then once that part - which wasn't at all embarrassing - much - we then engaged a conversation where cup size was discussed
oh dear!!!
the upshot was that Kath tried it on - in public, in a busy market....
thankfully, it was over her existing clothing but still must have looked at right treat
chalk up another one for the mad english woman.

The afternoon however was more normal, visiting relatives, eating lovely foods, drinking the vino
my aunt remembers Kath as she poured her a completely full tumbler of wine, at which my uncle uttered something i didn't understand with my aunt responding with, she doesn't have to drink it all!
Kath however, recalled that its rude to not finish a drink in Italy - although she forgot i admitted it was a wind up when i told her that gesture.

So , comical morning, interesting afternoon, what would happen in the evening?
would it transpire to be uneventful, well the answer would have to be NO

We decide to visit the neighbours, they are a lovely couple from Ireland and very good friends of my parents
Having never met them but heard lots about them we decided to introduce ourselves to them.
So off we go and knock on the door, we are greeted by a very tall person and i state in a full voice, hello, you must be Rodney!
to which SHE answered - no Rodney is out, i'm Fiona
OH! foot in mouth syndrome and for once it wasn't Kath
After some very poor backtracking we still managed to leave there with two bottles of Leffe beer
That said she is a very nice lady and i hope we haven't aliened them

Back home and Kath rustles up a fantastic sausage pasta salad with extra garlic beans
I was outside chatting with the locals the entire village must have been intoxicated with garlic, but it didn't seem to bother anyone here, as you would expect....

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 13:19 Archived in Italy Tagged tasty embarrassing comical Comments (0)

All Pizza are not made EQUAL!!!!!!

sunny 30 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Got settled in and decided to eat out, we knew of a place that had been recommended for its pizza, so jumped in the car and Nino whisked me away in to the darkened lanes whilst nearly knocking people over like skittles looks like people don't believe in light or reflective clothing even though there is no street lights or pavements.
once through the door ..I sensed something was amiss... THE OWNER! .he was missing, not a good start, Nino went in search for him, found him smoking a spliff..whilst on the phone, eventually nino got his attention, explained that we wanted a pizza to go as we had decided to get an early night...wink wink
we were then told to take a seat in the VERY empty restaurant as he didn't have any take away boxes, after some deliberation we decided that we would eat in... BIG MISTAKE.....Pizza is normally ready in a few mins but we had to wait 40mins..we think it was to go and peel the mould off of all the stuff he put on it judging by what we were served...what turned up was nothing short of regurgitated cow pat!
and tasted as such. YUCK YUCK YUCK.....
Rio Cavo Pizzeria...You Suck!
When complained he didn't seem all that perturbed and said ...it might be nicer next time!!!!

We survived the night by disinfecting ourselves with Brandy..purely medicinal all four glasses as we could not be sure that what ever infestation that was growing on the pizza would be killed!!
the worst part was that on the way back we saw a brand new pizzeria, with lots of happy people eating that we missed on the way out.

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 13:16 Archived in Italy Tagged pizza scifozzo Comments (0)

Heading to Tuscany - Italy

sunny 30 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Left the beautiful lakes and mountains and onto the motorway. Italy's primary road travels top to bottom line a spine however, around Milan the entire section -over an hour worth is electronically monitored at mph, yes 56!
Anyway after that it's 81
Once off the motorway and onto the local roads then it's time for some fun...
Having a nippy car and some nifty gear changing induced some wannabe rally driving.
Kath decided to add to the ambience by playing Il Divo at full volume as we were burning the tarmac...
I remember that part of the journey taking over an hour but we did it in half the time.
What a buzz. These roads were meant to be driven. And driven hard.. And they were ;-)
LOVED IT...

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 22:14 Archived in Italy Tagged tuscany Comments (0)

Stresa

Champagne taste beer money pockets

sunny 32 °C

What can I say.. Beautiful Stunning & Beautiful
Stresa is everything you imagine and more with the diamond like reflection of the sun on the lake and the boats in the distance it paints an idyllic scene.
This is certainly for the Rich and Famous or the wannabes.....casing point. ... Blond in short white dress with high heels, huge sunglasses sporting, on the arm, a Tiny shopping bag and a very obedient dog on the other side the only give away was that the dog wasn't a Rat size.! She obviously didn't follow Beverly Hills 90210...?
?

We did attract some attention walking into a 5 star hotel in Flip flops !! (Just to see how the other half lived)

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 16:21 Archived in Italy Tagged stresa Comments (0)

lake Maggiore- morning sun and water

sunny 22 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Lovely sunrise across the water streaming into the room.
The water beckoned and Kath and I obliged with a swim through the gentle waves.
Icy cold at first but quickly accustomed to the temperature.
Then sat in the warm rays to dry off.
Kath version.
Bloody freezing but did soon warm up with a swim, the lake appears to be slightly tidal so the waves were threatening to go over my head at which point I was spluttering with a mouth full of sea weedy water. . Did a few laps across the lake and with the sun behind me, I seductively made my way to shore (Ursula Andress scene, (Bond movie)) are you imaging the scene? That was me!
Reality. .I slipped on a stone banged me knee and broke a nail! And swore!....? xxx

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 09:09 Archived in Italy Tagged lake - maggiore cannobio Comments (1)

first pizza


View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Had our first authentic Italian pizza - first of many no doubt.
Nice bottle of montepulciano
Kath accosts some German who was smoking in the restaurant - outdoor part but still affecting us....well done kath.
Back to the hotel and finish the wine watching the mist roll across the lake as the sun sets behind us.
The lights of the villages around the lake are slowly lighting up
The water is lapping the shore in front of our feet and the mini waterfall to the side is a constant gush mesmerising the senses or is that the wine???
Kath has counted 18 mountains (piste or pissed, not sure which) in our view as I write this piece
Tis rather nice...

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 10:56 Comments (0)

Arrived in Italy - lake Maggiore

sunny 21 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Came out of the clouds from the Gottard pass into Sunshine and 21c to Lake Maggiore.
Now sitting on the end of our bed listening to the sounds of a waterfall that is directly beside our room with views over looking the lake, the hotel also has its own beach to which we will have to go and take in some rays on..x

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 15:32 Archived in Italy Tagged lake maggiore Comments (0)

Leaving wonderful Switzerland

overcast 15 °C
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Our time Lucerne has been an expensive one, I do believe that they pick numbers out and price things how they want. . Our meal last night consisted of one portion of fries piece of lamb, piece of Veal two beers = 88 euros
That said the location and atmosphere, Riverside table was clearly part of the price.

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 06:26 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Lucerne Switzerland

overcast
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Arrived in Lucerne safe and sound, what an amazingly beautiful country, everything is so clean the waters are crystal clear.
45 minute boat ride across Lucerne lake which is awesome on it's own then...
We went by cog train where the seats are at 45 degrees, 7000 ft up the mountain the views take your breath away.
Hotel looks interesting. But you also have a few hidden gems to discover as well.
Spent some time up there and then got, got thirsty, bought some water. .. wait for it....5 euros = Nearly £5.00 and 4.50 for a Tiny coffee.. talk about rip the a*$e of of it... thirst quenched and clouds drawing in. . We made our decent via cable car and then cable gondola.
Again stunning scenery...
The only issue was that you are then left to follow your own way down to the shuttle stop and fathom out how to get your ticket validated for the trip back to Lucerne not something us Brits are used too
Overall. This it's such a great day out that we recommend it very highly.

photos to follow x

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 13:28 Archived in Switzerland Tagged lucerne Comments (0)

En route to Lucerne

Bought vignette

sunny 13 °C

Stayed in Colmar and had a much deserved night sleep, now refreshed travelling on to Lucern, it's not a bank holiday here so battling with the morning rush hour to get onto the Swiss motorway a little tamer than the M25, queued up for all of two minutes.

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 23:33 Archived in Switzerland Tagged vignette Comments (0)

The town of Leffe

DINANT

sunny
View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Have stopped in the town of Leffe, drove around looking for the brewery then ventured on foot as we were having no luck, found out that it had closed down, the nearest thing now is a restaurant sitting by the river enjoying garlic muscles along with a glass of Leffe Royale.

Update to come. ..
Maison Leffe is now a museum and has a tour as well as a sampling bar... of course we had to do the decent thing and oblige. . We can highly recommend Leffe Nectar
We now own Leffe goblets and a number of variants of the beer
Hic Hic...

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 14:20 Archived in Belgium Tagged leffe Comments (0)

Strasbourg


View Start of our Journey..traveling to Folkstone to get the ferry over the France! then onto Belgium on Ni-Kath-travels's travel map.

Oh my.... The photos and the reality don't match
Its a big town with no available street parking. There was no opportunity to leave the car and take a walk along the river unless you're willing to leave it in a multistorey.
Sat nav kept wanting me to go the wrong way down one way streets. Thanks Garmin... Drove round and round for an hour before admitting defeat and moving on to Colmar.
Nice restaurant and a Novatel were waiting.
Steak in France= happy stomach
Chilling now... Looking forward to the Leffe we bought today.
At least Dinant was worthwhile

Posted by Ni-Kath-travels 14:18 Comments (0)

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