On our second day in Cinque Terre we visited the towns of Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza – a very full day. Monterosso is the largest town of the five lands and has an actual beach. It’s also reached by train. After spending the morning there we hopped back on the train to Vernazza, where we stayed until after sunset. Vernazza is still a true fishing village with a protected harbor and one of the most photographed towns of Cinque Terre. It is also the only town with a lookout tower, originally built to protect the town from pirates.   Tunnel into town from theRead More →

From Modena we headed to Cinque Terre (Five Lands, comprising Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore), representing five villages clinging to the mountain sides on the northwest coast of Italy. They say it’s the ‘poor man’s Almalfi Coast’. We found it quite wonderful, and an incredible workout as most every place is either up or down. We were there for a couple days and managed to see Marionola, Vernazza and Monterosso. Reaching any of the towns via car is problematic, so we stayed in La Spezia, an industrial town just down the cost and took the train to Cinque Terre each day.  Read More →

Not as well known as Lake Como, Lake Garda, none the less, is a must see in Northern Italy. Extending over 32 miles from the base of the Dolomites it is home to a couple dozen picturesque communities. We took a day from Verona to travel to Lake Garda, only a few kilometers away and traveled up the east coast almost to its northern point, stopping as much as possible to admire the scenery and grab a bit of lunch. Our biggest mistake was in not allowing more than one day to see this amazing place. One could easily spend a week exploring the communitiesRead More →

Our first time in Italy. Our daughter, Michelle, ‘Mitch’ had a scheduled event in Rome towards the end of May, 2016, so Grima and I decided it was time we did Italy. We headed over there the last week of April to give us time to see some of the country before winding up in Rome. Our schedule: fly into Venice, rent a car, do Venice, then Verona, then Modena (to visit with a childhood friend of Grima’s from Chile), onto Cinque Terre, down to Tuscany, up to Florence and finally down to Rome. An ambitious plan for the 30 days there. So, our firstRead More →

On Long Key Gulf Blvd. near the Pinellas Byway sits the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, ‘The Pink Palace’. There’s a fascinating story about the hotel at http://archive.naplesnews.com/community/ghosts-in-the-pink-palace-ep-401425008-332399502.html – you ought to check it out. We happened upon the place while exploring the Long Key one evening. Was a beautiful end of day and marvelous “photographer’s” sunset.                 So, more to come. Love to hear what you have to say about our travels.Read More →

From our RV park it was about an hour’s drive to the gulf coast going across the Tampa Bay on hwy 60 into Clearwater and across Clearwater Memorial Causeway to Clearwater Beach, a distinctively touristy place. Had a bite to eat and then headed down Gulf Blvd. to see what we could see. Not a lot of places where you could just pull over and walk around, so we made it all the way to Indian Rocks Beach before we got out and explored.   Definitely not the large, sandy beaches we had been accustomed to along the Atlantic and back in California. This beachRead More →

The beach dominates much of Viña’s life – both in terms of tourism and attitude. High rises front the coast along Calles San Martin and Jorge Montt. The city has done a magnificent job developing the beaches with beautiful stretches of parks with biking and walking paths along the entire stretch from Muelle Vergara to the amphitheater at Playa Marineros, enticing locals and tourists to come out and enjoy.   Graffiti adorns concrete blocks buttressing Muelle Vergara   High rise apartment buildings overlook Playa El Sol’s sand and sun seekers.   The sign says “Beach not suitable for swimming” – but the water’s too alluringRead More →

We stopped off in Quintero on the way back from Caleta Horcón – just a hop, skip and a jump down the coast. Quintero is a Peninsula with a rocky coastline. We drove to the Playa Los Enamorados and walked a trail with beautiful sea views down to the Playa Las Conchitas.     Walking from where we parked the car, we came by the ruins of something, not sure what, but made for interesting pictures.   Playa Los Enamorados   Contemplating what to do next on Playa Las Conchitas   Grima snapping away, unfortunately with some graffiti marring the scenery   I wish weRead More →

Horcón lies 43 kilometers north of Viña del Mar. If you drive to the end of the avenida Principal you’ll find yourself at one of the most picturesque coves in Chile – Caleta Horcón. On warm summer days, the small beach is littered with sunbathers intermixed with old, colorful fishing boats. Lining the beach are a host of restaurants featuring typical Chilean seafood and other delicacies.     Restaurant row   Beachgoers among the fishing boats   Ad hoc wiring – seems to work   Beach cacti   At the south end of the cove is the “Puente de los Deseos” (Bridge of Desires), adornedRead More →