A Travellerspoint blog

St Tropez

Monday, 06 September, 2010 12:09:

St Tropez ["tro-PAY"] has been famous with the jet setters as the place to come. Bridgette Bardot helped increase the popularity and name recognition [she still lives in the area on a farm with lots of animals she cares for]. We visited 2 medieval towns Gassin and Ramatoule. Nice little towns. Gassin has the narrowest street in the world [less than 12 inches wide at the narrowest point]. Unfortunately for the shoppers in the crowd, all the shops are closed on Monday morning [at first I thought it was for Labor Day!].

The town itself is full of restaurants and expensive shops. There were a lot of artists along the road leading to the pier, that was kind of nice [the opposite side of the street seemed to be the center for gelato studies --- on the Riviera].

On the way back from the 2 villages this morning, we stopped at a nice beach [Ponton?] just outside of town. I learned something new. On June 6, 1944 the allies invaded Normandy, about 9 weeks later [Aug 15] the allies invaded the southern coast of France from N Africa. We visited the beach where US troops landed.

Tomorrow there is a local market in the park in town and the ladies are going back to try to prop up the economy!

All is well and we are all thankful for the great weather that we have had. Today is was in the mid-upper 70s.

Monument to Grace Kelly (from email)

Monument to Grace Kelly (from email)

Monaco (from email)

Monaco (from email)

Posted by dgreening 08:35 Comments (0)

Bon Jour from Monaco

Today we are in the principality of Monaco. This is a place that makes no apologies for wealth and opulence, but it is beautiful! Monaco has about 30,000 inhabitants and it is the smallest state in Europe except the Vatican.

Of course one of the things that really made Monaco famous was the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainier in the 1950s. The people here loved her and she is still talked about with pride here. She was killed in 1982 in a traffic accident on a mountain road. To keep people from stopping on that road [and creating more accidents], they built a memorial across the bay on a quiet road. People can stop to visit the monument and see the road where she was killed in the distance.

We took a tour of Monaco and then into France to the cute little village of Eze ["Ezz"], then to Nice. Eze [along with Graz] is known as a perfume capital and contains a lot of art galleries.

This area [incl Nice and Cannes] were a real draw for the rich and famous. for over 100 years. In Nice Queen Victoria came to visit for 2 years in the late 1890s, King Leopold of Belgium built a mansion here, the Tsar of Russia had a palace and Orthodox cathedral built here; it has influences from all over Europe. In order to grab up some of the money flowing through an earlier Prince decided that road and rail connections from Nice to Monaco to Nice were required, then opened a casino!

It was another beautiful day. We looked at all the amazing homes and large boats, trying to pick which to buy [I am leaning toward a 150 foot yacht, but JoAnne wants one closer to 200 feet - I doubt that we will finalize anything on this trip!].

Take care ...

Posted by dgreening 13:14 Comments (0)

Buon Giorno [I learned the correct spelling] from La Spezia

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Saturday, September 04, 2010 11:58 AM

We have been so fortunate on this trip, one amazing place after another.

Today we are anchored off of La Spezia, the jumping off point for Florence and Pisa. Since all of us have spent time in Florence and Pisa, we decided to take a tour of some local towns, what a joy. We took a bus about 20 minutes to the town of Le Rici [or Lerici, I am not sure]. A very cute town on the bay. There is an old castle [named after St George] and today there was a big market going on. A real gem of a town. The bay is known as the "bay of poets" because of all the big names that spent time here [incl: Byron, Shelley, Hemingway, Woolf, ... (others I can't recall)]. I can see why this area would be very attractive for writing [although it would be very easy to get distracted too].

We took a ferry across the bay, past the 2nd largest Italian Naval base, to Porto Venere [named after Venus]. This place reminds you of Porto Fino, but not as showy. People come here for long weekend get always. In the picture, you can see the multi-colored 'town houses' [they had a different name]. These were only accessible from the back and acted as a wall barrier to pirates or invaders.

We loved this little town!

Inside the walls, were shops and restaurants, a fortress and a Genoan church. I think this might be another place that you could stay for several days and enjoy it. Note: there are not any real sandy beaches, people from other parts of Italy called the Ligurians "lizards'" because you see them propped up on stones sunning themselves].

We talked to other people who had walked around La Spezia and described it as a very nice town.

The weather is still cooperating, the temp was about 78 and very few clouds.

Ciao Bella!

Denis Greening (Travel)
Blog: http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/ <http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/>

1_1284564068147_Le Rici.jpg

2_1284564073553_Porto Venere.jpg

3_1284564079537_Porto Venere2.jpg

Posted by dgreening 08:21 Comments (0)


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Friday, September 03, 2010 7:06 AM

Civitavecchia is the port closest to Rome, but it is still over an hour into the city [sometimes considerably longer]. Since we were in Rome not long ago, we elected to make it an easy day. The ship is empty, so we washed some clothes and came into the port town, to access a high speed connection [wanted to down load some audible books, which would take forever on the ship's internet connection].

I must tell you, that we have been blessed with great weather after we left Venice. The high today will be in the low 80s and tomorrow in La Spezia [near Florence/ Pisa] the forecast is for the mid 70s!

Not much to see in town [the ladies had written off the shopping within 20 minutes].

All is well ... Take care ...

Denis Greening (Travel)
Blog: http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/


Posted by dgreening 08:16 Comments (0)

Greetings from Sorrento

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Thursday, September 02, 2010 11:54 AM

The Amalfi coast is a very beautiful area. As you enter the town of Amalfi, there is a statue with an inscription that reads something like:
An Amalfian dies and goes to heaven. The next day he wakes up
and nothing is different.

We have spent some time in this area before, so we just went ashore and walked around town. At the suggestion of Mike S, I made a point of stopping at a sidewalk cafe. I had a cappuccino and watched the world go by. The ladies must have been suffering from the salt air, they were definitely not up to serious shopping.

While walking along the shopping street, I noticed some pastas that looked like candy. It would almost be a shame to cover them with a heavy sauce, but it would make for a colorful meal.

We had a pleasant and relaxing day. Take care ... Denis

Denis Greening (Travel)
Blog: http://dgreening.travellerspoint.com/



Posted by dgreening 08:16 Comments (0)

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