Cologne

We had three nights in Cologne, an ancient city which used to be a Roman outpost. We stayed in another Airbnb place – this time with a guy called Dietmar, who was a lot of fun.       On our first night we managed to find a place which served sushi and curry, making…

Rest and relaxation in Heidelberg – plus a trip to Thingstatte

After our busy and full time with our mothers we needed a rest and recovery time, so we headed to Heidelberg, Germany.  Here, we rented an apartment and slept, relaxed, planned and caught up on all the things we had been meaning to do. We did also manage to get out and see something of…

More travels in Switzerland

We took a train from Berne to French speaking Montreux and then took a bus to see the beautiful Chateau Chillon.  This castle is perched on the side of the lake, with mountains behind.  We did an audio tour through the large castle – this was really interesting and gave us lots of information.  …

The Top of Europe

Our day trip to Jungfraujoch started grey and dreary…not ideal conditions for taking the highest railroad in Europe up the side of a mountain!  As we took a train from Berne to Interlaken and then up the mountain, the day continued to be bleak and we couldn’t see much of anything.     Once up…

Chocolate and Cheese

Eating raclettes gave us a desire to try more cheese, so on Saturday Irina took us to the town of Gruyere, where Gruyere cheese is originally from. Here we visited Maison Gruyere where we saw cheese being made, got to sample cheese, and learned about the history of cheese in the area.      …

Solothurn and Stockhorn

On the 17th of January we took Lynette to Zurich and farewelled her for her flight to Dubai to visit friends. Reubs, Mum Julie and I went by train to Solothurn where we met with Irina, who lived with my family in 1999.  Although she has been back to NZ to visit twice, this was…

The Mighty Matterhorn

We took a train from Milan to Switzerland, changing to get to our final destination – Zermatt. When we arrived it was grey and cloudy, with beautiful snow everywhere – Zermatt looked like a fairytale village!We walked down from our hostel and had cakes and coffee at a local cafe.  That night after dinner Lynette,…

A little visit to Milan

We only had a day and a half in Milan, so we tried to make the most of our time.  We arrived on a Sunday and went to see “The Last Supper”.  This fresco is the original da Vinci painting of the Last Supper – Julie had booked this for us weeks ago as it…

An amazing gondola ride

On our second day in Venice we went to the Rialto bridge (pictured above) and markets. (You can’t really see the graffiti that unfortunately covered the bridge!)  Here we strolled, looking at the shops and stalls, before going by water bus to the island of Murano, where Murano glass comes from.  Here we saw a…

A Venice birthday for Julie

The 9th of January was Julie’s birthday, and so we had a morning tea of delicious pastries in Florence before taking the train to our next Italian destination – the beautiful city of Venice.       We stayed in Mestre, outside the city, so our first view of Venice’s canals was coming in that…

Firenze

On our first full day in Florence (known in Italy as Firenze) we went to the Uffizi gallery.  This famous gallery has hundreds of masterpieces – here we learned that some of our group had a lower tolerance for art than others!  You weren’t allowed to take pictures here…check out here, here and here for…

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

We took a train from Rome to Florence and then after unpacking jumped onto a local train bound for Pisa. Pisa is an easy hour’s train ride from Florence and a good afternoon trip. I had always thought that the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” was a freestanding tower on its own – imagine my surprise…