Sunday, January 31, 2010

A few final notes on Venice

Unfortunately, we missed the big carnival celebration by only a few days.  It was easy to see the city was gearing up for some partying as the vendors were out in spades wheeling and dealing in masks and costumes. The snow and resulting floods did not put a damper on things, but it was not until the day of our train outta town that we finally saw the sun for the first time in two weeks.  Anyway, a few Venice leftover photos...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Church Mania: Venice Edition: San Marco

Unfortunately, the exterior of San Marco is currently covered in scaffolding in connection to its renovation.  But, its easy to see why so many people travel here to see the magnificent artistry of this site.

The a very wet road

The continued cold weather and overcast skies have been a bit of a bummer, but the coolness of the city brought us right back into the spirit of things. After getting a couple hours sleep after arriving late, we open up the dormer windows to see snow on the ground and the canals flooded. Real nice. No worries though, its very difficult not to have a good time in a city so interesting as Venice.  Although the city is not really all too big and I am big on trekking, you can always jump on a boat and find yourself lost in the maze of canals here. But the real fun starts when you simply head off in any direction and just follow the scent of the tastiest pastries and pizza.

Friday, January 29, 2010

In and around Milan

It really is quite a beautiful city, especially if you have the money to enjoy it.  But it can be experienced on the cheap since the subways are only a Euro and the tram is essentially free.  Luckily the food is cheaper than France and the wine is cheaper than water... literally.  Unfortunately for us it was as cold as ice and snowed a bit while we were trekking around.  At least the espresso can be had for only a Euro.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Church Mania: Milan Edition: Duomo di Milan

Just stunning. The exterior was just uncovered after a four year renovation and cleaning. Duomo di Milan is built with amazing pinkish white marble that gleams in the sunlight.  The interior is grand with soaring ceilings, but unfortunately no good photos due to the lack of light.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Medieval Lyon

Lyon has some beautiful outskirts, including this beautiful medieval village sitting atop a hill about a half hour outside of town. It is known for its sweet breed flavoured with orange liquor... quite tasty.  The stonework is amazing and had lasted more than 500 years.  All but deserted in the winter, it is quite a cool little destination with great views of the countryside.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The traditional Lyonnaise restaurant, called a bouchon, gives you a great view of the old world with the unchanged atmosphere, close personal service, and cuisine where you can find more tripe and stinky cheese than you can shake a stick at. But of course the portions at this one below would probably be a bit on the small side...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Church Mania: France Edition: Lyon

Some photos of churches and a basilica in Lyon...


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Restaurant capital of the world

Next stop on our rail tour through France and Italy is Lyon, France (home to the most restaurants per square foot than any other city in the world). Lucky for us we have some very nice friends hosting us who happen to be restaurateurs and know the best spots for eats and vino in this food capital.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back on the road (rails)

Back on the road after a little rest, a lot of wine, and even more food.  With some Euro-Rail tickets in our pockets we jumped on a quick flight to Paris where we have been spending a few days.  This part of the journey will be via train that will take us through the French and Italian countrysides all the way down to Palermo, Sicily with most of our time being spent in some beautiful old world cities as well as some sleepy little villages.  But for now some uber-touristy sites...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We're snowed in chaps

Housebound in the midst of the worst cold snap and strongest snowstorm in England in more than thirty years.  It is bad enough when you get stuck in a snowstorm and even worse when you get a foot of snow in a village that typically sees an inch of snow every three years.