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Archive for December, 2013

Family vaca in Italy – take off 22 July

Biongiorno – first stop Pompeii 22-26 July

4 weeks of family holidays started with a visit to the small town Pompeii. We stayed in a cute hostel by the name Ottello. Nobody at the hostel knew any English but we managed to speak sometimes with the help of Google translate or simply mix all the words we know from different languages. The one who had the easiest time communicating with the Italians was of course my dad. 🙂 

First lesson in the morning was that caldo is not cold, it is warm. And of course then freddo is cold.

Pozzano is a beach we went to by train. It was a beach with small rocks and situated opposite of Vesuvio.

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Vesuvio we went to with a tour bus and guide. You need to drive through a rough national park to reach the volcano and thus we where on a 4×4 bus. We were definitely in for a bumpy ride. It is interesting to visit a site like this but that’s it. You don’t want to spend a lot of time around here. There is a whole on the top of the mountain. That’s it guys, a big whole. Beeing a little ozzy I was the only one walking around in thongs (flip flops peeps) and so my feet changed color. And if you look carefully at the middle picture I am standing on one “side” of the whole and on the opposite you can see people walking, so you can try to grasp the size of it.

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The road to reach the top was not too bad. The bus took us to the altitude of 1050m and the rest you walk which is about another 20min to reach the top which is about 1280m. From our starting point the walk was more colorful and then it changed to the monotonous tone you saw above.

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The busses we took looked like this by the way:
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Here’s a pic of the whole. 

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Positano is our next stop 26-31 July

Positano is a small village on the Amalfi coast where the houses litteraly are on top of each other, just look at the pics below and you will understand what I mean. Having said that it is a very beautiful place and if you want to come to Italy and you are afraid because you will gain a lot of weight well in Positano there are about a zillion stairs so don’t worry you will definetly loose some!

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Beautiful right?

Here is one more
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And around the hill on the left is our hotell and the view from there is below

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And here is a little menu from a nice place we ate at

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And in another restaurant I had yummie fish!

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31 July – So after the beautiful visit in Positano and the family reunion we took off to Maiori, about 1 hour drive. No I didn’t stay for long, just one night. But here is a quick snap from Maiori.

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The next morning we all went to the beach and somewoh I managed to catch a tiny fish in a bucket for the kids to look at. In the afternoon I took off to Salerno to continue on my own. I decided to visit my travel mate from Australia who lives in Brescia, north of Italy. So I took the bus to Salerno and then the bus to Napoli airport and then a flight to Milano.

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1-8 Aug Brescia and surroundings

So here I am in the north of Italy. Wow I say. I immediately notice a difference from what I kept hearing when I was in Australia and met all the Italians who were talking about “two different countries”. It’s not that bad between them it’s just that the Italians are loud and colorful people and they like to be heard. But I promise you there is a difference between north and south, from the few places that I visited. I would say that the north is more European and the south is more Mediterrenean.

We went to a castle in Brescia and since castles are often situated on some hill you have a nice view over the city.

 

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The city has just now opened it’s first metro ever. It is only one line and has no driver. And as you can see not too many people are using it yet.
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This is not only a nice thing to put between to buildings, it also keeps them from falling down on eachother I guess.

We rented city bikes and did the city.

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F is a volunteer driver at Croce Bianca and we went by to have a look at the place. There are some old vans that were used back in the days and you can have a look at them. Lucky me one of them was a super cute VW! 🙂

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Off to Pinzolo where we stayed one night in his grandmothers home in the mountains. We went by motorbike and it was a lovely ride through the mountains. On our way we stopped and had lunch by Idro Lake.
Pinzolo is a skiresort during winter and is about 800m above sea level. Beautiful place with a river and mountains surrounding you. Just lovely.
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In the evening we took a ride up the mountains to look at the sunset and it goes even quicker when you are surrounded by the Italian Alps. But oh so beautiful.
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When we were back home we got this lovely view

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Last days we went to a swimming area with some friends, visited the other grandparents home by Lake Garda and I found what I guess is one too many lucky cloves..so instead of being lucky my flight back to Napoli was delayed and I missed all the connections to Maiori.
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But that was perfectly fine. I simply stayed one night in Napoli and the rest of the family arrived the following day.
I was lucky to have a clean and tidy hotel room which I booked from the airport.
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So the first day I woke up early and had breakfast with the woman from the reception. Afterwards I took of to do the city before the family arrived. 
Naples is crowded like any big city. It is right by the sea which I love about any place 🙂
In the background on the top you can see the castle. There is one more castle in the city centre which was restored and road work was surrounding it so it’s not as pretty of a picture as this one. 
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This is the biggest square in Napoli, Piazza del Plebiscito. 
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I have no idea what this means but I thought it was a funny picture
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And this is one of the markets you can find around the corner(s) everywhere.
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I want to say, again, a big big thank you to the best parents ever for this holiday!

Αγαπητοί μου γονείς, σας ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ για το ταξίδι αυτό! ΜΟΥΑΤΣ!!

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France part 2 untill departure 16 July

The plan was to go with G to Lyon but as I wasn’t sure how my stomach would continue from all the cheese I stayed at home to be on the safe side. So I missed Lyon and my stomach was thankfully not worrying me. 

When I was travelling I met G and J, his older brother. J was in France too and I got to meet him too. It is really nice to catch up with people you met travellling. Even if you only grabbed a beer with them 🙂

These guys, G and A, are really nice. They don’t want to through left overs so they put everything out for the birds. I really mean everything!
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I found my firtst lucky clove ever 🙂 Here in a park with the circle of infinity
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There is this rare bridge close to G’s parents, where he grew up. There are only four in France and I’m lucky (can it be the clove acting up?) to be almost too close 😛 What is this bridge then? Why is so special? Well it is a bridge with a water road for boats to cross the river!! Ha! Isn’t that cool? There is a small path on each side so you can walk across too. And I was lucky again a few days later to see a boat cross. I walked parallell to it. Super cool! 
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The day continues and we pass Digoin which is just next to Molinet where G’s parents live and where G grew up. Digoin is very small and picturesque. I am glad to have the chance to visit the non typical touristic places. We were in the car and I was like stop somewhere I have to take a picture! And he is like: of what? This is where he grew up and you know how it is. You take your surroundings for granted and maybe not see what other people see. Then the architecture in France is very different from Sweden. 
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Check out this door!
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In Molinet the brothers helped out their dad with grooming the leaves on the wall on the back of the house.
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Now their dad had a broken foot after skydiving with G. And older brother J had a surgery so they where both using crutches. 
I love the feeling of beeing here. It is a big house with a big family, with their cousin next door and we got to pick some salad to get with us from the 
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Now G’s old room is still his room and here I found someone else who decided to settle. There was no point trying to kill it so we took the vaccuum cleaner and said bye bye before the would take over the house!
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Took a bicycle ride round Molinet and surroundings. Here I am cycling over the boat bridge.
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And here is some info about the bridge.

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And then we took a bike ride 🙂 From this lookout, Les Mont St Vincent, you can see Mount Blanc when the weather is clear. Pretty cool!
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So next town I got to visit thanks to G’s work was Mâcon. All the cities and villages are beautiful because they all have a small feeling to them. 

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Rouge de Solutre is a lookout where we went on a hot day. The lookout was surrounded by vinyards. Not too long ago there was a young man who jumped from the top to kill himself. Just something I was told and share. A view from the bottom.

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Some views from the top
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And this is how the area looks like around here. Small villages and plenty of green. If it’s not vinyards it’s green feelds with white cows 🙂
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We bbq:ed this evening in Ciry le Noble which is the village next to Rozelay where G lives. Part from the mosquitos it was a great evening.
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Visited a buddhist temple and there was a private castle next to it. 
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Why do I love castles? Small, big, old, new (not many new I guess…). Did I hear too many princess fairytales as a child? Don’t know, don’t care why, but I do. And they really have castles here, in my opinion as a castle should be!
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Now the little escargots….eww… Well they are so common you can even find them in a can! This is the cheap stuff.. Nopp haven’t tried and not planning to.
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I once made greek meatballs at G’s home and he loved them so I cooked for his family. His little brother was missing otherwise everyone else was there. Lovely people!
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Off to Dijon to visit his friend T and his girlfriend E. Guess what these fields are around there land?? Yupp mustard fields! First time ever seen these. 
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T+E have a little cat named Jotta, super cute little thing only a few months old.
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We had a nice dinner and they tried to invert me to a cyclist, old school with the typical cap. Pretty?

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And so came my last weekend in France. I stayed with two bicecly freaks and G’s whole family are cyclists. Tour de France is going on for 3 weeks during summer and since it is a huge tradition we went too. This year was the 100th year! You understand that it is in people’s lives. They have seen this forever. The tradition is to pack a picnic and your friends and family and go to the nearest place to first see the PR-cars throwing out freebies, have your picnic and then see all the proffessionals fly by in about 2 minutes maximum! Why not?
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I mean everyone is here! Look at this old lady in a wheelchair! Amazing!
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One last thing. More cheese. Goat cheese. Now I’m used to not eating the strange part of the cheese, eg the parts that are different from the rest of the piece because it has changed form, colour, moved or sth. But here, some people simply love it, it’s the best part they say. It might not look bad, but when we lifted the lid of this one I almost fainted!
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When I packed my bag I found a big fat spider in the bed! (2nd one I mention but 3rd in a row)

Off to Sweden again!