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Oops – We’re In The Wrong Country!

  Trieste, Italy, was a very elegant city, combining Italian, German, Latin, Austrian, Hungarian and Slavic cultures, but it was time to move on to Slovenia and Croatia.   We could not find an automatic car to rent in downtown Trieste and found automatic transmission vehicles were only available at the airport. We paid an astonishing $120 for a taxi from Trieste to Trieste Airport, which is 50 km away from Trieste, in Montflanquin, and then we just barely found a vehicle at a reasonable rate.   As if it wasn’t bad enough paying $120 to the airport, we had to pay … More…

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Trieste: Full of Surprises

  The trip from Venice to Trieste by train follows the curved coast of Italy and has some spectacular views of the towns dotting the hilly green coast and the Adriatic Sea.   We met the sweetest couple on the train. A Chinese couple that helped us with our luggage, offered the most delicious Chinese nougat candies, and shared rushing to the windows to get that perfect photography shot. They were very concerned about our comfort and very kind people. How silly that we didn’t get their contact information. (You know who you are, so perhaps if you read this you … More…

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The Little Known Islands Of The Venetian Lagoon

  Everyone knows Venice, but who knew that there were over 100 other islands all around Venice?   These little-known islands of the Venetian Lagoon are fabulously interesting, and kind of kept a secret by the locals.   Some of the islands are uninhabited, some have only a few dozen people.   Sant’ Erasmo Island is known for its Orto wine and garden vegetables, Torcello is known for its peaceful greenery, San Michele is the cemetery island, Lido is known for its villas and vacation homes, Pellestrina has beaches, nature reserves and the local fishermen live in colourful cottages, Chioggia is a … More…

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Venice: The Grand Seduction

  The approach to Venice by train is seductive in itself…    Just seeing a city floating on water is astonishing. How did they do that? Why did they do that?   Apparently it wasn’t intentional. It happened sometime around the fall of the Roman Empire when the mainland was invaded and the residents escaped to the protected lagoon of Venice.    Venice is a maze of tiny cobbled streets and narrow alleys, ribbon-like canals, singing gondoliers, graceful little arched bridges, and thousands of masquarade-like art shops.    There is nothing more memorable than the golden sound of the gondolier’s song lilting through the … More…

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Pay To Pee

  God Forbid if you have to go to the bathroom in Italy train stations.   First of all, they are scarce and hard to find. There is usually only one bathroom, and these train stations are huge! Train stations are the size of malls, with many shops and restaurants, a ticket office, and 10-20 train tracks and platforms.   The only bathroom is usually 3/4 way down the length of the station where the dozen or so train platforms are. You never know which side of tracks the bathroom is on.   Finding the bathroom is difficult enough when … More…

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Kicked Off The Train in Milan

  Managing the trains in Europe is not so easy as one might expect. Nice to Venice through Milan was $120C, changing trains three times with only 10-12 minutes each time to change trains.   Now when you have to find a new train, on a new platform, usually requiring you to drag all your suitcases up and down steep flights of stairs, look at the boards to find the number and platform of your new train (sometimes only posted minutes before departure), then walk half a kilometer or so to the new platform, confirm the new train number, and find … More…

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