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Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 22 juli 05:55

First off I want to apologize to all our friends following us. I have begged and pleaded to Mom to help me write, I even barked a few times, to no avail. She says since we're back in Sweden now there's not much to write about it's just same old same old..............I don't understand that at all

 Now finally this will change since yesterday Mom received a letter from Poppy's parents.

Poppy is the Brittish Jack Russell I made friends with in southern Germany at the beginning of our vacation. Mom got a little worried at the possibility to receive a bill from them, so she quickly complied.


Hello again EvaLena and Buttons

 

 I am writing to complain that I have not seen any activity on Eva, Lucy and Buttons blog and am now suffering withdrawal symptoms. 

 

I have spoken to my therapist and he tells me I have been over exposed to extreme adventure and it will take several weeks of intense sessions to cure me.

 Since your blog did not carry any health warnings of this side effect, I feel I have no option other than to hold you responsible and forward you our bill....  

 Otherwise, we both hope you all are really well and ended your journey safely and fully revitalized.

 Kindest regards

 

Jude, Malcolm, and Poppy

 

Now I know how to persuade Mom in the future, 

After we left Lotta's house we continued to drive north west back to almost where we started. Stopped for lunch we all of a sudden saw a boat sailing on a field.

 

That is the Göta Canal constructed in the early 19th century. It formed the backbone of a waterway stretching some 614 km (382 mi), linking a number of lakes and rivers to provide a route from Gothenburg on the west coast to Stockholm on the Baltic sea.

The canal itself is 190 km (120 mi) long, of which 87 km (54 mi) were dug or blasted, with a width varying between 7–14 m (23–46 ft) and a maximum depth of about 3 m (9.8 ft). It has 58 locks and can accommodate vessels up to 32 m (105 ft) long, 7 m (23 ft) wide and 2.8 m (9.2 ft) in

Parts of the canal are still used to transport cargo, but it is now primarily used as a tourist and recreational attraction, dubbed Sweden's Blue Ribbon.The canal is ironically referred to as the "divorce ditch" from the troubles that couples have to endure while trying to navigate the narrow canal and the many locks by themselves. 

 

 


As we have done every year we stopped in a small town where Mom spent a lot of time as a puppy and visited old friends. The were BBQing and chatting all night long

   

I knew who will the most likely to share some goodies from her plate so I made sure my seat would be next to Mrs. Sorensen

 

 


Mom loaned her apron to the master chef who did a great job.


 


Mom's puppy friend didn't give me any cookies or anything from his plate at all, he was too busy with those cans they all drank from.

 


following day I spent watching Lucy again since they all went to a car show. Lots of American cars that I've seen so many of before so I was quite happy to take a nap.


                         


Moms dad had a car like this, and I have never seen one in US, it's an Opel made in Germany


 


Mom really wanted to ask this Swede if he had a clue at all? but figured it'll be no use since most likely he didn't 


 


This is gross ................


 


There was also hundreds of motorcycles there

 


The further North we go, we'll get more and more mosquitoes and this is what Swedes consider a survival kit, but Lotta said the cigarettes were missing. I'm glad Mom don't agree with her. ( Mygga is mosquito repellant) 


 



After a couple of days here we continued North to visit our friends where we started again. Pretty tricky of Mom going to places where we get fed so she doesn't have to cook....

They took us out on a great boat ride on the river.......

   

 

In Borlänge is Sweden's most recognized log building, Ornässtugan. It will remain in its original location.

Loft building belonged to a wealthy miner and was included in an enclosed courtyard formation. The lower floor served as storage and the top as a guest house. The loft has many intriguing traces of folklore.

     

according to folk lore, you're supposed to hug this tree to get peace in your soul, Mom didn't

 

 

 


In the evening we visited a lady that owned 2 cats, one hid the entire time I was there. This guy was very curious and watched my every move. 

 


after a few days eating and drinking here, we kept on further North and now we're going to Mom's aunts birthday party. It's a long drive so we spent one night parked in the woods. Mom thought it was so awesome, quiet and peaceful, but I was very suspicious and didn't want to leave Lucy which Mom couldn't understand at all. I tried to explain I'm a city boy and she didn't pick up this peculiar scent as I did.


 


This sign says penguins and camels are as rare as garbage men here, so do take your trash with you.


 


Ok, that's all the update I have, nothing overly exciting, but still an update..............today it's the birthday party and after that, we'll be continuing further North. Weather not great, it's raining as usual and no warmer than 50 degrees

Last night it was thundering horribly which scares me, but we're safe and warm inside Lucy so there's no complaining.

All is well 

 

 

 

ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Tisdag 11 juli 06:39

Here we go again, as soon as Mom get together with her friends she forgets to help me write my blog. She says it's because we have nothing interesting to share, we eat, we rest, we chat. Yeah, but I have something to say and I feel neglected..............boohoo spoiled brat Mom says.

Anyway, yesterday was Dad's birthday and I wanted to send a card with my paw signature on it, but NO, Mom had one of those what she calls "senior moments", and THAT'S another reason why she should be listening to me...........I NEVER forget.

So we are at Morre and Selma's house, they are both really cute but not overly friendly.


     


Morre and I are the same age, and he can get real grouchy and hiss at me if I get to close. His Mom is real proud of me being the bigger man in keeping my distance and not get into his face. ...........What choice do I have ?cat's have some seriously sharp nails and because of my first cat, I do know how they feel. 

There's a lot of cat's in this neighborhood and both Mom and Lotta is going gaga over them...............these guys, like most cats here, live in a barn.

   


I find these big guys much more interesting, and they make something I really like..............cheese...............good luck getting any cheese from those guys Mom said, and I'm not sure what she means? they look like cows to me? Look underneath she says, do you see any milk containers? Oh no, so what do these guys DO then?............

 

It has been gorgeous weather so Mom decided to give me a bath........and it was nice getting rid of all that city dust 


 



After I was shaved combed and dried..............nails cut and filed .............life is good.


 


Morre is laughing or maybe just yawning, he also naps a lot just like me.............he too thinks life is good.


 


Lotta lives 20 min. from the city and yesterday, I was left guarding Lucy while the girls went into town food shopping. I confused Mom by rather staying doing my job than taking the option to come along. ........I've visited enough cities so the opportunity getting an uninterrupted nap didn't sound too bad...........OH and the job watching Lucy? Mom asks


This church is in the middle of town


 


There's a lot of roses and pretty flowers in Lottas garden 

     


I know we'll be here a few more days before continuing North to Moms puppy town and that's fine with me. Two gorgeous sunny days have now turned into gray rainy wet days..............hope it doesn't last long.

This is pretty much how we have been driving so far

 


I walk in Mom's shadow.........


 


All is well..



ANNONS
Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 8 juli 08:36

I like to rapport that even the older generation has succumbed to this habit by the dinner table, (they only need larger devices)........... Makes Mom crazy, but on the other hand at this age, these two probably already said everything that needs to be said to each other


 


Gorgeous morning and as usual we're up with the sunrise..............Mom is looking up at that bridge hoping that's not the one we have to cross to continue.


 


This dog was also awake, ad he looked very puzzled that he wasn't the only one up this early? He didn't say a woff just stared at us with his mouth open..


 


This looks like a great house, Mom wold love having it floating in a Florida canal with access to the ocean...............but if we did, I would have to learn to swim she says................ I already do know how I just choose not to............


 


last night this helicopter kept spraying the vineyards hoping it's just watering but that would be too good to be true. Pretty sure it's against bugs so the crop doesn't get ruined.  The pilot was pretty good at it, sure wasn't his first time flying

     


Packing up to continue our trip Mom decided it was time to head north and take the sun with us to make our Swedish friends happy. They have not had too many days of warm weather so far this summer (what else is new?)

We got on the autobahn wich is a fast moving 3 lane highway. Thousands of trucks also heading north..........Lucy is liking the German diesel a lot and keeping up with traffic very well. Germans claim we have only vegetables in our tanks............I don't know the truth, but the exhaust stinks much more in Germany. Getting through Hamburg was the pits, lots of traffic and road work which held us up.


We didn't make it all the way in one day, so we slept at a truck stop again. This place was very well kept, and lots of cute rabbits were living there, none of them willing to make my acquaintance............maybe a language issue?


 


In the morning Mom made reservations at a Copenhagen parking space for RVs.We have been there before and remember the rude owner, but it's the closest to the city and a good place to park and ride the bike. 

We finally made it to the ferry to take us to Denmark. we could have driven around, but this gives both Mom and Lucy a break.

 


Mom has promised me to never leave me in the car on a ferry ride and she kept that promise this time too


 


Denmark has lots of Windmills that produces clean power.


 

it's so cool watching the seagulls kind of floating along the ship as we are crossing the ocean. 


   


we finally arrived in Copenhagen, Moms favorite city where she has a lot of memories from puppyhood. None of which she's sharing with me.

We got to the parking space, and there's Finn, the rude guy. He said he never got Moms booking and now has no space? He still denied getting it even as Mom showed him it on her computer, and even showed him the response he wrote about needing Lucy's plate number, which he had received? There was no point arguing with him he has many complaints about his demeanor, but since he's the only one in town he has more than enough business so he doesn't need to be nice.................well that's HIS opinion

Driving around the city thinking what to do................

   

This messed up our plans to bike ride, but Mom has learned a lot from the Italians about parking, so we just parked and folded in the mirrors as we went to the Freetown looking to get Moms favorite sandwich and drink.


     


the girl still there and selling these amazing drinks made from avocado, ginger and something else. Sandwich mom likes is also avocado mozzarella and tomatoes on this great bread. 

It's a hippie town and there's a lot of graffitis which Mom normally don't like but here it belongs and fit in she says.......

and some of them are really well done


       


lots of tourists come here and they even have tours to show how hippies from the 60ies live ........haha. Many artists live here also.


   


this bike with a box on the front was initially made here, but has become so popular they moved to a larger place. Parents pedaling along in Copenhagen with their children sitting in the box is a very common sight, and it's not unusual to see a repairman arriving in one of these with the box full of tools

   

 


somewhere driving north we lost the sun we brought along and here comes the rain. It was really pouring for a while, so Mom pulled over and took a nap..................It's not a nap, it's siesta she corrected me............and the difference is???

 


Nothing much is happening now and if this continues there'll be a lot of napping.................SIESTAS!!!!


all is well.



Leaving Copenhagen we headed straight towards Sweden to a combined railway and motorway bridge across the strait.The bridge runs nearly kilometers  (5 miles) from the Swedish coast to an artificial island in the middle of the strait. The crossing started by a 4-kilometre (2.5 mi)  tunnel from Denmark.

 





Av EvaLena Hallgren - Onsdag 5 juli 22:04

We're still at the Mosel river, and this time in a small town called Winningen. The entire drive is only 130 miles, but with so many stops and looking around it's slow going, not that I mind, but it's getting really hot again, and I'm longing for the cold weather up north. .................(Mom just gave me a dirty look)

As usual, we got up early and went for a walk, How about renting a wine barrel for the night?

 


This blackbird was singing to us for hours, Mom enjoyed it, I didn't really care one way or another.


 


After breakfast ( Mom had two warm croissants) we continued on and next town we stopped was Trarbach-Traben, another town with different names depending on what side of the river.

It was difficult to find parking because they were using the biggest lot to put up some kind of Tivoli preparing for the weekend wine festival. Mom has learned from the Italians how to park so she managed, and luckily no ticket when we came back.

     

This driver was either lucky or extremely professional since the opening was an arch, he only fit exactly in the middle. He wasn't slowing down much for this maneuver either.............impressive

 


again I didn't feel like walking much so Mom had to carry me, here she put me down on the bridge railing so she could rest her arms.............I didn't dare to move one inch.................she claims it was plenty wide, but I would like to see her sitting that high up on a skinny rail ............


   


Mom is really envying these kayakers and wish we could do that too, I have no objections to that, I've done it before and it's kind of cool.  

 


For some reason Mom decided to drive up the side of a mountain thinking we'll get a great view of the entire river, (now she's all of a sudden ok with winding narrow steep roads?) 

It didn't work, when we got up there was nothing but trees in the way, so that was a fun scary ride for nothing. 

Wonder what the people in these homes thought when we came driving close  to their front doors since Lucy is a tad wider than a regular car.


   


Back down following the river again we passed a town called Kattines, Katt=cat ..............


 


plenty of flowers growing in wine barrels everywhere


 


Next town we stopped was Cochem, and now Mom was hungry and wanted to eat, and the entire street was lined with restaurants, BUT Germans are heavy smokers, and we both hate that, so when we asked for a smoke-free place to sit we were invited inside, me in my wagon this time. This is the second try Mom made to have some good German food, and that's it, never again she says..........everything smothered in some gooey fat sauce? even the potato?....the only thing tasty on this plate according to her was the salad. The potato was brown inside and cold. When she complained, the waiter said he'll take the chef by his ear....................? no offer to fix it

 


Nice town to stroll around but just like all other tourist places, it is wall to wall souvenir shops and Mom didn't buy anything at all this time either ........

     


Above this town is Reichburg castle and there used to be a falconer show there, but not today, so we didn't bother walking up. It would have been quite strenuous for Mom to push me up there in this heat too.


 

 


nice wall art 

     


we spent a few hour walking along the river and admiring the homes on the other side.

 


 

 


Another popular attraction is to take a river cruise in one of these long boats. Some seemed rather luxurious and I'm pretty sure they continue up the Rhein river too.

    


Hundreds of people are seen riding bikes along the river. There's a path all along, and there are package deals you ride a few miles each day and stay at hotels along the way. When you arrive in Koblenz the bus drives you and the bikes back to the beginning. Seems like a great vacation to me, but Mom still prefers the kayaking.


  

The drive is slow and beautiful so much to look at on the way, so we made several more stops until MOm finally decide it's time to stop for the night.  

These golden statues were peeking out from a private home? must be artists  

 


The drive is slow and beautiful so much to look at on the way, so we made several more stops until Mom finally decide it's time to stop for the night. Tomorrow she said we'll drive much longer and we will not stop in Koblenz since it's a bigger city. We didn't stop last year either when we drove The Rhine River which meets The Mosel there.................


   


Maybe we'll be in Denmark tomorrow? Mom feels like visiting Copenhagen again, her favorite city, and I'm pretty ok with it too, since I know we'll be biking there. 


Good Night all






Av EvaLena Hallgren - Tisdag 4 juli 17:33

I'm really happy spending time here in Germany today because I don't have to deal with fireworks that frighten me so every year.

 

So, we left Avignon and Mom knew we had to make it to Germany to get the propane filled and that's 480 miles, and a lot of driving on highways which all charge tolls. Mom thought she could drive it all in one day, but she didn't so we stopped at a rest stop and spent one night. Luckily she had found a water boiler that used 12v so at least she got her morning coffee..........lucky me I say, she's no fun to deal with otherwise 

 


On the road someone told her we can get propane in Luxemburg too, so we went there filled up on Diesel but nowhere to find propane, so we continued to Trier. There was a place, but since it's Sunday we had to wait for them to open. 

We spent a great time at a campsite and Mom went out to eat (left me to watch Lucy) where she met a lovely Norweigan couple that she had supper with...............I had to eat alone and nor did I get a taste brought home from her great supper.............She'll be making up for it, because I will NOT forget


 


We were parked next to a tree shaped like a heart ....................we wondered if it's made that way or if it was natural?


 


In the morning we got our propane filled so now we have a kitchen and a stove again............jaayyy said mom and went food shopping.

Then we continued on to next stop driving next to the Mosel River to Bernkastel-Kues where we are now staying for the second night. 

 


It is a slow gorgeous drive through many small villages and miles of vineyards on either side of the river. Mom made many stops just to enjoy the views.

     

The Mosel is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, which it joins at Koblenz. We went there last year

The Moselle "twists and turns its way between Trier and Koblenz along one of Germany's most beautiful river valleys."It flows through a region that has been influenced by mankind since it was first cultivated by the Romans. Today, its hillsides are covered by terraced vineyards where some of the best Rieslings grow. Many ruined castles dominate the hilltops above wine villages and towns that line the riverbanks, but there's not as many as it is on the Rhine.

we saw many tractors like this and wondered if they're used to pick the grapes? The hills are so steep I can't even imagine how it's done.

   

It wasn't a very long drive which was really nice, and when I heard Mom buying 2 nights (despite this place unusual expensive) I cheered. It's nice to relax and I assumed it meant a bike ride which it did. We stayed at the side that was Kues, and opposite side of the river was Bernkastel

The first road bridge between Bernkastel and Kues was built between 1872 and 1874, as was the first railway link in 1882 and 1883. In 1891, Bernkastel marked its 600-year jubilee as a town.

The town in its current form came into being on 1 April 1905 through the merger of the two towns. In 1926 there arose great unrest among winemakers along the Moselle, and the financial office in Bernkastel and the customs office in Kues were stormed.

On Kristallnacht (9 November 1938), there were great riots against Jewish inhabitants, and the synagogue was destroyed.

In 1946, the first democratic elections after the second world war were held.

As usual, Mom is up early before the rooster calls even, she says it's the best time of the day before all the tourist start to crowd the towns.

It's very popular to kayak down the river which Mom really would love to do, I'm not convinced I'll like it, but if she goes I go too, like it or not she says................. Bike riding is also very popular since there's a bike path all along the river.

 

   

 

On the way to town, we met these cute babies, little unusual looking ducks we thought. Their parents kept a very close watch so I couldn't get near them to say hello even if Mom would have let me.

 

 


What a beautiful quiet ride along the river I can understand why it's so popular

   

 

We came into town while they're opening the shops, and to Mom's surprise here the shopkeepers swept and scrubbed outside their shops, just like they used to do in Sweden. Lovely Mom said out loud..............

 

 

 

This town is so quaint and so gorgeous, so yes, of course, it'll be crowded later on, but we really enjoyed the morning hours almost alone.

   





     

 

 


The crowds arrived and here's a group with a local showing them around..............he sure looked local Mom said.


 

and as usual I get attention from people who just can't resist my charm.


 


for the first time on this trip Mom actually bought a souvenir....................that's pretty darn good I thought. In this store she caved in and bought something for her garden back in Florida. I can't tell what it is, it's a secret but I can assure you it's very different. 

 

This house seems to be built on what ever space was left ....................it's a bank 


 


We went back to Lucy around lunch and had a "siesta" something Mom picked up in Italy and it means "a nap"..............I kind of like it. Rest of the evening we'll be relaxing looking at the river go by.

Tomorrow is another day..............


All is well 

Buttons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







Av EvaLena Hallgren - Lördag 1 juli 06:32


After 3 days at the same place, it was time to move on and at the gate, we saw this little car pulling a barrel of wine?  One of Mom's friends (Lotta) would really like that, but where does one sleep?

 


It was a little sad to leave this great town, but we're out of propane for the kitchen and that means no coffee for Mom in the morning and THAT'S not a good thing. The connections are completely different here and it's the same in France. Maybe Germany can help?

Mom said maybe one day we come back to this town...........Vallecrosia

We crossed the border into France and this sign is the only way of knowing. Ever since EU there's no passport control 

Again lot's of tunnels and up the mountain and down the mountain. Lucy still going strong.


 


we made camp in Avignon, which is a commune in south-eastern France on the left bank of the Rhine river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants, about 12,000 live in the ancient town center enclosed by its medieval castle walls

 

   

 


Between 1309 and 1377, seven successive popes resided in Avignon. The camp was opposite the castle so all we had to do was walk across the bridge which we did. It's not as hot anymore so walking a bit is ok, but trust me, I only walk as far as I like, then I stop so Mom carry me.

I like this guy, I want a wagon like that..............check out his dog keeping watch from behind............Honestly, though I get a better view from the basket on the front, still this is really cool

   

 

This town had so many narrow alleys you would think no cars allowed, but no they're buzzing around everywhere and they do not stop for pedestrians...............that's another reason I need to be carried at times.

     

in this alley, the car had to stop and wait for the man to unlock his door to get into his home? 

 


having supper on the sidewalk .............Mom would never go for that, she's too prissy 

 

 

This hotel looked more like a prison we thought

 

This guy is very talented Mom thought, but if it looks like the person he's drawing we can't tell. Good thing he was busy while Mom took a picture or he would have talked her into sitting model.

 

 

It can't be easy to be a pizza delivery guy in this town, and he looked confused how to find the address, but all of a sudden a door opened and a lady waved him in. I can't imagine having my front door right at the street 

 

 


This is a Roman Catholic cathedral and is the seat of the Archbishop and built primarily in the second half of the 12th century. The bell tower collapsed in 1405 and was rebuilt in 1425. In 1670-1672 the apse was rebuilt and extended.

   

 


The building was abandoned and allowed to deteriorate during the revolution, but it was reconsecrated in 1822 and restored by the archbishop Célestin Dupont in 1835-1842.The most prominent feature of the cathedral is a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary atop the bell tower which was erected in 1859.The interior contains many works of art, but we didn't bother to go inside. We sat down to rest, and Mom had a small bite to eat and a water. I was too tired to beg for a taste.

   

 

 


This guy looked very tired too, or maybe he was bored sitting there outside the opera year after year

 

 

here's a French biker dude...............again I was glad he didn't see mom taking his picture.

 

 

The town square had a carousel for the little ones.

 

 

the bell tower had a guy with a hammer to bang on the bell every hour.......and I can see up his skirt......hihi............that's different?

 

     

 

next stop is supposed to be Dijon, but I never know, that could change very quicly. 

 

all is well..........................except the propane issue. 

 

   

 

 

 

 





Av EvaLena Hallgren - Fredag 30 juni 07:05

Three nights at the same place, a beautiful campsite on the beach in Vallecrosia. Three days of cleaning and doing laundry and now there's no trace of the horrific ant invasion, and Mom is happy.

Unfortunately, it's now time to continue north driving through France towards Germany and the Mosel.

The red line is where we have been driving and the blue approximately how we'll continue 

   


Here in Italy, the gas stations have service, what a great concept, Mom loves it because she thinks Diesel stinks bad and they do wash the windows and everything else you ask for.


 


this is a common size car here, so small even I can drive it .............I think


 

Driving  through the landscape this is a common sight

 


 


Mom likes to walk on the beach and she collects rocks, I don't like it at all because it's hard to walk on these rocks. The good thing here is freedom................I met a lot of dogs everywhere and Mom said they even go to the supermarket. ............oh so maybe I can come next time and I pick out what I want for supper?


     


There would be none of this stuff on the plate you can be absolutely certain about that............I don't even know what that mess is? didn't even smell appetizing. Maybe Lilly would have liked it though? it was kind of fishy.

 



The second day the weather changed dramatically within minutes. I knew it before it happened and tried to warn Mom, but as usual, she ignored the signs. 

Horrible thunder and dark clouds came rolling in at lightning speed, a few raindrops and it was all over? 

   


Sun is back and I'm happy again. I can't help it but thunder and lightning really frighten me, I don't understand why Mom doesn't worry? she kind of enjoys it when it's short like this.

In the evening Mom decided to have dinner at a fancy restaurant on the beach. She said she really wanted to taste good Italian food, and I was also invited.

 

I couldn't see anything good at this plate, but again it may have been ok for Lilly.

 


the second course didn't do anything for me either, but Mom loved every bite and brought half home to eat following day...............lucky me........NOT

 


The dessert apparently was a huge hit, but again nothing for me?...............just be happy you got to come along and enjoy the view Mom says. ............huh?  


We were watching a bunch of people in a rowboat..................first you see the boat........... 

 


then you don't........

 


local fishermen sit around and shoot the shit and of course put the best they had on the table


 


We really enjoyed staying here very nice and clean and the owners very accommodating and helpful. Mom washed sheets and drying them outside in the ocean breeze made them smell delicious. I was a little surprised she let me sleep on them without getting a bath first ................I did end up getting a serious brushing though


   


I like the garbage cans on the beach, different colors for recycling different stuff.............great idea


 

Yesterday the ocean got really angry so we stayed inside Lucy who was rocking us a little when a strong wind gust grabbed her. No worries though she's a steady girl. This gave me time to catch up on my napping while Mom painted some lady bugs which we give as good luck charms to people we meet and we like.

   


Well, everything that's good always comes to an end.This morning the propane tanks are empty, Mom had just enough to squeeze fire for a hot pot to make coffee.The bad thing is the tanks and connections are different here so we have noway of having them exchanged. Not sure they can be filled in France either, we may have to be without all the way to Germany. 

Oh well, good thing that fishy stuff is all gone, and there's no more beer in the fridge.



     


We have to leave this wonderful place and go on for new adventures. Next stop will be Aix-En-Provence.............can't wait to hear Alice pronounce that.........


all is well

 






Av EvaLena Hallgren - Onsdag 28 juni 22:09

Finally got Mom to do my update, she has not been in a very good mood for a day, so I have been playing it cool not to bother her. She's good now though, so here it goes.

After Rome, we drove north ready to drive the famous Amalfi coast, and that was no picknick. Italians have a habit of parking anywhere and as long as they believe their little cars can pass it’s OK. They just fold in the mirrors and go shopping. Lucy needs a little more room and it became very tight at places.

After a few hours of this Mom started to look for a campsite, and we couldn’t believe our ears!!!!! we were denied entrance at 3 different places because of me? What this sudden change? I was welcome to fancy hotels and restaurants in Rome? 


As we looked around we noticed it was a tourist paradise and I suppose people from other countries have something to say about it. Mom is getting tired and a tad irritable but we finally found a place I was welcomed. The town's name was Carducci and dogs were allowed on their beach. It was a wooded area mostly sand and pine needles and the beach was all rocks, which I hate walking on. Mom carried me out and dunked me to cool off.

Then, of course, she had to carry me all the way back so I don't  catch all the pine needles sand and other stuff in my hair..............It's not easy being me sometimes


Mom has not had a good night sleep since the Dolomites so she’s getting a tad cranky, crying babies and partying teens made it impossible to sleep. Now it seems we are at a quiet place so Mom is looking forward to a good night.

At night she felt a breeze coming through the side windows, tickling her body, BUT I the morning she noticed it wasn’t a breeze at all it was million of tiny ants!!!!! They were everywhere. It was 6 AM Mom quickly started Lucy and drove to the main gate, where she showed the security guard what was happening. There were ants in the billions inside and outside of Lucy running everywhere. The guard helped by getting a spray to stop more from coming in, while Mom was cleaning the inside.


The security guard told the camp owner what had happened to me, but he pretty much told Mom that shit happens…….no compassion what so ever. It’s 95 F so after Mom took a shower we left without paying………For awhile I thought Mom was going to cry and she wasn’t too far from it I think. 

 On the road, she told me she had enough of Italy, and as soon as we see the tower of Pisa we’re leaving for France. I stayed very quiet knowing that Moms fuse is really short now.

Mom had given Alice the address to a parking space near the tower, and when we got there Mom almost started yelling at her again. We were at an industrial area, lots of graffiti not a nice area in other words.But lucky for Alice, there was a sign 10 min walk to the tower, just cross the railroad tracks so we did.

   

The Campo Santo is a historical edifice at the northern edge and can be literally translated as "holy field" because it is said to have been built around a shipload of sacred soil from Golgotha. A legend claims that bodies buried in that ground will rot in just 24 hours. The burial ground lies over the ruins of the baptistery of the church of Santa Reparata, the church that once stood where the cathedral now stands


The outer wall is composed of 43 blind arches. There are two doorways. The one on the right is crowned by a gracious Gothic tabrnacle. It contains the Virgin Mary with Child, surrounded by four saints

 

 

 



This is the baptistery of St.John ( Battistero di San Giovanni) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical building. Construction started in 1152 to replace an older baptistery, and it was completed in 1363. The Pisa Baptistery is an example of the transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style: the lower section is in the Romanesque style, with rounded arches, while the upper sections are in the Gothic style, with pointed arches. It is constructed of marble which is very common in Italy.

   

Construction on the cathedral began in 1063 and expenses were paid using the spoils received fighting against the Muslims in Sicily. It includes various stylistic elements: classical, Byzantine and Islamic, drawing upon the international presence of Pisan merchants at that time. In the same year, St Marks Basilica began its reconstruction in Venice, and there's evidence of a strong rivalry between the two maritime republics to see which could create the most beautiful and luxurious place of worship.

   


The rich exterior decoration contains multicolored marble, mosaic, and numerous bronze objects.The high arches show Islamic and southern Italian influence. The blind arches with lozenge shapes recall similar structures in Armenia. The facade of grey and white marble, decorated with colored marble inserts, was built by Master Rinaldo. Above the three doorways are four levels of loggia divided by cornices with marble intarsia, behind which open single, double, and triple windows.

 


The Tower of Pisa is freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral known worldwide for its unintended tilt.


It is situated behind the cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city.The tower's tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on a ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.


The height of the tower is 55.86 meters (183.27 feet) from the ground on the low side and 56.67 meters (185.93 feet) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 2.44 m (8 ft 0.06 in) Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 3.99 degrees.This means the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 meters (12 ft 10 in) from the center


Construction of the tower occurred in three stages over 199 years. Work on the ground floor of the white marble campanile began on August 14, 1173, during a period of military success and prosperity. This ground floor is a blind arcade articulated by engaged columns with classical Corinthian capitals


The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the second floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-metre foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century because the Republic of Pisa was almost continually engaged in battles with Genoa Lucca, and Florence. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.

       


In 1272, construction resumed under Giovanni Di Simone and in an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. Because of this, the tower is curved.Construction was halted again in 1284 when the Pisans were defeated by the Genoans.

The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was finally added in 1372. It was built by Tommaso di Andrea, who succeeded in harmonizing the Gothic elements of the bell-chamber with the Romanesque style of the tower.There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655.

After a phase (1990–2001) of structural strengthening, the tower is currently undergoing gradual surface restoration, in order to repair visible damage, mostly corrosion and blackening. These are particularly pronounced due to the tower's age and its exposure to wind and rain

So many people trying to get the picture where it looks like they are pushing against the tower, but this family is really taking it to extreme I think

 


Again a super crowded place with lots of tourists so we looked took pictures and left, continuing North towards France.

On the way, I made friends with some guys selling umbrellas.

 

I think there may be a race in Monaco because we were passed by several cars that said Mod Ball Rally and some going so fast Lucy shook.

 


looks like Hells Angels "dudes" are also heading that way

 

we left the small road near the coast and went on the highway 265 miles in one day. 

Italy's autostrada has a standard speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars. Limits for other vehicles (or during foul weather and/or low visibility) are lower. Legal provisions allow operators to set the limit to 150 km/h (93 mph) on their concessions on a voluntary basis if these conditions are met: three lanes in each direction, and working cameras

The first speed limit, to 120 km/h (75 mph), was enacted in November 1973 as a result of the oil crisis.In October 1977, a graduated system was introduced, where cars of above 1,300 cc (79 cu in) were given a 140 km/h (87 mph) speed limit, cars of 900-1299 cc could drive at 130 km/h (81 mph), those of 600-899 cc could drive at 110 km/h (68 mph), and those of 599 cc (36.6 cu in) or less were given a max speed of 90 km/h (56 mph).In July 1988 a blanket speed limit of 110 km/h (68 mph) was imposed on all cars above 600 cc (the lower limit was kept for smaller cars) by the government, but in September 1989 this was increased to 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars above 1,100 cc (67 cu in) and 110 km/h (68 mph) for smaller ones.I'm not sure where this leaves Lucy, but she's keeping a steady 90 to 100 km. Sometimes big truckers come up close behind Lucy and blow their air horns, so Mom gives them the international finger signal, and let them pass. At next uphill, she gets them back.


The drive from Pisa o Nice is an experience in itself.It is a spectacular drive just inland from Mediterranean coastline. The A8/A10 itself is a feat of engineering, piecing together a super-highway through rugged coastal mountains with bridges and tunnels. There are 156 tunnels so Mom is getting used to them now.


At the last minute, Mom changed her mind (not surprisingly, I’m used to it)and she decided to give Italy a last chance and she is so glad she did. We are in a little town called Vallecrosia just on the border to Monaco, and the owners are super nice. We’re here for the second night and I’m pretty sure it’ll be one more so Mom can finish our laundry.

All is well.

Good Night

 

 

 







 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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