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Av EvaLena Hallgren - 5 juli 2017 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 - 4 juli 2017 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 










Av EvaLena Hallgren - 1 juli 2017 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 - 30 juni 2017 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 - 28 juni 2017 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













Av EvaLena Hallgren - 25 juni 2017 22:09

so today we explored a lot of Rome, but there is so much to see here we should stay a week Mom says. She's kidding, of course, we're leaving tomorrow enough big cities it's too noisy and hot ..........remember?

I have to tell you about the drive across Italy to get here. Once again we were driving over mountains and Alice flipped out, any which way we turned she said drive 200 meters and make a U-turn. 

Sure I heard "all roads lead to Rome" but this is ridiculous.

We drove through many small quaint cities but nowhere to stop and park, so Mom tried to take pictures as we were driving...............very safe.............right ??


Roads are narrow and once Mom clipped the right rear view mirror on a house that came too close...............no harm other than a big bang. Just fold the mirror out again. It wasn't this house, but some of them are just too close to the road


In one village a marching band was playing to a statue they had tied to a truck ? Again we couldn't stop but it was funny how people looked at us as Mom stops in the middle of the road to take a picture


IN another village we ended up in the middle of a funeral procession first car was decorated with flowers. We did get some looks and I told Mom we should have waited and let all those cars go by...............she said "the dead guy doesn't mind"


we saw entire towns in ruins, only stones left. Mom thinks it's from the devastating 6.6 earthquakes that happened last year.


Finally when we came closer to Rome Alice got her bearings and told us how to get to the campsite. She seems to be a city girl who can't handle the mountains very well.

We parked and relaxed, Mom trying to figure out how to explore the city tomorrow. It's still hot as hell so I got the fan to cool me.


In the morning Mom decided we'll take a taxi to the Spanish steps and see how we work it out from there.


SPANISH STEPS In the 17th century the French had initially proposed a plan to build the Spanish Steps and top it off with a statue of King Louis XIV. However there was opposition from the pope and the plan was only carried out in 1723-1726, but without the addition of the statue. The designer Francisco de Sanctis was chosen for the job and the 137 step flight of stairs was built drawing on the technique of terraced garden stairs. The stairs signified the peace between the Spanish (below) and the French in the square above. The steps are the widest staircase in Europe, and attract a lot of attention from tourists. In May the steps are decorated with azaleas and once a year there is a fashion show here when the steps become the catwalk.

 On top of the stairs is Monti Church. Originally a small chapel stood here but following a commission by Louis XII a new, bigger and better church was completed in 1585. There are two bell towers each with a clock, one shows French time (international time) and the other once showed Italian time but now has a sundial.

The 1953 film RomanHoliday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, made the Spanish Steps famous to an American audience.

This city is amazing, we sat on the steps for awhile and just watch the crowds. I noticed some meatball factories in the middle of town, and I really wanted to go and say hi. Mom feels sorry for them having to pull people around town and are againstpromoting it, but it beats walking, so we did it.


Unbelievable narrow streets and little tiny cars buzzing around, but it's still amazingly quiet, no blowing horns like in NY.

It's kind of neat listening to the clippety-clop of Phil's hoofs on the cobblestone streets.

At every monument was guards standing with machine guns, sad but necessary.


Our first stop was at The Pantheon which is one of the great spiritual buildings of the world. It was built as a Roman temple and later consecrated as a Catholic Church. Its monumental porch originally faced a rectangular colonnaded temple courtyard and now fronts the smaller Piazza Della Rotonda. Through great bronze doors, one enters one great circular room. The interior volume is a cylinder above which rises the hemispherical dome. Opposite the door is a recessed semicircular apse, and on each side are three additional recesses, alternately rectangular and semicircular, separated from the space under the dome by paired monolithic columns. The only natural light enters through an unglazed oculus at the center of the dome and through the bronze doors to the portico. As the sun moves, striking patterns of light illuminate the walls and floors of porphyry, granite, and yellow marbles


 Outside the Vatican, there was a line around the block and a minimum of 2 hours wait in the hot sun, so we skipped visiting him, but I thought I saw him hanging out here.........Mom said it wasn't.




Everywhere you turn and look there's some magnificient buildings and even though Phils driver kept telling Mom the names of the places, she couldn't remember them all. He didn't speak English either so that made it difficult.


Here we are at Piazza Navona it is built in 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium.The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones ("games"), and hence it was known as "Circus Agonalis" ("competition arena"). 



These fountains are amazing, so many statues and things happening, and now we're heading to the most famous of them all.

The Trevi Fountain designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Pietro Bracci Standingmetersmetres (86 ft) high and 49.15 metres (161.3 ft) wide. It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. The fountain has appeared in several notable films, including Fellini's La Dolce Vita and the eponymous Three coins in the fountain

Coins are purportedly meant to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder.

An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day, Moms bounced of a tourist and went somewhere.... In 2016, an estimated US $1.5 million was thrown into the fountain. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome's needy, however, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain although it is illegal to do so.


Here's an interesting article written in NY Times recently about this place............


Mom filmed a little to show this crowd.


Saying goodbye to Phil we were walking around and look.......There he is!!!!!! The guy with the accordion, quickly I found a date and let's go ............This guy just grinned at me, didn't say a word, and the date I picked up ended up to be another boy who was only interested in my butt.............no luck this time either, may We're still in the wrong town.........Mom said that what I'm referring to was a cartoon....not real......make belief......Disney stuff.....I think her timing on telling me the truth was very cruel.


Time for lunch so Mom decided to make up for her cruelness and find me a nice cool marble floor...........where she ordered a great sandwich. I got several tastes so that proves she was sorry....right?


Italians are really good about letting us into their places, and after a long lunch, we walked around for a while again.

Taking pictures of things Mom can't remember what it was, still gorgeous though.



I think this was the parliament and that obelisk had so many intricate carvings it must have taken years to finish. I'm also sure it is a big story pictured. Italians are good at that.




All of a sudden we hear a woman screaming and we hurried there to see if we could help? She didn't look like she was in any pain, and Mom gave here money, I'm sure it was meant to make her stop, she didn't so we continued on.




Now Mom said we HAD to see the Coliseum before we leave, but looking at the map that would be a hike so she talked to a taxi driver who had a great command of English and he'll take us there and then back to Lucy.............he drove a tiny little Ford with sliding doors I never seen before, and he didn't want me on the seat, but who cares, he had the AC on


Construction of the Colosseum began under Emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.

TheColosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000 it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and dramas based on Classical mythology. The building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine.

Although partially ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome. It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and also has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" that starts in the area around the Colosseum


The Arch of Constantine is the biggest honorary arch in our times. It is placed between the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus on Via Romana that goes through the triumphal procession covered for the triumphal march and that goes towards the Temple of Giove Capitolino




We were so lucky that this taxi driver was a native of Rome and knew everything and was willing to show us some more beautiful sights. He told us Rome is built on seven hills and he took us up to show an amazing view.



From here you can see so many church domes and incredible large monuments. Of course, there was a fountain here too, and here's a link to the shooting of a James Bond movie where there's a car chase in Rome and around this place




high on the Aventine another Piazza. Bordered by a high wall, decorated with neoclassical obelisks and military trophies, it leads to a famous and fascinating broad wooden door. 

Known affectionately by Romans as the "Hole of the Rome" its abiding attraction draws queues of visitors to this "out of the way" spot. No key is required: it is sufficient to put an open eye to the keyhole, and focus.

With kaleidoscope charm, a vision of St Peters dome perfectly in perspective, framed by the tops of trees in the foreground, opens up. Often wrapped in a thin mysterious mist, seems to stand at the end of the garden path, just beyond the door..............nope, we didn't get on line



This monument is Giuseppe Garibaldi  4 July 1807 in Nice – 2 June 1882 was an Italian general, politician, and nationalist who played a large role in the history of Italy. He is considered as one of Italy's "fathers of the fatherland".

Garibaldi personally commanded and fought in many military campaigns that led eventually to the Italian unification.

He has been called the "Hero of Two Worlds" because of his military enterprises in Brazil, Uruguay, and Europe. These earned him a considerable reputation in Italy and abroad, aided by exceptional international media coverage at the time.  The United Kingdom and the United States helped him a great deal, offering him financial and military support in difficult circumstances.

In the popular telling of his story, he is associated with the red shirts worn by his volunteers in lieu of a uniform.


Finally, this fantastic Taxi driver took us back to Lucy and even though there's so much more to see of Rome I'm glad we got to see as much as we did. Tomorrow we'll be heading North towards the Amalfi coast. 

all is well.






Av EvaLena Hallgren - 24 juni 2017 08:10

Yesterday was not a fun day, it was hotter than hell, and Mom kept on driving south because she wanted to get closer to Rome, which we are going to today. If this campsite was nicer we would have stayed another night, but the toilets !!!!!!! No paper either??? Knowing how fussy Mom is about these things it's a good thing Lucy is providing with a toilet.


it feels like we are in a refugee camp with all the tarps and clotheslines everywhere. It's understanding to shield from the scorching sun though 


our space was nice, but very noisy, barking dogs and crying kids late into the night. There was also some kind of entertainment nearby. During the day they had "quiet time" so you couldn't drive in until after 4 pm.......


There was a special place for dogs at the beach, which was very nice, BUT not allowed to get into the water? so what is the point of a dog beach then? We broke the rules so I could wet my feet in the Adriatic Sea. 

Mom only went as far as her bum, too cold she said..............but she picked a lot of rocks


Adjacent to the camp was a dog park with a small dirty pool. Mom put me in it but I hated it so she gave me a cold shower instead. It is nice to have a park of your own, but this one was covered with sticky burrs that attached to my hair. Mom ended up carrying me to Lucy after my shower where I finally felt comfortable to take a nice nap after cooling off.  

Mom went back to the beach with a bag to pick more rocks, so now you all know what souvenir you'll get from Italy ...........a rock

There was also a lot of driftwood, so Mom built an alligator  to represent Florida


In Sweden, it is now midsummer celebration and that's when you're supposed to eat herring and drink snaps. Mom didn't bring any but found some little fish at the convenience shop nearby, and a Heineken replaced the snaps which Mom hates anyway. The fish was good, but the potato salad ended up in the garbage. None of that looked appetizing to me so I didn't bother begging. Cantaloupe was the best


Driving here we saw fields and fields of sunflowers, these looked very thirsty 


at the gas station was a lot of police activity and a big biker gang. MOM, for crying out loud, DON"T let them see you taking pictures.............ok ok


it's now 9 am and we're ready to continue on to Rome, hoping it will be a little less hot.

all is well, Buttons

Av EvaLena Hallgren - 22 juni 2017 21:31

Today has been a rough day for both of us, I didn't sleep well again because the Thunder returned and they way it feels right now it may return again tonight. 

It's 90 degrees and no breeze so Mom had the brilliant idea to take the bus in early and get a boat ride to cool off. 

I couldn't bring my stroller nor could we bike in. 

Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region, is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, named after Pennys Dad.......right ?



It has no roads, just canals – thus, no stroller.The canals are lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces but looks like it lost some of the splendor of the past. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs, and NO we didn't bother climbing that tower.


The Doges palace, which you can see a replica of at Epcot Center in Orlando, and the tower to


As we're walking along the canal I was looking for that guy that serves spaghetti and meatballs to dogs. He plays the accordion too, I've seen the movie................but he only does that to romantic couples, says Mom. Easy, I say I can pick up a girl from the street. For a meatball, I wouldn't be too picky.

Mom looked at other food


oh please please pick me up and lay me down up there........Sure but you might get cooked and served on someone's plate then.............No way Mom, this is Italy not #%$^@ you know what I'm saying ;-)


To take a break rest and drink some water, Mom ordered this for lunch ?? Nothing there for me? According to her, it was a huge disappointment..............can you spell karma?  but the plate was pretty


I think Venice may be sinking because everywhere we looked it seemed like the first floor wasn't used by anyone.

And many houses looked like they are in need of repair.


When in Venice you HAVE to ride in a gondola says, Mom, some claims it'sonly for romantic couples but for what I saw that didn't seem to be the truth............In any event, I have a crush on Mom..................so off we went


It was ridiculously expensive, and No need to do it again, done is done. Our gondola guy didn't sing, as a matter of fact, he didn't say much of anything.

Some canals were so busy with traffic and it seemed like everybody knew each other. Lots of Chiaos and hollering.


half hour and we came back where we started


First Rialto bridge was built of timber and was partly burnt in a revolt in 1310. In 1444, it collapsed under the weight of a crowd watching a boat parade and it collapsed again in 1524.

The idea of rebuilding the bridge in stone was first proposed in 1503. Several projects were considered over the following decades. In 1551, the authorities requested proposals for the renewal of the Rialto Bridge, among other things. Plans were offered by famous architects, and all involved a Classical approach with several arches, which was judged inappropriate to the situation. Michelangelo also was considered as a designer of the bridge.

The present stone bridge, is a single span designed by Antonio Da Ponte, was finally completed in 1591. It is similar to the wooden bridge it succeeded. Two inclined ramps lead up to a central portico. On either side of the portico, the covered ramps carry rows of shops but if they still are none was open now. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that another architect predicted future ruin. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

In 2017 police arrested three men, and an unnamed minor, all from Kosovo, on charges of planning to attack the Bridge on behalf of ISIS


I like to rapport that this is an international phenomenon.............



Even the police, looks like she got good news though



 Hello there, do you know a guy who serves spaghetti and meatballs to dogs and plays the accordion? He said "

Ottieni qui la borsa delle pulci, o ti cuoio per cenas..............I'm pretty sure that meant 2 blocks to the left

We sat for a long time at Piazza San Marco people watching, one of Moms favorite past times. And that ok as long as it's in the shade and cool stone to lay on.






Great sign for? selling umbrellas maybe ?



this is scary art to me................interesting and fun says, Mom




There were some very talented street performers here and well worth listening to for a while.One guy tuning his "organ" with water, It sounded great 


 Hello there, do you know a guy who serves spaghetti and meatballs to dogs and plays the accordion? He said "

Ottieni qui la borsa delle pulci, o ti cuoio per cenas..................and he felt my body?.............wonder what that really means ?


It was really too hot and too crowded with people to enjoy this city. Mom was nice enough to carry me so I should not be trampled on, and I appreciate that since she too was very hot, She ended up buying an old lady hat from a street vendor hahaha. I found another friend in the shade, but he was busy playing a game so I didn't ask him for my guy, Maybe I'm in the wrong city?


In the early afternoon, we both had enough and found our way back to Lucy via boat and then bus...............




Mom was extremely proud of how well I put up with all this and never did I complain as usual.

I know she felt really guilty for taking me through this so she let me cool off in her bucket she does dishes in, and to top it off I got my favorite treat that Dr. Grigsby told Mom I shouldn't have, (dried chicken wrapped around rawhide)

I know it's not good for me but it still my favorite treat..............mom likes chocolates, and that's not good for her.....





see you soon, all is well



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