MUNICH – CONTRASTING OKTOBERFEST WITH DACHAU

I wanted to love Munich. Really! But perhaps it was due to a time constraint that I didn't see this lovely city as thoroughly as I should have that caused me to love it less than the other wondrous cities that I had just visited on this trip. Could I have slaughtered...

BARCELONA – SAGRADA FAMILIA AND FLAMENCO

I woke up before sunrise in Barcelona because I had reserved the earliest time slot to tour Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. You'll be happy to know that there is no need to wake up that early to stand in line for the earliest reservation. I quickly discovered that as soon as...

VAUGHANTOWN IN TRUJILLO, SPAIN

Unless I'm mistaken, I believe that all of the Anglos in VaughanTown Trujillo walked with the Spaniards to Plaza Mayor every day during our one-to-one sessions.  Because of our hour-long time constraints, they were always short walks, but we made the most of our time,...

VENICE – WEAVING MY WAY THROUGH THE CANALS

Venice is such a beautiful maze of a city (and I'm not exaggerating the word "maze"). Honestly, two nights there was not enough time for me to explore the city although, considering how lost we all constantly were, perhaps we did see the entire town and we just didn't...

FLORENCE – MY PERFECT MEAL

When I had arrived back at the house at approximately 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., I was expecting to find Rosanna preparing dinner like the guy I photographed from a restaurant kitchen window while I was heading back to Rosanna and Marco's home. I arrived to discover that the...

EXPLORING CINQUE TERRE

I was among those who were sad to leave Venice, but I already know that I will return some day. However, we were on to our next adventure! We were heading to the Cinque Terre area, specifically Monterosso al Mare. Cinque Terre is considered to be the Italian Riviera....

ROME AND THE VATICAN CITY

Buon giorno! We were at the Monterosso train platform to meet Sandro for our last drive together to Rome! As it turned out, our hotel in Rome was located on the third floor (uh, that is the fourth floor) of a building, the bottom floor being a church! One of the tour...

A DAY TRIP TO DELFT

I woke up before sunrise in Amsterdam, many hours before my 10:00 a.m. tour of the Anne Frank house. I wanted to spend as much time as I could exploring the city because I was leaving by train to Delft after the tour.  I hadn't even left yet and I was already...

DISCOVERING MADRID

You know you're going to have a wonderful trip when you discover a double rainbow outside of your airplane window. The flights from Los Angeles to Madrid were relatively uneventful, save for the thunder and lightning rainstorm at Dulles, which delayed our flight due...

HIKING FROM LAUTERBRUNNEN TO GRINDELWALD

One of the things we had all experienced since arriving in Paris, and perhaps those of us who had arrived several days before, was rain. Every. Single. Day. At first, I thought it was charming but, geez, after a while, let up already! By the time I had arrived in...

BANGKOK – DAMNOEN SADUAK FLOATING MARKET

Monic, our private tour guide, arrived at our hotel with a driver before 7:00 a.m. to take Carolyn, Efren, and me on a tour of the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Old Bangkok, and Chinatown. Bangkok to Damnoen Saduak is about a 1-1/2 hour drive, but the time flew by...

EUROPE – HOMEWARD BOUND

Have you ever done something knowing it's for the last time, and you've said to yourself, "This is the last time I'm ____"? That was my standard line to myself on my last evening before leaving for my flight home from Rome. Every sentence ended with the words "...in...

BARCELONA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

I remembered that I needed more toothpaste while I was walking back to my hotel to grab my luggage before heading to the train station. I saw a farmacia along the way and stepped inside. I saw the boxes of oral care products along the back wall. Seeing that they were...

ZARAGOZA – A STUDY OF CONTRASTS

After my fun last evening eating dinner in Madrid with several of my VaughanTown friends, I headed out to the Madrid Atocha train station early the next morning with my buddy, Pat (from VaughanTown) to catch separate trains. I was on my way to Zaragoza! I must say...

MADRID – THE CENTRAL DISTRICT AND ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL

After lunch at La Buha, I only had a few hours to see what I could of Madrid on foot because I was attending an event that evening.  I decided to return to Catedral de la Almudena, or Almudena Cathedral, which is located directly across from the Royal Palace of...

TUSCANY – SIENA, SAN GIMIGNANO, AND PISA

I woke up fat(ter) and happy the following morning after my scrumptious dinner with Marco, Rosanna, and their family. But this was a new day, and an early one to boot, because I had a twelve-hour day tour planned through Tuscany! Marco knew I had to be at the train...

BANGKOK – THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS

I arrived at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport early in the morning. I was thankful to be wide awake after an 18-hour flight because I wanted to explore Bangkok during the day and I had paid for a tour that evening. I wasn't thrilled, however, when I was approached by an...

THE ANTWERP CENTRAL TRAIN STATION

I wanted to add a couple more images of Delft taken on my one full day there. The elderly woman in the picture above could not have timed her turn onto the street any more perfectly for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by my visit with my Delft host, Lara. We got...

VERSAILLES – THE CHATEAU AND MARIE ANTOINETTE’S HAMLET

I set out very early with Sue and Kathy, two sisters from the tour, to Versailles. We were a little intimidated by the Metro and Rer C train, but together we made it easily to Versailles with the other early birds. I could tell that it was going to be a wonderful day...

VENICE – GETTING LOST BY CHOICE

I thought I had my day all planned out knowing that I was going to explore Venice. I was looking forward to getting an early start after coming down from yesterday's high. The two sisters, Sue, and Kathy, were going to St. Mark's Basilica in the morning and I begged...

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