Travel Blogs

Featured

Arriving in Florence

Our introduction to Florence – the center of Tuscany

Background

Our first trip to Florence was part of an Italy Tour in Fall of 2017. Florence is the birthplace of Renessaince, home to some of the best museums in Italy and the largest city in Tuscany.

Getting There

We arrived to Florence from Venice via Bologna in train. The trip took about 2.5 hours. We booked the tickets months before online back in our home in Atlanta, GA, USA. Train reservations are fairly easy via the train italia website.

Below is a clip of our train passing Bologna.

Passing Bologna on the way to Florence

Galleria dell’Academia

We stayed at a Air BnB rental in Florence. The city center was a 15 min walk and the train station was a 20 min walk. We could also opt for a taxi or bus.

Our first stop next morning was Galleria dell’Academia which houses one of the most famous sculpture – Michelangelo’s David. The lines at the entrance goes around the block, so it was good we did our reservation online a week before. Below is a picture of Glenda on the reservation line as some street musicians entertain us by the sidewalk.

Here are some pictures from the museum including the sculptures – David and ‘Sabine Woman’ .

The museum’s gift shop was pretty good. And just 10 minutes walk from the Academia Gallery takes us to the historic city center. More on that in the next blog! Below is the highlight video of our visit to this world famous museum. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel or add the Tuscany Playlist in your favorites to view all the videos from tbis region.

Academia Gallery in Florence

A Journey to Calicoan Islands, Eastern Samar, Philippines

A video blog of our trip to Calicoan island in the Philippines

In the winter of 2012 we set out on an exciting journey to the Philippines. We explored 3 key regions – from Manila we explored Luzon, from Cebu City we explored Visayas and from Giuian we explored Eastern Samar. The following video blog is about our trip from Guiuan through Calicoan island and eventually to Sulangan, the tip of Eastern Samar by the Pacific Ocean.

This part of Samar islands still has remnants of American and Japanese military bases from World War II. The Spanish history is evident from historic churches. And the journey on a motorized tricycle on a rural coastal road is a treat in itself! Hope y’all enjoy the video!

Australian Cuisine – Hearty and delicious

A culinary journey through Australia

Australia is a large country with diverse population and culture spread over multiple timezones. Naturally this diversity is reflected in the regional cuisine. We had the good fortune of experiencing such variety of meals during our trip to New South Wales, South Australia and Kangaroo island. A collection of pics below tells the story of our culinary journey down under!

A taste of Rural Australia

Strathalbyn is a town in South Australia by the Angus river. The large cattle herds and farmlands around the town are made world famous with the Angus beef brand! We were able to enjoy shopping at the local stores and preparing some home cooked delicious meals during our stay, courtesy of my cousin, Nabi.

Brunch – Australian Style!

The river port town of Goolwa has the 19th century feel of old rural Australia. We had brunch at a restaurant downtown famous for its variety of meat Pies.

Hearty lunch at Kangaroo island

Kangaroo island is Australia’s 3rd largest island, famous for its wildlife and national park with amazing scenic views and world famous trails. The island is only accessible by ferry which we embarked on after driving to Port Jarvis. An early breakfast of coffee and muffin kept us warm in the cold windy weather until some much welcomed sunshine greeted us when we started the island tour. In between watching seals and kangaroos and marvelling at the magnificent rocks, we had a hearty meal of beef sausage, pasta salad and chicken at a restaurant near the koala sanctuary.

Tasty treat in Darling Harbor

Back in Sydney after a 2-hour flight from Adelaide, we explored Darling harbour. The mall by the harbor had a great gelato shop!

Dinner and view at Sydney Eye

For dinner we visited the revolving restaurant at Sydney tower. In addition to great food, it gives us a 360 view of the city at night!

The cultural explosion of Sydney

In Sydney, we stayed at the Best Western in Haven Glabe. A great location with a variety of restaurants serving Asian, European and American cuisine right across the street. Here we tried out a special style burrito at a European restaurant!

Cruising – Costa Favolosa in The Mediterranean Part II

Cruise from Spain to Italy

This blog is the sequel to our Western Mediterranean trip in the Spring of 2015. Our itinerary took us from Barcelona to Marseilles, then eastward by the Riviera coast into Savona, Italy.

The below video clip details the second part of our journey. After Marseilles, we travelled to Savona, Italy and took a train ride to Genoa before heading back to Barcelona.

Cruising – Costa Favolosa in The Mediterranean

Our European cruise in Mediterranean

Costa Favolosa is a cruise ship based on the Concordia class design and owned by Costa Cruise line (A subsidiary of Carnival Cruise). The ship was built in Genoa, Italy and launched in 2010.

We travelled Western Mediterranean on the ship in the Spring of 2015. Our itinerary took us from Barcelona to Marseilles, then eastward by the Riviera coast into Savona, Italy.

The below video clip details the first part of our journey. Highlights include exploration of the beautiful interior, an amazing evening entertainment show and a memorable dinner.

Check out my related blog on Cruising for the conclusion of this trip. Enjoy!

Rheinfelden, Switzerland – Serene and Picturesque

A video blog of our stay by the river Rhine

Rheinfelden is a small picturesque town in Switzerland bordering Germany. The name means the fields of the Rhine river. It is home to Feldschlösschen, the most popular beer in Switzerland.

The video clip below are highlights of our weekend stay at the town one summer.

The town is across the river from Rheinfelden in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The two towns are joined by a bridge over the river. They were politically separated when Napoleon Bonaparte fixed the German–Swiss border on the Rhine in 1802 and are still socially and economically tied.