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The long way home After 3 years in the UK we're off back home to NZ, but not before attempting to rid ourselves of the dreaded travel lurgy.

Ciao Europe!

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 6 December 2007 | Views [1033] | Comments [3]

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre

It’s been a while since the last update and the 4 month trip around Europe has sadly come to an end. Since last time we have spent another week in Spain, France and finally 3 weeks in Italy.

Our stint in Spain was really tiring, the long train journeys and train strikes were beginning to take their toll and even the tapas and sangria wasn’t making it better. We saw some awesome sights along the way, the aquaduct in Segovia, super-modern Valencia and Granada’s Alhambra. Hanging out with the Spaniards for the final Formula 1 GP and watching them go through the full spectrum of emotions was quite memorable.

Entering France again was nice (no pun intended.) We spent a few days chilling in Nice enjoying the good weather and did a daytrip to Monaco. I don’t think I’ve seen that many Ferraris ever (although spotting a black 360 with chrome spinners and bling bodykit proves money doesn’t buy taste.) I was dragged around Monaco to follow the Grand Prix circuit…yes ladies, it was exciting as it sounds!

With the realisation that flights around xmas are freakin expensive the decision was made to finish Europe a bit early...so a reality check that the end is near and cue a frantic few weeks…

The last country in Europe was Italy. It really does have everything the history, architecture, culture and pizza!! not to mention the fantastically stylish Italians! It all started at Lake Maggiore which was pretty and strangely absent of tourists. We hired bikes and went riding around. Had a nice picnic and bottle of wine, which probably wasn’t the best idea when we had to ride back on the roads with the nutter Italian drivers. One thing is for sure they’re natural swervers!

Next was Verona and I had all these expectations (you know Romeo and Juliet) but was a bit disappointed that the ‘Juliets fake balcony’ was just sprawled with graffiti with every tom dick and harry declaring their love for somebody or rather.

After yet another train strike and 10 hour commute we arrived in the awe-inspiring Dolomites for some hiking in the great outdoors…well we would of except that it was – 3 degrees, snowing like mental (about as much as the night we got stranded on Mt Ruapehu for those that remember…) and we couldn’t actually see the Dolomites. Making the best of the situation we walked around San Candido with the odd impromptu snowfight thrown in.

As the Italians would say Venice is bella bella! (with hands flapping wildly) I think cos it’s so different from what we have seen before. Just walking around and getting lost in all the little streets was a tourist attraction in its own right. It’s bizarre not having any cars and catching boats around instead. A place we’re definitely coming back to.

Florence was just a nice place to be. We joined a walking tour with the highlights being Michalangelo’s David, Uffizi gallery and the yummy Tuscan food.

It was good to get out and about on the Cinque Terre which is five quaint little seaside villages with a scenic coastal path between them. We took a whole day to walk from the first village to the last but as we happened to be in the middle of pizza and wine country it inevitably ended up being a very scenic pub crawl! Thankfully we didn’t have to walk back again and trained it back home…

Naples and no doubt the pizza is the best we’ve ever tasted, by a long way! We were so overcome by our culinary euphoria that we even committed the unforgivable crime of…photographing the pizzas. Naples is strange, really run down, more than a bit gangsta but a great vibe and hiding amongst the tagging were some of the best little churches and artworks we’ve seen.

Next stop the Amalfi coast and probably the best piece of shoreline scenery yet. We arrived in Positano around lunchtime looking for somewhere to dump the bags and must have looked a bit confused when one of the locals asks what we’re after. We reply:

“We’re looking for tourist information”

“Tourist information?!?! I’m tourist information!”

True to his word he was in the know and hooked us up with one of his buddies in pretty much the best place with the best view on the coast, cheap AND they did our laundry, sweet!

Cliche I know..but all roads lead to Rome. This was the last stop for our Europe travels. I had already been there but it was cool showing Vien around.

So Europe is over. We’re both a bit gutted to leave this part of the world where we’ve spent the last 4 years and are wondering when we’ll be back. It’s strange that our life in the UK is officially ending. We’ve seen some amazing sights, learning the whole time, eaten good (and bad) food, been absolutely knackered (tired that is), its just been an experience.

We’re in Cardiff now at my brothers’ place and it’s good to get some R&R.

Sharan’s brother here - Since picking them up from the Airport, Sharan and Vien have truly utilised their break in travelling, having successfully being able to muster the energy to go to between bedroom, kitchen and lounge (with the occasional need for a toilet break). Obviously the hours of walking about they have spoken about have had an everlasting affect on them……….

Next stop Bangkok on Sat, but right now it’s time for another cuppa….

Tags: Relaxation



That tour of the grand prix circuit would have been mean as oi........lol

  Jean-murray Dec 6, 2007 1:18 PM


Secret-Santa will miss you this year S.....but it looks as though you're in a much better place(s)....Bon Voyage for the rest of the trip....

  Pete Davies Dec 6, 2007 7:49 PM


What fabulous times you are having ... it makes me want to get back out travelling again big time! Only thing is, I reckon I would break a hip now. (Getting on a bit)
But hey will be in Antigua and Barbuda in March so maybe that will kick start me back on the trail.

Glad you are enjoying some UK weather ...grotty,can't wait to hear about the next phase. And rememember, when it Bangkok ... don't. I HEAR IT IS QUITE PAINFUL.

  Sharon Dec 6, 2007 9:45 PM

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