Lake Lugano

We used Lugano as our base for four days to explore the surrounding areas.  The city itself is a banking city and it is lively during the day and very quiet once the work hours are done.  This has made it a little hard to find dinner sometimes.  There was one pasta place that we really wanted to try but we weren’t here around lunch time and it always closed by 5:30 so we never made it there in time.  Since Lugano is a little bigger than other cities we have stayed in, we were able to branch out and have other cuisines besides Italian food lunch or dinner.

We spent one day walking a long the lake for an hour and half to a very cute little village on the lake.  It was a nice hike but it was very hot on the trail.  I was happy to take a boat back.   I’m sure we saw more of the surrounding areas than the city itself but I like exploring the trails and smaller towns.

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Bolzano, Italy

We drove 2 hours from Kufstein, Austria to Bolzano, Italy.  After paying a couple of tolls, passing at least 50 semi trucks and sitting in road construction for a half an hour, we made it to Italy.  The weather was warm when we left Kufstein and was nice for a couple of hours in Bolzano but then the rain, thunder and lightning arrived.  We just spent time before the weather hit walking around the town and found a place to eat after it cleared up.

I will take pictures of the town tomorrow when we walk around but here is a quick video I took on my phone today.

Made it to Kufstein

After landing in Munich, we picked up our Opel car and headed south towards Kufstein, Austria.  We were using Kufstein as an easy town off the highway to stay for one night.   After the long flight, I don’t like driving very far the same day because I don’t sleep on planes.  The hotel would have been very easy to get to from the highway if there wasn’t construction. So we had to drive around a little to figure out how to make our own detour.  I don’t mind driving in Europe but driving in the center of towns is sometimes confusing because you have to know when cars are allowed on some streets.  We did eventually make it there with no problems.

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I was lucky enough to have a window seat on the way to Iceland, so I took some pictures of Greenland and our arrival to Iceland.  Their landscapes are so different than any other country that I have seen.

En route to Südtirol

A new year brings new adventures.  I’m writing this somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Although we will be stopping in some familiar places, the majority of the trip will be in Northern Italy.  I’m really looking forward to seeing new sights, amazing food and learning about a new culture.

We will land in Munich in about 9 hours after changing planes in Iceland.  I’m sure liking the direct flight from Portland to Iceland.  Pretty nice to get to Europe in 7 hours.  From Munich we will drive south with a short stop in Kuftstein to get some rest before driving the rest of the way to Bolzano.  From there we will head to Riva del Garda on Lake Garda.  Then we will head west towards Lugano which is actually located in Switzerland but the lake is on the border of Italy and Switzerland.

I’m thinking I will have plenty of pizza, chocolate and gelato on this trip.

I’m looking forward to taking pictures again.  I basically only get my camera out once a year now so I’m always a little rusty remembering how to work it.

I was going to try to post a map of the trip but the internet is pretty slow.

Reykjavik, Iceland

My original plan was to finish the blog on the plane but since we had an older plane, I wasn’t able to connect to WiFi. I’m finally posting some pictures of Reykjavik which was a really fun cute town. We spent 4 nights there and I thought the people and city were great. We had great food there and the city was just really easy to see. It is a perfect place to stop on the way home from Europe because of the direct flights offered from Reykjavik to North America.

We were lucky to be there to see Iceland play France in soccer. Iceland wasn’t expected to make it out of the group stage of Euro but they just kept winning. Their luck ran out against France but the country was so proud. We enjoyed watching the game at the viewing party and learning the Iceland chants. They were so easy that even I could manage to participate.

Reykjavik really reminds me of the Oregon coast. The weather changes every five minutes and it has a small town charm. I would highly recommend Iceland because it is just so different than any place I have been.

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Vienna at night

We flew from Slovenia to Vienna, Austria.  The flight was  on a little airplane with about 12 rows.  It was surprising how smooth the flight was considering we had to fly over the mountains, and it was stormy.  On our way into Vienna I thought I saw lightning and shortly after our little plane hit some turbulence that made our plane go back and forth.  Looked like our wings were trying to wave.  I haven’t experienced turbulence where it feels like our plane is going to sideways.

We made our way to our hotel in the middle of Vienna.  We headed out right away to try to find dinner since it was already 8:00 PM.  The place we wanted to eat had at least an hour wait so we decided to get a sausage from a good stand nearby.  We then walked around for awhile and I tried taking some photos at night.  I took some photos of some cakes, city hall and Stephansdom.  It was a good start to my favorite city.

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