Saturday, October 26, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
We boarded in Milan at 11 PM and should arrive in Paris at 9:30 AM. The cabins are like being on the boat. Our two cabins are joined by a connecting door and we have 3 births in each cabin. Spencer and Johnny could of joined us and it would be really cozy. The only down side is someone had lots of veggies for dinner and they keep fumigating our tight quarters.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Arrived in Milan this morning as the glass show opened. Ron and I will spend the next two days at the show with employees and customers. The girls will have some time to rest and catch up on homework (Victoria). This is our FeneTech booth shortly after the show began.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Today the weather was pleasant as we walked around this Tuscan hill town. The whole town was picturesque and very mideviel. The Italian cookies and pizza consumed at the local shops were delightful. We were going to visit a local winery, but ran out of time. Not a single drop of rain today!
Monday, October 21, 2013
The forecast today was thunderstorms and they arrived in force. We drove to Sienna in rain and then walked (swam?) around for a few hours in torrential rain. Soaked to the bones, the most enjoyable time was sipping hot chocolate in a cafe. I was concerned about flooding and our ability to get back to Florence, so we cut our day short and returned. Water was everywhere and the Arno River was roaring. Oh well, maybe the weather will be better tomorrow.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Today we went to the Cinque Terre, which is 5 small towns on the Ligurian coast. We took a train from La Spezia to Monterosso and then hiked two hours to Vernazza. The hike was beautiful and rigorous as we weaved among vineyards and olive groves tiered on the steep slopes. The intent was to see all five towns today. However, it began raining and the trails became treacherous. We will just have to come back to see the other three towns.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
The last time we were in Florence we saw all the recommended art museums and got an A in culture appreciation. This time we followed our engineering instincts and visited the Galileo Science Museum.... It was full of intriguing scientific devices and was more interesting than paintings and sculptures.... Galileo even had his middle finger on display (also his index finger, thumb, and a tooth).
Friday, October 18, 2013
What a bonus, the change in our travel plans now allows us to see Switzerland and the Alps! We went through the longest tunnel I have ever experienced. It was 17 km (10 miles) long and there was 3,000 meters of mountain above us. The temperature rose from 18C outside of the tunnel to 35C halfway through the tunnel. The air was pugnant with exhaust fumes.
Well it's worse than we thought.... The entire Italian transportation system has stopped. All trains, planes, busses, and boats are idle until further notice. Private vehicle is the only way to get around now. Maurice, our driver, is also our tour guide as we speed through the Alsace region of France.
Well at least in Luxembourg where she can have a beer at age 16. Victoria is enjoying her first beer in a bar (at least I think it is..... right Victoria??). The beer was Diechstein, one of three beers brewed in Luxembourg. She must of liked it, because it went down fast.
This morning after a very scenic hike of the valleys of Luxembourg, we were informed that the workers at the Milan airport had just gone on strike. We had plans to take a plane from Luxembourg to Milan and a train from Milan to Florence. Well that sure wasn't going to happen anymore! After great assistance from our friends at Fenetech Europe, we were able to find a mini bus and driver willing to drive the 10 hours to Florence. We will be traveling through Switzerland on the way! Maybe we can find some chocolate or stop for a ski break on the way through the alps...
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
One month ago we reserved our lift tickets for the ascent. Fortunately, the weather cleared for a spectacular view of the city. Our lift did experience an "energizer failure" which induced passenger anxiety. After a thermal or circuit reset, we sputtered upward and my confidence in French engineering was restored.
After spending time with tens of thousands of the dead in the Catacombs...... We conquered the subway and enjoyed time with the living beneath Paris. However, it wasn't without mishap, as the jaws of death (subway car doors) nearly sent Tammy to the Catacombs.
Thought we'd press our luck and grab some tickets to climb the famous triumphant arch regardless of the fact that the lift was broken. After about 10 miles of walking already completed that day, climbing the what seemed like infinate loop of stairs ended up being quite the challenge. But boy, the view was worth it!