ITALY

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It has been two countries ago since my last post. After helping the kids with their work and then spending the time needed to plan the next adventure, I am done with the media. Travelling takes effort, too much time spent online planning, and when there is down time, I don’t have much energy to get blogging myself. My kids blogs are far more interesting anyhow. They now involve super heroes and evil Doctors

We are presently on a train north of Athens on our way to Meteora. A place where we can hopefully hike and soak up a little nature after being in the cobbled stoned cities for 2 weeks. Chamonix was a long time ago and we are all needing some country fresh air. We also hope to get a little break from travelling and one another. Being together 24/7 takes in toll and we are all feeling it.

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Boys want one of these lifted for off road.

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The kids are getting along well. Playgrounds are scarce so when the bear cub playing gets a little out of hand we have them drop and do 20 push ups or planks for as long as they can hold. Despite all the walking we do everyday, they have lots of energy to expel. If there is some space to run, we let them do so. They are doing parkour off all the buildings and many barriers that exist throughout Europe. The only place we did not let them do so was Venice. Due to the fear Venice may crumble and sink.

Shea had his first sad point and was missing home and his friends. I knew this would come. As it does in wisps for me as well. I take comfort in the smell of fall as I purposefully walk through any pile of colourful fallen leaves. FaceTiming with some family and friends back home helps Shea shake his travel blues.

We spent 10 days in Italy. A varied country with much beauty. We met many friendly Italians but sad to say, a few who took a little more warming up to as well. Perhaps it is because of the intense number of tourists here in Italy. Much more than any where else we have been. Many of them not so considerate themselves.

Both Gene and I agree that the Golden Age of travel was 20 years ago. Before internet made the world smaller, a time when fewer people were travelling, and there was no danger of getting rammed with a blasted selfie stick.

Again I am very happy to be travelling in the side season. Summer would be too intense and lines far too long. The weather has been very pleasant, despite it being winter.

Venice truly is a world wonder. What a foolish place to build a city but the results are dazzling and awe inspiring. You can however, see the results of time that have eroded the foundations of this incredible city. Cracks that creep up it walls and the ever present lean of many of its buildings. During high tide the squares actually flood. They have provided raised platforms to maintain dry feet. Global warming adds another element to the inescapable sinking of Venice. There is a heroic effort occurring to keep it afloat, which is admiring in itself.

 

 

 

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Florence was beautiful and the history in arts enjoyable. But I have to say the number of scooter and motorbikes that race through its streets made for not such a pleasant experience. They could do much better if they made their narrow main streets pedestrian only. Seriously was afraid for our lives on many occasions. The Italians are nuts when it comes to anything motorized.

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Rome was filthy. Garbage everywhere and graffiti on anything that is stationary for more than 5 seconds. Thankfully the Roman history here is nothing less than incredible, making up for Rome’s lesser attributes.

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No selfie sticks used here

We can feel a slight shift as we move south and east. Getting tickets for even the metro is slightly a little more difficult. More people smoking in public places, having to be more careful about what water we consume, and fewer public washrooms; let alone clean ones.

A slow transition that will hopefully have us prepared for India in less than two weeks.

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