Europe: Spain, France, Italy, and Ireland
We (Brian and I) visited a new city every three days. We went to museums, cathedrals, basilicas, and ate at every type of restaurant we could find. We flew to Madrid from LA, then flew to Paris, flew to Venice, took the train from Venice to Florence and lastly to Rome. Our flight back from Rome to LA was a very long one, but it all worked out and we are ready to put our wings back on and head back to Florence to explore a little more..
|Spain - Cities||Venice, Italy||Rome, Italy|
|Madrid||Murano||Castel Sant Angelo|
|Covarrubias||Giardini Public Park||Plaza Navona|
|Florence, Italy||Spanish Steps|
|Eiffel Tower||Santa Maria del Fiore||St. Peter's Basilica|
|Montmarte||Tuscany Motorcycle Rentals||Vatican|
|Notre Dame||Ristorante La Spada||Coloseum|
|Pere Lechaise Cemetery||Uffizi/Vecchio Museums||In Vincoli|
|Louvre||Pisa, Italy||San Giovanni in Laterano|
|Versailles||Tomb of the Unk Soldier|
|Seine River Cruise||Walking around in Rome|
Florence Just Arriving
Pisa on Motorcycle
Castel Sant Angelo
St Peters Basilica Vatican
Unknown Soldier Tomb
Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps
Walking in Rome
Madrid, Spain: Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million, which is about 1/2 of the entire population of Spain. The culture is hot, and the people are unbelievably courteous, nice and kind. The metro is super clean and the buses are family friendly and clean.
Places visited: The Prado Museum, Puerta de Alcala, Plaza Cibeles, San Jeronimo de Real, Plaza Mayor, La Torre de Oro Bar, The Royal Palace, and Corral de la MoreriaMadrid, Spain: The Prado Museum, Puerta de Alcala, Plaza Cibeles, San Jeronimo de Real, Plaza Mayor, La Torre de Oro Bar, The Royal Palace, and Corral de la Moreria
Covarrubias, Spain: One of the hi-lights of our trip to Madrid, was driving to the 14th Century Village of Covarrubias. Built in the province of Burgos in the community of Castile and León. It has 640 inhabitants and is situated in the valley of the river Arlanza, which is extensively wooded with Spanish Juniper. Covarrubias features picturesque vernacular buildings in a natural setting that attracts tourists from all over the world.. Covarrubias and Tønsberg in Norway have entered a friendship agreement as the result of a medieval connection with Christina of Norway, Infanta of Castile. A church honouring Saint Olaf II of Norway was built in the 14th century. One of the first areas to be reconquered from the Moors in the late ninth century.
Paris, France is a bustling city with more tourists than I have ever seen in California. The city is very diverse and there are so many languages spoken here, that I had no trouble getting around speaking Spanish and English. My favorite museum in the world is here; The Louvre, which has endless pieces of art and sculpture.
Places visited: Eiffel Tower, Montmarte, Notre Dame, Pere Lechaise Cemetery where Jim Morrison is buried, The Louvre, Palace of Versailles and we enjoyed a Seine River Cruise! Favorite place to eat was L'AS DU FALLAFEL located at 34 Rue des Rosiers, 75004 Paris, France. Our Hôtel Jacques de Molay located at 94 Rue des Archives 75003 Paris, France 01 42 72 68 22 was fantastic and we had the largest bath tub we have ever seen, which is what we needed after walking around so much (thanks Camille for telling us about the hotel).
Venice, Italy - Hot, Hot, Hot!!! I have never experienced so much heat in Europe before, but the humidity is really what killed us here. It was stifling, however, we managed to get through the three days that we stayed here. I highly recommend visiting Giardini Public Park for a getaway from the crowds. It's a great place to eat lunch and gaze at the pontes and ocean.
Places Visited: Although Venice is beautiful and scenic as ever, Murano was the place to be. We went to Murano and it was fantastic! Murano is the island where glass art is created. I bought a gorgeous necklace and a pair of earrings here. We were able to sneak into a glass making demonstration with another tour. Afterwards, we went behind the glass shop on the water and found sea glass on the shore. We picked up as much as we could and brought it home! I think the locals dump their glass remnants into the ocean.
Florence, Italy - This was my favorite city in Italy! We should have spent six days here instead of going to Venice. We arrived in Florence and headed to the Duomo then rented a BMW motorcycle. We rode from Florence to Pisa and almost got run over by a speeder while we were going 180 km per hour! People drive very fast in Italy, so watch out and move over to the slow lane. The countryside is defintely beautiful and I for sure want to return to some day.
Rome, or as the Romans say, "Roma" was truly a learning experience. I was so proud to be Catholic here because the city boasts more Catholic Churches, basilicas, cathedrals and shrines than any other city in Europe. We went to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. We saw St. Peter's tomb, which is located underneath the basilica and learned so much about Christianity, art history and saints. Honestly, you don't have to be a Christian or Catholic to love this city. You just have to love HISTORY!
Places visited: Castel Sant Angelo, The Pantheon, The Coloseum, San Giovanni in Laterano, San Peitro Basilica, The Spanish Steps, The Vatican, and Sisten Chapel. We even saw a movie getting filmed. Our favorite place for wine and taking a break was Plaza Navona, where you will find a huge selection of places sit and drink water, wine and have some cheese, bruschetta, or whatever else you may like. We found that Romans were so kind, courteous and helpful to us whenever we asked for directions!