Thursday, May 31, 2012


After leaving Venice we headed, again in the rain, through northern Italy past Lake Como.

It looked so serene and peaceful.  

A few miles out we stopped for lunch and I thought these hats would be the perfect gift

if I knew anyone named Guido or Jurg!

The ride to Luzern was spectacular.

We went through the St. Gottard tunnel, which is 17 kilometers and the longest in the world. 
When we exited on the other side of the mountain the skies were clearing!

 When we arrived in Luzern our first stop was to see the Lion Monument and learn the story behind it.

Our tour guide, Lorenzo, gave a wonderful talk which I recorded on the following clip.
(hope this works!)

We then went to our hotel, the Hotel Astoria, which was centrally located
and a short walk to everything.

This is the lobby.
 Very minimalistic!

The rooftop lounge was exceptional.
 All glass and views!

After a quick shower we were off for a cruise of Lake Luzern!
Trish, Barb, me & Sandra
Carl, Roy & Bill
Bill frequently hid behind a camera lens.

Ann & Rosa

 We all had a great time taking pictures and enjoying the views.

 The scenery was spectacular!

Luzern is a beautiful city

We headed out for a group dinner
and show at the Stadtkeller.

Roy learned to play a new musical instrument

 and Bill learned how to yodel.

We danced the night away and thoroughly enjoyed the evening,
then headed back to our hotel over the covered bridge.

Tomorrow we're going to the top of Mt. Pilatus!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Verona & Venice Italy

I never imagined Verona the way it is.

 Who knew there was a Colosseum!

 There were large open areas
 narrowing into small, crowded streets.

And as for the famous balcony...
trying to see it resembled a mob scene!
This is my very poor photo of it.  See the girl in the corner of the balcony?
Think I'll stick with Shakespeare and my imagination.  It is much better than reality.

So after that fiasco we went in search of the Castle
And found it!

 That's not disappointment.  It was starting to rain and he hates getting wet.
Quite lovely, sitting on the bank of the river.
We would have liked to explore more, but the rain was getting heavy and we didn't bring our jackets.

So off to Venice!!!

 on the boat with Denny, Alathia, Barb, & Roy

We stayed in the Hotel Bellini
in a small room with lovely Murano glass fixtures.

 Sandra and Carl were next door
 and Denny was just down the hall.

And you can't be in Venice without taking a gondola ride

 with the sun shining

and lots of friends

We found a wonderful restaurant just down the street
called Ristorante Pedrocchi

 and had both lunch and dinner there.  It's in the courtyard by the entrance to St. Lucia.
I had the best Margarita Pizza ever! Everything is fresh, not frozen. When we went back for dinner we had a three course dinner for 15 euros which is quite a bargain.

Venice is a beautiful place to explore.

 And the evening just adds more charm.

 We enjoyed a violin performance at St. Marks Square and sipped our Bellini's (the official drink)
 and before we knew it, our time in Venice was over.

The next stop, Luzern, Switzerland.