Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Don’t Tell Mom Summer Europe Trip 2019 | #shesaidyes #timetoplan

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Time to plan.  She said yes.  She has said no to Europe in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

I’ve lost deposits on things when she said caved in 2016 and 2017 with a simple trip to Lisbon.  That didn’t work… so we were listed as a “no show” in 2017 at a pretty wicked Waterpark in Germany that has been on our bucket-list.  Who would not want to sleep over inside a Waterpark!!

Will this summer be different and it all happens?  Will we finally fly to Europe from Canada and visit some neat cities & Tropical Islands just south of Berlin?

(below: Chantal asking since she never replied to my email asking…)

(Above: Chantal telling me it’s a go!  Karen also emailed me the next day with a “Yes”.)

So time to plan.  I work at Lufthansa, and that provides me and the kids with flight benefits.  There is so many great websites and apps for your phone to help you plan a trip to get away.  All our trip information is going into Evernote now that my Daughter also has access to.

 

Time to use Evernote, Google Earth, Trip Advisor, Couchsurfing, Hostelworld and see what our options are.  I have 16 days to plan out since the kids are at a cottage till the evening of July 28th.  We are using Google Sheets to track and plan how much money we need.  We are creating a google cal that will track some of the basics of the general timelines to show the kids the blocks of time.

I really wish the Canadian dollar was strong against the Euro.

When you start to look at the logistics on how to travel to hop from city to city… it’s kind of nuts and also equally hard to plan out.

Here are the basic details of the trip:

Right now, we have decided to fly Air Canada into Prague in the Czech Republic since it’s a little east of Munich and South of Berlin.  We are flying standby so if we don’t fit on Air Canada Monday night, we will have a backup ticket towards Munich, Germany so we can easily catch up and get to Prague.

AC1922 departs Toronto (YYZ) at 4:50pm on July 29th and arrives next day into Prague (PRG) at 6:55AM on July 30th.  We will have two full days in Prague before moving north.

After the two days in Prague we will get on a Train and head north to Krausnick, Germany that is about a hour south of Berlin.  We will be staying inside Tropical Islands Theme Park in a little tent.  We will have access to the water park for a crazy amount of time so I’m sure we will be pale Canadian prunes by the end of it.

After checking out of the park we will jump on a train north to Berlin Germany… where the next day we will have a full day exploring the really interesting city.

The next morning we will make our way to the airport and jump on Lufthansa to zip southwest to Lisbon Portugal by the ocean for four days.  The city of 7 hills and we can get lost in the streets of Lisbon and also hop on a train and hit two beaches along the coast.  Will update this blog post soon with more information since we are looking at places to explore to roughly block off some time to do and explore.

After Portugal, it’s on a plane North East towards Zurich and into the mountains of Switzerland and Austria as we make our way back to Prague.  TAP Portugal will fly us to Zurich since it’s a gateway into the Alps.  This will be a short stay and we will have the second part of the day to taste some food and hopefully jump into the river for a swim and a late night to try and see a bit of the city before bed.

The next morning it’s on a train through the mountains to Innsbruck to spend 3 days in this small city in the valley of the mountains.  The reason we wanted to go here is the huge steep mountain coasters and do some hiking in the mountains with the help of the gondola to get up there.  😉  Below is two of the rides that we hopefully not hit the breaks on.

After the the days of going hard… it’s rest day on a train as we travel from Innsbruck to Vienna to stop for lunch for a couple of hours before getting on another train to hop back to Prague for a last night of spending any money we have left on some food we can’t spell.  I’m sure I will be editing videos on the train.

The next day it’s off to the Airport in Prague to hop on a plane and fly back with Air Canada back to Toronto where we will be back in the same day and the kids should be home by about 8pm local time and off to bed to sleep for 4 days.

 

More info to follow.  Please don’t share with the Mom if you know her.

 

The Trip | The Details | Moving Over Into Italy Before Flying Home

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

On the last night of the conference after it wrapped up and peeps traveled back to Cape
Town, Manilla and other parts of Europe… the my fellow Canadian peeps stayed at hotel just south of Seeheim and we all took the 35min train north and into Frankfurt for a group dinner and a little bit of shopping.  Thursday morning we all departed and most people went back to Canada.  I decided to use my weekend and 3 vacation days to zip over to Italy since this summer I plan to return with the kids.  A work peep who was heading to Italy too joined me on the flight to Naples.  We took a taxi to the Frankfurt airport to catch our flight.  I only brought a small backpack for this trip and I stored my Lufthansa Weekender Bag at the Airport with my work clothes for 8 euros a day to pack light.

Flying into Naples felt like flying into Mexico looking at all the houses built up and packed close together.  Palm trees when you walk out of the airport to grab a easy bus downtown to get to the main train station to grab a subway to my hostel I picked up on Hostelworld for $30CAD which was lovely.

My hostel was a 100 meter walk from Salvator Rosa subway station.  My hostel was La Controra.  After checking in walked down to the old part of the city to walk around and soak in the city a little and grab a bite to eat.  Along the way I stumbled into a great little italian pastry shop and picked up a selection of treats to try.  So yummy!  In the skinny streets packed with tourists and locals it’s neat how you can hear the vibrancy of the city.  I love just soaking it all in and my eyes are just always moving watching people with the hustle of the mopeds flying around with 2 people zig-zagging around.   They say you have to have pizza in Naples since that’s where it was born… so found a little place and ordered two little ones to enjoy.  After that headed back to the Hostel and had some beers with some people staying there.  The next day… I would take a train heading to the Amalfi Coast and my work peep friend would make her way to Rome.

The next morning it was back to Garibaldi Station to take a train to the Amalfi Coast.  Jump to the next post for that…

The Trip | Off To Visit The Amalfi Coast in Italy

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

After taking a train from Naples to Salerno, Italy which was a high speed 32min ride… I took some money out of the bank machine from the national bank since that gives you a fair rate… it was off to find the Sita Bus for 2 euros that would take me along the coast to Atraini where I was staying three nights at a Hostel for about 50CAD per night.  Above and the two collages below is Atrani and the little village where I stayed and enjoyed breakfast each morning.   After Easter the waves of tourists come and the beaches are lined with little umbrellas.  It was pretty quiet at this time of the year and the weather was pleasant.  I didn’t bring a jacket on the trip and just used my reversible Tommy Bahamas sweater.  Kinda neat to have one sweater in two colours 😉

Walking along the side of the road as cars zip past you was interesting since the roads are so narrow.  Walking to the town of Amalfi from Atrani is under 10min but you find yourself stopping and looking at the water and the hills rolling along the coastline.  Amalfi is where you would take another Sita Bus to Positano and the small towns along the way for 2.40 euro’s.  I loved the bus rides as you look at all the little houses and hotels stuck on the side of cliffs wondering if they ever will fall down and into the sea.  I’m sure they have been there for about a 100 years and will continue to do so for another 100.

As soon as you get off the bus you are just looking at all the little houses sitting on top of each other in the distance and everyone is snapping photos on their phone.  3 minutes getting off the bus I see some tables across the street from a little bar/restaurant.  Why not sit and have a coffee and get something to nibble on and shoot some time-lapses and just listen to the “quiet” of waves and birds in the background playing in the wind as they float over the beach in the last rays of sunshine for the day.  The sun will be setting soon.

I didn’t venture down to the beach.  I will save that for tomorrow.  When I walked into Amalfi the bus was going to leave and there was spots along the water side… so I thought I would sneak into Positano a day early.  So I walked around the top part and took the bus back to then really visit the town of Amalfi.

When I ventured back to Positano… I had to find my way down to the beach and just walked anything going down.  Every 40 feet you stop to look at the houses on the cliffside and there are lots of little shops to venture in and look.  At the bottom along the water there are more shops and seaside patios to busy restaurants.  I can’t imagine the amount of people there would be in the summer.

Town of Amalfi at night below.  Always people around and it was nice to wander around and snack on little things before walking back to Atrani along the road between the two towns.

Checked out of my Hostel and took a early Sita bus back to Salerno where I would take a hour train to Naples to fly out.  Since there is one flight at 11am from Naples to Frankfurt… I was scared and I decided to use NAP to Munich at 1pm and then the small 1 hour flight MUC FRA.  We have 3 flights a day from NAP to Munich so there was another plane at 5ish as a backup.  When I was at the conference I purchased tickets to fly to Italy and back to Frankfurt for next to nothing on my discount which is sweet.

Flight to Frankfurt to Munich had a curved wing that you just stare at as you float in the air.  I was sitting alone in the back with the flight attendants.  Nobody sitting with me or on the other side which was nice.  One flight attendant was so sweet.  I kept looking at her.  I stayed and talked to her after we landed and she told me she went to Halifax to look for houses to retire.  Small world to think why would someone from Germany who goes everywhere think of Halifax.  When we landed there was a plane with retro livery which was sweet.  After getting off the plane it was a quick 3 stops on the train to the main train station downtown to check into my Hostel that is such a great place for crashing.  I would fly out the next day with LH.  (but I didn’t… since my space on LH was removed somehow and I was booked on Air Canada at 5pm so I had the next day to take in Frankfurt a little more.

Love maps where people put where they came from.  The Hostel has a little bar and I had a bottle of red before retiring for the night.  Beside it was a little poutine place so I had some pommies.  The next day was a food truck festival outside the hostel so I had a little sample of that.  They even had a wine truck as you can see below bottom left.

 

 

OSE (One Second Everyday) The Return | The Trip | Video

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

I started to make videos again.  Below is all the videos from the trip I just got back from.

The 8 films are a total of 45 minutes of viewing.

I will make a blog post and post photos from the trip.  I had difficulty flying out and you see that in the first two videos.  If you click the link below they will all play in a row.  You can skip over videos also.  Don’t laugh at them…. they are cheesy and I made them using my iPhone and using iMovie inside my phone to edit and publish them to Facebook and YouTube while traveling.</p

You can open the menu in YouTube and go to any selected video to view.

Work Trip | The Plans

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

March 10th is the start of a Conference held in Seeheim, Germany, and 15 of us are representing Lufthansa YPQ and heading over to Germany for the 3 day conference.  With March Break also starting the planes are pretty full with vacation travelers, so leaving on the Friday is tight.  So going early will help and also allow some time to get used to the “jet-lag” and allow to explore Germany a little before traveling to Seeheim.  I’ve decided to leave on Wednesday March 6th.  Currently,  work has me booked on two flights on the outbound just in case.  LH471 YYZ – FRA on the Boeing 747-400 which is a 7hr, 35min flight has me wait-listed at the moment which I hope will clear.  I’ve never been on the “Queen Of The Sky” since the last time leaving Toronto was to Munich on our Airbus 340.  This Boeing 474-400  holds 67 pax in business, 32 in premium economy and 272 in economy.   Duty travel for work has a higher priority than staff-standby for personal trips.  Hey… all I need is one spot for me in a window seat and a cold beer sitting on a flight beside Rachel McAdams.  Right now I’m confirmed on Austrian Airlines which Lufthansa owns departing YYZ towards Vienna, Austria (VIE) on OS072.  I’ve never flown on Austrian before.  Right now, that’s my back-up route.  The equipment for Austrian is a Boeing 767-300 which holds 26 pax in Business, 18 in Premium Economy and 167 in Economy for the 8hr, 35min flight.  So the connecting flight the next morning  to Frankfurt will be on OS129 that will get me into Frankfurt for 11:40am compared to 7:45am by flying the direct route with Lufthansa.  I’ve picked both my window seats for Austrian.  Let’s hope that my LH booking confirms!

I’ve only been to Frankfurt Airport once before.  Just connected into it and have not ventured into the city.    So when I land… I’m going to store my work bag with my clothes for the conference at the airport storage service and just pack light with a small backpack into Frankfurt for 3 nights.  Upon my arrival at the airport, I have my WordShop purchase to pick up with my two bottles of the Lufthansa Cocktail mix.  After that it will be downstairs to the basement of the Airport where you pick up the S-Bahn to ride into Frankfurt.  Frankfurt Main Hauptbahnhof is Germany’s busiest train station.  In 1866 the thought of a main station would be needed in Frankfurt and this station had construction start in 1883 which was completed and opened in 1888.  Crazy.  The postcard you can see in the picture below is from 1915.  Today it has 120 tracks and handles about 350,000 people a day.

I’m sure I’m going to be sleepy depending on which flight I take to Frankfurt, so my first night is 3 min’s from the train station.  Before bed I will take 3mg of Melatonin about 2hrs before I want to go to sleep to help my body learn the new cycle.  I will also start to adjust my bedtime a week out before the trip to help.  Then next two nights in Frankfurt I have a room across the street at the same place.  For my first half day in Frankfurt… I’m going to take it easy and stroll around the streets near my hotel.

My first sleep will be in this place above and it’s just a basic little room just to crash the first night.  You can see the train station from the window.

Day two will start off heading to the the old city centre.  The Römerberg is a public space in Frankfurt, Germany. It is located in front of the Römer building complex, and houses Frankfurt’s city administration since the 15th century.

 

I’m going to take advantage of the 4 hour walking tour on Day2 to learn more about Germany and the history of Frankfurt.  After dinner, I will be back to the square to partake in a little Frankfurt Pub Crawl that will cover four German Bars.  After that, I will grab a Uber back to the hotel.  The next day is open since I’m still trying to narrow down what to do.  The evening will be a walking food tour that I signed up for.

On Sunday morning after a German Breakfast… it’s off to the Airport to pick up the Hotel bus that will depart to Seeheim for the conference that starts Monday and cover 3 full days till Wednesday and one last night at the hotel bar with whoever is flying out Thursday morning.  For me, I will wake up and make my way to the airport to fly to Naples, Italy for a night before making my way to the Amalfi Coast for 3 nights before returning to Frankfurt to fly out on the 19th back to Canada.

I will take LH334 from FRA – NAP that will depart at 11:15am on Thursday and will touch down at 1:10pm where I will make my way to my hotel in the city centre in Naples.

Naples below is in southern Italy on the east side a little more than halfway down the “boot” 😉  Nearby is Mount Vesuvius, which is still active volcano that destroyed the nearby Roman town of Pompeii.  Naples has about a million people and is Europe’s ninth most densely populated city with 8,183 per square kilometer.

I don’t have much time in Naples, so I want to walk down Spaccanapoll Street which you can see below in the bottom left photo in the collage.  Spaccanapoll divides the city and a very interesting street.  It’s straight and narrow pathway that traverses the old historic city centre.  It’s name means “Naples splitter” and it’s 2km long!  Neapolitan cuisine is synonymous with Pizza – which originated in Naples.   With my short time before the day ends I will walk around and sample local eats and get back and hang out near my hotel after it gets dark.

The next morning after breakfast and exploring a little more, I will head to the Giribaldi Station to board my 12:10pm train from Naples to Salerno, Italy.  Salerno, will be my gateway into the Amalfi Coast.  I bought a ticket on the high speed train that should take only 30min.  I got a upgrade with my $16CAD ticket to first class cabin on the train that allows me to pick a single window seat in advance.  On my way home I picked the normal 2nd class tkt for $6CAD for the hour long regular train trip back to Naples to fly back to Germany.

Excited to follow the roads from Salerno to Amalfi by using the Sita bus.  I will use this bus network to get to places like Positano and Sorrento if I want to sneak a little farther during my 3 nights along the coast.  In the Summer with the kids we will fly into Germany and make our way to Portugal, Spain and ferry to Capri from Barcelona to visit the Amalfi Coast.  I know that they would love it!

I’ve booked 3 nights at this little town called Atrani (shown above) that is just to the left of the town Amalfi.  It takes about 10 minutes to walk into Amalfi from here.  (below) is a shot from above of of the little town.  Only about 900 people live here and the the town has only a surface area of 0.12 km squared.  That’s crazy.

I’m going to use the little Sita bus to go up and down the coast.  You can get a all day pass for about 11 euros.  One day will be in Amalfi and one day will be spent in Positano.  I’m trying to research what looks neat along the narrow road along the way to jump off the bus and walk around.  Amalfi gets the spike in tourists after Easter, so it should be fairly quiet and the weather should be around +16.  So not super hot and simply comfortable.

Town of Amalfi shown below in the collage.

Positano shown below with it’s people living along the cliffside.

Positano (above – below)is a cliffside village on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beachfront and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes. Its Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta features a majolica-tiled dome and a 13th-century Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary. The Sentiero degli Dei hiking trail links Positano to other coastal towns.

 

It has a total area of about 8.6km and about 4,000 people who live there.  The cliffs have been photographed many of times.  This is a little bonus trip trip for me to scout for the future.  This summer I have two weeks and planning a trip with the kids and we will come here to explore.  I also want to come back with a woman to relax and casually explore with.

After 3 nights in Amalfi, I will take the bus back to Salerno to take the train to Naples to fly out.  Going back to Germany… I will take LH1927 that leaves at 1pm and connects in Munich with LH113 back to Frankfurt.  I picked this connection since there is a later flight if I don’t make this one due to space since this was a little $115CAD staff standby round trip ticket in economy.  Making the 1pm flight will get me back in Frankfurt by 5pm and will spend a night at the first hotel I stayed at.  This will just be a place to crash since the next afternoon I fly out after lunch on LH470 departing at 1:25pm for a 8hour and 40 min flight to Toronto.  I will land in YYZ at 5pm same day with the magic of time travel across time zones.  After a large jumbo Bazlac’s coffee… it’s off to PTBO via shuttle arranged from work.  Excited to fly on the Boeing 747-400 if I fly on Austrian on the outbound.  So far… I’m only waitlisted on return Lufthansa flight that should confirm soon.  The numbers look good on the plane.  I just need one window seat.

Very thankful for the opportunity to fly to Europe for work for the conference and utilize some weekends pushed to the front and end of the trip with 3 vacation days to stretch it out from the 6th to the 19th.  I’m going to try and vlog this trip for work and will start my OSE videos again while getting back into the swing of documenting + editing video on my phone.

Italy | Bucketlist | With Little Miss Italy?

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Italy.

The Coast.

This is on my bucket-list for a while.  I connected with Jude from High School and floated out the idea that if we are single we need to go to Italy in 2019 which seems like 3 months from now.  She sent me a photo of her savings jar!  I don’t think it will happen in 2019 and I don’t think she will be single since she is a great woman.  I do call her LMI… which stands for Little Miss Italy and it was nice to connect and catch up after so many years after High School.

This post is not about her… but just the wonderful little section of Italy along the coast that I want to explore.

(Maybe it’s a little bit about her)

I will get there tho…

(i don’t think we said 2019… since that feels like months away… so let’s just say both single in 2022)

I can go there with myself or a Little Miss “Someone”