Filed under Travel

Sicilian wanderings

Sicilian wanderings

Night falls in the village of Porto Palo, steps from the ocean on Sicily’s southwest coast. We got here just in time. Not sure we’d have found the Da Vittorio B&B and restaurant in the dark, and we would have missed seeing the orange and olive groves along the narrow road. Our rooms are  large but spare , a letdown after our  lovely hotel … Continue reading

This buff’s for you

This buff’s for you

With its smattering of palm trees and Mount Vesuvius volcano in the distance, the region of Campania in southern Italy doesn’t look at all like the Wild West, yet 100,000 water buffalo roam its grassy plains. When they tire of roaming, the shaggy horned beasts hang out in a barn, ankle-deep in mud, (it makes … Continue reading

Vera Pizza Napolitana

Vera Pizza Napolitana

I was so excited about eating “real” pizza in Naples, first stop on a whirlwind southern Italian food trip, I didn’t give a thought to what the city itself might look like. Map in hand on a sunny Sunday afternoon, I walked a few minutes from the hotel and ran smack into a wall of … Continue reading

Lost in Lisboa

Lost in Lisboa

Greetings from Lisbon, capital of Portugal, famed for its long history, lively neighbourhoods, dazzling light and good food. Though local women in stiletto heels seem to have no problem managing the cobblestoned streets and steep hills, I only lasted half an hour in my sensible sandals before switching to running shoes. Walking is the best … Continue reading

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

I left green T.O. at 9 this morning and landed at 6 p.m. (3 p.m. Arizona time) in the desert. It feels like another planet … spiky brown hills rising in the distance out of what looks from the air like an ancient seabed, dry and cracked. We stepped off the plane into a wall … Continue reading

Croatia: the scent of truffles

Croatia: the scent of truffles

On our last full day in Croatia, we set off south from the hilltop  town of Buzet to the heart of Istria to hunt for truffles. Both black and prized white truffles are plentiful in the triangle between Pazin, Buje and Buzet, especially in the valley of the river Mirna and in the lush Motovun … Continue reading

Croatia: A taste of Hum

Croatia: A taste of Hum

Our second last day dawned grey with the promise of warm sun. Surely nothing could interfere with today’s 30- km bike ride. We arrived in Istria’s medieval town of Roc, with its flower boxes and thick limestone walls. Between the 12th and 20th century it was the centre of Croatian publishing, based on the Glagolitic … Continue reading

Croatia — the mountain not climbed

I’d been mentally preparing for this day for a month. Yes, you will climb Croatia’s highest mountain, where lunch awaited, and perhaps even make the “hard” climb to the top. After we left Zagreb, Mia learned that 10 cm of snow had fallen on the mountain three days before. This morning it was pouring rain … Continue reading

Waterlogged in Plitvice Lakes Park

Waterlogged in Plitvice Lakes Park

Orphan 3-yr old Today was a walk in the park, literally! We drove a short way to Plitvice Lakes National Park, the largest in Croatia at 284.82 square kilometres, for a three-hour stroll. Judging from the number of tour buses and the crowds from all over the world pouring through the gate, we were the … Continue reading