Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Italy by Train

Buenos Dias. That's about all the Italian I know so it's a good job we had a Tour Guide with us.

Train travel is not the quickest method of getting across the Continent but it suits me better than defying the laws of gravity for hours on end and you can see the countryside as you go. This is the foothills of the French Alps taken through the window of a very fast-moving TGV.


Our main base was in Chiavari, Italy, where I drank lots of coffee sitting outside lots of cafes in the myriad of arcaded streets. 

We were part of an organised tour group, 24 of us in total, and everyone was lovely. We ate, drank, chatted, laughed and still managed to squeeze in lots of sightseeing. We visited The Cinque Terre, five small fishing villages nestling in crevices where the mountains met the Mediterranean...


We sipped Italian coffee in Portofino Harbour and pretended that we were rich and owned an enormous yacht...


On the way home the Alps were transformed by thick snow and it was even more beautiful than when we came (only not so photogenic!)


And now we're home and it's cold and dreary but I've got some lovely memories to keep me going through the winter. We've decided that we really like Italy and we're going to go back there for sure, so I'd better learn a bit more of the language. Ciao for now ;-)

34 comments:

  1. That all looks beautiful and sounds wonderful!

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    1. It was, Sue. It was one of the beat holidays we've ever had.

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  2. Lovely photos and such clear bright skies.

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    1. And what about that sea, Anne? You don't get seas as blue as that in the UK!

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  3. Oh how lovely! I went to Cinque Terra last year and just loved it. It's so beautiful and the people are very friendly. Did you do the walk along the coast through the five villages? Your photos are beautiful, and they will give you lovely warm thoughts for the winter. I wish I could go!

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    1. We were supposed to be going on that walk but there had been a serious landslide a few weeks earlier and it had to be closed.

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  4. It looks like you had a lovely time. I love Italian coffee. We have an Italian cafe in Tampa where they serve coffee, pastries, and gelato.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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    1. Gelato! You live near a cafe that sells gelato?! I'd be majorly overweight if I did. It's delicious!!

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  5. Hi Ros .. what a great tour - Cinque Terra and its five villages sounds delightful - me thinks I'd rather like to visit - so pleased you're going again and have that to look forward to in 2013 ... happy memories - with our gloomy days ahead. Cheers Hilary

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    1. You should go, Hilary. These groups are great fun and they tour all over Italy. We were all like one happy family and not all couples either.

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  6. What a lovely holiday! You do do interesting things. Portofino! I'd love to go there...and the Alps in the snow...ahhhh. Glad you had a good time and that you're safely back.

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    1. I can recommend Portofino, Susan, it was lovely.

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  7. How fun and thanks for taking us along on a bit of the journey. I think a train trip would be great and I've heard Italy is fabulous. It's on my wish list and that keeps growing. Forget yachts - you are rich in memories and no doubt some new friends. Glad you had a fall break.

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    1. You think correctly, Joanne. Holidaying by train is much more interesting than flying and you really should visit Italy.

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  8. So pleased that you had such a lovely time.....I adore Italy, and this post has jsut reminded nme of how I need to revisit!

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    1. Thanks Bridget, where will you visit?

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  9. Hi Ros,

    Glad you enjoyed your trip there. You caught both lovely sun and dazzling snow! I've always wanted to visit Italy..

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    1. You should go, Duncan. It's well worth the visit.

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  10. What a contrast between the bright, clear colours of Italy and 'home', where it's shades of grey. Snuggle down and enjoy your recollections.

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    1. Agreed, Francene, the sky and sea are so blue!

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  11. So glad you had such a wonderful time - and train is definitely a wonderful way to travel. And great pics, Ros.

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    1. Thanks Jo, although I know it's a bit tame compared to what you're used to! ;-)

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  12. Glad you had a fabulous time. I love Italy too. Friendly people, great food and a painting around every corner - bliss!

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    1. You're right, Alex. The people were friendly.

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  13. Wow that harbor is beautiful. What wonderful pictures. I hope I can make it to Italy sometime.
    Glad you had a great trip, thanks for sharing your memories of it! :)

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    1. It's gorgeous, Julie. It's the harbour where all the rich footballers visit when they want exotic weddings!

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  14. Sounds like you had a lovely time! Thanks for sharing the pictures - I much prefer being an observer over doing the actual traveling myself ;)

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    1. Well, I normally prefer to be an observer too, Ruth, but this time I really got involved with the holiday spirit.

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  15. Lovely photo of you Rosalind! The Italian scenery is absolutely breathtaking! I'm glad that you had such a wonderful vacation! Julie

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    1. Thanks, Julie, but I think I look a little on the over-weight side! It must be all those bowls of pasta!

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  16. One of my ambitions is to have a train holiday - sleeper car and all. One day - when I win the lottery!

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    1. This was not an expensive trip on the Orient Express. It was a reasonably priced holiday with a firm called Treyn.

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  17. Glad you had such a great time and marvellous weather.
    It's such a beautiful pic of you having coffee ....now you've got the taste for travelling and you're not bothered by plane travel ....where are you off to next?

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    1. Hang on, Ann, who said I'm not bothered by plane travel. It's terrifying. It was just that I needed to come out and visit you in Jerusalem and I couldn't get there any other way!!

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