Down the Danube: Bratislava and Budapest

“ It is pleasant to have been to a place the way the river went.” – Henry David Thoreau Peering east from Vienna, we “Google” Slovenia incorrectly, and end up in Slovakia! (just some EU humor) Bratislava is 80 kilometers, … Continue reading

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Lord of the Ringstrasse

  “When you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.” -Napoleon Bonaparte We take our seats for dinner at stylish restaurant Huft. The man at an adjoining table politely removes his leather portfolio occupying my chair. Sheaves of fresh music … Continue reading

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Mass in C minus: Salzburg and the Wachau

  “Without music, life would be a mistake.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche Easter has hatched Xmas this year, measured in Celsius (-1 degree). No complaints, we add a couple of layers of down and sweaters and prepare to accept cozy Salzburg on terms … Continue reading

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Stations of the Crossing

“O, how this spring of love resembleth The uncertain glory of an April day; Which now shows all the beauty of the sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away.” – The Two Gentleman of Verona   North … Continue reading

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Cercando il cuore della Toscana

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“Everything you see, I owe to pasta.” – Sophia Loren Dante Alighieri, if he were today conjuring torments for seven rings of hell, would certainly include driving in Italy as a critical component of his Inferno. The autostrada between Firenze … Continue reading

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Niccone Valley and Hill Towns of Umbria

“You may have the universe, if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi After a maddening hour spent at the car rental counter in Rome’s Termini Station observing the tragicomic, yet friendly, staff bedeviled by the limitations of IT firmly … Continue reading

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Roma a Sconto

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When thou art at Rome, do as they do at Rome. – Miguel de Cervantes Rosa Maria, host for our stay in Rome, graciously awaits our hired car in front of 19 Viale delle Mura Aurelie. For the next 4 … Continue reading

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Awakening with the Rising Sun

“Japan never considers time together as time wasted. Rather, it is time invested.” ― Donald Richie, A Lateral View: Essays on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan Our annual New Year’s pilgrimage in support of our Japanese business partner, consultants … Continue reading

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Land of Enchantment

“I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds and sheltered by the trees… Now I can eat well, sleep well and be glad”           – Geronimo Determined to plan a new diversion, we place pins … Continue reading

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“Let them eat cake…”

“How can anyone govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?”                  Charles de Gaulle   The travails of intra-European mood-busting air travel are behind us. Our Easyjet flight … Continue reading

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