Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Home again, Iowa where the RV is parked

Back to the real world, looking for jobs, counting money, re-adjusting. We were gone 140 days, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, India, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Malta, Sicily, Italy, Sicily, Athens, Rhodes, Istanbul, Malta, Italy, France and USA. Time shares for about 6 and 1/2 weeks, dive trip for two weeks in Thailand and 12 days of Mediterranean cruise. Grand total about $72 a day including room, board, airfare and all tours and transfers.

Our final three days, Paris France

The Louvre, The Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, many old building and churches that I didn't even remember. Walking the streets and taking the Metro. Three course meals at little sidewalk cafes and lattes afterwards. Rive Gauche, and remembering what that means. Several times being in a Metro or bus stop trying to figure what to do next when a french person walks up and tries to help, they are not rude at all so that myth was shot to hell. Great people!

Cruise to eastern Mediterranean

A group of 23 people from all over the world joined Rodger and Debbie Francis for their tenth wedding anniversary aboard a cruise ship, strangers to start, friends at the end.

On to Roma, Italy

The Collosium and under it, the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi fountain, the Vatican and the tremendous amount and quality of art work in it, the Pantheon. Rome is where all roads are measured from.

Herculaneum, Italy

Herculaneum and Pompeii were both buried under the same eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Pompeii was buried under lava and the inhabitants were killed by poisonous gases while Herculaneum was buried under a mud of ash and dirt so it had many more textiles and organic material that the lack of oxygen helped preserve. Street 3, 4 and 5 and excavated and forms part of a grid of streets that are about 3 stories below the level of the current town of Erculano, street 1,2 and 3 are under the town.

Malta to Italy

We left Malta September 1st on a ferry to Sicily. We spent most of that day in Catania, Sicily. Caught a glimpse of Mount Etna just after the eruption the day before. Then we got on a train at 8pm. We fell asleep on the births in our sleeper compartment to the sound of the train chugging along. The whole train was then loaded onto a ferry. The next thing we noticed was the silence and the swaying of the train as the ferry took us to the Italian mainland. Then the train rolled off the ferry and we continued on our overnight journey to Naples.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Late post, Malta

Malta, a small island country near Sicily, off the toe of Italy, draws many Eastern European visitors who come for the sun and beaches. It also has the 3rd largest unsupported dome after the Pantheon in Rome and the Haghia Sophia in Istanbul.
It has several underground historical burial sites and chapels.
The sandy beaches are few and far between and artificially maintained with truckloads of sand, but the water is warm.
Due to the temperate climate, Malta was inhabited over 10,000 years ago and boasts the worlds oldest freestanding monolithic structure.
Malta produces grapes, citrus, and olives, and produces fine wine. Malta is also home to the Maltese dog, the Maltese Cross, and the Maltese Falcon (Peregrine Falcon).