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July 30, 2020

Gigi, R.I.P.

Filed under: Dog, Europe, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:37 am

Gigi ball in mouth on her last day

In late October 2010 we traveled to see a litter of puppies at their Modesto foster home. The pups had recently been rescued from a stray litter in Sacramento. We sat and watched the pups play awhile. Eventually one of the pups came up behind us and licked our ears. Whether the puppy knew what she was doing or not, she had picked us to be her humans. Soon we left Modesto with a puppy sitting comfortably in Becky’s lap like she had been there all her life. (more…)

October 25, 2019

France: Gorges du Verdon and Sisteron

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 8:49 pm


The fastest way by car to Saint Jean de Losne from Monaco makes use of the A6 and A7 autoroutes. Autoroute 6 and 7 take run along the natural travel corridor established by the Rhône and Saône River valleys. (more…)

October 15, 2019

Monaco: Borders

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Monaco, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , — anotherheader @ 3:04 pm

Monaco in the foreground, France in the background

During our short stay in Monaco we took the opportunity to walk across the border to France. It’s easy to do: You just walk behind the Monaco train station and you are in France. There is no barrier or sign that you changed countries and no obvious border marking. Unless you check with a real estate agent or look closely at Google Maps there’s little to tell you that you exited one country and entered another. (more…)

Monaco: Grand Prix Track Walk

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Monaco, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 2:50 pm

A view of the swimming pool chicane from our room

It is easy to forget about Europe’s micro-countries. They’re too small to have much of an impact on the world scene and thus don’t often feature in the daily news. Perhaps that’s why two of the smallest countries, San Marino and Monaco have promoted their brands, intentionally or otherwise, by lending their names to Formula 1 championship races. (more…)

October 9, 2019

Italy: Alba, the White Truffle Festival

Black truffles on a plate of pasta

In early November 2018 we arrived in Alba Italy at the time of the commune’s famous truffle market. As we learned immediately on arrival, the six weeklong International White Truffle Festival is very popular. Indeed on a long Italian holiday weekend the streets of Alba were packed. (more…)

October 8, 2019

Italy: Torino, Fiat Lingotto Factory

The relatively unchanged façade of the Fiat Lingotto Factory

Five kilometers from the center of Turin is the. For 59 years 80 different models cars were produced here on an assembly line manned by 6,000 workers. The factory was designed so that the line snaked its way up through the factory’s floors ending at the top. When the reached the end of the assembly line the completed vehicles were started up, driven around the rooftop test track, down a spiral ramp, and out to the showrooms. When it opened Fiat’s Lingotto plant was at the pinnacle of industrial architecture. (more…)

October 7, 2019

Italy: Torino, Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Turin’s skyline in the rain and fog

As we arrived in Torino Italy the weather turned cold and rainy. After a long stretch of excellent end of the season weather in the fall of 2018 there was now a wet cold in the air. Winter was making its entrance. Fortunately there’s a lot to see inside in Turin. (more…)

October 6, 2019

Italy: Sabbioneta

The interior of Galleria degli Antichi

We paused to explore Sabbioneta, breaking up the drive from Bologna to Torino. The stop let us visit the historic center of the commune of 4,000+, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2008. At the time there were only small clusters of tourists wandering the streets and a few residents going about their business. It felt as if we had the town mostly to ourselves. (more…)

October 4, 2019

Italy: Bologna, Ferrara or Bust and the Portico di San Luca


The Portico di San Luca works its way towards central Bologna.

The best-laid plans don’t always work out. (more…)

July 29, 2019

Italy: Bologna, Basilica di Santo Stefano

Filed under: Architecture, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:42 pm

Basilica di Santo Stefano

The Basilica of Santo Stefano is a complex of religious buildings in the historic center of Bologna. Located on Piazza Santo Stefano, it is locally known as Sette Chiese (“Seven Churches”), reflecting that there were originally seven churches at the spot. Today only four churches remain intact, which still seems a large number for a relatively small piece of land. (more…)

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