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July 8, 2019

Most Serene Republic of San Marino


The second of San Marino’s three towers, the Cesta, is located on the highest of Monte Titano’s summits.

The Most Serene Republic of San Marino is a geographical curiosity. Based on land area it is the third smallest country in Europe behind only Monaco and the Vatican City. Population-wise, only the Vatican has fewer residents than San Marino.

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June 21, 2019

Italy: Aquileia and Ravenna, the Mosaic Tour


A mosaic ceiling in Ravenna Italy

Mosaics, it turned out, became an unplanned theme of the Northern Italian segment of our 2018 road trip. (more…)

April 28, 2019

Slovenia: Škocjan Caves


The suspended walkway leaves the cave.

Before departing Sovenia we had the opportunity for one last stop. We used this chance to see the Škocjan Caves. In 1986 the caves and area around them were established as an UNESCO World Heritage site, Slovenia’s first. As usual the UNESCO designation provided motivation for our visit. (more…)

April 10, 2019

Croatia: Crossing the Border and Trakošćan Castle

Filed under: Croatia, Europe, Photography, Slovenia, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:11 pm

St. Mark’s Church is one of Zagreb’s most famous sites.

Leaving Ptuj Slovenia we headed to Zagreb Croatian. When we arrived at the border kiosk we handed over our passports to the agent. On seeing our American passports the guard, in a combination of a few words of broken English and ten times as many emphatic hand gestures, explained that we could not cross the border into Croatia here. (more…)

April 5, 2019

Slovenia: Ptuj


 

The view of Ptuj from its castle

Three weeks into our road trip we reached the commune of Ptuj Slovenia. By this time in the journey we had crossed European borders ten times. We were completely confused about the language. Even the polite words we knew in the language of the country were in were lost in confusion. Not that we knew any words in Slovene anyway. (more…)

March 31, 2019

Austria: Graz


Pedestrianized central Graz

In retrospect I knew surprising little about Graz Austria before we decided to visit in October of 2018. I didn’t know that the commune is Austria’s second largest city. Before we planned to visit I did not know of the existence of Schloss Eggenberg, a Baroque palace located on Graz’s perimeter. Nor did I know that Graz was the capitol of Styria. In fact I didn’t know of the existence of Styria at all, though I probably should have. As always, travel is a great teacher. (more…)

March 27, 2019

Austria: Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape and the Semmering Railway


Fertö / Neusiedlersee on light wind day

In Central Eurpoe, near the border of Austria and Hungary, are two UNESCO World Heritage sites, “Fertö / Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape” and the “Semmering Railway”. We “visited” both briefly on way from Bratislava Slovakia to Graz Austria. (more…)

March 26, 2019

Hungary: Border Crossings

Filed under: Dog, Europe, Hungary, Photography, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 5:10 pm

The Hungarian side of the border, partially reused as a gas station

On our way from Bratislava Slovakia to Graz Austria we crossed briefly into Hungary. At the end of the day we’d crossed an international border on nine occasions in the nineteen days since our road trip began. All this crossing of borders was made easier by the Schengen Agreement, which has eliminated the need for border checkpoints.

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March 21, 2019

Slovakia: Bratislava, A Dog with a View

Filed under: Dog, Europe, Photography, Slovakia, The List, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 3:08 pm

Soon after we arrived in Bratislava Gigi was at the window checking out the street scene.

Since she was a small pup Gigi has traveled together with us. Indeed the first weekend after she picked us to be her humans we took her to Healdsburg California for the weekend. There she discovered the joys of hotel elevators, stairs, and left over food service trays in the halls. Each was a big adventure. Each remains a pleasure today. (more…)

March 20, 2019

Czech Republic: Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape


The parish church of the Valtice palace

The doubly landlocked Principality of Liechtenstein on the eastern border of Switzerland takes its name from the Liechtenstein family, who in turn took their name from a castle in lower Austria. In 1249 the family acquired a substantial landholding in southern Moravia. This large estate in the south of what is now the Czech Republic became the official residence of the Liechtenstein dynasty. (more…)

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