Monday, July 18, 2016

Top 10 Photos

I shot a lot of photos while in Europe.  I've edited them down to only 1,255 great photos.  Now you are expecting me to show you all of them.  Right?  But this is your lucky day because I'm only going to show you my "Top 10 Favorite Photos".  That's less than 1% that you have to see, lucky you.

10.  Big Ben in London

9. Terri in Paris

8.  Door handle in Genova, Italy

7.Cinque Terra Harbor..

6.  Cinque Terra - Monarola

5.  Religious Parade in Sienna.

4. Selfie at the Coliseum in Rome.

3.  On a small street in Florence.

2.5.  Venice, Italy

2.  Salzburg, Austria

1.5.   Vienna, Austria

1.  Prague, Czech Republic.

Well that's almost a Top 10 or 12 of our memories in photos.  I can show you the other 1,243 pictures another time.

Life is Good.

The Europe Wrap-Up

Old people in Venice.
We are back in the good old USA.  Jet lag is still slowing us down after several days or perhaps it was walking 275 miles during the last 12 weeks.  Or maybe it's old age.

We are very happy to be back in the motorhome and will be staying in Washington state until September 6th.  Right now we are in Tacoma staying at Tammi and Robby's house.  We're getting our grandkid fix and loving it.

We're also getting to know the new grandchickens.  The Bunns added 3 hens to their family while we were gone.  JR has trained the hens to follow him everywhere.  It's like a small train as he walks around.

So here are the final numbers on our Europe trip:

   Countries Visited:   9  -  England, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany,
                                             France, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic

   Time:   83 days / 12 weeks

   Mileage:  12,547 air miles,  3,012 train miles

   Walking Mileage:   700,000 steps or 275 miles

   Visited:   21 cities

   Stays:   16 AirBnB's  /  3 hotels  /  no park benches

   Times Lost:   Countless

   Pick-Pocketed:   Once

   Mountains Climbed:   2  -   that would be two too many

   Finances:   We managed to only spend $1,000.00 ($333.33 per month) over our normal monthly income.  For us that was less than we had planned on spending.  The money we had saved up during our cheap time of the year (our 6 months in Mazatlan) will be going toward several RV improvements this next month.

It was an amazing trip and we are looking forward to the next big trip.  But first we need some time to recover.  By the end we were both exhausted.

We have several RV projects to do in the next 6 weeks and we have to take care of a years worth of business before we leave again.  My "old man plan" is to do a project than take a nap.... and than repeat.

As always.... Life is Good.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Prague is Amazing

I'm glad we added Prague as our final city to visit in Europe.  It has been worth the time and effort to get here to the Czech Republic.  When we began our planning it wasn't within our consideration, but I'm happy we added it to our list.

I had no idea that it would be one of our favorite cities that we have seen in our 12 weeks of travel.  We walked 5.4 miles this morning and afternoon to visit old town and the royal palace.  We're resting up and will be back out this evening seeing more.

Here are some photos from our wanderings.

We took an hour cruise on the river.

I love listening to street musicians.
And street performers.  Try this at home for fun.

Handsome guard
Not so handsome guard.

Terri now has good luck..... just rub the greyhound.
Life is good...we just walked a mile to Mexican food for dinner.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Last Night In Vienna - On To Prague

We finished our last evening in Vienna by walking to a Mexican restaurant Terri had found on Tripadvisor.  We can only go so long without Mexican food.  Five weeks in Italy and Austria had left us craving our native food, we Mexicans are that way.  It turned out to be very good food served  by a staff of young Mexican men.

My happy Mexican wife.
We have always taken trains between cities during the last few months.  It was time for a change, so we booked a four hour bus ride into the Czech Republic.  There are no fast Czech trains so the quickest way to get to Prague was on a big cross country bus.  For the first time in Europe we were stopped at the boarder to have our passports checked because the Czech Republic is not part of the European Union.

By the time we arrived it was dinner time so we asked our AirBnB host for a suggestion for dinner.  He recommended a neighborhood Czech place on the corner near our place.  I had ribs and mashed peas.  Terri have chicken and risotto.  We both enjoyed our meals and the tab was only 432 Koruna.  That is less than $18.00 US for dinner and drinks.

A great Czech dinner.
After dinner we walked around our neighborhood.  Tomorrow we will visit old Prague.  Here is what we saw within a couple of blocks of our place.

Love the street lamps.
This is not a museum, just an entrance to an apartment building.

Life is good.....more to come tomorrow.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Vienna, Austria

We hadn't done any extensive research before arriving in Vienna yesterday.  Right away we realized that it was big.  Innsbruck and Salzburg had been small by comparison (112,000 & 155,000).  Vienna is 1,700,000 people.  How were we going to begin to see the highlights?

We decided that starting on a "Hop On - Hope Off" tour bus was the only way to survive this big of a city in the short time we have here.

We covered a lot of the city and countryside in our first day.  It is an amazing city with a musical background that covers centuries. The architecture is a delight to see.  Here are a few of today's photos.

They've had their "Big Wheel" since the late 1800's.  That's a century before Seattle.

I believe this creepy guy was looking at me.
The "Blue Danube" flows through town.
Even the new buildings are cool.
This canal had a floating swimming pool.

We'll be seeing more of the city tomorrow.  Life is good.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Half Million Steps

So how have we seen so much of Europe you may ask?  One foot in front of another, one step at a time and a whole bunch of steps each day.  It's been 76 days since we left Washington state.

Terri carries her iPhone most of the time and she has an app that keeps track of our steps each day.  I checked the history on it for the last 11 weeks.  We've walked a lot. My feet feel it.

We've passed the half million step mark.  553,180 steps to be almost exact. (A few days the phone battery wore out, so those steps didn't get counted.)  That's 261.20 miles that we have walked.  And we still have time to go, so I'm guessing we will top the 300 mile mark.

The best part of all that walking is all the sights we have been able to see.

We moved on to Vienna, Austria this morning.  We will be here for 3 days before going to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Looking down on the city of Salzburg from the castle on the hill.
We enjoyed our evening of Mozart by a small Chamber Orchestra in the tallest tower of the castle.  We had dinner in the castle before climbing hundreds of steps to get to the "Konsort" hall.

The concert was up in this tower.
The view from the concert hall.

Looking straight up in one of many domes.
What's for lunch?  We had never eaten Schnitzel so it was time to try something new.  It was very good.

We walked all over old town until we came across a chess match between the old men.  Terri took an interest so we stood and watched a full game.  We fit right in with the old guys.  After the match Terri congratulated the winner.  He seemed quite happy that the young babe had been watching carefully.

Life is good as we begin to wind down in our Europe trip.