Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Unforgettable Bruges

Bruges or Brugge in Dutch was never in our original itinerary during our recent European holiday but as fate would have it the Big K was given extra vacation days that gave us the opportunity to make a last minute detour to this enchanting medieval city. And oh boy are we ever glad we made that decision as we simply fell in love with this beautiful city.
  
Minnewater Lake 

Monday, 4 August 2014

The California Zephyr: Chicago to San Francisco


My first long distance train ride in the US was a 12-hour trip to the East Coast with the Gorgeous H that I wrote about in an earlier blog post. During my recent visit with family, my train-loving sister talked me into yet another train ride this time to California. 

Our journey started in Cleveland, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where my sister and her long-suffering husband, the Doctor A lives, an overnight in Chicago and finally the Can-I-survive-two-days-in-a-minuscule-cabin-with-my-energizer-bunny-of-a-sister-train-trip. Yup! You read it right. It was going to be a much longer train ride across some of North America's scenic countryside. 



Saturday, 3 May 2014

Châteaux of the Loire, Part Three

Here's our third and the final in the series of blog posts about our week-long visit in the Loire Valley. 

  • You can read Part One here 
  • And Part Two here.


Château de Cheverny

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Château-Hopping in the Loire Valley, Part Two

Next to our love for train rides in Europe, the Big K and I also enjoy road trips. We love speeding on autobahns or autoroutes, motoring along back country roads, traipsing from one picturesque village to another while trying to figure out what-the-heck-does-that-road-sign mean and all the other joys (and hair-raising excitement!) of driving.

And since the châteaux of the Loire are spread out in a large area, they are better reached by a car. Yup! Definitely a road trip here. In our week long excursion (well, 6 days to be exact), we had set our sights on the châteaux located along the central part of the Loire that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (it would have been physically impossible to see all 300+ châteaux in the little time that we had). We wished we could have stayed longer.

We ended up visiting ten impressive châteaux. I know of some people who would cram so much things to see in such a short time but the Big K and I prefer to take our time sightseeing. You could say we're the step-back-and-enjoy-the-moment kind of travelers.

Château De Chenonceau

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Château-hopping in the Loire Valley!


It was a cool, sunny morning when the Orient Express pulled into Gare de l'Est in Paris. Perfect timing as the Big K and I had just finished breakfast that was served in our cabin. Much as we wanted to linger on board we had another train to catch. After retrieving our bags with the help of our très gentil steward, saying our goodbyes and more last minute picture-taking with the blue and gold train, the Big K and I hurriedly hopped on the metro to get to Gare Montparnasse to catch the TGV that would take us to our next adventure - Château-hopping in the Loire Valley!


Hôtel de Ville de Tours (Town Hall of Tours) 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Glass and Lace, the Islands of Murano and Burano

Our day trip to the islands of Murano and Burano was a welcome respite from the tourist-filled sestiere of San Marco. Although the two islands get their own share of visitors, it wasn't as bustling (well, not during the time we were there anyway) as busy San Marco.


The picture-perfect colorful houses of Burano.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Venice, Italy

Our recent trip to Europe this year was extra special because it was the Big K's golden birthday treat (though his birthday isn't until June). If you are a regular visitor to our blog you already know that the Big K and I are big on celebrations. No, not the party kind of celebration but the going-away-someplace-special kind of celebration. We always try to make it a point to go somewhere to spend our birthdays and anniversaries. Uh-huh! Itchy feet we have. 

And as luck would have it or one can also say it was an early birthday gift as the Big K was given more time off from work than we had originally planned for. We were able to stretch our trip to 3-weeks adding two more cities to visit on our original itinerary. Ah! The beauty of DIYing one's trip! 

First stop, Italy.