Thursday weather forecasts looked like a possible break in the rain, so we booked ourselves on an excursion though TripAdvisor to Plitviče Lakes, Croatia's oldest and most visited national park, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. When the day arrived it was clear that the break wasn't going to happen - so we dressed for rain, brought our umbrellas, packed a lunch, and set off to our pick-up location. We joined two other couples (one from Pasadena, and one from Toronto) and our Petros tour guide, Matija, in a comfortable van for the 2-hour drive.
During the ride, Matija engaged us by sharing important history on the Balkan countries that made up the former Yugoslavia.
Fun fact - until 1873 the Danube River separated the towns of Buda and Pest. Now unified as Budapest, it’s a beautiful city to explore on foot - and it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Upon arrival from Rome, we opted for public transit. Three stops in, we exited the shuttle bus at the train terminal and the hub for folks traveling in and out of the city, It was lunch time - we popped into a Greek fast-food restaurant, shared simple feta and tomato salad and Mussaka. Delicious!
In the few blocks to our AirBnB we saw beautiful old buildings, unexpected sculptures and dramatic wall art. There was a cafe on every block, a hostel here and there, and a smattering of curious shops - brushes, cupcakes, and boutiques, plus a beer garden or two.
Just when Camogli - the town of a million steps, focaccia, and pesto - was feeling like home, the week drew to a close and we were off on our next adventure. True to the spirit of “Meet Us Anywhere”, we set off on our way to Budapest, Hungary, to catch up with our friend Susan who is adding a fun weekend to her business trip in that fabulous Central European capital. Because we had a very early flight we would need to spend the night at the Tower Genoa Hotel, just steps away from the Genoa airport.
How do you capture it’s magic? This Italian seaside town is built into a rugged mountainside where stucco houses are transformed by "trompe l’oeil" painting that gives the illusion of blocks, cornices, and balconies.
Tiny alleyways intersect staircases that stretch for 30, 50, 70 steps or more and deliver you to lovely streets where it’s impossible to resist pasta, pastry, seafood, and local Ligurian wine.
After a journey that started at 5:30 am Eastern time on October 16 and ended at 1:00 pm Central European time on October 18, we arrived at our first stop in Italy - the beautiful Italian Riviera town of Camogli.
The trek started in Richmond VA with a flight to JFK where we took the AirTrain and NYC Subway to meet our generous host, Molly, to pick up the keys to the Comogli apartment and get some last minute tips. On the way to the AirTrain Nancy spied a convenient baggage storage service - RELIEF! After lunch with Molly we headed back on the subway to JFK - our flight was not leaving until 11:00 PM! Thank you eBooks from the Minuteman Library!
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Nancy McCabe &