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Old 05-27-2015, 05:03 AM   #2081
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When we got to Hotel Modigliani, a couple related that they lost 600 euros in the Paris train station, their first stop in Europe.

We have never lost anything but we go native and keep anything valuable away from creeping hands. We never carry much cash, preferring to use our Chase CC and ATMs.
How do you protect your credit and ATM cards? They are just as vulnerable.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:01 AM   #2082
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Further to our upcoming out & back trek between Genoa-Marseille, DW found this site/link regarding Ventimiglia on the Italian/French border:

0618 An Italian Tunnel City (Ita 097—new) - Ventimiglia Travel Blog

Quote:
At first Ventimiglia just seems like the typical beach town that I got tired of seeing along the Adriatic coast with it boring, flat coast lined with stale hotels and beach shops, but then a sort of mound of very grubby looking houses catches my eye, so I go to check it out.

The closer I get, the more fascinating it looks, until I suddenly realize it’s not a mound of houses-- it’s an entire ancient city unlike anything I’ve seen in all of Europe.

Here there are alleys so narrow I have to walk sideways and walkways that literally tunnel underneath the town-- just like the mud castles of east Morocco! But what’s most fascinating about this place is that people still live here, in what by modern standards would be considered ridiculously uncomfortable circumstances. And unlike the Old Medina of Casablanca, where people live because they can’t go anywhere else, people live here in the Old City of Ventimiglia by choice.

It’s absolutely one of my coolest discoveries in a long time. The underground alleys T off and Y off, and there are stairways up and down the steep slopes with mysterious dark doors that belong to someones home… Then suddenly you have a cozy little courtyard with grimey but very cozy looking homes looking down from far above. Then suddenly you reach the edge of the Old City and immediately you have vineyards, a panoramic view of the valley below and… what is that… snow? Cool! I didn’t think I’d be seeing anymore snowcaps this far south…
Sounds exactly like the type of place that appeals to us.....anyone been?
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Old 05-27-2015, 04:28 PM   #2083
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Just booked a 7 night balcony room cruise from NYC to Bermuda in August. Not having to pay for a flight let us splurge a little more.

My wife and I definitely splurge on vacations more than a lbym adherent would but we work two jobs during the school year (I have a year round job) and by the time the summer comes we are burnt out and need a break.

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Old 05-27-2015, 05:44 PM   #2084
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A friend needs to take a road trip to Palm Springs (from the SF Bay Area) for a family meeting and I'm tagging along. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort for three days. Unexpected trip but looking forward to relaxing in the sun.

Short trip to South Lake Tahoe in August for a Jackson Browne concert, staying at the Hard Rock.

Then in September a friend will be checking out Arroyo Grande as a retirement destination and renting a home near the beach with her husband for a month. I'm invited down for a week and I'll take Amtrak down.

So I was expecting not to go anywhere this Summer but have managed to hobble together a few jaunts
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:07 PM   #2085
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4/2014--It was Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.
10/2014--It was a cruise to Aruba, Curacao and the Turks and Caicos.
2/2015--We went to Las Vegas on the way Oahu and returned through San Francisco--all warm places relative to home.
8/2015--We're going to Copenhagen, catching a cruise to Estonia, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. We're flying to Oslo and will take a train/ferry through the fjords to Bergen, Norway.

I've just got to quit traveling so much. I wouldn't travel so much, but I keep running up on ridiculously cheap airfares and cruise fares.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:12 PM   #2086
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What is the train/ferry through the fjords?

Is that a package or are you just putting together an itinerary from public transportation?

I was looking at flying from Oslo to Alesund, renting a car and going southwards through the fjords towards Bergen, then fly back from Bergen to Oslo.


I also heard that July and August are warm but very wet in Norway, especially the west coast.
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:35 PM   #2087
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A friend needs to take a road trip to Palm Springs (from the SF Bay Area) for a family meeting and I'm tagging along. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort for three days. Unexpected trip but looking forward to relaxing in the sun.

Short trip to South Lake Tahoe in August for a Jackson Browne concert, staying at the Hard Rock.

Then in September a friend will be checking out Arroyo Grande as a retirement destination and renting a home near the beach with her husband for a month. I'm invited down for a week and I'll take Amtrak down.

So I was expecting not to go anywhere this Summer but have managed to hobble together a few jaunts
Those are nice trips! Have fun! I have several friends and relatives in Ventura County and in the Bay area. I need to make plans to get out to see them later this year.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:53 AM   #2088
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We enjoy traveling about half of each year, mixing it up between several different forms - RVing, short term rentals, cruising, plane/train/hotel, and backpacking, a fairly new-to-us addition.

This is what we have planned out for the remainder of the year:

July & August - RV trip through California and Oregon. We start with the Sierras and Cascades (Mammoth Lakes, Lake Tahoe, Mt Shasta), then head to Ashland for the Shakespeare Festival, next to Salem and Portland, then west for a slow meander south (Cannon Beach, Newport, Florence, Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach, Redwoods Natl Park, Sonoma/Napa, Santa Cruz, Morro Bay).

October - One week backpacking trip into the Grand Canyon with the Sierra Club

December - Two week Caribbean cruise including Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:48 AM   #2089
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Planning a driving trip to Fresno area and King's Canyon / Sequoia Nat'l Park. Any suggestions of what not-to-miss?
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:20 AM   #2090
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Finally booked five weeks in Greece in Sept/Oct following a two week trip to visit family in Ontario.


We have wanted more time in the Greek islands for a long time (will give Kos a miss though). Plus a few days in Paris on the way home.
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:43 AM   #2091
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Might have to get Drachmas.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:06 PM   #2092
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Might have to get Drachmas.
Or U.S. dollars!
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:25 PM   #2093
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aja - I keep forgetting that short trips are as good as long, expensive trips that I can't afford at the moment. As long as I can get away from the every day, I'm cool with that! Just hate to leave my dog but she can't come along on these trips, unfortunately.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:44 PM   #2094
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Planning a driving trip to Fresno area and King's Canyon / Sequoia Nat'l Park. Any suggestions of what not-to-miss?
Fresno is not my favorite town, in that it's hot, flat, and pretty rough-and-tumble*, but Sequoia National Park is outstanding. My recommendation would be to stop in at a park visitor center first thing, and talk with a ranger to get their thoughts. They know their parks inside and out.

Boyden Caverns in Kings Cyn Natl Park are wonderful, particularly on a hot day (Kings Cyn at a much lower elevation than Sequoia - keep that, and the subsequent difference in heat, in mind when you plan out your visit)

*Consider Visalia or Clovis as alternatives to Fresno if you must stay somewhere prior to reaching either national park. Both towns have their own unique charm.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:56 PM   #2095
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Thanks, ElizabethT. Fresno is only a jumping off place to see the Park (and all the in-park accomodations are booked). Will looke into Visalia as an alternative.
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Old 05-30-2015, 03:40 PM   #2096
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What is the train/ferry through the fjords?

Is that a package or are you just putting together an itinerary from public transportation?

I was looking at flying from Oslo to Alesund, renting a car and going southwards through the fjords towards Bergen, then fly back from Bergen to Oslo.

I also heard that July and August are warm but very wet in Norway, especially the west coast.
We're getting off a Baltic cruise in Stockholm and flying to Oslo (1 night.) The rainy season is Sept. & October. It's never hot that far north, however.

We're going on a Norway in a Nutshell package deal--self guided out of Oslo. We take a train to another train to a ferry to a bus to another train which gets us to Bergen. It's a very popular route.

There's very good information about touring western Norway online, and I understand its sheer beauty is up there with Kauai and Switzerland.

All I know is I want out of Norway as soon as possible, as it's a very expensive place to travel to.
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Old 05-30-2015, 04:04 PM   #2097
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Just came across a couple links re The Sardine House where we stayed in Lisbon last month.....compact but well appointed....and certainly well situated in the Alfama. Plus, Carla the owner is a gem.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/291959988316595589/

ISABEL PIRES DE LIMA: PROJECT - ALFAMA APARTMENT, LISBON
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:10 PM   #2098
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Thanks, ElizabethT. Fresno is only a jumping off place to see the Park (and all the in-park accomodations are booked). Will looke into Visalia as an alternative.
We are going there this Monday. Have reservations at John Muir Lodge and then at Wuksachi Lodge which were made back in late April. You might want to try for last minute cancellations there.

Check out TripAdvisor for some of the highlights in the parks in addition to what ElizabethT said. We found some nice short hikes. There is one little loop towards the end of Kings Canyon with a trail pamphlet (as I recall) that was quite nice and pointed out several nature sights. I'm always relearning this stuff even after years of visits to the parks.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:32 PM   #2099
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Finally booked five weeks in Greece in Sept/Oct following a two week trip to visit family in Ontario.
We have wanted more time in the Greek islands for a long time (will give Kos a miss though). Plus a few days in Paris on the way home.
Yes, we skipped Kos. Too bad, but there is the refugee issue. Go to Rhodes (Rodos) instead.

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Or U.S. dollars!
I don't want to be an ugly American... but, in the islands which are so tourist rich... They WILL take dollars. Saw this time and again, even though we used Euros. I don't see any problem with them accepting Euros for a long time, even if the economy fails.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:44 PM   #2100
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We're getting off a Baltic cruise in Stockholm and flying to Oslo (1 night.) The rainy season is Sept. & October. It's never hot that far north, however.

We're going on a Norway in a Nutshell package deal--self guided out of Oslo. We take a train to another train to a ferry to a bus to another train which gets us to Bergen. It's a very popular route.

There's very good information about touring western Norway online, and I understand its sheer beauty is up there with Kauai and Switzerland.

All I know is I want out of Norway as soon as possible, as it's a very expensive place to travel to.
Yeah very wealthy country because of the oil.

But I think their currency went down like the Euro did.

I looked at going in August but as far as I could tell, a lot of rain was to be expected on the western coast. April and May are suppose to be the driest, though cooler.
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