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Snapshots of Ostia, Italy

Snapshots of Ostia, Italy

The scent of ylang ylang filled the air, knocking me over with its sweetness. I looked up from the map I was following to stop and smell the flowers, then to see the columns, and to smile at the bright blue sky. A few blocks later, I found my hotel, dropped my backpack and crossed …

Snapshots of Strasbourg, France

Snapshots of Strasbourg, France

One of the advantages of where we live in Germany is that we are just a few hours from several other European countries. So earlier this winter we headed to the closest French town west of us: Strasbourg. I’m surprised it took us this long to get to Strasbourg because we have a dear friend who …

Venice, Italy, Walks of Italy

Walking and Eating in Venice

Walking and Eating in Venice with Walks of Italy I think that you plan a trip to Venice because you’ve seen how gorgeous it is in pictures and in films. And when you go, the canals, bridges and alleys of Venice will totally fulfill your expectations by being as enchanting as you always imagined. But another reason …

Venice, Christmas, Italy

Snapshots of Venice, Italy

Me to Taido in October: Oh my goodness. Direct flights to Venice from Stuttgart are less than $20 right now! What do you think? Christmas in Italy. We could surprise the kids! Taido: Let’s do it.  (My husband is a man of few words.) It’s funny how many of our trips have begun with an exchange like …

Snapshots of Tubingen, Germany, Deutschland, Schloss Lichtenstein, Lichtenstein Castle

A Walk to Lichtenstein Castle, Germany (Schloss Lichtenstein, Deutschland)

Lichtenstein Castle (German: Schloss Lichtenstein), also known as the “Fairy tale castle of Württemberg,” is an 1840s Biedermeier style Gothic Revival castle built on a large rock near Honau, Reutlingen, in the Swabian Jura situated in the Tüblingen region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. -wikipedia We set out from our flat in Tübingen on a recent Saturday to hike to Lichtenstein Castle. After taking a bus and a train to the nearby town …

Mt Keen Scotland, Munro Bagging, Hillwalking in the UK

Climbing Mt Keen in Scotland

When you have lived somewhere for three years and you invite your friends along on what is to be your Final Walk In Scotland, apparently people feel obligated to come. Or maybe they just don’t want to miss a final opportunity to climb a munro with you. Or maybe lots of folks want to make …

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Manarola, Italy

Oh Manarola, Italy. How do I love thee. Let me count the ways. So, I know I wrote about the end of our trip to Italy last week, but I have one more post because I really like to save the best for last. And maybe it is just because we stayed there and we …

Pisa, Italy, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Pisa, Italy

One Day with Kids in Pisa, Italy After our glorious week in Cinque Terre, we were all a bit sad about leaving Italy. We had a 1pm flight out of Pisa, so we packed up the night before and left the beautiful town of Manarola at 6am. We each had a small daypack and then …

Vernazza, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Vernazza, Italy

Hiking in the Cinque Terre from Manarola to Vernazza, Italy via the 506/AVT5/507  Vernazza was the only one of the five villages in the Cinque Terre we had left to visit at the end of our week in Italy. We had taken a day off from hiking to rest and enjoy Manarola and so I …

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Riomaggiore, Italy

Hiking in the Cinque Terre from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy Here’s something you should know about hiking in the Cinque Terre in 2016. Once upon a time there was a trail that ran along the coastline all the way through all five towns of the Cinque Terre. It started in Monterosso al Mare and went …

Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy, Hike from Monterosso to Levanto, Italy, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Monterosso al Mare, Italy

Hiking in the Cinque Terre: A Hike from Monterosso to Levanto, Italy There’s just nothing like sitting in the blinding sunlight on a platform, waiting for a train to Monterosso al Mare. This is the start of a beautiful day! Steps off the train in Monterosso is the sea! We had to stop and play …

Walk from Manarola to Corniglia, Italy, Cinque Terre

Snapshots of Corniglia, Italy

Hiking in the Cinque Terre: A Walk from Manarola to Corniglia, Italy. Right outside the doorstep of our apartment in Manarola, we climbed to the vineyard trail that runs around Manarola to begin our first big hike in the Cinque Terre, a trail that goes to Corniglia via Volastra. Corniglia is the next town up …

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Alison Chino, Italy

Snapshots of Cinque Terre, Italy

A Story About Deciding to Travel To Cinque Terre in Italy Alone With My Kids In Scotland, children have two weeks off of school in April, so back in January, the kids and I had a little family meeting to make some plans for our Easter Holidays. Taido would not be coming with us this …

Snapshots of Versailles Palace, France, Paris

Snapshots of Versailles

A Winter Visit to the Palace of Versailles I’m pretty sure there are three main reasons it took me five trips to Paris to finally make it to Versailles: Number 1. My first four visits to Paris were really short. Number 2. On three of those occasions I had children with me who would have whined …

Eating in Paris, Belly of Paris, Paris Food, Context Travel

Snapshots of Eating in Paris

In a corner of a massive gothic church in the heart of Paris is a monument to the fruit and vegetable sellers who, after 800 years of selling goods in front of this church, were relocated to a suburb in Paris to make way for a train station and a giant shopping mall. Until 1969, …