Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Trip to Italy

Yes we're back... already a good week, but have been so busy that I did not find the time to write about the trip we took to Italy.
We, that's: Kris (Axelle's godfather, Nadine (his wife) and their son Arno, Axelle, Marc (my boyfriend), Valérie (his daughter) and me.
Beginning of the year we rented an apartment in a farm in Tuscany (close to the village Vinci) and on July 16 we finally could go there and discover it all. Vinci is the childhood town of Leonardo da Vinci...
We went with two cars and took it very relaxed! We only drove to Colmar the first day, which is really not so far, but we were only supposed to arrive on Saturday, July 18 in the afternoon in our apartment, so we had a lot of time to travel. This was the "No stress express".
At Colmar, Nadine found us a nice bed & breakfast for hardly no money... We paid 135 EUR for 7 persons, breakfast included! Try to do better?!
When we arrived in Colmar the sun was still out and we decided to go for a swim in the pool. Hunger took us to the centre, where we had a nice little dinner on a market place. An evening walk through town before we went back to our bed & breakfast and the holidays had started!
During the night a thunder storm came over and that kind of decided about the weather we would have next day. The whole drive through Switzerland was in pouring rain! No sun to be seen... more than one hour wait at the Goddard tunnel... do I need to mention we were happy to arrive in Milan, where the sun was shining and making it possible for us to go discover the city and find a restaurant for our dinner. We could sit outside, the only negative thing was we got visitors at our table: mosquitos!
Next day we moved further on to Vinci, drove for a few more hours and stopped in Lucca. Nice little town, where we had a late lunch before arriving at our final destination, Streda at Vinci. The farm was located on top of a hill, with a splendid view. The swimming pool soon was discovered by our youngest ones... it was located at the edge of the hill, which made it spectacular to be in and outside the pool area!
On Sunday we decided to stay home, so the kids could fully (and also the adults of course) enjoy the pool... temperatures were definitely rising (up to 38°C) and so the water was very refreshing.
On Monday, we took the cars to go to Pisa. Road works and traffic slowed us down, but finally we arrived at destination and we were very very lucky to find 2 parking spots in the same street. Pisa was very busy!
Of course we had to see the famous leaning tower... but before we arrived there, Nadine tripped over something and fell hard on her knees. We managed to continue our visit, but by the end of it, she was in a lot of pain and needed to take painkillers and ice her knee.
So we decided to stay home again on Tuesday, to give the knee some rest and also to give the kids the opportunity to enjoy the pool.
On Wednesday we did just a little trip, only like 15 kilometers from where we stayed was a beautiful little town called San Miniato. We visited the Rocca of San Miniato, but Nadine did not go up all those stairs and I went up but not to the top of the tower. Axelle was very nice and she stayed with Nadine the whole time we were up there!
Next day we took the local train to Florence. I think it must have been the heat that day, but I was not feeling well and had the impression I would faint. The train was very packed, but lucky I got hold of a seat! After like 30 minutes we arrived in Florence, where Nadine guided us through the city (she'd been there before). We took a nice walk through the center and saw the famous cathedral (il duomo) and other very nice ancient buildings, fountains and statues.
On Friday, Nadine and Kris took a little trip by themselves, while we stayed home to enjoy one last time the beautiful weather and the pool.
Indeed, on Saturday we had to drive back and got delayed by traffic jams. We stopped close to Milan, where we had a rendez-vous with Alain, who was taking Axelle to Croatia. So Axelle went from one holiday next to another. Actually, she's still on holiday with her dad... by now the're in Paris, visiting a friend from the US who is now living in Paris.
She'll be back home later this week...
We had, again, a very long wait at the Goddard tunnel and at the Swiss boarder. So once we got through the tunnel, we decided to get us a place to sleep and so we stayed one night in Switzerland.
On Sunday we continued the trip and around 5.30 pm we arrived at Kris' parents who offered us a very nice dinner. Thanks!

I will... I promise, post pictures of this very nice trip. But, first I have to be home to do this...
This short post was written during my lunch break at work!