July 2009

     
 

Me and Debra on on the alcove bed in our Yotel cabin

3rd July 2009 - Gatwick Yotel

We had an early flight and due to disrupted transport links on weekends we optioned to stay at Gatwick Airport's rather cool cabin hotel entitled Yotel. Debra said it was the best night's sleep she has had.

 


Bulgaria

Me at the Tsarevets Fortress with view of Veliko Tarnovo

4th, 5th & 6th July - Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria)

After flying to Sofia we took a bus to the medieval Veliko Tarnovo (referred to as City of the Tsars) where we were to stay 3 nights. We did the tourist bit and visited the Tsarevets Fortress which served as the Second Bulgarian Empire's primary and strongest defense wall from 1185 to 1393, and housed, within it's expansive grounds, the royal and the patriarchal palaces. This old city is situated on and between three hills, Tsarevets, Trapezitsa and Sveta Gora.

 

Tiered housing

Veliko Tarnovo is not really a touristy area; even the fortress was quiet but it was nice to simply stroll around the town at large and take it all in.

 

Some geezer with his arms in the air

We climbed the hill to meet this geezer and he didn't even reply to my 'Dober Den'.

 

Wooden bridge over some muddy part of the Yantra River

Took a well earned rest on a wooden bridge in the Sveta Gora area after walking the long way along River Yantra.

If you ever go to VT make sure you take a stroll down the cobbled Gurko Street to see the quaint old houses.

 

 

7th & 8th July - Sofia (Bulgaria)

Ivan Vazov National Theater

Showing that there are some nice parts of Sofia

I'm far better looking than Stefan Stambolov

I have never know a city with so many monuments.

 

 

8th July Day-trip to Sandanski and Melnik (Bulgaria)

Me in Melnik meeting Yane Sandanski

Due to a canceled bus from Sofia to Sandanski and a missed connection Melkin we only had 15 minutes in Melnik, which was just enough time to see an art workshop and meet this bloke in the photo, whoever he is. Just as well that we had bought a bottle of Melnik's wine (a favorite of Winston Churchill) the night before in Sofia. Melnik is Bulgaria's smallest town.

 

 

Sandanski market

We spent longer in Sandanski at he foot of the Pirin Mountain and named after the revolutionary Yane Sandanski.

It was really just meant to be transit between Sofia and Melnik but we met lots of nice market stall holders and taxi drivers.

 

 

Italy 2

9th & 10th July - Venice

Debra and me after our gondola ride

I am so glad Debra paid the 80 euros to gondola alone without sharing with loudmouth tourists, it would just not have been the same. Mind you she disturbed the peace and showed me by singing a gondolier song she has as her ringtone on her mobile phone.

 

Me on a vaporatto with Rialto Bridge in background

This is a very famous bridge, maybe almost as famous and I am in my manor.

 

Grand Canal

After hours of walking I had to lay down, what do you reckon to my view?

 

San Marco Piazza (St. Mark's Square)

We made it to San Marco Piazza as the sun was lowering.

Venice's very expensive Caffe Florian in San Marco Piazza

A bit beyond our budget but I sat for a rest at Cafe Florian and hoped some waiter would take pity on my and bring me a jelly baby sandwich with the crusts removed. You just can't get the service these days!

 

11th & 12th July - Verona


A wall with a view - Verona

We somehow found our way up here and some nice lady took our photo.

 

Got rid of the mad woman in this photo of Verona

The Adige River gushing through Verona.

 

Waiting for Juliet on her balcony


Waiting expectantly at Casa di Giulietta (Juliet's House). But damn Romeo, he has got the girl of my dreams.
6 euros to enter the museum or 7 euros gets you into her tome about 20 minuets walk away. (I should add not literally into her tome - well I did in fact lay in it but the extra euro gets you into the room in the tome reside is what I meant!)

 

Verona's arena

Not a patch on Rome's.

 

 

12th July day-trip to Desenzano and Sirimone

Beautiful little dock of Desenzano

A 20-minute train ride from Verona we took a daytrip to Desenzano and Sirimone. In Desensano we sat by the mini dock ages just chilling with ice-creams.

 


Looking out over Sirimone from the castle (Rocca Scalgera)

Sirimone is a stunning peninsula around Lake Garda. We took a boat from Desenazno and after this visit to the castle Debra had a nice swim as I admired the ladies.

 

 

13th July Milan

Duomo di Milano - Cathedral Milan

Starting in 1386, it took five centuries to complete this Gothic cathedral and is the fourth-largest church in the whole wide world.

 

Recovering after meeting some old bag in Gucci

They were honoured!

 

 

 



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