This is a blog about our holiday to Europe in 2014. We started off our travels in Venice, where we began a cruise of the Adriatic and Aegean seas, ending in Rome. We then travelled from Rome to the Netherlands by rail, stopping in various places along the way. We are: Me - Gill, my husband - Grant, my daughter - Paula; my father - Neil and his partner - Astrid. We are South Africans, from the lovely province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Our friends Lisa and Trevor joined us from the UK for the cruise portion of our holiday.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Tirano, Italy

2 July:

We arrived in Tirano quite late as our train was delayed for over half an hour along the way.  We were lucky enough to get an upgrade at the hotel and ended up staying in lovely rooms a short walk from the main hotel.  Tirano seems to be a really pretty little town.  

Once we had settled in at the hotel we walked to the open-air restaurant across from the hotel for some dinner.  We were the only customers, so it was rather like a private party.  We had the most incredible waiter.  He couldn't speak English and we, of course, have no Italian whatsoever, but - using what broken Italenglish and hand signals I could muster (he found it incredibly funny and returned the favour with his broken English/Italiano!) - we managed to get our message across!  Our meal was really good.  We tried bresaola (air dried beef cut thinly) for the first time, it was so so good!  The waiter gave us a bottle of wine and a few free limoncellos after dinner, which I thought was pretty amazing.  He was a lot of fun and, I think, enjoyed the evening as much as we did!

3 July:

We slept in for a bit this morning and then had breakfast at the hotel  The weather coming in to Tirano had been really grim and according to the forecast, there was a possibility it would stay that way.  We were fretting as the train ride aboard the Bernina Express was set to be a highlight of our holiday, with incredible alpine views, so good weather was vital!  Imagine our delight when we woke up this morning to blue, blue skies!  

After breakfast we wandered around town until the little train started up, we then caught that, which took us on a loop around the town and gave us quite a good overview.  

Afterwards we wandered some more.  There are lovely shops in Tirano.  Paula managed to find a pair of Supergas which she has been looking for ever since we got to Italy.  (Yes, she had indeed run out of money in Ravello, but managed to negotiate a loan with good terms from her kind mama)

We did a geocache down by the river, which was fun.

For lunch we went to a lovely restaurant.  I had pizzoccheri, which is a local buckwheat pasta.  I liked it a lot.  

Soon it was time to board the Bernina Express.  I was very keen, but at the same time quite heart-sore... I always feel so sad to leave Italy... the home of my heart.

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