Category Archives: Europe

Lovely Lucerne Should Not Be Missed

Reading books to children can make a great impact on their lives. As a youngster, I fondly remember the book, Heidi. The story features a young orphan girl sent to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps. She developed a deep love of the mountains and nature, something that still appeals to me. Looking back, I believe I was drawn more to the illustrations than the storyline, as I clearly recall wishing to see the Alps, chalets, and grazing cows. My chance finally came when I signed up for a Riviera River Cruise from Basel, Switzerland, to Cologne, Germany.  

A farm tucked into the Swiss Alps.
Imagine living in the Swiss Alps.

My travel buddy Judy and I flew to Zurich and boarded a train directly from the airport to Lucerne. Swiss Rail makes it so easy and the trains are very clean and comfortable.

I’m glad I listened to a friend’s recommendation to spend two days in Lucerne because the beauty and ambiance of the city can’t be overstated. The stunning Old Town rests on the banks of Lake Lucerne, surrounded by stunning mountains featuring Mt. Pilatus, rising approximately 7,000 feet. 

Chapel Bridge and view of Mt. Pilatus from Lucerne, Switzerland.
Sunlight shines on the flower boxes lining the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne. Mt. Pilatus in the rear.
Continue reading Lovely Lucerne Should Not Be Missed

A Visit to Malmaison: Napoleon & Josephine’s Home

My Viking Seine River Cruise allowed me to visit Malmaison, the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine, in the western suburbs of Paris. Before this cruise, and like most tourists, I had never heard of the estate. Unfortunately,  the property is difficult to reach via Paris public transportation, and a taxi would be expensive. So, lucky for me, but sad for all those who miss it. 

Malmaison, the former home of Napoleon & Josephine.
Malmaison was the Paris home of Napoleon & Josephine

The excellent Viking Cruise excursion guide provided some background information on Napoleon and Josephine during the bus ride to the mansion. Josephine de Beauharnais was quite the character, and the guide made me so interested I went home and read a biography on her fascinating life.

(“Josephine” A Life of the Empress by Carolly Erickson)

Continue reading A Visit to Malmaison: Napoleon & Josephine’s Home

High Adventure in the Carrara Marble Mines

Touring the Carrara Marble Mines  in Italy is a sensational, out of the ordinary travel adventure.  I highly recommend the tour and wrote an article about it for My Itchy Travel Feet, a travel blog for Boomers.  

View from the top.
View from the top of the Carrara Marble Mines.

At the summit!
At the summit!

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