Slovenia Hungary and Budapest

We left Venice and Italy behind us and drove through Slovenia on deserted motorways and stayed one night at a lovely site near Maribor with a ski slope in the background. The country was so clean and tidy after Italy it took your breath away. Next day took us across into Hungary and to Urom just outside Budapest.
Another lovely site and again the clean and tidy county side.
We took the bus into Budapest and then decided to be lazy and took the town bus tour around the sites. The old town is delightful with great views of the Danube and all the bridges.The Parliament building and St Matthias church with the fishermans bastion became an obsession of Robs and many pics ensued.

Tomorrow it is off to Slovakia continuing our "Whistle stop" tour on our way back to Blighty for the Summer, we hear it is as good as ever there, ie Raining and cold.

Venice and its islands

Here we are in Venice, and the sun is shining.  The first day we took the vaporetta down the Grand Canal to see the sights -  The Doges Palace, St Mark's Basilica, The Bridge of Sighs, The Rialto Bridge and  Ca Rezzonico, just to mention a few.  The whole place is fantastic, so amazing to be in a city without the noise of cars, motorcycles, etc.  The quality of the artwork in all of the churches and palaces is astounding.

On the morning of the second day we visited a few more churches and then went over to the island of  Murano to visit the glass museum.  The afternoon was spent on the islands of Burano,  (with its colourful houses) and Torcello with a visit around Santa Maria Dell Assunta founded in AD639.

Tomorrow we leave Italy after six months of Pure enjoyment, notwithstanding the awful roads in the south on our way down in September, which is why we took the ferry back from Sicily to Livorno.
Venice stands out as a highlight as it lived up to all our expectations and more. Sicily is absolutely fabulous and we will return.
So now begins the journey back to the UK via Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and France.
Watch this space. !!!!!

Last look at the Madonie with Dave and Liane

We took Dave and Liane on a final drive around a track we had ridden back in October into the Madonie mountains. The scenery was just as good as before but we saw it with different clothes on, in its Spring gear.
Sad to think we are leaving in two days time. The five months we have been in Sicily have just flown.
We will definitely be back... SOON.

Return to Mozia

The last day of Mum and Gerry's visit took us back to the salt pans of Trapani with their windmills and the Phoenician island of Mozia.  It was the ending of a glorious week with excellent company.

On board the Fenecia 

Finally a few shots of the week.....

On the beach at Eraclea Minoa

On the rocks at Scala Di Turchi

On a cap stone at Selinunte

Sheltering fro the sun in the Torre Salsa Reserve

Up on high in Caltabellota

Valley of the Temples Agrigento

Temple of Concord

This Greek site (the Greek town of Akragas) covers an extensive area and also has a large museum attached to it.  The decision to take two days to discover its treasures went down well with our guests for the week - Mum & Gerry.  The first day was spent visiting the temples along the Via Sacra.  They were all in different states of repair - the most complete being the temple of Concord.

Temple of Juno

Temple of Herakles

Telemon (Atlas)  from the temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Castor and Pollux

The second day took us to the museum and the Hellenistic-Roman quarter of the site.  This first picture shows the scale and size of the Telemon and the artistic impression below shows where they featured in the temple.  This must have been a wonder of the world.

 Gerry's favourite piece in the museum a terracotta vessel of the Egyptian god Bes

Attic crater 460 BC

The Hellenistic-Roman quarter with the temple of Juno in the background.

Donnafugata Castle

This castle had been the home of the Arezzo family since 1628 to 1982.  The building is 19th century and the gardens although run down were a riot of wild flowers.  Within the grounds is a spectacular stone maze which kept us busy for half an hour.

Spot the gargoyle