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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Rome, Lazio, Italy

Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, Mon., July 1

Happy Canada Day to everyone back home! Spent the morning reading and gazing at the pool and ocean. The guys go down the hill periodically to get provisions and check the various prices of Port. It has become an obsession with them - they cant pass a store without browsing. In the p.m. we went down the coast a few minutes to Portimao. McGuires had been here 10 years ago when they attended the Rotary International convention in Spain. We may not have found the same area that they remember but what we saw was very sad. Mostly empty shops and...

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Europe 2013

Jul 3, 2013 - The Algarve, Tues. July 2

Spent the morning reading and gazing at tfhe pool and ocean. Ho hum. How tedious! Before we left home I had read a magazine article on an annual International Sand Sculpting competition in The Algarve. Turns out it is only 15 minutes from here. What an amazing thing! It appears like a bulldozer had created a huge amphitheater in the sand and the piles of sand moved out were used to create the sculptures - 45 tons worth! We saw some Canadian names on the creations as well. The theme this year was "Music" and large panoramas, much larger...

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Jul 2, 2013 - Fri, june 28

We took the Hop On Hop Off bus today around Lisbon. Excelent wah to learn background of area and see all the sights. Go off to see the Tower of Belem one of the last defences of Portugal historicaly. And The Discoveries which is a huge monument to the historical figures involved in Portugals history of new world discoveries. When you see it, it is very decognizable and well known. We ended up at the oldest bakery in Portugal. They are famous for their Belem Tartes - an absolutely delectible custard tart that makes you think you can go out...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon tues 25th

Went to sessions this morning and heard from very inspiring clubs around the world and the amazing good things they are doing. And it is usually very simple things that make a world of difference to the disadvantaged. It would feel very good to be involved in some. Had very necessary naps in the afternoon. Then attended Rotary "Taste of Portugal". It was held in a convent dating from the 15th century. It is one of Portugals oldest and richest built from Portugese white and pink marble. I thought convents gave up everything for...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon, Thurs 27th

There was a strike today of all transportation. We were going to take a train to Sintra but had to make a hasty reservation on a guided tour. There was a great deal of concern for Rotarians who had tickets out on Portugal Airlines and couldnt couldnt extend their hotel stay because they were all booked. Guess we will hear some stories when we get home. Went to Sintra, Estril, and Cascais which are fishing villages on tfhe coast just 30 minutes from Lisbon. They are now beautiful resort towns. If we had it to do again we would spend 3 days...

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Jul 1, 2013 - Lisbon, wed 26th

Didnt go to convention til closing ceremonies today. There were a lot of speeches etc and intro to next years president who is from the US this time. Last onewas from Japan. Believe me when I say that the president of Rotary has the same status with Rotarians as the president of the United States and probably nearly as much influence worldwide. The following entertainment was 2nd to nothing we have ever seen. There was Fado, of course. Then " 2 Cellos". They are a duo from Romania. An amazing combination of pop done in a classical style on...

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Jun 26, 2013 - Lisbon, monday

Didnt go to sessions today. (Bad!) We walked up to St. Georges castle (and I mean UP!) On the top of one of Lisbons 7 hills with amazing views of old Lisbon. It was so obvious to see where the old town with its low buildings and red roofs ended and the modern city begins. In 1755 an earthquake destroyed part of the city. Then a tidal wave came in and after fires destroyed even more. Some building of the Moorish Alfama did survive. Then we took the famous tram 28 around old town. It barely fit in some of the narrow alleys. While we walked...

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Jun 26, 2013 - Lisbon- Sunday

It is difficult to keep up the journal this week because our days are so full. We get home and relax for a bit on the patio and before we know it its 12 or 1 a.m. Lorenzo recommended many restaurants as we entered the Alfama (all of them I think). Every little street has sometimes 3. When we met up with McGuires Mike had already explored the area and found one of them just down our hill. The smell of flame grilled meat meets your nostrils everywhere. The little restaurant had a man grilling food in the window. Next to the building were a...

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Jun 23, 2013 - Aix-en-Provence

It is now Saturday the 22nd and we will be flying to Lisbon at 6:15 p.m. So in the meantime we went 30 minutes north after checking out of our hotel and arrived in Aix-en-Ptovence. In my innocence I expected a sleep village surrounded by lavendar fields. Not!! With all its popularity over the decades it is now a very busy city and the lavendar fields are on a mountain about an hour away. Sadly we didnt dare take the time to drive up there when we have to catch a plane. It is known as "the city of fountains" and as with all old cities it has...

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Jun 23, 2013 - Marseilles

Arrived last night and happily missed our exit to the airport hotel. We ended up in downtown Marseilles. Everything I had read about Marseilles said it was just a big, dirty port city. But the old town area around the bay is beautiful. The bay is horseshoe shaped and surrounded by a very wide plaza of cobblestones. In most seaside cities that plaza would be used for pedestrians with the buildings filled with shops. So you then have to look for parking outside the area in order to visit. In Marseilles that horseshoe shaped plaza is used for...

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Jun 22, 2013 - wed. con't

Had to run catch the plane! Decided that all the water in the ocean looked the same and wasnt worth the pain of traffic jams to follow the shore so we paid the price of toll roads to travel faster. The toll roads run thru the mountains and offered beautiful lush green vistas. 4 and 6 lanes sometimes at 130 km per hour. Decided to take side trip to St. Tropez. It was by far the best of all the seaside resorts towns that we saw. Lots of things to see and do. Active artists community. Artists here have a very different style from everywhere...

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Jun 22, 2013 - Monaco & Monte Carlo

Drove from Nice to Monaco and worked our way back from there. Went to the Casino of course but couldn't get in because we had copies of our passports and they only accept original. Oh well, we have lost money in better places. Stopped in Villefranch and Cap Ferat, Cannes on our way back to Nice. We drove the waterfront all the way back and the country is beautiful. We had a hard time getting back because we had to stop so often to take pictures.But we still love Tuscany. The feel and colour of the air ( I know that sounds impossible and...

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Europe 2013

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