Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our Trip to Italy - Part II

 Part II on our Italy trip took us south to Bologna. 
We got lost trying to find our hotel that was located in the middle of the city center. After about 45 minutes we were finally lucky and pulled up right in front of the Palace Hotel.
I had a little trouble getting up the ramp in the very tiny parking garage with my very tiny car. It was embarrassing. The car died twice in the middle of the ramp and we just rolled back down. After the third time though I sped up and almost hit the wall, but got all the way up.
After checking in we went back outside touring the city.
The Neptune Fountain was across the street from us and the first monument we stumbled across.

Beautiful buildings and amazing ceilings are all over Bologna.

Knock knock, who is there?

Sew much fun exploring the city

and checking out the little stores.

They even have a Leaning Tower in Bologna. 

The city is full of students, graffiti's and posters plastered to the walls.
I liked the Prisoner of Love.

After we checked out the university

we had drinks at an Irish pub with 400 Italians watching Italy play in the World Cup. Unfortunately they lost.
We strolled through the little side streets back to our hotel, changed and went outside in search for some more gelato.
When it got dark we went behind the Neptune Fountain where there was seating and a Screen set up for an Open Air movie night. We only wanted to experience it for a little, since we were sure we won't understand a word. The movie started, and who would have thought.. it was spoken in Hindi, fortunately it had Italian and English subtitles. It was called Awaara and took about 3 hours.
Around 1am we went back to the hotel.
The next morning we had a nice breakfast at the hotel, packed our bags and headed out into the rain onto our next adventure. From Bologna we drove north through Parma and then back down through about 50 tunnels - I'm not kidding. We were under the mountains more than on top. At least we stayed out of the rain. We got close to La Spezia and the sun came out and the day ended up to be most beautiful.
From La Spezia we took the coastal road all the way down to Portovenere.
 Driving up and down the narrow roads.
I was stunned with all those beautiful views. It was amazing.


 After 6 hours on the road we got to Portofino.
We parked the car and walked down the narrow streets. 

We walked up to the Brown castle and enjoyed the beautiful views and garden.

After a couple hours we decided on going back to the car and driving to our last stop of the day - Genoa, where we had a free night booked at the Holiday Inn.
Parking at the Holiday Inn - very confusing

Our hotel room very nice and even the TV worked so that we were able to watch another soccer game. Before that we went to a little Italian restaurant and had more of the fabulous pasta Italy has to offer. We shared a bottle of wine and were tipsy walking back to the hotel. That's what you get when you never drink.
I just say cheap date! 

The next morning we got up at 8am, packed our small suitcases and headed towards Milan. 2hours on the road. We found a parking garage in the city center and parked for 2 hours. We walked to the Duomo and went inside.

It is very impressive and still after 500 years under construction.

We had lunch at the Galleria Victoria Emanuele across the street from the Duomo, in a cute little restaurant. Don't ask.. We had the same meal as we had the last four days, but probably twice as expensive. While on Google trying to find out what else we should be looking at while in Milan, we found out that we can go up to the Duomo. I then also remembered that my dad had mentioned that when helping me figuring out our road trip.
When we were done eating, we bought tickets up to the Duomo. It was amazing and we were so glad we experienced that in our two hours spent in Milan.


Unfortunately we ran out of time and had to get back to our car, not before we got our last gelato of the trip though! :) Heading back to the airport and being picked up by my mom. We saw the last 30 minutes of Germany winning the quarter finals. (who would have thought that we will be world champions!?? I'm so very proud!)
Here is our complete route - 4 days 1200 km.
              Friday was the day of the court house wedding, some more family time and packing..
Saturday was my birthday, spent with family and friends before we headed to the church for the wedding of our *bestest* friends.  

The party lasted till the early morning hours Sunday, when an awesome trip came to an end and we had to go to the airport after an hour sleep.
Now we need some time to recover from all the city hopping.
 (In the last two weeks though since we've been back, I've been already in Houston, Blue Ridge and from tomorrow on in New York - so I guess let the city hopping continue!) 

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