|On this trip, we were traveling with a large group from Alaska. The snow in the village of Courmayer (right) at the foot of Mont Blanc was a thrilling sight for our group but was dull for the Alaskans. I think they had seen enough snow for one year and were ready to see the sun in Nice and in Italy.|
|I think the biggest surprise for me on this trip was the
"beach" at Nice. Although it was still too cool for many sunbathers, there
were a few who were out. But I couldn't figure out how anybody could lie out
here: most of the beach was made up of stones golf ball size and larger.
I don't think that I would ever have selected Nice if I had been doing the planning; it's not one of the places I had especially counted on seeing. But I was glad to get a chance to see the casino in Monte Carlo. I was a little surprised at how plain it was. I had a chance to play roulette for a little while, but most of the players were tipping larger amounts than I was even playing.
|From this angle, one can see how close the Leaning Tower of Pisa is to the streets of the town. At the time of this trip, the tower was still open to tourists; and I rushed off the bus, hoping to be one of the first of our group to go up. But when I got there, saw how high it was, how slick the walkway up and around the tower had become from centuries of climbers, and (most importantly) that there were no rails, I decided that other sights closer to the ground were more my style.|
|The first time Brenda and I had come to Florence was on our first Eurail trip . At that time, we were caught in a "lightning strike" that we thought might disrupt our vacation. In addition, Florence had been hot and crowded and many of the places we had wanted to see were covered in scaffolding. On this trip to Florence, I got to see the David, and we visited the Santa Croce Church (left) with its many tombs and memorials, but far too much of our limited sightseeing time was taken up by the visit to the leather factory and its sales pitch.|