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Unread 08-18-2014, 12:27 PM   #16
Topspin
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Mick, forgot to tell you where I'm staying. Villa San Lucchese in Poggibonsi, just outside of Firenze. Come and help or send wine, prosciutto and cheese. Seems to be what we're served 3 meals a day. All good tho.

Above is a shot from any hill in Tuscany looking at any other hill. Beautiful vistas, vineyards, buildings with stone floors going back to 13th century. And no lippage in these churches before advent of MLT. helpers were evidentially instructed to set flat floors or lose their head. So they're pretty fine from this vantage point.

If interested in my adventure- our family traveled to Amsterdam to pick up my daughter who was studying abroad (in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway). I met her in Copenhagen. We then met my wife and got to whiff the pot soaked canals near the red light district (actually anywhere there), took a private tour of the canals and loved the architecture of Amsterdam. Then overnight trained to Munich, Germany where we picked up our little Beamer. 4 door 1 series BMW that's a kick to drive. Drove to the Italian alps where I took this pic. Stunning views everywhere you look. This was even better than a hot day in Florida. never wanted to leave.

Then got in the bullett and zipped some 185 kph (114 mph) on the German, Austrian and Italian autobahn down to Firenze (Florence) Italy. 3 days here, then onto a couple days in Cinque Terre Italy, then 4 days in gay-Paree. Then back to the bath cave. Whew. Having some fun now.
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Unread 08-18-2014, 12:43 PM   #17
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Whoops, forgot we spent a day in Rothenburg Germany. Got to see some pretty neat homes of the once rich and famous. Here's one that's not to be missed. Neuschwanstein castle. Something else over here.
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Unread 08-18-2014, 05:52 PM   #18
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Sounds really cool! I'd like to see more photos when you get back.
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Unread 08-18-2014, 09:29 PM   #19
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first picture, is it South Tyrol?
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Unread 08-18-2014, 11:00 PM   #20
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Michal, Tiers/Tires, Italy. Look it up sometime. It's a special place- I loved it. Took the chairlift up to the top of Ski Carezza resort. Somewhere about 7,700 ft alt. views spectacular. Many pics but not so many from iphone that I can share till I get back. Technology doesn't yet exist in my brain to get pics from camera to internet.

The town:
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Unread 08-18-2014, 11:09 PM   #21
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Tile crews we're putting in new porcelain in restrooms ("toilets" here). Brand new install maybe a few weeks old. No soft joints in corners.

Rotate head 90 degrees clockwise.
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Unread 08-18-2014, 11:28 PM   #22
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Back to mudbox stuff. Here is Amsterdam outside Hotel Pulitzer where we stayed. Some history - the little white boat on left had both the famous and notorious aboard. Sir Winston Churchill, and Bill Clinton. One chasing freedom, the other chasing skirts. Also at our hotel THE John Adams signed a treaty in one of our meeting rooms. Old stuff here. All different but really cool and interesting. Btw that's the boat that gave us the tour of the canals. Over 100 yrs old, converted to battery power, replacing the former Diesel engine.

Another by the way for those, like me who knew nothing of Amsterdam, the central city area was once completely like Venice. All streets were canals. They dug out canals 40-60' wide, took that dirt, put it between them and built 5 story buildings on it. Early foundations were animal skins on dirt then stone buildings. When the building would sink far enough into the earth that they couldn't use it, they put another floor on it. Eventually it settled and that's its foundation. Later wood/log pilings that are now all failing. Lots of sagging brickwork, leaning and tipping buildings - all being lived in everyday. Today they've filled in some of the cross streets/bridges as roads, to allow the millions of bicyclists to harass pedestrians. All bikes have little kids ringer bells on them - and they ring them seconds away from running you over.

Their saying "God created Heaven and earth, but man created Amsterdam.
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Unread 08-18-2014, 11:42 PM   #23
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Mick replied saying his family is from where we are going tomorrow Cinque Terre. I think it means 5 Lands. There are 5 hamlets on the coast that pretty much look like this.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:00 AM   #24
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Kevin, enjoy! My wife and I stayed in Vernazza in 2001. Just walked off the train and rented a room with a "bella vista" from a nice grandma.

Thanks for your pictures.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 05:27 AM   #25
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Great pictures. Wiley and I love Amsterdam. So much history across the pond. Hope the rest of your stay is wonderful! More pics!
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:36 PM   #26
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Okay, you asked for it. But real pics to come, again- as soon as I figger out the camera wifi to the iphone to the JBForum method.

In the interim: we did the tour of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Cathedral) today. Thought it was a "tour." Didn't know it was a trip to the highest spot of the highest building in Florence. Geez it was high. Not only the 461 steps up the spiral staircases (2 1/2 foot width treads, about a 10" stone cylinder up the middle, so less than 6' across for the spiral tube we climbed. Then when I thought we were at the high point of the tour (inside the top of the 147 ft diameter viewing ring of the dome, some 200+ feet up) - at that point we were lead through a small door that lead to, what else, more steps. However these were climbing ON TOP of the cathedral dome leading to the very top of the dome - some 330 feet above the ground. At that point we emerged from the catwalks and ladder steps to a viewing platform. Here's a look at this marble monster.
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Unread 08-19-2014, 02:41 PM   #27
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Looking up at the 39,000 sq ft dome mural.
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Unread 08-20-2014, 01:01 AM   #28
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Uffizzi Museum in Florence. Beautiful work from the masters. Stone sculptures from second century and paintings from Michaelangelo. One of his paintings below looks as if painted yesterday.
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Unread 08-20-2014, 01:04 AM   #29
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Statues exclaiming "Lord, look at the tile work here."
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Unread 08-20-2014, 01:11 AM   #30
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Last one before I head to the birthplace of the inventor of the MLT and TLS systems. Ponte Verdi bridge in Florence. Everybody who's been here has to take at least one shot of this one. Understood that it was the only ancient bridge here not destroyed in WWII.

Off to Mick-Land. Cinque Terre Italy.
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