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April 2011 - Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany

April 23, 2011

Hi Everyone We had a great three weeks with Connie and Steve. They flew home on Tuesday and are safely back on Lake Pulaski, Minnesota. We got a few more projects finished this week, water in batteries, new thermostat sender on main engine, finished side curtains for "the Fort", ran Dutchman and reefing lines on mainsail and varnished the toe rail. It's hard to stay motivated after three weeks of touristing:-) Still lots we should do before we cast off our lines for Cruising 2011.

We hosted Mexican domino's last night. Al always hates to play but this is the game of choice for most cruisers we know. I think it's beginning to grow on him. We're going to Rome for Easter mass in English at Santa Suzanna. Then we're meeting Bob and Cindy on God Speed for brunch. Pope Benedict does a special blessing at noon but we don't know if we'll have enough time after 10:30 mass to get to St. Peter's Square by then. We hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

April 14 - 17, 2011

Hi Everyone Okay everyone cut me some slack. I reread some of my emails sent while on this road trip and I can't believe some of the errors. Blame it on late nights and lots of fun! Oh and we celebrated New Years 1972 in Munich not 1971.

Germany | Munich | Augusteiner Restaurant | Steve, Connie and Sally

Thurs. April 1 Our second day in Munich we took a wonderful free three hour tour of Old Town. Our guide, Marcin, was great, and worked for tips:-) He also works for a tour company that he was promoting. Unfortunately it was very windy and colder so we were glad to see the tour end at Viktualienmarkt (Open Market and beer garden). We had brats and then decided to head to the English Gardens. You can't blame us when low and behold we ended up in front of the Hofbrauhaus and needed a warm up and bathroom break 3 hours later and 2 liters each we wandered across the street too The Augusteiner and had another liter and wonderful dinner, pork knuckles.

Germany | Lake Starmberg | Neuschwanstein Castle

Fri. April. 15 On the road again... Poor Al always behind the wheel. Great drive through the Alps. We headed to Lake Starmberg where King Ludwig II built beautiful castles. One of which Walt Disney still pays Munich royalties on. The Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle. Grandpa had to head there so he could tell his girls he was at Sleeping Beauty's Castle. (Now when we told Josie this she informed us she wanted Grandpa to take her to Disney World:-)) You'll have to work on that Josie! We saw no fewer than 15 castles this day and at least 6 forts. The driving was spectacular although at times Al was not as enthusiastic as he was the driver. We drove through Innsbruck and then into Italy. It was a long day of travel but arrived in La Spezia early enough to relax and then head out for a quick bite to eat. Beautiful night and it felt great to be back to warm weather even at night.

Italy | Cinqueterre | Riomaggiore | Sally, Connie, Steve

Sat. April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Maggie! We had breakfast and then boarded a train to Cinqueterre. We started in Monterosso (last of the five cities) this time to avoid the crowds we encountered last October in Riomaggiore. Unfortunately parts of the trails were closed due to erosion over the winter and spring. We climbed the first 45 minutes of the trail to find it fenced and paddle-locked against hikers. So we climbed to the road and caught a bus back to Monterosso. We still had great views, just didn't get to see Vernazza on the approach from the west. We took at train. We tried some farinata (chickpea pizza)before hiking around. We were able to hike the trail from Vernazza to Corniglia. It was suppose to be closed too but we encountered no problems and had a beautiful 1 and half hour hike (Well maybe 2 at our pace). We sure did a lot of up hill climbing today so the downhill which normally kills my legs was a relief. In Corniglia we hiked down to the train and visited Manarola. Then it was a short, easy walk to Riomaggiore. Great day. We grabbed a slice of pizza to go and caught the train back to La Spezia. We had nice dinner lasagne for Steve, calamari for Connie and seafood pasta for Al and I.

Italy | Pisa |

Sun. April 17

We made a stop in Pisa this morning so Steve and Connie could see the highlights. We took our pictures and headed out for Nettuno arriving back at Artemis at 3PM. Wow safe and sound and we put on about 2,500 miles in two weeks. Where has the time gone. We've had such a great adventure and will miss our travel partners when they go home on Tuesday. Having Sausage/meat rigatoni for dinner tonight. If we aren't too tired we'll finish up with gelato. Love and God Bless Sally, Al, Connie and Steve.

Czeh Republic | Myslin | Connie and Al town Pribyl's came from

April 12, 2011

Hi Everyone, Al had some genealogy information about the Pribyl's in Bohemia from Helen Hudek Dougherty in Maple Lake, Minnesota. We drove 100km to Myslin, Czech Republic and met a man that turned out to be the Burgmiester (Mayor). He made a few phone calls and talked to the "Oldest man in town". He showed us two houses one that Pribyl's lived in and one and Dobners in the other. That would be Great Great Grandpa William and Anna Pribyl where Great Grandfather Joseph Pribyl was born and he married Anna Dobner in 1879. Their son William (Willy) was born there and then Grandpa Frank Pribyl and Ed Pribyl were born in USA. He had us follow him to nearby Milovice and the mayor there looked up the archives. Unfortunately the cursive writing used was too difficult for him to read and it was written in Czech. He called the English teacher over from the school to visit with us and the headmistress had to take over her class. Then they called Henry to talk with us and ride with us to Trebon to look at the archives for the Pilcek area. We were told the director there spoke English. Henry left Czech Republic 40 years ago. First to Germany for 10 years then to California for 30 years. He was quite a character so not too sure if all he told us was the absolute truth. We drove 3 hours down and back listening to his stories. We drove through Ceske Budejovice (Home of Budweiser)then to the quaint town of Trebon. The director said he couldn't help us as he was too busy and all the information was on the internet. Oh well the ride criss-crossing Southern Bohemia was worth it.

After dropping Henry back home we went another 100km over to Pelhrimov to visit our sailing friend Miro, "Snow White", who was our Group Leader on the 2008 EMYR (Eastern Mediteranean Yacht Rally). He took us to see his new apartment building, his offices and warehouses for his trucking company. Then we drove out of town to see the house he designed and built himself 25 years ago. His son lives there now as Miro lives on Snow White in the Med and is headed for the Caribbean this year. Great house, fun patio, pool, fireplace. Cool " Man's Cave" in the basement designed like an authentic Czech pub, sauna and shower. Neat wood winding staircase up to the bedrooms. Miro took us to Czech restaurant for dinner, beer, and then shots of Becherovika. Then we ordered one shot of each of these to share: Magister, Fernet, slivovice, Fernet Citres, Rum and Konak Vajecny. Happy 59th Birthday Steve!!! Poor Al, our designated driver couldn't drink. After driving us back 100km to our Prague hotel we took him to our favorite Pub down from the hotelPub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek . Late night for us...midnight!

Wed. April 13, 2011

After breakfast we headed 380km for Munich (Munchen). We stopped in Pilsen (Plzen)to visit the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. We did a quick museum and outside tour. Didn't wait the 2 hours for the next English tour. Bought some beer mugs for the boat and some beer. It was cold up in the mountains we actually had a few snowflakes. Very windy in Munich. We bundled up and walked to Frauenplatz to Bratwurst Glockl for late lunch/supper. We shared a special mixed sausage, sauerkraut, potato salad platter, soft pretzels (brez'n) and beer.

Germany | Munich | Hofbrauhaus

We walked to Marienplatz and watched the Glockenspiel on Town Hall. We stood in the same spot Jan. 1, 1972 and watched the 32 mechanical figures dance, re-enact scenes of Munich's history and listen to the bells play. The wind was quite nippy. We went to the Hofbrauhaus for 1 lt stein beers. The place was hopping already at 6 PM. We snuck upstairs to peek into the Festival Hall where we danced and drank in the New Year in 1972 while on tour with our college singing group from St. Catherine/St. Thomas, The Chamber Singers. Memories old and new. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Czech Republic | Prague | views from The Great Tower of St. Vitus Cathedral

April 11, 2011

Hi Everyone, Monday April 11 Great day in Prague. It was a little cooler today but still plenty of sunshine. We have been lucky with the weather since Connie and Steve arrived. We had a short rain hail storm the first day they arrived and great weather every day since. We left the hotel at 8:30 today and arrived back at 9PM. Big day, lots of sights and excitement. We walked to a Funicular that took us up to Petrin Hill a beautiful green park above the Prague Castle. We walked through the Hunger Wall, past Petrin Tower (Eiffel Tower lookalike) Loreta Square, Strahov Monastery, to Hradcany Square. Beautiful views of the river and city below...At the Prague Castle main gate, Matthais Gate we watch the changing of the guards and listened to the band play. A quartet on the street played "Die Moldau" which was special. St. Vitus Cathedral is amazingly beautiful. Most was build during 19th and 20th centuries. The stained-glass windows are spectacular. We climbed the 297 narrow steps to the top of the 96 meter, Great Tower. The views of the city made the climb worth the great effort put out:-) We walked down through the terraces of the Castle Gardens to St. Nicholas Church(or as we were told Santa Claus Church) Had another nice Pub lunch about 2:30 and then headed for Charles Bridge, Old Town, and Our Lady before Tyn Church. Easter Festival in the square and we had Trdelnik (tube shaped bread sugar, vanilla, toffee, almonds and nuts. We watched folk musicians and dancers perform. Great fun but by 6PM we'd had enough for the day.

We caught the subway at Republica that took us back under the river to Lesser Town where our hotel The Bridge and favorite Pub Sklipek was located. We had another great meal/beer at Sklipek's before heading to bed at 9:30. Another 13 hour busy day...Connie and Steve will be ready to go back home to Lake Pulaski. We plan to drive to the Pribyl ancestor's town of Mylsin tomorrow. If we have time we'll visit Cesky Krumlov castle before visiting our sailing friend Miro in Pelhrimov. Then back to Praha to celebrate Steve's 59th birthday. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

Austria | Vienna | Cathedral

April 9 - 10, 2011

Hi Everyone, Wien Hotel Senator (Vienna-Austria)We asked the reception for a restaurant recommendation. She gave us three...Chinese, Italian and Greek. Hmm...where is the Viennese food? We walked to the Greek Restaurant and Al and I both agreed it was one of the best Greek meals we've had anywhere.

We had a wonderful buffet breakfast and REAL coffee again. Our group isn't into espresso. We took a tram into the Old Town and got off near the Votive Church. We hopped a Ringstrasse tram to the Hofburg Imperial Palace and Museum Quarter. A young mom on the tram wrote down a Viennese Restaurant suggestion for dinner. What a contrast from the old cities of Italy. Much of Vienna was bombed and rebuilt after World War II. So the buildings and streets are much brighter and cleaner. We toured the Hofburg Palace with and audio guide. Great tour Beautiful! The storyline of the Empress Elizabeth was a bit overdone but otherwise good history and great artifacts.

Good signs so easy to travel around Old Town. We saw the Spanish Lipazoner horses going back to the Riding stables after their performance. We walked by the State Opera House (Staatsoper),Graben area and shopping street promenade up to St. Stephens Cathedral. We got a brat and ice cream for lunch then visited the Cathedral. A choir from England was singing when we visited St. Peter's Church. We saw Mozart's Vienna house and headed back to the State Opera House for a tour. Way cool...the lobby and entry way are original but much of the theater, backstage, reception rooms are new after bombings and fires of World War II. Back stage we saw the sets for that nights performance assembled. At the State Opera House they rotate Operas with a different Opera each night about 50 different Operas a year.

After our tour we walked in the Volksgarten (People's Garden), Parliament, Rathaus and City Hall. Below City Hall we discovered a festival. Each of the nine areas of Austria have a weekend that they "Present themselves to Wie n". We experienced Steiermark's Festival of wine, beer, food, music and crafts. We hopped a tram and went to the restaurant recommended to us earlier in the day for Wiener schnitzel at "Ter der 2 Heserlu". Great variety of schnitzel's and Connie and Steve were surprised to discover it wasn't hotdogs! We caught subway U2 and Tram 43 with a couple of short detours safely back to our hotel.

Czech Republic | Telc

Sun. April 10, 2011

We had another great buffet breakfast and left Vienna for Praha (Prague). We decided to skip the freeway type roads today and take the roads less traveled. Great countryside driving. Now we know why so many Czech/Bohemians moved to Minnesota. The countryside of rolling hills, small towns, farms and pine forest could be Minnesota. Now if they could just add a few lakes they's have it made:-)

We took a detour onto a real country road and visited a World Heritage Renaissance style town of Telc. Telc was an original 14th century fortified village with a castle, now a chateau. You enter the walls of the town and walk through an English style park surrounded by two duck ponds with quaint little bridges and paths winding back and forth between the ponds and streams. The main square was a burst of bright pastel facade buildings with neat contrasting lintels or paintings upon them. Fortunately we were leaving as the first of the tour buses arrived.

Czech | Prague | Pub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek | Sally and Al Favorite Pub

We arrived easily in Prague with only one missed turn. Oops wrong way, make a U turn whew just in time a tram came around the corner where we had been sitting! Free parking in front of our hotel, "The Bridge" one block from the Vltava River. The Bridge is old but clean, no frills. We went to a local Pub Smichovsky Radnicni Sklipek for dinner. Great food cheap beer! Steve and I had Bezousek (Spicy Goulash)) It was huge chunks of beef, sausage, potato, and carrots served in a spicy red sauce. Al had roasted rabbit with side pork and Connie had Meatballs stuffed with spinach. Tomorrow we'll tackle Praha. love and God Bless Sally and Al

Italy | Assisi | Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi | Steve, Connie and Al

April 6, 2011

Hi Everyone, Mon. April 6 We had a wonderful drive to Assisi, Italy and then on to Florence for two nights. We visited the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, had a picnic lunch and then a gelato before heading to Florence. It was a beautiful drive and we passed a lovely Lake Lago Trasimino before arriving in Firenze (Florence). We are using Google Maps with some success. Sometimes we pay too close attention to the exact number of meters before making a turn and then we get rerouted. We found our Hotel relatively easily but then Al and Steve had to take the car to a Parking Garage because our hotel lot was full. Now the lot was only 8 blocks away but it took 2 hours to maneuver through traffic. Connie and I were quite nervous and about to call the police when they walked into the hotel. We just couldn't believe it took so long to park and we were afraid they didn't know the hotel name or address. Whew! We had a beer/wine and then went out for a night walk and a pizza. Walking along the Argo River with the lights shining on Pone Vecchio was quite spectacular.

Italy | Florence |Duomo Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore | Sally, Connie, and Steve

Tues. April 5

We had a buffet breakfast with our hotel and then headed out for the day to explore Florence. Again our "little doggies" got another work out. We walked by Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Mercato (leather, clothing and jewelry market)We visited the Duomo Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Absolutely gorgeous facade on the duomo, baptistery, and bell tower. The bronze relief on the baptistery door were a highlight. We visited Galleria dell Academia to see among other things Michelangelo's "David". Then we went to Palazzo del Bargello to see some more sculptures by Michelangelo and Donatello. We split a couple of pizza's for lunch then walked to Piazza della Signoria to see some of the same sculptures we saw in the museums on display outside. We walked along the Arno River and over Ponte Veccio (Old Bridge)that had shops all along it. We walked by Pitti Palace and then headed back across the river for gelato (ice cream). Connie and Steve says it gets better and better every time we eat it:-) We visited Santa Coce and the SS Annunziata Basilica before heading back to our hotel. As Steve says "Our butts were draggin'" we were beat after 10 hours of hiking around. We had a lovely dinner out at the same restaurant Al and I ate at four years ago "La Garibardi". Al and I had squid, octopus/potato plate and Connie and steve had fried calamari, shrimp and white fish. We shared a salad and fried vegetables (zucchini, egg plant and red peppers. Our final plate...we shared a 2 kilo (2.5 pounds) steak Florentine. Yum!

Wed. April 6

Al drove us 3 hours to Venice. OOPS not 3 it became 4 hours as we made a fuel stop right when the Google Maps was telling us about our turn. So we missed our turn and had to drive half hour to turn around:-( Parking at Piazzale Roma was so easy but costly. We walked a short distance and boarded Vaporetto #2 (water taxi)and traveled the Grand Canal to San Marco Piazza. What a beautiful way to enter Venice. We had half hour boat ride view the gorgeous palaces, quaint side canals and bridges. We arrived at St. Marks Square and the Dogis Palace (Palazzo Ducale) Awesome! Our hotel Citta Milano was a few blocks off the square. Al and I had a two bedroom suite with questionable oders:-( We opened our windows and took off for St. Marks. While Connie and Steve toured Palazzo Ducale (MUST SEE palace/prison/Bridge of Sighs)Al and I wandered the street. No worries as all paths eventually dead end or lead back to Realto Bridge or St. Marks. We picked up Steve and Connie and went back to th e hotel about 6:30 to discover our room still smelled BAD! Al talked to management and they relocated us at Panada Hotel a few blocks away. The bellhop came and walked us down back allies to a steel gated door 233 and took us up to our room opening a steel door with five dead bolts and one inch steel pins into the door frame. We had a jaccusi tub but there was a bullet hole in the ceiling and the bathroom door. Hmmm...What is this place?" We had to go back to Citta Milano to find out where our hotel front desk was. As it turned out we weren't even in the same building as the hotel front desk and breakfast room. We had drinks with Steve and Connie and then went to dinner at a restaurant near our hotel Osteria N.1. We ordered the daily dinner menu specials. The guys had the Fish Meal: Salad, rolls, linguini and clams, followed by bream/sea bass main course. Connie and I had Spagetti Bolognese, salad, grilled chicken and fries.

Italy | Venice

Thurs. Apr. 7

All day in Venice today. We each had breakfast in our hotels and then met up to go touristing for 8 hours. We started at San Marco Basilica and toured the Galleria and Loggia first. We saw the original gilt bronze horse and the reproductions on the balcony overlooking San Marks Square. We had gorgeous views of the square and inside close up views of the dome. After visiting the Basilica we took Rick Steves advice and just got lost in Venice. We wandered about. It was so fun to turn a corner and see a beautiful church, palace or a little bridge crossing another canal. Sometimes we came to a dead end at another little canal but then we just turned around and headed back in. We stopped for a sandwich at a little bar, rested our poor feet and then right back at it.

Al decided to stop for cash and the bank took our cash card! His card was taken by a bank in Rome before we left but since mine still worked we figured the card was damaged. Fortunately this bank with proper ID gave th e card back to us so we still have one card. We called the Credit Union and found our regular banker JoAnne was on vacation for two weeks and Jason took over and didn't know of our travels so stopped our card. We are all set to go again and our card worked today. Lesson learned we will inform them by email of our plans so there is a paper trail. We went to our same restaurant of last night for pizza and salad. Our waiter saw us coming before he went off duty and greeted us. He introduced us to our new waiter and said after dinner drinks were "on him". So after dinner we had a whipped creamy lemoncello.

Italy | Venice | Grand Canal | Water taxi vaporetto #1 | Al Steve and Connie

Fri. April 8 We got an earlier start today. Breakfast at 7 and on our way by 7:30. We caught vaporetto #1 at St. Marks Square to Piazzale Roma Parking. Rush Hour Traffic on the Grand Canal was crazy: work boats, water taxi's vaporettos criss crossing, beeping, quick reverse...Whew but beautiful last half hour view of Venice. We drove about 600km today through the Alps to Vienna Austria. Absolutely gorgeous drive on 6 lane highways and many many tunnels. We stopped in a small town and our cash card works! We made a picnic lunch and kept on "truckin'". We checked into a beautiful modern hotel about 10min. tram from Old Town Vienna, Hotel Senator. We are right next door to our favorite grocery store Lidl's. We are heading out to find dinner now and look forward to another beautiful hard day of work (touristing)tomorrow. Love and God Bless Connie, Steve, Sally and Al

April 3-7, 2011

Hi Everyone, Al's sister Connie and husband Steve arrived in Rome last Wednesday from Minnesota. We met them at St. Peter's Square for the Papal Audience. We stood next to the fence rather than sitting down. It was so cool the Pope Mobile drove right by us and we could almost reach out and touch Pope Benedict. After the audience we walked along the Tiber past Castel Sant' Angelo and over Ponte Sant'Angelo (bridge)to have lunch at Da Francesco. We each ordered something different so we could share. Connie had pasta/fungi, Steve had the roasted pollo (chicken), Al had Pasta Carbanaro, and I had roasted veal/potatoes. After lunch we visited Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Chiesa di Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Bernini's Elefantino obelisk, and Trevi Fountain. We sat down and had our first gelato of the trip. Unfortunately but happily it was later in the day, thunder rumbled in and we took cover before it began to hail. The storm was short and we moved on dragging Steve and Connie's luggage to t he subway. We were very happy to get them checked into their hotel Province Hotel near the University. We sat out on their patio and enjoyed some wine before Al and I left them to sleep and for us to travel back to Nettuno.

On Thursday Al and I caught the train back to Rome and met Steve and Connie at the Colosseum. We took a tour of the Colosseum, had a fruit break then met up for our tour of the Palatine and the Roman Forum. We then walked up Capitoline Hill by Victor Emmanuel and over Isola Triburina bridge to Trastevere the real heartland of the Romans. It was neat wandering the cobbled streets,lots of local character, 17th C ivy draped buildings. We found a cut outdoor seating area for dinner. We enjoyed a Fish Daily Menu for 18E each. We had liter of wine, bruschetta, seafood pasta, fish platter of spada (swordfish), white fish and prawn, and tirimasu for dessert. Yum glad we didn't eat lunch today. We left each other at Termini Station, Steve and Connie to their hotel and Al I for Nettuno.

Friday we met on the Spanish Steps at 8:30. Fortunately our guide on Thursday had forewarned us of a transportation strike Friday between 8:30 AM and 6 PM. They have one of these strikes every few weeks. They mainly disrupt tourist travel but get the people to and from work. Quite an experience for Steve and Connie. They not only had to change trains in Termini but had to deal with the excess crowds of people racing to get to work before the strike began. Everyone was butt to belly on the subway and the crowd still pushed aboard. Al and I climbed out of the subway tunnel as they closed the gates for the day and were pleased to find Connie and Steve sitting by the Barcaccia (sinking boat fountain)in front of the Spanish Steps.

We stopped for croissant chocolata before walking to Piazza del Popolo fountains, obelisk and Chiesa di Santa Maria del Popolo. We climbed the steps to Pincio Hill Gardens. We had great views of Rome and Vatican City. Then we wandered the Villa Borghese grounds and toured Museo e Galleria Borghese. Glad we picked up our tickets a few weeks ago as it was sold out through Tuesday. Everyone's favorites were the Bernini sculptures,especially Apollo e Daphne (Daphne morphing into a tree. Lots of walking today as no buses and trains running. We walked from the villa past the American Embassy and found a cafeteria for pizza by the kilo lunch.

After lunch we hit Santa Maria delgi Angeli in Piazza Rupublica, then down to see Michalangelo's Moses at San Pietro Vincoli (St. Peter of the Chains)and then to the beautiful Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore (Bernini's tomb is here too). Now we had to really "hoof it" to Hotel Province to pick up Connie and Steve's luggage. We waited for a bus for 20 min and finally gave up and hauled our luggage uphill 2 miles to Termini Station to catch our 6PM train to Nettuno. Whrew we made it just in time. Good thing we quit waiting for the bus to come. Hot showers and Cold Beers were much appreciated a board the Artemis after being on the run for 12 hours today!

Saturday we did the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica. After the museums we stopped at "The Bridge" for gelato. We took the elevator and then climbed the remaining 382 steps to visit Michelangelo's Dome which is a MUST do experience. The views from the dome into the basilica were marvelous and then outside you looked down on St. Peter's Square and had spectacular 360 degrees view of Rome. It was quite a climb up to the dome but think we climbed up and down more steps than that while touring the Vatican Museums. We visited the Vatican Grottoes. We had time to tour the Basilica before attending 5:00 mass. Standing room only in the chapel because a group from California was singing. Michelangelo's Pieta got another look before we left catching our bus to Termini to take the train home to Nettuno. Our "little doggies" were screaming at us by the time we climbed aboard Artemis. We grilled chicken starving after another full day of touristing and forgetting to stop for lunch.

Sunday, our last day in Rome before our road trip, we visited the Catacombs of San Callisto. This was the official cemetery of the Roman Church in 2nd century. 20km of tunnels have been explored. The popes, martyrs, and important people buried here have all been removed and buried in churches around the city. The bones of the remaining were put on the 3rd level below ground where visitors were not allowed. We left Connie and Steve at San Giovannni in Laterano which was the first basilica built in Rome and is Rome's cathedral and the Pope's seat as bishop today.

Al and I grabbed a taxi to get our car rental at Termini Station before it closed. Whew another tight schedule we made it with 5 min. to spare:-) We drove back to San Giovanni to pick up Steve and Connie and head to Nettuno. Driving in Rome is an experience but we made it safe and sound. We've had gorgeous weather (except for our short hail storm the first day)Sunny every day with mid 70's We got back to the boat early enough to walk the b eaches before "Beer-Thirty". Leaving tomorrow on our two week driving adventure. We're in Plus Florence Hotel/Hostel in Florence Monday and Tuesday. Then on to Venice. Love and God Bless Sally and Al

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