Having internet issues on my side today - what a pain in the butt.
Well, we are finally here at the Real Last Day of Summer (I mistakenly had said the Saturday was the last day of summer). But this is it - for real this time!
I'm not the biggest fan of summer, it's just way to hot for me. But that doesn't ever stop me from traveling...and sometimes I'm smart enough to plan summer trips to cooler destinations! It kinda makes the summer suffering that much shorter for me. But that really wasn't the case for summer 2015 - as most of my destinations were hot ones!
Here in SoCal this week we are facing temps which will be in the 90's. And we are leaving town on Friday and heading to Maui and Kauai where it's like summer all year long. So basically, although today might be the last day of summer...it might not be cooling off for lil 'ol me for a while.
Since it's Travelin' Tuesday, it's our time to talk travel! I know that I always seem to manage to talk travel with you guys - since that's a topic that is ALWAYS ON MY MIND and I'm always planning something, but today we go into more detail...
*Note - that my internet is continuing to have issues and everything that I wrote after this point had been deleted. Here goes take 2!
I shared with you last week how I had run into a hiccup in regards to my skeleton itinerary for our Spring Trip to Portugal/Spain/France/Andorra. The inter-island ferry schedule pretty much messed me up. Well since then I have made the proper adjustments and have booked most of our hotels and apartments; I do however still need to confirm our accommodations for the Azores islands of Faial and Sao Miguel. I also changed a few things around from how I had them on the original plans. But quite possibly for the better...
I took Porto and Madrid out of our plans altogether. I really wanted to see Porto - in fact it was the one city in Portugal that I was looking most forward to seeing... However there were some photos that caught my attention and I really really really wanted to go to this "street" and capture this lovely art installment on my own - then I found out that the installment is only there for a couple of months in the summer, and not while we are visiting whatsoever. That was enough for me to forgo the visit and instead add on going to the beautiful Algarve Region!
The Algarve Region is located in the southernmost region on mainland Portugal and is a the most popular tourist destination in Portugal, and one of the most popular in Europe - as Lonely Planet puts it: The Algarve is alluring. Coastal Algarve receives much exposure for its breathtaking cliffs, golden beaches, scalloped bays and sandy islands.
As for Madrid, well being that I hadn't had too much time allotted for this capitol city of Spain, in fact it was really only on the itinerary based on the route I was planning on taking to get us back to Lisbon, and that there was only one main sight that I really "needed" to see. I decided to postpone Madrid to another time when I could do some proper sight-seeing.
And instead I've added Valencia (Spain) -
Valencia - The port city of Valencia is on Spain’s southeastern Orange Blossom Coast, is a charming old city and the capital of the Old Kingdom of Valencia province of Spain where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea.
All in all I'm actually much happier with the "new" plans.
And now it's time for me to seriously finish our packing!
Catch ya back here tomorrow for W2GW!
Bye guys, -T
Elisa's Daily Scoop NEXT TRIP DEPARTS IN: 3 DAYS
Travelin' Spotlight: Ragusa, Sicily
HOWDY AND HAPPY TUESDAY!
Well, folks, I have a busy day ahead today.
I'm heading down to Lower Manhattan to the 911 Memorial & Museum and One World Observatory.
Tanya and the gang made the visit to the top of the new Freedom Tower back during her last visit to New York. You may remember the poignant photos she posted back on September 11th.
I'll be taking many of my own today as well.
I have to tell you -- my kids are a little strange. Yesterday, they went outside and Kelsey put her horse lead rope on herself and Gianna was holding the end of it. Then, Kelsey was "galloping" around an obstacle course they created as if she was a horse. hmmmm.
My very strange daughters playing "horse"
Well, considering that it's Travelin' Tuesday, I thought I would continue detailing more about Sicily, which I'm hoping to visit in the Spring.
This week, I'm going to talk about the charming town of Ragusa.
Situated on a hilltop, Ragusa is one of the UNESCO-listed Baroque towns of south-eastern Sicily.
Ragusa is in the Monti Iblei, a large area of high ground, divided up by dry stone walls and incised with ravines.
The town was originally built on a small steep-sided hill with deep valleys on three sides separating it from the high plateau.
In 1693, an earthquake destroyed many of south-eastern Sicily's buildings, and so it was decided that Ragusa would be built on higher, more level ground nearby.
With the rebuilding of the town with straight, level streets, there were some - mainly aristocrats that were against moving and instead built for themselves new palazzi on the ruins of the old town.
As a result, today, Ragusa has two parts:Ibla (or Ragusa Ibla), the older center on its hilltop, and Ragusa Superiore, the more modern upper town which spreads from the post-earthquake streets into more recent developments.
Ragusa, Sicily (credit: italyheaven.co.uk)
Today, Ragusa is a magnet for tourists. Most agree that the one of the best activities in Ragusa is just walking around or clambering up the steps towards the upper town and enjoying the great view over Ibla!
Several sights to see include: Duomo di San Giorgio The largest building in Ibla, this cathedral, was built beginning in 1738. This building is the heart of the old town and contains some of its most valued artworks.
Museo del Duomo Located alongside the church is a museum containing stone statues and reliefs from the original pre-earthquake San Giorgio and other churches, architectural drawings by Gagliardo (who built the Duomo di San Giorgio), some extravagant reliquaries and gloomy religious paintings.
Giardino Ibleo These gardens are the pride of the town, with views over the surrounding valleys.
Ragusa Superiore More than just the 'modern' part of town, it too boasts elegant streets and noble palazzi and has its own Duomo, the Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista.
All agree that the best part of the upper town is the descent, via flights of steps or the winding road, towards Ibla, with the hilltop town spread out in an unforgettable panorama.
So, we have three lovely cities in Sicily so far that will be part of my trip (whenever I get it on the calendar!!) TODAY, is not the nicest weather day - I was hoping for clear, blue skies and sunshine to get an amazing view of from the Freedom Tower Observatory - oh well, I'll do the best I can!