The Gentaglia      

The people content of the Italy, Croatia and Munich visits. Non-sequential happy snaps - and a selfie-free zone.

English is fairly widely spoken - and even in those cases when it wasn't, communication was not too much of a hassle. Asking permission to take someone's photo, seeking directions, making a purchase or jumping on public transport was easy. Bruce had mastered the ordering of things like a large packet of crisps or some thinly sliced prosciutto using hand gestures only.

(If you're using Safari as a browser on an iPad there will be a couple of photos that show up sideways. It's only on Safari - it doesn't happen with other browsers and i couldn't be arsed to work out why and try and fix it. Use a proper computer and not an iPad (Rita))

Phafferazzi Browserini

Phaffarazzi, Porto Venere.                                                                                    Browserina, Venice.

Codgeroni Natterini

Codgeroni, Marina della lobra.                                                Natterina, Riomaggiore.

Gambollini Rita

Gambolini. San Marco, Venice.                           Ritarona, Manarola.

The Vogalonga

The 40th annual La Vogalonga started with a race between friends in 1974 - and grew to over 2,000 boats and 8,000 rowers in 2014 including our Bevvie as the lone Aussie in a Swiss coxed 4.

The race itself is 32 kilometres from the basin at San Marco. Bev's team along with many others launched their craft at the other end of the Grand Canal - with a long row even before the start and a long return row after the finish. Bev and Bruce were up before dawn to prepare, the rest of us planning to avoid getting in everyone's way and considerately sleeping in.

The Hotel Rialto's smallish terrace overlooks the Grand Canal and provided a prime viewing platform pending our return from watching the start. Expected huge spectator crowds did not materialise - perhaps with the Canal and the basin being closed to the vaporettos people couldn't be bothered walking. The crowds grew along the canal towards finishing time but did not interfere with our view from the hotel terrace atop the 4th floor. We spent exhausting hours waiting for Bev's boat to pass down the home stretch - the hot sun made the wine drinking a testing task.

They nearly caught us by surprise, being amongst the earlier finishers. Those Swiss were serious about their rowing - no stops, not even for a wizz. Bev passed up her routine multiple morning cuppas to avoid having to pee in the boat. The crew wouldn't interrupt their rhythm to wave as they passed by.

Crews head down between the gondolas to the start.

There were few spectators at San Marco overlooking the starting point, but a huge armada of boats gathered in the basin for the starting gun from an Italian navy ship.

Bev's crew row past as they head down the Grand Canal to the finish - Bevvie in her bright yellow Surf Life Saving top. Herbert the cox was a huge guy - the size of a 500 horsepower outboard motor but without the propulsive advantages. Didn't seem to slow them down.

The crew. Hans-Peter Roth (Stroke), Bev Tener, Kathrin Hubacher, Maximilian Zimmermann (Bow) & Herbert Bay (Cox).

The Swiss contingent. Hans-Peter, Bev, Kathrin, Karin and Maximilian Zimmermann, Gaby, Albert Schlatter and Catherine Schneider

She did it! We are all very impressed and proud of you Bev.

On The Road

La Fungii Motogutsies

La Fungii on a Cinque Terre ferry.                                                 Hotel Minerva, Sorrento. 5 stars from us.

Minerva Hotel Sorrento Minerva Hotel Sorrento

Partitioned terraces served as balconies for our 3 adjacent rooms with sweeping panoramas across Sorrento and the Bay Of Naples at the Hotel Minerva. Cheers! And thanks for the bubbly, Bruce.

Hotel Minerva, Sorrento Manarola Hotel

Hotel Minerva balcony, Sorrento                                                   Hotel Marina Piccola balcony, Manarola

At the Vatican Rita in Rome

"The bus drove off without Rita"                                                   "Where'd everyone go?"

Hop-on-hop-off bus ride around Rome and Vatican City.

Bruce ponders hat alternatives Bruce's hat unravels

"I wonder how I'd look in a straw hat." Plitvice                                   "Lookin' good?". Opatija.

ahhh....Spiros Capt Bruce

Bev reminisces about Santorini and Captain Spiros                                                "Spiros Shmiros!"

Marina della lobra.

Amalfi Coast boat tour Chris St Marks

Marina della lobra to Capri boat ride.

Chris checks focus, exposure, shutter speed...and wind direction with his weathervane hat.

Ruins on the Tower Cinque hiking trail

At the top of the Tower, Pisa. I assume, while they look like they're standing up straight they'd really been standing at an angle.

Hiking trail, Manarola to Monterosso.

The Ruins Manarola Bev rita Hvar

Manarola - the walk to the ferry. Bev was impressed by the cleanliness of the rocks.

Bev does The Pony. Rita covers her genitals. Hvar.

Lyn and rita Venice Bev at Vernazza

A stray sprog photobombs Lyn and Rita on a Venetian bridge.     Bev, Vernazza.

Leaning Bruce, Pisa Photobombing seal

"I have a strange urge for a sardine"                                                     "Hi Uncle Bruce!"

The Ruins in Venice Geezers on Hvar

Geezers in Venice.                                                                          Geezers on Hvar.

Amalfi Coast boat tour Priest St Marks

Giovanni - personable geezer with amusing patter for his boat's patrons. Marina della lobra, just west of Sorrento.

Fr. Geezer transits San Marco Piazza, Venice. That sunlight above his head is just coincidental I'm sure.

Ponto Santa'Angelo Bruce, Dubrovnik

Inspiration for the sleeve of a Led Zeppelin LP? John Paul Jones lets rip on Stairway To Heaven? From the Ponte Sant'Angelo, the Castel Sant'Angelo in the background. Rome.

No obvious double entendres here. Cher?, it's Bruce in Dubrovnik.

Cellist in a tunnel Accordianist

Busker, Venice. A cellist in a tunnel.

Busker, Monterosso. This guy's tempo picked up every time a group of tourists went by.

Bagpiper, Kastel Novi Swiss Guard

Bagpiping busker, Trogir, Croatia. There was some sort of festival going on, and the town was an ideal setting for adults to dress up in Medieval costumes.

Swiss guard, Vatican City. If he's busking he needs more animation in his act.

Random ramblings about other peoples' photography:

  • Selfies. It's as if no fabulous scenery, no imposing historical wonder is of value in a photo unless the shooter's grinning mug is prominent in the frame. Get over yourselves.
  • Why does sound, say a bell ringing unseen in a bell tower motivate people to immediately take a photo?
  • Envious glances at a few tourists' ultra-expensive DSLR cameras that were fully equipped with fancy lenses and every available accessory revealed that they were set on automatic. All hat and no cattle.

          Amalfi Coast

          Cinque Terre

          Getting around

            Efficient trains in Italy including an up to 300kph commute to Naples from Rome.

            People Carriers with hired drivers in Croatia.

            Day trips by boat from the Marina della lobra near Sorrento to Amalfi & Positano and Capri.

            Ferries between the Cinque Terre villages. Ferry between Split and Hvar.

            Regular modern buses to get around Dubrovnik.