Internet and Accomodations

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How do you pick up a place to stay?

In a not so far away past, I would buy guide books or borrow them from the local library, decide where we wanted to stay and either rely on the guides for addresses or contact local tourist information offices.

Gradually I switched to the web for more or different information. Then I discovered tripadvisor. This was last summer when we had decided to go to Italy and had found that Verona seemed a nice place both for staying and as a base for sightseeing.

I visited various websites until I accidentally came across a couple of reviews about a flat to rent in Verona on tripadvisor. I enjoyed reading what other tourists had to say about the place and contacted the owner. The rest is history. The manager was just as friendly and helpful as in the reviews, the flat was comfortable and nicely situated.

A few weeks ago when we drove south for a week in Hyères, we thought it would be a good idea to stop on the way. Since we didn’t know where to spend the night I resorted to tripadvisor again and this time came across a nice-looking B&B in Burgundy. As one review mentioned contacting Linda abou tdietary requirements, I thought I might contact them and enquire about a vegetarian option.

It also helped confirm my first impressions that both the appartments and the B&B had a website. It allowed us to have a look at the rooms, the services and the location of these two places. Regarding Burgundy Blue, I also clicked on Facebook blue icon to have a look at the FB page. It comforted the pleasant feeling I had about this B&B. I then again contacted the owners via emails and then by phone. There again the reviews proved to be very helpful and we enjoyed the place so much that we decided to stop again on the way back.

Talking about Social Media Icons, you are welcome to vote on Leora’s poll.

10 Reasons To Visit Italy

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– It is a beautiful country. Whatever the sort of scenery you enjoy, you’ll find something to please you: there are mountains, hills, beaches and lakes.

– The museums and art exhibitions are well worth a visit. There are also palaces, gardens, arenas, Roman theaters, churches (for those of you who visit them) and beautiful town squares.

– It is sunny all summer. So if you are tired of your wet and damp climate, Italy is a fine choice.

– The coffee is wonderful.

– The prices are quite reasonable.

– A lot of Italians speak English; Besides if you have done French or Latin at school, there are lots of words you’ll recognize.

– Smoking is now forbidden in restaurants, bars and caffés.

– Despite what people say about Italy, it is clean.

– Because of the warm weather in summer, it is more or less possible to eat salads most of the time so, even if your level of kashrut is quite strict, you can manage in most places. I plan to write to write a post about keeping kosher while traveling and staying in self-catering places later during the week.

– Last, but not least, there is Internet access almost everywhere.

Overnight Stay

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On the way to Northern Italy, we have stopped in a European city. Can you guess where it is?

The previous post might help. Here is another clue: August 1897.

The Judaica above was photographed this evening in the shop window of an antique dealer next to our hotel.

Summer Stock Mediterranean Haven

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Porquerolles is the largest, most westerly of the three islands in the Îles d’Hyères. It is a beautiful island I went there for the day on a very sunny April day.

Robin at around the island has created a new meme: Summer Stock Sundays.

Share your barbecues, your beaches, your cannonballing kids, that island sunset, an old pair of flip flops, anything that says summer to you.

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How I Started the Holidays

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Car-Related Post

I bumped my car. On Saturday evening I went with some friends to the restaurant and as I left the car space after the meal I didn’t notice a piece of marble on the ground and really damaged the car. I obviously had to phone the insurance which was quite something since I wished to contact a real person rather than a voicemail system. It took me ages but I did manage to talk to a real human being in the end.

I played with my new toy (see photo above). I got this for my birthday and since I had no unknown place to go to I used it to visit my parents yesterday – with another car obviously. I know it’s pretty stupid but I wanted to check the settings I had chosen.

Yet now that I have to wait for the car to be repaired and because of the unplanned cost I will defintely spend the holidays here.

Visiting the Area


Last week we went away for a 24 our visit in the country. Friends of ours live in a small region called Thiérache in the North-east of our region.

It is a rural area which consists mainly of hedged farmland (or enclosures) – as oposed to openfield. When you drive or walk in the area, all you see is pastures and orchards. Apart from the necessary services and a few factories, most activities are farming-related. Its most famous product is Maroilles – a very local cow’s milk cheese.

Because farming has evolved over the past fifty years, fewer people work in this sector and a lot of of families have left this area. Fortunately this has not meant the complete death of the region as numerous Dutch people have bought and renovated old houses and small farms. Holland is not far and the Dutch enjoy the beautiful landscapes and the peace and quiet they get in an area that must seem quite empty when compared to their rather heavily populated country.