Guide Map

View Around the World in 80 (+7) Days! in a larger map

The Yellow Pin is where we currently are, with some delay. Points of interest will also be added as we visit them and lodging ones are already there. Click on blue flight segment lines for flight info and real time tracking (lighter segments are completed). Red Segments have train info and green are for car segments.


It all started with the winning of 2 first class Continental RTW tickets from the American Express Wishlist way back in 2007 equivalently delivered with 560K miles. 6 years later with the merger of United and Continental, topping off the account to 700K miles with credit card offers, and a planned Leave of Absence from work, this trip is actually taking place starting 4/3/2013 and ending 6/28/2013.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Our Sorrento Stay

We travelled from Taormina in Sicily up to Sorrento in Italy via train, and not a great one at that. For a 6 hour leg they didn't even have food service on board, even in first class.  Some of the views along the coast were stunning though, and its the first we've heard of a train being loaded on board a Ferry to cross a water gap. We could even get out and roam around the Ferry while in transit. Even after that trip, getting to Sorrento is tough. We had to do different local train to Pompei, followed by Taxi to a different Pompei station, and then a really old local train to Sorrento. 

Sorrento like Taormina is nestled in the cliffs, but has much more dramatic larger buildings and higher sheer cliff walls. Its definitely a different place. It also has much more Tourists in general. We've still found hidden excellent restaurants, and have had some of the best Italian food yet here.

Capri is an easy day trip via Ferry, and is a great little island with much to offer. Split into Capri and Ana Capri, you can cover both by foot if you want to hike and climb many steps. There are many high end shops, restaurants, and boutiques as well. 

The Pompei city site which has amazing fairly intact ruins that were partially taken out by the Mount Vesuvius volcano, is also an easy day trip by train from Sorrento. The site is quite large and you can spend many hours just walking through all the ruins.

Tomorrow we take some of the high speed trains all the way North to Venice.

Sorrento views at night

View from Capri walk to the central area

Heading toward Villa Jovis and Villa Lysis

Villa Lysis

Inside Villa Lysis

Hiking from Villa Lysis to Villa Jovis

Beautiful floor at a Church at top of Ana Capri

The Phoenician Steps from Capri marina to Ana Capri (600 ft straight up)

Pompei Ruins

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Taormina - Village of Steps

It has been about 12 years since I was last here as an excursion from a Mediterranean cruise, and it is still every bit as magical. When Jose and I were planning this trip I insisted we come here as it was my favorite stop on that cruise. We are both very glad we came.

This charming seaside cliff town is full of tourism, yet still quite welcoming and every bit Sicilian as you'd imagine. It has perfect Mediterranean weather lending to our many outdoor amazing meals, coffee, and desserts. The sightseeing is spectacular with the impressive blue Mediterranean waters visible from almost anywhere here. The village is spread among the cliffs with maze like stairways as streets that you can wander through. Its about 600 feet from the water to the center of the village, and another 400 feet to the top where a church and castle are. If you continue 700 feet you hit Castelmola, another charming town with even more Spectacular views. All of this holds the Mediterranean waters in the distance and Mount Etna. Forget the "Stair Master", if you walk this place from top to bottom, you've got all the workout you need.

Our courtyard to enjoy at the B&B we are staying at, "La Pensione Svizzera"

One of the many side streets and markets here

On the "Via Crucis" (stations of the cross) steps up to Castel Saracena

Cats are everywhere here, this one likes its pot

The Greek Theater

View at night from Corso Umberto

At the rocky beaches down from the village

Climbing the steps from the beach back to the village

One of many random churches, this one in a cliff

This style of ceramic decorative head is everywhere here

View from Bar Turrisi in Castelmola

The narrowest streets here

The resident cat in the courtyard of our B&B