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Eclipse in St Marks Square Venice: A Celebrity Arrives

Dawn in Venice

Celebrity Square: At St Marks Square, Venice After cycling across Europe we have a day to spend in Venice, to see the sights, to celebrate our family achievement, to blend in with the thousands of tourists who have travelled far and wide to see this unique city of canals and culture. And, as it turns [...]

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Party time in Venice

Venice awakes Water laps onto stone. The haze of dawn and the morning mist combine on the lagoon, casting blue light over the skyline as it wakes. I have fallen in love with this city, with its early morning waterways, intense alleys and deserted passages. I have one hour to explore it alone. The tourists, [...]

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Cycling in Venice: the battle of the shades

Approaching Venice via the islands by bicycle

Cycling in Venice: the battle of the shades Each time I jumped the handlebars wobbled causing us to weave a more dangerous path along the tarmac strip of land that passed as a two lane road. I wanted to keep us in as straight line, make our movements as predictable as possible to passing traffic. [...]

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It’s not real, it’s just a dolly

Dolly has now been promoted from the buggy to riding pillion When we’re on the road, our little band of five can seem less like a family and more like a travelling kindergarten or zoo. Sometimes I lose track of who I’ve got with me at any one time. Still, on the plus side, my [...]

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The waiting game

Beautiful Italy, so atmospherc The café on the square looks closed, the tables outside empty, but the door is open. It’s an improvement on the other two bars in Cartigliano whose doors are firmly locked for siesta. Where do Italians go for a lunchtime drink or snack? The kids pile in noisily and head straight [...]

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Little Italy: Trento

Trento Italy

Little Italy: Trento A man drove up to Trento’s main Piazza in his tiny car. Not a Smart car, but a tiny shiny red vehicle, just room for one. He nodded at a creamy skinned Italian girl in a café and she nodded back. After a moment she reappeared in the Piazza, carefully carrying a [...]

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The Fashionista

Cycling Italy Irrigation Sprays

The Fashionista It’s ten days since we left behind half of all our clothes in the wash-o-mat in Augsburg and no-one seems to have noticed, well at least amongst the family. We adapted worryingly easily to wearing the same outfit day after day, washing it where we can, drying it in the sun and thanking [...]

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Encounters with a tranny granny

It may all look very lovely but at the end of the day I’m tired, hungry and need a bed for the night It is 34 degrees. It is late and we are in a big city. We have no hotel for the night. We are having a row in the middle of the street [...]

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It’s only a hill stupid – climbing the Alps

Climbing the switchbacks… while others descend  “Number seven. Number seven. Over to number seven, ” Matthew shouts. It’s only minutes since we passed number eight, and yet, forever. Since then the lactic acid in my legs has burnt faster than a Sunday footballer with every sluggish revolution. I feel like a sweaty bloke as I [...]

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Garlic spam? Is that all? Things we miss about Germany

The scenery hasn’t changed but the breakfast has… “Is that all?” says Hannah as she sits down to breakfast. She echoes my own sentiments as I take in breakfast. One bread roll each and some garlic spam. I look around for the buffet, then remember we crossed a border yesterday. We are in Austria, not [...]

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