November 19 Paris to Portland

While our last trip home was an adventure and merited some story telling.  This trip was without any drama thanks to Delta Airlines.  That is how you want a trip to end.

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Ton got this shot of the Canadian Rockies from the plane.

This completes our fourth trip to Europe using a RV.  They have been all been memorable, but we really enjoyed this trip tremendously.  We were more nervous about Italy than we had been on our previous trips, and those nerves turned out to be unfounded.

The best thing about Italy turned out to be Italians.  They were a kind, helpful, and generally fun group to be around.  The food was tremendous both at restaurants and what we bought from groceries and Ton prepared in François.  The sites were everything we had read about and exceeded our expectations.  

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We are hoping for a swift recovery for Venice from the recent floods.

We did travel a little differently than we have in other countries, sticking to campgrounds and using the Autostradas between cities.  We used campgrounds early on due to security concerns that had been expressed to us by other travelers.  But by the end Ton expressed to me that she liked staying at campgrounds better than less expensive but more rugged options, this may be a result of our aging.  The decision to pay to use the Autostradas was due to the nature of the Italian road system and while relatively expensive it saved in stress and time.

One of Ton’s favorite pictures from Italy.  It really captures the spirit of the country.

Rome was the biggest city we have ever visited in François, but I was surprised how easy it went.  The campground was very accessible from the freeways, and the transport into the city center, and the public transport downtown were easy to use.  I enjoyed Rome much more than I thought I would.  I also really enjoyed Sicily as it had a rugged beauty and charm that I enjoyed.  Ton could not pick a favorite place but she picked three similar places, she really liked the coastal towns picking Taormina, Cinq Terre, and the Amalfi Coast as her three favorites so there is a definite pattern in her choices.  I did not expect to like Venice as I had visions of a place crawling with tourists and tourist traps.  But in the off season it was not terribly busy, and it is charming so the appeal is obvious.  Right after we visited they experienced extreme flooding so I hope they can recover and come up with a plan to preserve the city in the long run.  Our biggest disappointment for the trip was Monaco.  I think we expected something more in line with Nice or Sanremo, but instead it felt sterile and lacked charm for us.

Another of her favorites.

We covered about 5000km’s on this trip.  François performed well and gave us no issues.  We are really happy we added the screen door as it made a big difference in warm weather.  The SOG unit worked well though Ton with her super sense of smell did occasionally get an unpleasant odor still.  Overall one of our best trips.


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