Posts Tagged ‘alps’

On Base

Monday, November 24th, 2014

We are in Garmish, Germany this week staying at an Army complex. It is at the base of the Alps and is something out of a fairy tale. The Marshal Center; European Center for Security Studies is a big part of what goes on here. It is very impressive as they bring in security personnel from countries all over the world to put their heads together and come up with ideas to make this a safer planet. Next week’s class will have representatives from 46 different countries.

The U.S. spearheads this and provides the accommodations, teachers, classrooms etc. One of the questions they will be tackling next week is how does a country deal with the issue of a citizen who goes to Syria for ‘training’ and then wants re-admittance to their own country? They haven’t committed a crime…yet. We have met several fine people who work for this outfit and it’s people helping people stay safe.

We enjoy being able to take advantage of the military benefits Steve has earned.  We can live  on base (when room is available), shop, eat. Everything is in English and in dollars no matter what country the base  is in. While here, we both got our hair done, enjoyed fellowship at the base chapel, and used the library. We have a suite with maid service, a nearby cafeteria, and bus service just outside the gate.

Security is very tight with guards and spotlights and dogs, so you better have your I.D. ready.


Fly Day

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

It is now april 5 and we arrived in Italy this afternoon. Pisa, blue skies, and 82 degrees.  It was like being welcomed by an old friend — the fluid song of the language, the friendliness, the fresh tastes. I am not counting the impatient honking of car horns.

As I was flying over the French Alps , repeat, as  I was flying over the French Alps (doesn’t that sound awesome?) I was praising in my heart of hearts for the journey I’ve had so far and the 5 weeks to come!!!!!

Hello, Italy!

Lovely To Lake At

Friday, June 5th, 2009

interlachenDay on the Lake

Interlaken is the land and city between two alpine lakes near Bern (the capitol).  We went by train from Seftigen to Thun to catch the ship that criss-crosses the lake.  We were visiting Heather, Heinz, and their baby Jackson who are friends of our daughter KC (isn’t it great when your kids become adults and share their friends with you!)heinzheather.  We had a beautiful, awesome day in the low 70’s,clear, snowy alps, azure water. 

Swiss life is amazing, gentle, and tasty.  The minimum wage is close to $25 an hour, but then it’s $7 for a simple cup of Starbucks. The public transportation is great, lots of pasture and farms with big-eyed cows wearing their bells (not all of them, these are prizes that they get to wear around their necks if they are best in show).  And every home is required to have a bomb shelter replica rolex and air purification system in it.  Heather and Heinz’s made for a great wine cellar with a heavy thick door though it was kind of scary.

A Piece Of Pisa, Per Favore

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

When we saw the forecast for lots of rain, we made a route change and went to Parma!  It is a big city, but very nice and friendly (featured in John Grisham’s  book “Playing for Pizza“).  The Cinque Terra we figured would be all washed out, so why not head a mere 2 inches in the guide and see why Mr. Grisham fell in love with this place.  Those two inches contained the French Alps, just a few miles from Turin (site of the 2006 Winter Olympics).  

leaningsteveBeautiful, breathtaking, and…”Coast, we are nearly out of gas!”  Due to all of the switchbacks, we almost ran out of gas.  We arrived and had a great hotel and an awesome italian meal and a long walk around Parma before we headed to our reservation at Camp Darby in Pisa (a little-known military base with beautiful accomodations).

So heading out early we had to cross…guess what?   The Italian Alps!  But this time we took a major highway with buckets of tunnels and incredible engineering feats. 

We were scheduled to be in Pisa around 1 pm, but we got in at the ususal Morales-time table of 4:30 (at least it was still daylight).  We managed to go against the traffic, swimming upstream, and see the bapistrypisasights in town with fewer tourists as it was near closing. With the start of Easter week and school breaks, this place is bedlam.

We passed on climbing the  Tower, but were moved by our time in the Duomo and in the Bapistry.  The acoustics in the bapistry is such that every 30 minutes a guide comes in and sings a trio of notes spaced apart, but because of the echo and it’s 10 second length, it comes out sounding like 3 people singing at once (a full chord)!

It is amazing to actually be here and see this all in person.  And it blows me away to see and to know the effort, talent, devotion, and faith to build it all. Amazing!


Friday, April 3rd, 2009

thinksignAll is NOT glamorous in the world of travel, and we find that we either love or hate Lucy (our GPS with an attitude)!  If our guides tell us we will be driving for 3 hours, you can count on us needing 5.  She will take us to the most remote corner of anywhere and then lose her signal and just stop. 

With all the water in Holland, she didn’t know whether to have us travel on a road or canal.

In Monaco, she had no understanding  of what a one way street was (we spent an hour going 3 miles…round and round and round). 

And because she thinks she knows it all, if we ask to get out of Monaco and into Italy, rather than take the best road, she just takes us up and out and into the French Alps, whereas 2 miles out of our way would have given us a real road and not a cart path.

Now tomorrow  she has her last challenge for awhile: to get us to Montalcino from Pisa in the 3 hour drive time indicated…or she goes in the suitcase and I go buy a map.