Peru – Barranco, Lima

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Ancient ruins, an enchanting culture, and a beautiful landscape allured me to Peru. And Machu Picchu of course. My family visited this summer; we were not disappointed. With Machu Picchu the pinnacle destination, I planned eight days in the Sacred Valley and two in Lima. This was our first international family trip since spending a few weeks in Europe three years ago.

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Rome

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After three weeks in Europe we arrived by train to our final destination…Rome. A grand finale to an extraordinary trip. We began our time with what was to be the first of many Sardine like experiences. A large city, there are only two metro lines because everywhere they excavate…there are ruins and they have to stop. Consequently the two lines are always packed. We couldn’t even squeeze onto the first train, and so we squeezed onto the second one. Me shouting to the kids what stop to get off of since I couldn’t see them.

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Venice…more days

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After some wonderful and needed sleep, we were out the door at 9 on day two.  I had booked the Secret Itineraries tour at the Doge’s palace for 9:55.  By now we can traverse Venice pretty easily from our apt to St. Marks Square.  At 9 the city is still quiet.  Shop owners are sweeping and opening, trash collectors are picking up trash,  and the day trippers aren’t here yet.  Most tourists don’t stay on the islands, and cruise ships unload thousands each day…so the mornings and late evenings are wonderful.

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Traveling from Paris to Venice? Stop by Switzerland!

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We left Bartenheim and France and headed into Switzerland. It was nice to drive back into the Alps and the scenery I had grown to love. Very German/Austria like…and even German street signs once again.  Some how none of us were able to pick up any French, but we all know some basic German now. We stopped in a lovely small Swiss town called Appenzell.  Incredible scenic town in the foothills of the Alps. The houses were bright and painted as they had been in Germany. We roamed the cobblestone streets for a couple hours, went into another breathtaking little church, and stopped in a café for a couple coffees and assorted chocolates. A very good stop.

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