Author Archives: Bill and Paige

About Bill and Paige

Bitten by the wanderlust bug and the love of travel we find it hard to stay home. Backpack - check. Camera - check.

How lucky are we?

Wintering in Charleston (home B) conjures images of warm days and swaying palm trees. It’s the South – right?

The last couple years we have spent a good part of the winter in South Carolina. Loving the temps but quietly jealous of the snow storms in Northern Nevada (home A). Our fav – snow. Particularly snow storms.

A week ago today – the stars aligned and Charleston hit the jackpot. 5 plus inches of snow! The community came to a screeching but quiet halt. Downtown businesses and the airport closed for days – the schools for a week.

It was a peaceful, renewing calm that hit us like a marshmallow.

What a treat! Miraculous.

Palm trees and snow! Yin and yang – juxtaposition- whatever you want to call it. Southern living and mountain living weather converge into a medley of photos.

 

Meet Mrs. Zhang, 93 Years Young – An Independent Woman Living in China

Mrs. Zhang

We visited Mrs. Zhang in Longtan Ancient Village in Yangshuo County, Guilin, China. A retired farmer, now widowed (approx. 8 years) and childless.

She lives independently, cooking and caring for her home with her niece and nephew providing groceries. It’s not an easy life with modern day conveniences. Cooking requires a wood fire and the bathroom has no running water.

A church pew type wooden bench that sits perpendicular to her front door and she and her two lady friends pass the day visiting – as they were upon our arrival.  Watching others playing cards is enjoyable as well.

A proud woman, she insisted on sitting tall with a pensive look and I found her most adorable when I could get her to smile – capturing her youthful past in her twinkling eyes.

A large bag of recently made dried persimmons and sweet potatoes rested on the long wooden farm table. Upon leaving, with her infectious girlish smile, she filled bags for us to share.

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Around the World in 72 days

By the numbers:

72 days from Reno, Nevada west to Charleston, South Carolina.

39 beds

27 flights and approx. 40,000 miles

24 trains

23 countries

10 buses

9 boats

numerous taxi’s

and…

1 camel

 

 

*photo – A bit of home in Frankfurt, Germany

 

Germany

Train travel from Zurich to Frankfurt with a stop in Stuttgart.

Winter has set in. No wonder German’s crave sunshine. It’s cold and dreary. Thank goodness the countryside is so charming and picturesque.

Snow quietly blanketed the green grass and fall leaves – it altered our plans just a bit. We love winter, but started out with summer clothes. Layering has it’s limits.

Perhaps it’s time to fly west…

*click to enlarge photos

Zurich

The train ride from Milan to Zurich was picturesque to say the least – Lake Como, Lake Lugano and the snow swept Alps. Simply striking.

Switzerland may be the most beautiful country in the world according to this author.

Zurich, in northern Switzerland, is the third most expensive city in the world (CNBC) and all lit up for the Christmas season.

Brrr… it’s cold and it’s only the beginning of December. Lured by the Christmas lights on the famous Bahnhofstrasse (one of the world’s most exclusive shopping areas) we bundled up and headed to Central Altstadt (Old Town) on the Limmat River to find the Christmas market. Charmed by the historic buildings, the silvery river and lit up bridges we walked until our toes froze like little marbles.

*click to enlarge photos

The little country that does ~ San Marino

Also known as Most Serene Republic of San Marino, it’s one of the richest countries in the world, the world’s oldest surviving sovereign state and its oldest republic (since AD 301), the 5th smallest (4.5 miles long by 5 miles wide) and completely surrounded by Italy.

Phew…

The capital, also named San Marino, a UNESCO World Heritage site, sits proudly at the top of Mt. Titano. It’s chock full of castles with breathtaking views that reach from the Adriatic Sea to the snow-covered Apennines.

It was deserted and oh so cold.  The wind was whipping through the narrow streets and rocked my tripod. Our refuge was a cave like restaurant for vino and the first steak we’ve had in a month.

*click on photos to enlarge

 

 

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Bellísimo Italia

Milan, Genoa, Lucca and Merano.

Milan because it’s Milan. The fashion capital of the world, home of the Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the quaint art district of Brera.

Genoa because Guillermo was craving seafood.

Lucca holds a special place in our hearts and we wanted to scout out the Via Francigena – the Camino we will be walking next year – Switzerland to Rome.

Merano for its 700 year old Christmas festival.

We overdosed on pastries, pasta and wine. It’s compulsory – I’m positive our passport stamp said so.

*click to enlarge photos

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