I knew this would be a difficult story to write. But after visiting the martyred village of Oradour-sur-Glane and learning about the horrific details of the WWII massacre of 642 innocent civilian men, women and children by the Nazi SS, I felt it was important to tell the story – a story that should be told again and again and again. Continue reading “Oradour-sur-Glane – a Memorial that Should Never be Forgotten”
I think most international tourists zip through central France on their way from Paris to colorful Provence and the sunny shores of the French Riviera. But as I recently experienced, if you are traveling near the city of Limoges, stop and take in some of its culture and history. Continue reading “Photo Essay: A Day in Limoges, France – Don’t Stop Just for the Porcelain”
The town of Limoges in central France, and the area around it is well known for its fine porcelain production. The discovery of kaolin in the area in the 1760’s, a critical component for hard-paste porcelain, and a ready supply of water from the Vienne river helped produce a successful French industry that could compete with the popular porcelain products imported from China. Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Bucolic Reflection on the Vienne”
One of my goals for this year has been to take quilting classes from some of the best instructors in the industry so that I could learn from various experienced quilt artists and get exposed to diverse teaching styles and techniques. I was thrilled to discover Crafty Retreats in central France and a class with Sheena Norquay, one of the UK’s top free motion quilting instructors. What I did not expect was the absolutely perfect holiday guest experience. Continue reading “A Perfect Holiday Escape with Crafty Retreats in Central France”
One final view of Italy’s majestic Dolomite granite peaks before we move on. This view is in the Rosengarten/Cantinaccio region. The German name, Rosengarten, derives from a legend about the dwarf king Lauren who supposedly had a rose garden here, but because of a curse, it can only be seen at sunset. These peaks average around 9000 ft. and since they are west facing, beautifully capture the orange glow of sunset. As with other regions in these mountains, there are ample scenic hiking opportunities in the area.
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With over 6000 square miles to explore in Italy’s Dolomite mountain region, we decided to make our home base in the town of Castelrotto/Kastelruth near the area of the Alpe Di Suisi (in Italian, or Seiser Alm in German). This high alpine meadow claims to be the highest and one of the largest alpine meadows in Europe at an altitude of approximately one mile above sea level and covering an area of approximately 23 square miles. Continue reading “Photo Essay: Hiking in the Alpe Di Siusi High Alpine Meadow in Italy’s Dolomites”
The Dolomite mountain region is northern Italy’s outdoor playground with numerous options for skiing in winter and hiking in summer. The 6000 square mile area is also protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Driving through the area the views present granite peaks soaring over lush green meadows and picturesque towns with characteristic church steeples.
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I like hiking the Italian way.
On a recent trip to Italy’s Dolomite region with my husband and daughter, we spent a few days hiking some of the many trails that criss-cross these mountains. Our home base was just outside the town of Castelrotto (in Italian) or Kastelruth (in German). We were in the south Tyrol region of the Dolomites, but this land once belonged to Austria, so even though now the border had it part of Italy, there is still a very strong Austrian influence in the region. All signs are in both languages, and German is the predominant language – as is the cuisine. Continue reading “Hiking Like an Italian in the Dolomites”
The Dolomites are a spectacular mountain range in northern Italy. 6000 square miles of jagged limestone peaks, they have been a tourist destination since the mid 1800’s. But it was the 1956 Winter Olympics in the region that put this mountain range on the winter skiing map. In the summer, the high alpine meadows are shared by hikers and the local cows as they move to the higher pastures for grazing.
You know you are in the Austrian alps when it’s summer, and a skier wearing shorts and carrying his skis stops for a snack at the all smoked meat and bacon snack shop in Insbrook’s train station. Speck is bacon or smoked ham in German, and the Speck Stube is nothing but smoked meats of all sorts and varieties – bacon, hams, sausages and all the condiments that go with.
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