Around Lake Garda

After our trip to the Italian Dolomites, our tour guide took us on an unscheduled trip to a town which unfortunately I can’t remember the name of!

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As usual I took loads of photos, so if anyone recognises where this is, please do enlighten me!


Italian Dolomites

Just a few of my favourite photos from our optional trip to the Italian Dolomites,  I actually took hundreds of photos while we travelled to get there on the coach, but by blog is almost out of space, so these will have to suffice!

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This was a long trip from our hotel, about three hours with a break at the hotel where I took these photos, but the scenery was stunning and the Austrian style chalets and countryside so pretty, plus it was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for photos.


The culmination of the trip was a ride in a cable car up to the top of the Italian mountains.  It was frreeeezing at the top but I wouldn’t have missed it, the views were incredible.

Sindy Dolls

Following on from my post about Pippa dolls, at the same time I found the Pippas, I also found two Sindy dolls and a big bag of clothes and accessories no doubt all owned by the same lucky girl in the 1970’s. Like the Pippas, the Sindys were the same kind that I played with as a child.  I took such a pretty picture of one of them I had to add it to my favourite finds section, so here she is!

Sindy blonde and brunette

And just for completeness here they both are!

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Along with the Pippas, they are for sale in the “Other” category in my Ebay shop



There’s not really much I can say about Venice which hasn’t already been said but there is one quote about Italy which particularly summed up our experience.  “Italy can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred metres or 10 minutes”.  I read it on the back cover of a book by Beppe Severgnini called “An Italian in Italy” while browsing WHSmith at Milan airport.  More about that quote later!

DSC_0029 - CopyDSC_0033        DSC_0026 - CopyDSC_0048DSC_0060We followed the brolly to the place where our guide introduced us to our gondolier.  It was 80 Euros for six of us for about half an hour.  It was enjoyable but was a bit spoilt by our gondolier being on his mobile phone for most of the trip!

DSC_0172 VeniceDSC_0084 DSC_0103 DSC_0100Unfortunately we didn’t pick this restaurant for lunch  – All’ Arco  (above centre) as recommended by Francesco da Mosto in a recent programme “RIck Stein: From Venice to Istanbul” (shown after our trip) but we decided on this one below with the wandering musicians outside as they made it look quite jolly (although they left as soon as we got there!)

DSC_0105 Venice DSC_0053Hence the quote mentioned above, unfortunately the waitress was the rudest I have ever met.  I asked for two cappuccinos first, thinking that they could be bought out before our meal but before I’d even had a chance to order the food, rude waitress announced “Madam, this is a restaurant, not a coffee house!” Well we should have left then because I couldn’t enjoy being in there after that –  I can’t remember what I ate.  You are in a magical place like Venice and then rude people ruin the magic!

DSC_0114 DSC_0135 DSC_0144 DSC_0158Unfortunately we had decided to go on an optional boat trip organised by our holiday company, Newmarket Holidays, during which, I was told, we would get close enough to take photos of the islands of Burano and Murano.  We almost missed the boat in our rush to get back in time and then I ended up wishing we had! The trip was long and boring  because we couldn’t identify the sights the tour guide was pointing out, and we went nowhere near either island.  Another disappointment!


Rude people and boring boat trips aside, we didn’t have enough time in Venice before having to return back to our hotel.  You need time to be able to get lost to make the most of a visit here, so you can get off the beaten track and explore the back streets and alleys and get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hot spots.

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I plan on coming back and spending a few days in Venice next time  so I can do exactly that.



Around Lake Garda, Lazise

Lazise was an extra quick stop as part or our Lake Tour and I’m glad it was included, it was delightful!

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The music from this sax player was quite haunting as we walked along the pretty harbour’s edge.


Lasize is definitely worth a visit, it was another sublime surprise around magical Lake Garda!




Victorian chair makeover

A friend thought of me rather than taking this old chair to the tip!  It was quite good timing as one of my dining room chairs has recently bitten the dust.


It sat in my living room for a while until I decided what to do with it and after painting my dining area this greeny/turquoise colour I decided to make the woodwork blend in, and re-discovered this Italian themed fabric which I had in stock (bought in a market in Delft, Holland).


My upholstery skills are nil but I managed to use my staple gun and hide the staples with the pom pom trim and am quite pleased with the result!