Vietnam, Hanoi arrival – day 1

After a long flight we arrived the bustling city of Hanoi. Upon arrival we are met by our local guide Wuan and transferred to the Silkpath Hotel located in the city centre.  Once settled in we set out to discover the city with a walking tour in the neighborhood.  The streets are bustling with people and thousands of scooters. We use a funny term when crossing the road. Sticky rice. This means stick together and walk with conviction, no stopping or sudden movements or you might get hit by one of the scooters. What an experience.
The stalls are brimming with foods, clothing, flowers, vegetables, meats and much more. Little restaurants set up on the side walk, serving the popular street food.  It’s such an exciting place, full of activity.
We enjoyed a very delicious dinner at  Wild Rice Restaurant.  A little tired from jet lag we called it an early night , tomorrow is a busy full day of touring Hanoi.

Hotel: Silk Path Hotel, Hanoi

Nov 7th Mount Kenya-Sweetwaters Tented Camp

We have arrived at Sweetwaters Tented Camp where we’ll be staying for the next couple of days. So excited as this is a sheltered oasis clustered around a water hole. We ventured out in the afternoon and we are happy to say we’ve now seen the BIG 5-Water Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino….SOO HAPPY! This place is amazing outside our room are animals. A little piece of heaven here. We visited Baraka, a blind rhino who we were able to feed and touch.

 

 

Nov 6th Buffalo Spring Game Reserve and Umoja Women Group

We explore this beautiful land which is home to numerous hippo, crocodiles. Shaba offers sanctuary to large herds of elephants, healthy lions, leopard, cheetah, reticulated giraffe and over 100 species of birds. We visited the Umoja Women Group, a women only village and cop-op dedicated to informing women about health and human rights issues that funds itself through the sales of beautiful handicrafts. We shopped of course!

Kenya Nov 4-Daphne Sheldrake Animal Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Bead Centre

Today observed baby elephants playing like little puppies at the Daphne Sheldrake Animal Orphanage . We got close enough to touch them and watched them being fed from large baby bottles. We then ventured of to the Giraffe Centre, founded in 1979 and has become a world famous Nature Education Centre. Some were brave and got up personal with a few of the as you can see. In the afternoon we visited Karen Blix Musuem. It’s history dates back to 1914 when Karen Blixen arrived from Denmark. Many of you who have seen “Out of Africa” know her story and saw where we were today. The clothes you see are the originals worn by Robert Redford in the movie. The afternoon it was off to Kazuri Beads for some shopping!

The group enjoyed a lovely WELCOME DINNER at Carnivore.  The name says it all.

 

 

 

Italy’s Amalfi Coast – 23 October 2017 – day 9

Mozzarella factory, gelato class and limoncello production

By this time, all the ladies are expert tasters of these treats:

After a wild and crazy overnight wind storm it was calm this morning.

We visited Villa Le Sorgenti farmhouse – a working farm – to learn about mozzarella production and to enjoy a light lunch.

After lunch we made a stop at I Giardini di Cataldo laboratory to learn more about Limoncello production and for a tasting, of course …..as well as a mini lemon gelato cone.

 

This was followed by  a visit to a gelateria for a hands on lesson in creating the perfect gelato.

We returned to the hotel in time to pack and relax before going to the marina for our farewell dinner at the wonderful seafood restaurant Zi’Ntonio a Mare.

All good things must come to an end ….we have had a wonderful time sharing the experience of exploring the Amalfi coast with our amazing guide Pasquale ….new friendships have been made and hopefully some of us will have the opportunity to travel together again soon.

Italy’s Amalfi Coast – 22 October 2017 – day 8

Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius

Paintings in the hotel dining room.

 

One of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world, Pompeii provides a glimpse into ancient Roman life; During our 2 hour visit of the fascinating archaeological site our guide Michele showed us the highlights. We walked the Roman streets and explored houses, shops, amphitheatres and cafes.

 

We then headed toward Mount Vesuvius; enjoying a light lunch and wine tasting at Cantine del Vesuvio on the volcano slopes.

After too much eating and drinking a walk through the vineyards was a perfect solution.

Unfortunately our hike on the slopes of the volcano to admire the breathtaking views on the Bay of Naples had to be canceled as they closed the mountain trail due to heavy fog and the expected rain storm, resulting in zero visibility which would have been dangerous.

Postcard picture of the crater we did not get to see:

Instead we watched a cameo making demonstration followed by a return to the Pompeii shopping area for some last minute shopping.

 

After a tiring day some of the ladies relaxed at the hotel while others ate at a restaurant close by or made their way into Sorrento for an enjoyable dinner at one of the many wonderful restaurants.

Thi is the first time we have experienced a little rain and this evening extreme wind.  We have been so fortunate with the lovely sunny days we have had.

Italy’s Amalfi Coast – 21 October 2017 – day 7

Free day in Sorrento

The day was ours to continue exploring the town’s narrow streets and alleyways and shop the boutiques and artisan workshops of the Corso Italia and Piazza Tasso. I think many suitcases are going to be much heavier on our return!

After that some of the  ladies went to the beach, had a swim in the sea or pool and relaxed in the hot tub.

After a scary drive up winding narrow streets we enjoyed a delicious dinner at a popular local restaurant called ‘Donna Sophia’ – dedicated to Sophia Lauren – great ambiance and delicious food.

Italy’s Amalfi Coast – 20 October 2017 – day 6

Excursion to Naples

Today we explored Naples after a lovely breakfast on the hotel dining room patio.

Our guided walk of Naples took us to the UNESCO World Heritage historic centre wandering through the alleys:

It’s a bustling, energetic city and its street life has an infectious vitality.

We learned that baci are kisses :-)

We visited two churches including the San Severo chapel:

We sampled pizza for lunch at Trattoria Medina, in the city where it was invented.

http://www.trattoriamedina.it/

In the afternoon we had a scenic drive through Naples and up to a vantage point for a magnificent view before returning to Sorrento.

 

We met at the rooftop bar for a glass of vino and to listen to music and watch the sunset.

Yet another day in paradise!

Italy’s Amalfi Coast – 19 October 2017 – Day 5

Cooking Class

Today’s excursion was to Villa Ida’s Cooking School (named after the chef’s grandmother) where we learned to prepare some of the traditional regional dishes of the Amalfi Coast in a hands-on cooking class in a lovely traditional home.

We started our day in the garden, drinking almond milk, espresso and almond cake.

After which we picked fresh herbs to use in our cooking

http://www.villaidasorrento.com/

Chef Roberta’s dishes are based on perfect seasonal ingredients using the chef’s family recipes.

 

We also visited Charlie’s wine cellar to taste homemade wine.

We were fortunate to enjoy lunch based on our efforts under the pergola.

After our delicious meal we visited Pasquale’s family’s farm for an olive oil processing demonstration. An added bonus – we got to meet his papa, his nonna and the farm animals.

This evening we were free to enjoy a visit to Sorrento for a bite or just stay and relax at the hotel.