Sunday to Thursday was spent babysitting our granddaughter so the kids could work uninterrupted unpacking and organizing their new home! We definitely had the easiest and most fun job! Our granddaughter enjoys smiling and trying to roll over.
Our stay at the Newport News Park Campground was uneventful. We had a lot of shade which was very helpful.
We did walk some of the trails early in the morning because the temperature was up to the high 90s when we were there. On our first walk we passed some Civil War Earthworks!
We read on the Newport News Park Park Campground website that along one of the walking/biking loops crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park and you can view a placard on the site of where George Washington’s headquarters were during the American Revolutionary War. From our campsite it was a 4.73 mile roundtrip walk. It was a shaded walk but it was very humid even early in the morning.
The start of our walk.
a turn here off the trail
Placard about George Washington’s Headquarters.
George Washington’s Headquarters.
Thursday evening we said our goodbyes which was difficult. Friday morning we packed up our RV and we were on the road by 8:45 AM. We didn’t have any long delays or issues on our drive home. We stopped for lunch at a rest area and cooked grilled cheese sandwiches and soup in the RV. We are being very cautious due to COVID-19. We only used the RV restroom and ate our meals in the RV. When we needed gas, we wore our masks and sanitized our hands after filling the tank. We were home by dinnertime and had the RV unloaded before dark! We didn’t do the cleaning of the RV until the next day.
“Miss Daisy” is back in her spot at the RV storage lot until our next adventure with her. Who knows what will be next?
Today began with a tour of the Dachau Concentration Camp. It is located about 12 1/2 miles NW of Munich. Dachau became the model for other camps that were built. It is now a memorial site on the grounds of the former concentration camp. This memorial site was established in 1965.
Entrance sign to Daschau
Plaque to Liberators
Entrance gate to Dachau
Roll Call/Meeting area
Barracks are in the background
The gate at the main entrance had the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” which translates as “Work Makes You Free”!
Dachau was also the training center for the SS where recruits were indoctrinated into a system that encouraged the torture, humiliation and killing of prisoners.
A model of the layout at Dachua.
Repairing the Dachau memorial sculpture
Daschau Memorial site
Dachau Memorial site
Dachau was built in 1933 as a concentration camp for political prisoners. The camp had 32 barracks, one reserved for clergy and one reserved for the medical experiments. Dachau was designed to hold 6,000 prisoners but by 1944 there were over 30,000 prisoners! In the 12 years of its existence over 200,000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned there. After only imprisoning political prisoners, it then held criminals, homosexuals, gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It was later that Jews were added. At Dachau some prisoners were used as slave labor to manufacture weapons and other items for Germany’s war effort. Also some prisoners were subjected to brutal medical experiments by the Nazis! Theodor Eicke ran the camp after Sebastian Nefzger. When Eicke took over he enforced a rule that any prisoner deemed guilty of rule breaking would be brutally beaten. And if you tried to escape or shared your political views you were immediately executed! Eicke’s regulations served as a blueprint for all of the other concentration camps.
We saw the cells, barracks and gas chamber. Dachau has rebuilt two of the barracks. The other barracks are indicated by concrete foundations.
A rebuilt barrack.
The beds in one of the barracks.
The only washing area for the entire barrack.
The only toilets for the barrack. (no privacy)
The memorial layout of where the other barracks once stood.
The perimeter defense that was in place at Dachau is shown below. The camp was surrounded by 7 watch towers, an electrified barb-wire fence, a ditch, and a wall.
A picture of the perimeter.
There was a ditch, electrified wire fence and guard towers.
In 1942, construction began on Barrack X, a crematorium that when finished housed 4 sizable ovens used to incinerate corpses.
The “shower” room door locked from the outside!
The fake shower heads that the gas entered through.
Just before the camp was liberated the SS ordered about 7,000 prisoners to embark on a 6 day long death march to Tegernsee, Germany to the south.
On April 29th, 1945 the American military entered the camp where they found 1,000s of emaciated prisoners. They also found several dozen train cars filled with rotting corpses. It was horrific and beyond words.
Plaque to Liberators
There are 4 chapels on the Dachau memorial site. One is the Catholic Church of the Mortal Agony of Christ Chapel which was the first to be built.The second is the Protestant Church of Reconciliation and is set into the ground.The third was the Jewish Memorial.
The fourth and the newest is the Russian Orthodox Chapel.
After the war and the camp had been liberated, it was used from 1945-1948 as a prison for accused war criminals and SS members. Then in 1948 Daschau was used as a refugee camp until the mid-sixties.
Our lunch was in the Dachau Visitor’s Center and when we were finished we took our bus into Munich for our afternoon walking tour of the Third Reich. Our tour started at the Hofbrahaus.
It is a very famous pub and has been at its current location since 1607. In 1920 the German Nationalist Party was founded in the Hofbrahaus. Most famously Hitler delivered his 25-point program.
He threatened to strip the Jews of their civic rights and to set up a dictatorship. Thirteen years later these plans became a sad reality.
Our walking tour continued on with our guide Kurt who also was our guide at Dachau.
He was covering the history of Munich in relation to the birthplace of Nazism!
The square below is dedicated to those that died at the hands of the Nazis. The eternal flame is in a block-like cage atop four T’s.
Königsplatz square was used for the Nazi party’s mass rallies. Below is the Propyläen, which is the city gate on the west side of the Königsplatz.
There are still signs of Nazism on some buildings. The eagle is one of them. We also saw some swastikas in ceiling patterns.
Below, the captions tell you about these photos from our walking tour.
View of the Führerbau, “the Führer’s building”
Palace of Justice
If you look closely there is still damage from the bombing of Munich.
Neptune Fountain by Nazi Sculptor Josef Wackerle in 1937.
View from the Odeonsplatz
Bavarian State Opera
The Feldherrnhalle was commissioned in 1841 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria and was modeled after the loggia in Florence, Italy. In 1923 it was the site of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch which was a very brief battle. When the Nazi’s were in power in Munich it was also a monument commemorating 16 Nazi party members that died because of this battle.
Just remember beer drinkers, Munich is the beer city of the world! We had dinner at the Weisses Brauhaus in the heart of Munich. Many of our group enjoyed trying the different beers!
A few more photos from our time in Munich!
It was another day of different emotions. Spending the morning at Dachau and then the afternoon seeing Hitler’s haunts and the power the Nazi party held in Munich was entirely different set of emotions.
We returned to our hotel and several of us discussed the day and our experiences.
Today we took our motorcoach back to Cairo. It was about a two and a half hour drive back to Cairo and to our hotel for the night. We saw a lot of baked Arabic bread being sold along the streets as we traveled.One last look at the Giza Pyramids as we arrived in Cairo.Some of the people in our group wanted to purchase some Egyptian cotton items so our guide had our bus driver stop at a cotton store in town called Funky Brothers. They carried all kinds of cotton items like clothing, scarves, sheets, etc…
Then on to our last hotel stay in Cairo!
Below are a few pictures from the JW Marriott Cairo that we stayed at our last night in Cairo. It was quite a beautiful resort.
The next morning, Wednesday, March 27th was a very long day as we left for the airport and our long journey home! There was a lot of security at the airport!
Our flight left Cairo around 9:30 AM (3:30 AM EST) and arrived at JFK in NYC around 3:30 PM. It was a 12 hour flight. Our layover in New York was about 4 1/2 hours. We arrived home close to 11:30 PM. So it was a 24 hour travel day! We had so many incredible experiences in Egypt! This blog only touches part of our adventures in Egypt!
We left our hotel in Sorrento by 8:30 AM to head to Pompeii. The road is very narrow and little room for error!
When we arrived in Pompeii we met our local guide. We walked through a brothel and the forum. We also walked through a villa that had only been open for 1 1/2 years. The weather was perfect for exploring this uncovered city from the past.
Mt. Vesuvius is in the distance and looks so unassuming. It is about 6 miles away. Pompeii was a busy port city before the eruption. Pompeii was covered by 20 feet of ash when Vesuvius erupted and that ash added over a mile to the coastline. Pompeii is no longer on the coast when it was discovered.
After our tour of Pompeii, we drove back to Rome. On the way we saw Monte Casino which was Italy’s bloodiest battle during WWII.
We arrived at our hotel around 5 PM.
It was the Romanico Palace Hotel. Our room was quite unique.
Once we checked into our room, we put our belongings in the room and took off to visit Trevi Fountain. It was within walking distance of our hotel! The fountain was packed with people but we finally made it up close to throw in our coins so we would return to Roma!
The US Embassy was down the road from our hotel. We walked by the complex on our way to Trevi Fountain. We met a couple from our group and joined them for dinner at a “mom and pop” restaurant that was recommended by the hotel. It was called Ristorante La Lampada. It was a delicious meal.
It was a great ending to our trip! Tomorrow we leave to head home! Our time in Italy was amazing and we look forward to our next adventure!
We were on the motorcoach by 8:30 to travel from Sorrento and drive along a different section on the Amalfi Coast! The scenery was spectacular!
Our first stop was Tenuta Vannulo, an organic farm which specializes in buffalo mozzarella. It was an interesting tour and the buffalos are well cared for and even have massagers.
After touring the organic farm, we went to the town of Paestum.
The town has three of the world’s best preserved ancient Greek temples. Because it is off the beaten path, it wasn’t crowded. These Doric temples are thought to be dedicated to the city’s namesake Poseidon (Neptune), Hera and Ceres. The Temple of Hera is the oldest and was built about 550 BC. Next door is the Temple of Neptune which dates from about 450 BC and is the most intact except for the roof and some parts of the inner walls. The third is the Temple of Athena which was built about 500 BC.
The middle of the area consists of the Roman forum and a small Roman amphitheater.
They were filming a movie called “Last Words”. So we saw evidence of the film crew and scenes set for filming. It is a futuristic drama that takes place in 2085 and stars Charlotte Rampling, Alba Rohrwacher, and Nick Nolte. The film is supposedly to be released in 2019.
We toured the National Archaeological Museum of Paestum.
Below are more of the limestone slabs that formed the chamber of the Tomb of the Diver (470 BC) that was discovered in 1968 by an Italian archaeologist, Mario Napoli.
After the museum, we traveled back to Sorrento. On our way we stopped at an overlook of the city and took some pictures as the sun was getting ready to set.
That evening our group had dinner at a local Sorrento restaurant.
Our menu was printed for us!
The food was delicious and the entertainment was fun! It was a great evening for our last night in Sorrento!
No alarm this morning! We ventured from the hotel after breakfast. We were walking down the Corso Italia road by 10 AM. Our first stop was to visit the Cloister of San Francesco. It dates back to the 8th century but it has been restored several times and is now used to host concerts, weddings, and other activities.
We took a long walk along the main road to explore the Roman villa ruins on Punta del Capo. We had to be careful and watch for traffic because there weren’t any sidewalks or berms!
As you can see it was a narrow road!
Punta del Capo is a point of land that sticks out from the Sorrento peninsula. This is where we saw the remains of a 1st century Roman Villa. The wealthy Romans build vacation villas on panoramic points along the coast. We explored the ruins and took some wonderful pictures of the views from here!
Looking at the Roman Villa remains from the road.
Mt. Vesuvius across the Sorrento bay.
The weather was perfect for taking pictures and hiking the area. We also saw a painter working at the remains.
The views were stunning so you can understand why the wealthy would want a holiday villa along the coastline of Sorrento!
Walking back into the city center we saw some interesting buildings and a sundial!
When we got back into town we stopped for lunch and had pizza at a cafe and we ate outdoors which was awesome for November!
We walked around the ancient walls of Sorrento. These walls were built in the 16th century to help defend the city from attacks. The first evidence of walls around Sorrento dates as far back as 400 BC.
We saw the Arch Dominova Seat. The seat was built in the 14th century by some nobles and is completely covered by frescoes.
It was used by the nobles to meet in order to talk about the problems of the town. It was also used as a guard house and a prison but today is used for dining or some of the locals come to play cards at the tables!
There was a photo exhibition by the Italian photographer: Raffaele Celentano entitled “Memories in the Wind”. There also was a collection of photography of Sophia Loren in her honor. We visited the exhibition and really enjoyed the photos.
We purchased one of Celentano’s prints entitled “Old Lovers”. We loved this print and have it hanging in our home!
Of our group, we were the only travelers that did not take the excursion to Capri. We have visited the island before so we opted to spend the day exploring the city of Sorrento. We left the hotel around 9:00 AM to begin today’s adventures. The weather was perfect.
We walked down the main street of Sorrento, Corso Italia, and we came upon the Villa Fiorentino. We were going to visit it buy it didn’t open until 10:00 AM so we plopped on a bench in the piazza close by because we only had 10 minutes to wait. At opening time we walked back over to the villa but we couldn’t tour it because they had no power. We noticed there were screeching sirens and at least one city block was without power!
We walked over 10 miles exploring the city. We were up and down the steep roadways. In the morning we visited Marina Piccola (little harbor). In the afternoon we visited Marina Grande. Grande is smaller but we saw more boats. Its waterfront has many seafood restaurants. We had lunch at one of them. It was called Azzurra Ristorante (1931).
We saw the old city wall and the medieval street, VIA San Cesareo.
Our guide mentioned that we should visit the Correale di Terranova museum. It was our last stop of the day. The museum is in an 18th century villa and gets its name from the Correale family that owns the villa!
Restoration was going on as we visited.
Piazza Tasso is located in the central area of Sorrento. It is named after the poet Torquato Tasso. Located nearby is the Santuario del Carmine church which is beautiful inside. The ceiling painting depicts the Virgin Mary with Saint Simon and angels and completed in the early 1700s.
We were on our motor coach by 9:00 AM for a drive and tour of a portion of the Amalfi Coast. The road twists and turns and is narrow!
Hold on as we travel the highway!
Very narrow road with really no room for error! Yikes!
It was difficult to really get a great picture of the twists and turns along State Road 163! We stopped at some of the towns along our drive. Others we viewed from the bus.
Our first stop was at a lookout over Positano. Looking down on the beach area it reminded us of the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”! (In that movie the main character, Frances, played by Diane Lane drinks Limoncello on the beach with Marcello, played by Raoul Bova.) The views were breathtaking!
A few pictures from Positano.
As we were motoring along the Amalfi Coast road we saw tucked into the rock face a miniature village of Praiano and it has a nativity scene!
We also stopped at the town of Amalfi which also had steep cliffs. The Amalfi Cathedral was worth the time to visit.
We had a wonderful lunch at a small restaurant along the piazza before we were back on the bus to continue our drive. Ravello was the next town where we stopped and walked around. It hosts concerts during the summertime and is known for the Ravello festival which they’ve hosted for 66 years!
After visiting Ravello, we took a road through the mountains and the highway to the road that leads back to Sorrento. The traffic was horrendous and it took much longer than expected. We had time to freshen up and meet our guide to walk into town and she pointed out highlights of places to see and places to eat and shop. Because we had a big lunch, we stopped in a local market and bought some cheese and crackers and had that for dinner with some local wine!
We are packed and ready for our ride to the airport!
We departed Columbus for our flight to Atlanta with a close to an on time departure. Our beloved Buckeyes were playing Nebraska at home. We watched a lot of the game sitting in the airport. As we took off, “The Shoe” was in the distance. Go Buckeyes!
We were sitting at our gate in Atlanta bound for Rome by 4:25 PM.
We are scheduled to depart Atlanta at 5:58 PM for our overnight flight and landing in Rome Sunday morning close to 9:00 AM their time.
We got our luggage and met Romina, our tour guide for our trip! We boarded our bus with Caesar as our driver and arrived at our hotel around 2:45 PM. We checked into our hotel, the Hotel Michelangelo, in Sorrento, Italy.
Our room had a balcony which we enjoyed!
We met Giovanni, the hotel’s bartender, in the hotel bar and had a local white wine. Of course there were quite a few of us there!
Before dinner the 29 of us traveling with the Hilliard Chamber met in the hotel’s meeting room with Romina to go over some housekeeping details and introduce ourselves!
Dinner was provided at the hotel. After our meal we took a walk into town.
We were in bed early this evening because it had been a very long two days with little sleep!