Archive for January, 2008

Ragusa is a Town in Sicily, Not a Pasta Sauce

We’re planning a spring trip to Italy. Sicily is on the menu. Wife Martha insists on seeing Ragusa. Everyone she talks to says to go there. It’s in a UNESCO World Heritage Site valley. It’s one of those dramatically perched towns we don’t have in the US. It’s also near the Villa Romana del Casale, a luxurious Roman hunting villa with some of the best preserved mosaics in the world. We don’t have any of those, either.

There will be pictures, for sure.

Everything is Baroque around these parts it seems…or Roman. I go for the Roman, being a uomo vero, of course.

Ragusa Sicily Vacation RentalIn any case, I’m warming up to the idea of going to Ragusa. Did you know that you can stay right on a farm, in a cute farm building over there on the left called Herea, which is all gussied up for fussy tourists who wouldn’t think of harnessing the oxen and trudging off to work the fields. There’s satellite TV even. Farm workers in Sicily have come a long way.

And there’s a place in Ragusa that makes gelato outta Sicilian wines. Now that I can go for.

Have a look at Herea. And think of that ice cream. Perhaps you won’t want to tell your wife they make it out of wine. That’s ok, too.

Dancing a Jig in Duncannon, Ireland

self catering homes, rental homes, vacation homesFrom the truest picturesque sense of rolling hills of green against crystal skies of blue wafting with strains music surrounding each cottage and the Duncannon, Ireland self catering holiday homes denoting the culture and history of the area.  Form the noticeable beach homes, seemingly out of place on the coastline of Duncannon Ireland, to the vacation rental home of your choice close to the adventures and exploration of the quaint country towns to sample the local fare at the closest pub, Duncannon is a representative of Irish flavor expressed in every holiday villa and vacation rental Duncannon, Ireland.
Steeped in a culture quite different yet still haunting the same as depicted in many television shows, the nature untouched style of your Duncannon, Ireland vacation home will whisper sweet Irish tunes to your heart for many years to come.  Whether you are visiting as a family, couple, or explorer, your vacation holiday homes Duncannon, Ireland are waiting for your visit.

self catering homes, rental homes, vacation homesThe friendly streets near your vacation holiday home in Duncannon, Ireland are perfect for shopping and soaking up atmosphere with the locals.  If a relaxing visit to the seaside to sunbath steps from the front door of your vacation home Duncannon, Ireland, then you will be in the right place.

Attractions near vacation homes Duncannon, Ireland:

  • The National 1798 Visitor Centre:  This visitor’s center welcomes guests to experience the tumultuous past that has marked so much of Irish history.  From weaponry to an examination of the battlefields, this spectacular structure is an engrossing way to begin a tour of Duncannon, Ireland by following the 1798 Rebellion.
  • Wexford Heritage Centre:  An amazing opportunity to step back in time through the portals of Irish history as it stood in the 9 century and evolved into the small, untouched community holding on to history and a culture representative of many lifetimes.
  • Irish National Heritage Park:  Chronicling the Irish movement of history and culture for over 9000 years, the Irish National Heritage Park covers every age of mankind’s development from the arrival of the Viking all the way through to the present day.

self catering homes, rental homes, vacation homesWith the beautiful scenery of Duncannon, Ireland around your ideal self catering home, it will be hard to tear yourself away from the postcard setting that mixes so deeply with the welcoming smile of the people around Duncannon, Ireland vacation holiday homes and the warm heart of the area filled to the brim with Irish pride. 

Find perfect vacation rental homes in Duncannon, Ireland with Vacapedia.

Shagging on Saint Simons Island, Georgia

saint simons island, georgia, vacation rentalsSaint Simon Islands famous native resident Ghost Crabs waving claws of friendly welcome greet you as you enter this paradise of natural beauty and beach reserve around Saint Simons Island beach homes.  The beach front rentals on Saint Simons Island are surrounded with the flavor and culture of a series of inter connected quaint Georgia island holiday villa retreats mixed with cozy beach vacation cottages sure to make your stay a success.

The slow country atmosphere of this lazy beach community draws tons of visitors every year to Saint Simons Island vacation holiday homes.  Wading in the water to dancing on the beach to reading a book in a lounge chair, the slow paced day around Saint Simons Island vacation rental home matches the Georgia appreciation of life.saint simons island, georgia, vacation rentals

Fun attractions around your vacation rental in Saint Simons Island, Georgia:

  • Shopping:  Put on your souvenirs clothes and bring a beach bag because it is time to hunt for things to take home!  Large scale items, like antiques and furniture are available to add beach flair to your decorum.  As well, all types of beach wear, t-shirts, and beach themed gifts are here!
  • Exploring:  Whether you pick your way along the beach line looking for shells or pretending to play pirates, your footsteps ultimately lead you to the well known landmark of the towering lighthouse on the coast is as much of the flavor of Saint Simons Island as the residents.
  • Dining:  No matter what type of seafood you are interested in finding, the fresh taste of the coast mingles with the seasoning of Georgia to add a zing to your taste buds.
  • Events:  From shagging contests to beach music and seafood festivals, Saint Simons Island is a great place to enjoy the best of the beach with the celebration of a culture.

saint simons island, georgia, vacation rentalsIf you are ready to play in the sand near your vacation home Saint Simons Island, Georgia, then your vacation home in Saint Simons Island Georgia will be a great family favorite.  Or, if trekking down walkways around your vacation rental Saint Simons Island in your sandals and shorts to the nearest restaurant filled with delectable seafood treats is more your speed to watch the sunset over the ocean to a background of conversation, shagging music, and crashing waves is your idea of fun, then your vacation holiday home in Saint Simons Island Georgia will become a slice of heaven.

Whatever vacation rental Saint Simons Island sparks your idea of the perfect retreat, find a vacation rental home in Saint Simons Island, Georgia with Vacapedia.

Admiring Cathar Country – Carcassonne, France

I love the Languedoc. It’s where you’ll see many extraordinary castles, some of them serving as refuges for the “heretics” called the Cathars, who believed that the world was the devil’s work.

Besides being hostile to gross materialism–something that really must have ticked off the wealthy religious elite of the time–Cathars defied the principles of natural selection as well. Their top people (called Perfects) didn’t procreate; it wasn’t good to bring new people into the evil and corrupt world. But the church wouldn’t let them fade away on principles. They tested the principles of the inquisition on them with gruesome results.

In any case, like other persecuted people, the Cathars took to the hills–sometimes building forts, but often finding fixer-upper castles to inhabit. Today, these castles stand as reminders to a turbulent period in history.

One of the best examples is Carcassonne in southern France. The walled city stands out from the flat landscape; you can see it dramatically from the Autoroute that passes by. They light the city walls an night, a nice touch.

The word “evocative” was meant for Carcassonne.

Beauregard - Vacation Rental in Carcassonne, FranceYou can stay in the old, walled city, of course–but in summer the place is swarming with tourists festooned in shorts and ratty tee shirts, and you can’t really see the city views from inside, can you? So the trick is to stay outside the city in a place with a view of Carcassonne.

The place over there to the right is called Beauregard. It has a view of Carcassonne from the dining room window (where you can see someone peeking at the view in the picture) and the balcony. It’s also right along the Midi Canal. You can cruise the Midi. Very nice. Very relaxing.

Consider Cathar country on your next vacation in France.

Nafplion – Stay in the Midst of Homer’s Greece

Mycenaean Greece was the stuff of myth. Great myth. Mycenae was the home of Agememnon, the ancient king who united and commanded the Greeks during the Trojan war.

The site of Mycenae is just a short car trip or bus ride north of the port of Nafplion. Mycenae is where you’ll walk through the famous Lion’s Gate, said to be the oldest known monumental sculpture in Europe. It’s darn impressive.

Yes, Greece isn’t all islands loaded with loaded students. Some pretty amazing history took place on the Peloponnese, which would be connected to the Greek mainland if it wasn’t for the impressive canal at Corinth. There’s a small car bridge there that dunks under the water when the big boats come through so close they seem to be scraping the sides of the canal. When it comes up to become a bridge again, people have told me it sometimes brings up a quantity of fish. After watching it all summer while working on an archaeological project nearby, I have come to the conclusion that there are no more fish, or that I’m quite the unlucky one who tries to fish using bridges.

Nafplion Greece Vacation RentalIn any case, there’s so much to see here that you’ll want a comfortable spot to come home to.

Ever been in a Greek house? How about a holiday cottage like the one over there to the left?

Look relaxing? You’ll need it after climbing the 899 steps to the top of the Palamidhi Fortress. Really, the view is worth it if you have the legs. And you’ll have the legs if you survive the 700 meter climb.

Then hire a boat and have a go around to the nearby islands. Hydra is my favorite, if only because there are no cars. It’s nice to be in a civilized place without all the chugging reminders of civilization sometimes.

Topless in Tuscany: Beaches and a Cute Vacation House With a View

Perhaps you don’t think of beaches when you think of Tuscany. Well, you should. The Versilia coast below the marble towns of Massa and Carrara is lined with them. Forte di Marmi, literally “marble fort,” is one of the top topless hangouts in Italy, according to Forbes magazine. It’s also known for the stylish clothing market that hits its streets weekly.

Yes, you can have it all in Tuscany, clothed and un.

Of course, the trouble with beach vacations is that you plan a few days and then the rain comes, or a cold front moves in and you’re stuck in your hotel without a thing to be topless over.

Tuscany Vacation RentalHey, why not spend a week overlooking the weather and the beaches from a high vantage point in your own little Tuscan hide-away? Live rustically, I say, and enjoy dinner on your own private terrace where you can make google-eyes at your sweet honey without some smarmy waiter looking askance.

It has a bedroom with a skylight, so you can enjoy those classic Tuscan thunderstorms like they showed in Under the Tuscan Sun without getting up.

And if it rains, just take the car and head over to Portovenere. Or go shopping in Lerici or Forte di Marmi. Or go to the Marble museum high above Carrara.

So many things to do, so little vacation time…

Hot Tubbing in Switzerland

Here’s an interesting thing I found out. Near St. Moritz, in the resort of Pontresina they take a wooden tub filled with mountain spring water, then light a fire under it. When you come in from the slopes, you slip into one of these bubbling cauldrons and relax. You can even rent bathing trunks. I would have never thought of wearing bathing trunks. But then, when you have a fire under your wooden tub, maybe you’d like to escape with your dignity when things go bad.

Switzerland Vacation Rental Apartment

You can rent an apartment near Pontresina, you know. the one over there to the Left is called Chesa Grischa. You can only bring one dog, sorry, but there’s a parking space waiting for you.

Where else would you go for winter sports than Switzerland? There are mountains, valleys, more mountains…

And lots of snow.

So get into that hot tub. Don’t worry about the fire under you. It’s not even as bad as when your boss tries to set one. The hot tub is set in snow.


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