Varenna to Mennagio, Lake Como

After taking a 15 minute ferry from Varenna to Bellagio to explore, I hopped on another ferry for a 15 minute ride to Mennagio. The scenic shore as we approached Mennagio.

I walked thru a hotel lobby to the pool…so pretty!

Lots and lots of lavender…

Sidewalk cafes…

More delicious Italian gelato!

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Varenna to Bellagio, Lake Como

On one of the three days I stayed in Varenna at Lake Como, I took a 15 minute ferry (15 euros for all day) to Bellagio and then another 15 minutes to Menaggio. It was a full day of sightseeing. Bellagio was as beautiful as I’d heard. There were maybe a hundred steps to get up into the town and then I veered off to the other side of the lake and took another hundred steps down. I couldn’t wait to round another corner and see what delightful scene I would encounter. The weather was glorious and the sky and lake were so blue! I stopped to smell some honeysuckle as I wandered the streets.

There are lots of shops…

and outdoor cafes…

Goodbye Bellagio!

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Three nights at Lake Como, Italy

After taking the Gotthard Panorama Express from Lucerne, Switzerland, I arrived in Varenna, Lake Como at 7:30pm. My lodging was located there, only a three minute walk to the train station and three minutes to the water. The next morning I did laundry in my washer, hung it to dry, purchased an all day ferry pass for €15, took a few photos in Varenna and then boarded a ferry for Bellagio (which I’ll cover tomorrow).

Varenna is charming.

The view of Varenna from one of the ferries.

Traveling solo has it’s pros and cons, like anything in life. Although this is a beautiful view, I didn’t sit around much. I was usually walking, exploring, and taking photographs.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

The Gotthard Panorama Excursion

The Gotthard Panorama is an excursion that combines a 2 hr. 45 minute boat ride from Lucerne, Switzerland to Flüelen, where you take a 2 1/2 hr. train to Lugano, Switzerland. A first class ticket for the boat ride only costs 36 francs (which is half-price) if you have a Eurail pass.

The boat ride on Lake Lucerne is very scenic.

The small villages along the shoreline are so quaint.

The water is turquoise but appears green at certain angles and light.

Disembarking

Waiting in Flüelen for the train journey

Beautiful countryside and villages seen from the train.

I had two more trains to take before reaching my final destination…Varenna, Lake Como, Italy at 7:30pm.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Day trip by train from Freiburg, Germany thru the Black Forest

While researching where I could visit as a day trip by train during my five days in Freiburg, I came across an article about scenic trains in Germany, in particular one that went to Donaueschingen, Schluchsee, and Titisee, Germany (the Black Forest). I wasn’t in the mood for walking or biking (my tush hurt from my previous bike rides) and my favorite activity is to spend time in nature, so I took an early train and arrived in Donaueschingen at 9:09am (90 minute train ride). The scenery from the train was beautiful. I walked to the “Source of the Danube” and to a beautiful park called Schlosspark. Next, I took a 50 minute train ride to Titisee, situated on a beautiful lake and had lunch at a restaurant on the lake’s shore. The next train ride was only 20 minutes to Schluchsee which is also next to a beautiful lake, but I stayed only a short time and took the train back to Freiburg. It was a great way to spend the day!

Titisee Lake

Titisee Lake

Source of the Danube in Donaueschingen

Schlosspark

Donaueschingen

Donaueschingen

Schluchsee

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Seven nights in Colmar, France

It was mid-May when I left my place in Tours, France at 10 am, walked 10 minutes to the train station and took the 10:44 am train from Tours. I changed trains twice and arrived in Colmar at 3:20 pm. It was a 10 minute walk to my Airbnb, but the owner came to pick me up, which was very nice. She had a bottle of champagne in the refrigerator for me and was just so warm and friendly. As you can see from the photos my Airbnb was cute and situated right in town but on a quiet street. (Plus she did my laundry for €10)

I fell in love with Colmar! There’s a photo op every 3 steps and filled with the half-timbered architecture I love.

My Airbnb host let me borrow her bicycle so one day I bicycled 15 miles round trip along a canal called the Canal de Colmar. It was peaceful being out in nature, listening to the bullfrogs croak, the birds chirp, and admiring the pretty yellow flowers (some would call them weeds) lining the trail. There were some cyclists out and I saw an occasional farmer in the fields and men fishing. It was flat and there were some concrete benches along the trail.

My little Airbnb

To save money, I like to occasionally cook so it’s nice to have a kitchen.

Dinner out one evening…Char Filet, Butter Sauce, Vegetables

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Gardens in Tours, France

On one of my five days in Tours I walked from my Airbnb to the Prébendes d’Oé and Jardin botanique de Tours Gardens. Prébendes d’Oé Garden was very small, but pretty and Jardin botanique de Tours Garden is a free Botanical Garden and mini Zoo.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Château de Chenonceau

While in Tours, France, I took two tours with a company called Touraine Evasion to see Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord Chateaus. These are photos of Chateau de Chenonceau.

To visit the Chateau, you walk on this beautiful tree lined path…

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

The Boboli Gardens

While researching what I should see during my 8 night stay in Florence in April of this year, The Boboli Gardens which date back to 1766, was a place I wanted to experience. It’s filled with beautiful vistas, cool sculptures, and a peaceful vibe.

I asked this young man if I could photograph him…he looked so Italian and handsome.

The light filtering through the trees caught my eye.

p.s.  In case you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022. Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden

One of the ladies I met thru Bachelor Number Two invited me to go with her and a friend to Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden. It’s so lush, green, and tropical!

These trees were soooo tall!

We stopped at Kāneʻohe Beach Park afterwards.

It was a lovely afternoon!

Hiking Monoa Falls

When researching things to do during my month long stay on Oahu, hiking to Monoa Falls was near the top. Getting there was an adventure. I rented a Biki Bike and biked three miles to a local bus that drops you a mile from the trailhead. Once inside the park, it’s less than a 2 mile hike roundtrip, but then everything in reverse. It was well worth it!

Walking through the park, I had visions of Jurassic Park.

I definitely recommend hiking to Monoa Falls!

Invitation to go Sailing

Remember Bachelor Number Two, I met some women at the barbecue I went to with him and one of them invited me to go sailing! It was a fun day.

It was all women except for the owner/captain of the sailboat. All of the women had varying degrees of sailing experience, so it was interesting to watch him give the orders while he sat.

We went to a sand bar where it’s shallow and you can get out and walk around.

One of the women invited us back to her condo’s hot tub and pool.

Hawaii is definitely beautiful!

Meetup.com is great for solo travelers

I joined Meetup.com back in 2007 after a divorce and it was a great way to meet people. First it was a hiking meetup, then a wine-tasting meetup, followed by others. Thinking of ways to combat my loneliness during my month-long stay on Oahu, I checked out the meetups that were available and joined a few. I ended up going to two events, both were Happy Hours. After a couple of Mai Tai’s, I was hamming it up for this photo 🙂

At the end of the evening…

I met a girl at one of the Happy Hours and she invited me to her pool, which was lovely.

I didn’t have a beach bag with me, so when we walked a couple of blocks from her apartment that she rented for 6 weeks to work remotely, I naively placed my keys, cover-up, and wallet in her bag. After a while, I decided to take a walk on the beach for 15 minutes and when I returned, she had vanished. I called and texted her repeatedly, to no avail. I thought perhaps she had went back to her place, so I walked back and luckily remembered her floor number. My phone was almost dead and there was a guy on the elevator, so I asked him if he had a charger for my type of phone…he did, so I explained the situation and he said if she wasn’t at her place to come to his and I could charge my phone. She wasn’t at her place, so I went to his, which felt awkward, being in a male stranger’s apartment. Anyway, as I’m charging my phone, he was preparing dinner and invited me to dine with him, which I did. She finally called me back (1 ½ hours later) and said she was at the pool bar and for me to join her. I explained I didn’t want to walk back in only my bathing suit and was eating dinner so she said she’d be back within an hour. As soon as she returned, I retrieved my things, checked my wallet in front of her, and could tell she was very inebriated…her apartment smelled like vomit. She wasn’t apologetic. To make a long story a little shorter, just recently (which is 4 months later) I received an e-mail from Walmart concerning a purchase I made, but it wasn’t me (I won’t go into the details, but I could tell it was her). I had to cancel my credit card and change my passwords. Lesson learned!

I took this photo while taking my naive walk on the beach.

Hiking Diamond Head at Sunrise

Hiking is one of my favorite activities and having gorgeous scenery when you’re doing it is amazing! Since I didn’t have a car for my month-long stay in Honolulu, I rented a Biki Bike before sunrise, biked 1.5 miles to the closest Biki Bike station near the trail head, hiked 2 miles to the summit and then back to the Biki Bike station. There were a few people on the trail. It began raining as I approached the summit, which made it difficult to take photos, but the views were beautiful!

As I climbed these stairs, I turned around for the view…

At the summit….Wow!

Hiking back…

The trail began filling up…

Hiking Diamond Head was one of the highlights of my visit to Oahu!