Southern Tuscany

The southern part of Tuscany is a wonderful region in Italy. Not very touristic, at least not from the perspective of a Non-Italian, but has a charming countryside, unexpected pretty beaches and old cities that really do not need to hide behind the famous cities of Tuscany everyone is aware of. We had the chance to stay on the olive and wine farm Il Belvedere close to Massa Marittima. The wine they sold there had just been fantastic, directly from the barrel into the glass…what could be better. Massa Marittima itself has an amazing little historic center which is worth a visit.

Highly recommended, but far off the beaten track are the hot springs in Saturnia. Even if the weather in summer is already hot, it is still enjoyable to relax in the warm water for hours. It had been a 90 minutes drive, but the visit was worth beating all the bends.

Follonica has a nice beach with calm and warm water. This beach, with his shallow water, is perfect for children. And Cala Violina might be the most beautiful beach in Tuscany. It is a little walk from the parking area, but it is worth every step.

Gosseto is just another hidden secret and a gem. Strolling through the medieval center of this little city might give you an idea and feeling how life had been centuries ago and you still have a little time to relax from the crowded cities of Siena and Pisa…

…which of course we also had to visit. But at least we avoided the crowds in Florence this year. Still we had to got to Pisa and Siena…but nothing new…the tower is still leaning and the Piazza del Campo is still one of the most beautiful Piazzas in the world. Those had been 2 wonderful weeks. Ciao e Mille Grazie!




Huntsville, Alabama

Have you ever been in Huntsville, Al? Is it worth a trip? I don’t know. I assume the most interesting thing to see there is the NASA Space Camp. Have I seen it? No…for me the only interesting places I have visited have been breweries…and to be honest…they’ve been great. Okay, I’m German…is there a possibility to get a really good beer outside of Germany? Yes, there is a good chance…forget about the German ignorance…ignore the „Deutsches Reinheitsgebot“…enjoy an IPA…it’s great…although named Indian Pale Ale, it has nothing to do with India and I doubt that it is an Ale at all…but it definetly tastes way better than a Bitburger (probably the worst beer in Germany)…so there is still something to do in Huntsville.

And what really shocked me was the opportunity to walk…it was possible to walk without been hit by a car…the city had walkways…and this in the United States of America…a country build on cars

But the greatest challange was to leave this place again. Never try to leave Huntsville, Al by plane from the wonderful Airport, at least not if you want to catch a connection flight to the civilised world. There is only a slight chance you will make it out. It took me 45 hours from my arrival at the airport until I arrived in my appartment back in Germany.

Relaxing in Koh Samui

I think this was my first vacation in the last 20 years where I really nearly did nothing. Whatever nothing means. 3B’s…Breakfast, Beach & Binner (okay it’s Dinner, but I like the 3B’s). Although Thailand is more famous for the kind of tourism I am not really in to, it still has a lot of places where you can enjoy yourself and relax.

We stayed at this lovely beach hotel on Koh Samui, which was absolutely calm and quite. It offered tranquil bungalows nearly wright on the beach.

This was one of the nicest bays I have ever been to and the water is just crystal clear and we had our „own“ little coral reef. What more do you need? …just nothing.

I cannot recall ever staying in the water for 6 hours without a real break, just relaxing, snorkeling and relaxing again. The water temperature was probably higher than the air temperature. Just perfect.

…and of course. Thai food…I just love those Curries and all the other stuff.

I don’t think that this was my last visit of this wonderful country. Hope to be back soon.