Sunday, August 6, 2023

Eurotrip 2023 - Days 7-8 - 7/28-9/2023 - To Milan, part deux; heading home

Our Como Airbnb had an absurdly early check-out time of 10a, but that was fine with us since we wanted to head back to Milan with enough time to make our 3p ticket time at the Duomo. We walked over to the Como–Brunate funicular (Funicolare Como-Brunate), with a plan to take the tram up to the top (Brunate) and then maybe walk back down to Como. Some signage at the bottom station hinted at a 25 minute walk up (vs the 5 minute tram ride), so Fran decided to walk instead. I took her bag and got in line for the tram, eventually getting on the one that departed at 10:45. The plan was for me to get to the top and wait for her, as we thought she wouldn't be more than 20 minutes behind at most.

About halfway up I began to have thoughts that it would take me much more than 25 minutes to get up there. And then I received a phone call from a Belgian number, which I ignored until a voicemail was left for me. And then 3 texts came in from that number. It turned out that Fran had found out that the hike up is actually 2.5 hours (though in retrospect we're sure she could have done it in perhaps 1.5, given her hiking speed) and decided to abandon the plan, for fear that I would have panicked after waiting longer than the agreed time and begun hiking down, and would have had to contend with both our backpacks on the longer-than-expected hike, and might have missed her on the mountain as there were actually 2 different trails to the top. She had tried to call and text me using the phone of one of two women she had encountered who were also trying to find the trail up; she did not have international calling nor data activated on her phone. And then, unsure that I had received her messages, she had raced back to the bottom station to see if she could catch me if I hadn't yet gone up, but I was already gone. Then she found a worker at a nearby cafe who was able to get her phone on their Wifi and she was able to call me using WhatsApp.

We decided that I would get on the next available tram back down to the bottom; she didn't have any money on her, so she couldn't pay for a ticket for a tram to the top. I was already frazzled, and it didn't help that our call got disconnected. I had only bought a one-way ticket, so I needed to buy another ticket back down to the bottom. However, the station at the top did not have a ticket booth, and tickets had to be bought from affiliated shops nearby. I found a souvenir shop which sold tram tickets, but they only accepted cash for the tickets. So I rushed back to the tram station, which had an ATM, to withdraw cash before heading back to the shop to buy a ticket. It wasn't until I was back at the station with ticket in hand that it occurred to me that because there was nobody at the top station enforcing anything I could have either just stayed on the tram to ride it down or hopped over/under the turnstile to get back on. In any case, I made it back down and reunited with an equally-freaking-out Fran outside the bottom station. We learned a lesson for future trips - no more splitting apart unless she has a way to contact me and some money.

We debriefed each of our sides of the story as we started walking toward the train station. We decided to detour to get some breakfast/lunch treats at a bakery and then a fruit stand, and then headed to the station to catch the 12:26p train back to Milano Centrale. From there we headed back to the numa apartment to drop our backpacks off before walking over to the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral). Fran had purchased us 3p tickets that included the church interior, building terrace, and museum. We decided to do the terrace first. The climb was not terribly strenuous, and was split up between two levels. What made me sweat the most was the scorching sunlight, especially on the top section. After admiring the views and taking some pictures we headed back down to enter the church. However, we were turned away because Fran (as a woman) was wearing shorts that didn't cover her knees; we were directed to their shop across the street where she could buy a plastic weave shawl for 3 Euro, which she did. After that we entered and had a look around. We had a particularly fun time trying to find the correct place to take a picture to recreate the view from a couple of paintings we had seen at the Gallerie d'Italia a couple of days prior. After the church interior we crossed the street to walk through the Duomo Museum. There we split a free video guide, which was pretty informative, and made the museum visit worthwhile. In all we were both impressed by the Duomo, and found each portion of the experience enjoyable. And I got a figurine to add to my collection.

On the terrace of the Duomo

Afterward we meandered back toward the apartment, stopping at a couple of shops to look for some more gifts. For dinner we decided to go to a pizza restaurant called Di Gennaro that was recommended by a clerk at Lacoste. It was about a 10 minute walk away, and was partially tucked away from the super-touristy plazas. We split a couple of pizzas, one quattro formaggi, and one with an interesting mix of capers, olives, and oregano. They were decent pizzas (at least compared to the trash from Bellagio), but not in the top 50 percentile of pizzas that I've had in my life; perhaps Neapolitan style is not my favorite. After dinner we walked back to Cathedral Square (aka Piazza del Duomo) to do a bit of people watching before going to another Venchi location for our daily dose of gelato. We ate that back at the square while killing some time before it got dark enough to turn on the street lamps. The lit lamps were necessary to finish our project of recreating another painting of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. After that it was back to the apartment for our last night on the trip.


Fran and I were actually on separate flights back to JFK. When we initially planned the trip, she was going to spend a few extra days in the Como area after I left. However, she decided to change her plans, to leave the same day as me, after her sister Alexandria was having a rough recovery from brain surgery; thankfully Alexandria is doing better now. By that time my Emirates flight was sold out (in economy) so she couldn't get on the same plane. She ended up getting a ticket on an ITA Airways flight earlier in the day, 12:30p vs 4:10p. She also overpaid by a factor of 2 for the ticket, but that's a story for her to tell.

She left the apartment around 9:40a to catch the express train (XP1) to Malpensa airport (MXP) from the nearby Cadorna train station. Checkout was at 11, so I left at that time to check on a longshot that I could get into the Google office to hang out there (and get free snacks) before heading to the airport. As expected, the office was closed (at least to those without the separate building entry badge, like me), so I went to a nearby cafe to grab a bit of breakfast. The office is a short walk from the Garibaldi train staion, which also has an express train to Malpensa. I caught that train (XP2) at 1:05p and began the journey home.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Day 6 - 7/27/2023 - Lake Como

Somehow we were able to pull off all the plans that we hatched the night before, and with only a couple of minor moments of stress. We left our luggage and the bulk of our belongings at the numa apartment, and packed overnight bags for a day/night in the Lake Como area. First was a metro ride to catch the 8:43a express train to Como from Milano Centrale railway station. Then we walked from Como San Giovanni railway station to the Como docks to catch the 10:10a outbound ferry. We got off at Bellagio after riding for about 2.5 hours. In Bellagio we stopped for some lunch at a random hotel outdoor bar and then made our way to I Giardini di Villa Melzi, a nice lakeside botanical garden recommended once again by Chloe. After strolling through there we made a stop for gelato and headed down to the ferry dock. Fran made a detour to a silk shop while I (eventually) got us a spot in line for the 3:50p ferry back to Como. The ferry arrived late, and we weren't on our way until about 4:15p. The return journey was shorter (closer to 1.75 hours), as this particular route made fewer stops. Back in Como, we found our way to the Airbnb Fran had booked for the night, which happened to be on the same block as the restaurant (Figli Dei Fiori - Osteria) where we had made a 7p dinner reservation on the recommendation of my sister-in-law Rachel.

Selfie in Bellagio

Now to say a bit more about some of those things we did... The ferry rides were nice, but I was ready to get off the boat by the end. I can't help but compare them to the boat rides that we took in Norway last year. The scenery was similar in some ways (water passages with mountains on the sides), but with obvious differences in waterside architecture (no villas in Norway, ha) and weather (it was cooler in the morning, but mid-80s Fahrenheit in the afternoon here). But there were too many people for my liking on these Italian boats. And also too many people in Bellagio. And so many people trying to board the ferry back to Como that they had to cut off the line and leave some off the boat; thankfully we made it on, but we would have sweat it out less if I had done my job and gotten in line earlier as Fran had asked me to. Oh, and the pizza that I had for lunch in Bellagio was pretty trash; but I don't think it's representative of Italian pizza in general, so that's fine. On the good side, the dinner was pretty solid, with Fran once again enjoying it more than I did; though I have to give props to their "cheese plate". We once again ordered more food than we could eat.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Day 5 - 7/26/2023 - Gallery day in Milan; aka Chloe for the win

The original plan was to start the day with a hot air balloon ride, the second time around that Franny has tried to treat me to / surprise me with one. However, we found out a couple of days ago, that (just like last time) the trip was cancelled due to weather. We initially didn't understand why because the forecast (and the actual weather) looked great for the day. But our best guess now is that the cancellation is related to the severe storms from a couple of days ago, as we witnessed many downed trees and other carnage left behind.

Google Milan building next to Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest)

Instead we made an excursion to the Google office to check it out and have some free breakfast. The office is by the Garibaldi train station, and we took the metro there. We made it about 10 minutes before breakfast closed at 10:30a. After eating and checking out a couple of floors, we walked to a couple of nearby chocolate shops (Venchi and Zàini) so that Fran could buy some treats and gifts. After that we hoped back on the metro to head to Sforzesco Castle (Castello Sforzesco), though walking would probably have been just as efficient (I think Fran was trying to be more accommodating for me after last night). We walked around the perimeter, but couldn't enter the castle because of damage sustained during the storms. From there it was a fairly short walk back to the apartment to chill for a bit.

We had 2p tickets for Fondazione Prada, a modern art gallery highly recommended by Chloe (Fran's brother's girlfriend). I was highly skeptical going into this, but it turned out to definitely be worthwhile. It was a 45 minute walk during the hottest part of the day, so I decided to take the metro there while Fran did her walking thing; this time we were both satisfied. I'm not sure that "gallery" is necessarily the right description for the place, but I don't have a better word for it. It's a building complex with exhibits in multiple different buildings. The big building had my favorite installations, the top one being a pitch black room that led into another room full of huge mushrooms. A couple of the other buildings were kinda meh. Check out the pictures for a bit of a taste, though photos weren't allowed everywhere.

Inside an exhibition hall at Fondazione Prada

From there we exercised our metro day pass some more (though we ran into a bit of a snafu with one of the tickets not being accepted a couple of times) to get to Gallerie d’Italia (aka Gallerie di Piazza Scala). This is a more typical contemporary art museum, with a mix of works from the 18th/19th century and later. This was also a nice gallery to visit, but if I was only able to pick one I would choose Fondazione Prada because it is more striking.

After another stop at the apartment, we walked to a restaurant called La Gioia for a 7:45p dinner reservation. This was another Chloe recommendation, and the cacio e pepe just about lived up to her hype. We also sampled her suggested tiramisu; Fran loved it, but I'm not a big tiramisu guy. After dinner it was back to the apartment to figure out plans for Como the next day.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Day 4 - 7/25/2023 - To Milan

Our last night and morning at Alta Moda weren't entirely seamless. There was some sort of water leak above our bathroom, which caused a loud drip that started around 11p. Thankfully it trailed off around midnight, and closing the bathroom door muted much of the sound. By the morning there was a prominent water stain around the light fixture in the bathroom. We informed the hotel staff, so hopefully that got taken care of.

The other water-related issue was that the hotel was shutting down the water from 9a to 4p due to ongoing construction work just outside. This didn't affect us too badly since we were leaving for the airport around 10:15a, but it would have been nice to take care of some final "business" before departing.

We skipped breakfast at the hotel and walked over to catch the 100E express bus back to the airport. It began to rain lightly while we were on the bus; thankfully we missed the rain except for the brief walk out to (and wait to board) the plane. Our flight to Milan (Bergamo) was delayed 40-ish minutes from the scheduled 12:40p departure due to bad weather, but we didn't find this out until we had boarded the plane. This pushed our arrival back until almost 3p.

We had purchased shuttle bus tickets in advance to take us from Bergamo Airport to the Milan city center. The bus stop was next to the Centrale metro station, so we took the M3 to the Duomo station and found our way to our accommodations. We had booked 4 nights at the numa Camperio Rooms & Apartments. The apartment we booked was quite nice and spacious (especially compared to the room in Budapest; think something akin to a large studio apartment in Brooklyn), and also pretty centrally located. The check-in process is all digital, and you get a code that you use to enter the building, as well as your apartment. I would definitely recommend this place, if you're OK with spending a little bit of money.

Duomo di Milano

We rested in the room for a bit and tried to find somewhere to have dinner. Fran settled on a place called Propaganda Alimentare Agriturismo Urbano, as it had the farm-to-table vibe she was looking for, and we made a 7:45p reservation. The map revealed that it would take about 65 minutes to walk there (it's a bit out of the way), which was barely enough time to make it there. Fran insisted on walking, while I preferred the 25 minute subway route. In the end I decided to walk with her, as I didn't want to separate while she had no cell service (my Google Fi plan was serving us well in Europe). I later regretted that decision, as I was a sweaty and uncomfortable mess by the time we hustled our way to the restaurant, and did not make for good dinner company. Despite that, the gazpacho that we both ordered was off the chains (i.e., really good). Besides that Fran enjoyed the rest of the food more than I did. On the way back to the apartment (by metro, this time), we stopped by a Venchi for some gelato dessert.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Day 3 - 7/24/2023 - Budapest on foot

Today was a day of visiting historical buildings in the city. We got going just in time to get breakfast at the hotel before it closed at 10a. Our only solid plan was a 2:15p English language tour at the Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház). Before that Fran wanted to go inside Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom) and check out Margaret Island (Margit-sziget). After the tour we would go to St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István Bazilika).

We started by heading toward Castle Hill for the third day in a row. This time I was too lazy to climb so we took the tram (aka Buda Castle Hill Funicular) up to the top. In my defense, the forecast for the day was mid-90s Fahrenheit, and it was already mid-80s. Unfortunately, you can only buy round-trip tickets for the tram, so we intentionally "wasted" half the fare. We got tickets for Matthias Church, and also filled up our water bottle at a nearby fountain - I have to say that Fran and I are fans of when cities have public fountains near popular spots where people can freely fill up on water. The church was pretty neat, with an impressively painted interior. My favorite part, though, was probably the multi-color roof tiles which were arranged in various designs (we technically had seen the roof when we were there, without entering, a couple of days ago).

Selfie on Margit Bridge

After the church, we hoofed it up to the Margit Bridge and crossed over to Margaret Island. There was no real plan of what to do there, but Fran got the urge to rent a two-person quadricycle when we came across a bunch parked by the fountain near the entrance. We had over 1.5 hours before the tour started, so we rented one for an hour. With Fran behind the wheel we wandered around the island for the full hour (despite initially thinking that we would take 45 minutes or so). This included getting lost in a parking lot that I'm pretty sure we were not supposed to enter, and taking an off-road shortcut to get us from the perimeter path back onto the interior paths; both stories that are better heard from Fran in person.

After returning the quadricycle we crossed the other half of the bridge back into Pest and headed to the parliament building. We made it there 10 minutes before the tour and exchanged our digital tickets for printed ones. The tour basically consists of being chaperoned by two staff members while listening to a provided digital audio guide. Pictures are allowed except for within the Domed Hall where the crown jewels are displayed (and protected by 2 guards whom you're not supposed to get within 2 meters of). The audio guide was quite informative, and went into the history of the main rooms on the tour in quite some detail. The tour lasted about 45 minutes. I found the building impressive, and would say that the tour is worthwhile if you're into historical government buildings.

Parliament chamber

The next stop was St. Stephen's Basilica, before the last ticket sales at 4p. This time we got a pair of all-in-one tickets, which include access to the panoramic terrace surrounding the dome. As befits the name, the basilica is an impressively large building, with an equally ornate interior. It also houses the preserved hand of its namesake, Stephen I, the first king of Hungary. I was surprised to find that the terrace access includes an option to use elevators for most of the ascent (which is divided into two parts). Nevertheless, we chose to take the stairs all the way up and down. It was interesting to see the space between the inner and outer domes at the top of the climb. The terrace is located a few tens of meters below the outer dome.

St. Stephen's hand (aka the Holy Right) in his basilica

After leaving the basilica we went to a nearby gelateria that Fran had spotted on the walk over and got a couple of cups. The unique thing that struck us about this place, aptly named Gelarto Rosa, is how they shaped the gelato as rose petals in the cones; we weren't super interested in that experience, though, and just went with the cups. We then made our way back to the hotel, with stops for water and gifts, to rest for a bit and plot dinner.

Speaking of dinner, it ended up being a huge disappointment, especially after an hour of research by Fran that settled on a place that ended up not existing (or at least we couldn't find it). You can read more about this catastrophe on Fran's travel blog.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Day 2 - 7/23/2023 - Hungarian Grand Prix

Today's primary activity was the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, the main reason that I/we had chosen to come to Budapest in the first place. It was especially exciting because my favorite driver, Lewis Hamilton, had won pole position in qualifying for the race the day before. But before that Fran wanted to check out the Hungarian National Gallery, which she had bought tickets for (including the special exhibit on Lajos Gulácsy) the day before. And before that the first order of business was breakfast at the hotel, which was decent.

We arrived at the gallery around 10:15a. We first walked through the special exhibit (which didn't do too much for me, but it seems like Gulácsy was an interesting fella), and then glanced through the rest of the permanent exhibit. The dome balconies that are accessible from the cupola room provide some great views across the city.

Hungarian National Gallery - dome balcony

After leaving the gallery and doing a little walkabout, we headed back toward the Chain Bridge to find a decent spot to call a taxi to take us to the Hungaroring. I had found out the day before that the event had partnered with the ride-sharing company Bolt, which apparently also runs taxis in Budapest (?), to provide taxis to the circuit; the benefit of this is that the taxis could take the VIP lane from the highway and get to a designated drop-off spot next to the venue. I'm not entirely sure how much time that "VIP" treatment ended up saving, as that lane seemed to move pretty slowly for much of the time, but we got to the circuit in a little more than an hour, giving us almost a couple of hours before the 3pm race start.

We spent a good chunk of that pre-race time first making it past the main grandstand on the way toward our seats in the Silver 4 section at the final turn, and then waiting in line at a Middle Eastern food stand (more falafel for Fran, though this one was apparently not very good; I had a flatbread sandwich, and we split some fries, which we didn't finish). We made it to our seats about 35 minutes before lights-out. The view was pretty solid - we were right at the final turn and could watch the grid preparations on the main straight. The weather was quite warm (almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and sunny, so you can imagine how sweaty I was even well before the race started.

The race itself turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Despite being on pole, Lewis had a bad start and was down in fourth place by the end of the first lap. There were no safety cars during the 70 lap race, so the only opportunities to shake things up were during the pit stops - most cars opted for a two-stop strategy. Lewis appeared headed for a fifth place finish (Checo undercut him during the second round of stops, after starting out of place down in ninth), but he found some late pace and passed Piastri for fourth; and if there were a couple more laps he could probably have challenged Checo for the last podium spot. His Mercedes teammate, George Russell, had a comparatively more satisfying race, recovering to finish in 6th after starting 18th due to a bad Q1 session. And of course Max Verstappen won the race - his 7th consecutive victory (and the 12th in a row for the Red Bull team, a new record) in a second consecutive dominant season. You can watch official highlights from the race here.

Hungarian Grand Prix

My impression remains that it's much easier to follow the race on TV than it is live. But having a track-side screen in view (which we also had last year in Austin), as well as a view of more significant portions of the track (compared to last year) did make things a bit easier. Going forward, I think 1 in-person race a year (provided that I have good seats) is a solid plan.

The race itself only took about 1.5 hours. We stuck around our seats to watch the podium celebration, mostly on the track-side screen, though we did have line-of-sight to the podium itself in the distance. There was a noteworthy occurrence on the way out... While waiting in line for the portable toilets I noticed a guy who appeared to be having a seizure by the exit gate, and nobody appeared to know what to do. Fran, having lots of experience with her sister Alexandria, rushed over to hold the man's head to prevent it from hitting the nearby step. Eventually medics were summoned and arrived on the scene to take over. Huge props to my wife for taking action instead of just standing there and pointing like I did. By the time we left the man seemed to be alert again (though the medics kept him lying down) and reunited with the rest of his party. We have no idea what the cause was, nor whether he had prior history of seizures.

We walked back to the taxi drop-off area to see if we could get a taxi back into the city. We expected it to be busy (after all 100,000+ people attended the race that day, and a good chunk of them would have had similar ideas), but we were not prepared for how long the taxi line was. We didn't think we had a chance of getting to the front of it in less than an hour (and probably much longer), so we decided to investigate alternatives. It was around 5:30 by this time.

Google Maps showed that we could walk 22 minutes (into the center of the nearby village of Mogyoród) to catch a bus into the city, where we could transfer to a subway. So we decided to try that. Turns out a lot of people also had the same idea - there were probably a couple of bus-loads of people there ahead of us. Also, when we checked, the next bus wasn't due until 7p, or another hour. There were quite a few taxis crawling by (traffic wasn't moving very quickly, plus they were on the lookout to score due to high demand), and we asked a couple of them how much it would cost to go to the city. The quotes ranged between 30,000 HUF (~$87 USD) and 40,000 HUF (~$117 USD); for comparison, the ride out had cost about 20,000 HUF (~$59 USD). While this was exorbitant, we would probably have been willing to pay it if we could; but they only accepted cash, which we didn't have any of.

The next plan of action was to walk 44 minutes to the Mogyoród train station to catch the commuter train into the city, where we could transfer to the subway. Up the road we ran into 4 British guys who we had earlier struck up a conversation with; they had bailed for the train station, but saw a bus coming after going past the next bus stop, so they were walking back to the bus stop to board it there. We joined them, as there were far fewer people at this stop than the original one, but in the end bailed on that idea as well. We weren't sure where this bus was going, it didn't seem like it could fit everyone, and we didn't have ready access to a means to pay for the bus.

We continued on to the train station and eventually made it there around 7p. Luckily they left a ticket window open where we could buy a ticket by card. We boarded the train that was sitting there a minuted before it departed. We took that to the last stop at Örs vezér tere, and switched to the M2 subway across the street. From there it was a few stops to Astoria, which was a 10 minute walk from our hotel. We were back in the city center around 8p, about 3 hours after leaving the circuit.

We found an appealing (to Fran at least) Lebanese restaurant called Byblos on the walk back, and decided to have dinner there. The food was pretty good, but we ordered too much of it. After dinner we stopped at a gelateria, where I had to try the ice cream in a chimney cake cone (chimney cakes are apparently a big thing in Budapest).


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.

Eurotrip 2023 - Days 0-1 - 7/21-2/2023 - To Budapest

Apparently our new thing is flying to Zürich overnight, because this vacation started with the same Friday night flight from JFK as 364 days ago. This time we had a connection in Zürich to Budapest. We departed JFK almost an hour late, but we apparently made up the time in the air (despite some moderate bumps over Nova Scotia) and arrived just about on time (almost 11am). We had no problems making the connection given the almost 1.5 hours between arrival and departure, and there was no line at passport control. I barely got any sleep on the overnight flight (though not for lack of trying) and tried to close my eyes some more on the flight to Budapest. Fran seemed to get even less rest than I did. Despite this, we were both in better shape (i.e., felt less tired) than last year for the first day of the vacation.

After arriving in Budapest and gathering our luggage, we found our way to the 100E Express Bus stand. The ticket machine was pretty straightforward to use, and the bus arrived soon thereafter. It also turned out that the first stop in the city center was about a 7 minute walk from our hotel, so the transfer was pretty easy. We checked into the Alta Moda Fashion Hotel, and then headed up to the room to decompress for a bit. I would say that the hotel is pretty decent, and well-located (it's on a pedestrian-only street with lots of restaurants around, but with the potential downside that it's quite touristy). My only complaint about the room is that the shower is tiny, but that may be par for the course in these parts.

We headed out on foot sometime around 5p across the Erzsébet Bridge and toward the Castle Hill area in Buda. We first stopped at Várkert Bazár, but then saw in Google Maps that our next stop (a cafe that Fran had picked out called Ruszwurm Confectionery (Ruszwurm Cukrászda)) was due to close at 6p so we hustled over there. We got there about 5 minutes before the hour, but it turned out they were open until 7p. We sat down and sampled 3 of their cakes (the castle caramel cake, the raspberry cake, and their famous cream cake). I thought they were decent, but Fran liked them a lot more than I did - especially the cream cake. After the snack/dessert we headed over to Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya) to admire the view and snap some pics.

Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom)

By now it was time for some real food, so we headed back toward the hotel, determined to satisfy Fran's craving for some falafel along the way. We attempted to cross back over the Danube on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, but found that it was closed to pedestrians. So we headed back to the Erzsébet Bridge and crossed there. We settled on a fast casual hummus bar close to the hotel and had a late dinner there before returning to the hotel.


My favorite pictures from the full trip are here.