We Flew from a freezing Lyon in France to a slightly warmer Naples, Italy. We hired a car and traveled for south over three days. After a stop see Pompeii we drove along the beautiful dramatic Amalfi Coast, thankful that it wasn't busier.
The road hugs the mountains, which makes for some dramatic views and some scarily close roadside drops.
We spent a night in the mountains, where the locals were pretty excited to have had 1/2 a metre of snow. We were required to carry chains but thankfully the roads were clear and we didn't need them. We took then A3 heading toward Sicily, a notorious stretch of road. It like many things around here went billions over budget and took many year to complete. But it is easy to see why, as it is a string of viaducts and tunnels through mountainous countryside.
We of course had to have an Italian car. A fiat.
On the ferry to Messina. Thankfully only a 30 minute trip across as the weather was miserable. There weren't a lot of other tourists and we got sandwiched in with the trucks.
Back in Sicily.
Our last night on the road,
The much anticipated reply to Camille's letter.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Bill English, thank you for writing about your European holiday, when you saw lots of plastic in the sea, and New Zealand’s
Plastic litter around New Zealand, especially plastic bags which pollute our ocean environment and threaten marine life, are a big concern. That is why the Government launched a soft plastics recycling programme last year and you can learn more about this on:
New Zealand has a law called the Waste Management Act 2008 (WMA) which aims to reduce harm to our environment from waste (rubbish). Under this law, local councils have to promote good waste management and minimise rubbish within areas under their control. The recycling of household and workplace rubbish throughout our country is important because every piece of rubbish that is recycled means less rubbish is likely to end up in the ocean and endanger marine life.
In our communities and schools, everyone can help to protect our land and marine environment by using recyclable bags instead of plastic bags where possible. Many large retailers like The Warehouse and Pak’n’Save charge customers for plastics bags which encourages the use of recyclable bags.
Thanks again, Camille, for your email and pictures to the Prime Minister.
J Young |Executive Assistant
Office of the Prime Minister
We left France with snow still thick on the ground, even though it had not snowed for a week. The temperature was -12 in the morning and we were ready for something warmer.
Our time in France is coming to an end. I have enjoyed France, But maybe it would have been nicer in Spring or Summer. Today it was -4 at lunch time, so not so good for getting out.
In France we have gone on lots of walks and seen loads of animals. It hasn't snowed as much as I expected, which is probably due to global warming.
The French are nice, well those that I have met, and they are extremely fast walkers. A lot of people go for walks beside the river. Very brisk no nonsense people.
The French language seems a lot more complicated than English with their masculine and feminine words. Still I have tried to learn it.
Here are some different things about France.
Here are a few that we saw.
On a day when the temperature outside was -5 and we woke to find the heating was broken, we had some good news. Felicity (the deer) had been in the back garden!
Note the prints at the bottom of the photo.
Out for our usual walk today and crossing the little pedestrian bridge we found the only other life to have crossed since the snow was a badger or two! Maddy made the call - five toe pads so not a dog.
Three days of snow, but the sun keeps coming out! If we could just get a little more, maybe our snowman wouldn't look like he needs wash!
It's not normal to see men running around with high powered rifles in the town belt (here a strip of land no wider than 1km) and dogs literally running across your back lawn. But apparently in France it is. In fact unless a landowner applies for a permit to stop the hunting, hunters are able to hunt on private property!
Our thoughts of course went to Felicity (our almost pet deer), and when the dogs came running through our back garden clearly on her scent, we feared the worst. We haven't seen her or her family since, but Maddy believes the hunters were so noisy that Felicity would have easily escaped. Lets hope so.
This photo is from another hunt we saw, there were no horses in the Chantelle hunt.
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.