Continuing from Paris, I visited dear friends in Chambery, Lyon and Toulon. It seems all French cities have an old quarter with "mantainance-free" facades, colourful shutters and pebblestones.
Old Toulon. Good atmosphere. And some girls in pink, in a matching doorway.
Having limited time with my friends after their work hours, the conversations were intense, and each minute valueable. Sharing a physical old fashioned hug, not merely virtual, digital ones, makes a great difference to a friendship. I am priviledged to know people that I love on a permanent basis.
One of these is a crazy Italian who met me in Livorno and took me around Toscana for a couple of days.
A roadside camp, found late at night.
We followed the winding streets in the countryside, stumbling upon spectacular towns, fortresses, towers and ruins - and enjoying the rolling hills striped with cypresses skirting roads leading to grand villas.
Siena, of course, but picturesque towns are found on every other hilltop:
It is so amazingly green, everywhere. The lush colours, big old treet, olives, dates, flowers and cactuses... I just love cactuses.
We topped it up visiting a couple of thermal springs, like Terme Di San Filippo below. The Icelanders must teach them about thermal power - it's a lot of it in this region.
Next stop Roma. See you there!