Ferry to Tunis, Tunisia – April 2, 2018 – Palermo, Italy


By Tom Allin

Sometime in the last couple of months I was looking at a map of Sicily.  Eventually it came to my mind that Tunisia was only an inch a way from Sicily and Sicily was only two inches long so the distance between Sicily and Tunisia couldn’t be all that much.

Next my brilliant brain comes up with the idea that if Tunisia is close to Sicily there probably is a ferry between the two places.  I googled “ferries Italy Tunisia” and damn if there isn’t just one but more than one ferry making this trip.

I asked Nancy if she would like to visit Tunisia and her answer is, “Why not?”

So this evening about 10:00 pm we finally get in the correct line to exit Italy and drive on to the ferry.  Departure time is 2:00 am – appears to be a lot of waiting time built into check in time and departure time

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Our Drive to Salerno – May 4, 2018 – Maratea to Salerno, Italy


By Tom Allin

We are headed to the famous Amalfi Coast and our first overnight stop will be Salerno.  But first we have an all day drive due to various stops we want to make between Marateaand Salerno.

As you will note in the photograph the weather wasn’t bright and sunny rather it was cloudy and we did encounter some rain.  However, it was another very good drive.

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Certosa di Padula; Part III – May 2, 2018 – Padula, Italy


By Tom Allin

In our time in Italy we have seen a lot of choir seating, doors, and various sculptures that are ornately crafted and carved.  For some reason the woodwork in the Certosa di Padula caught my eye more than other places we visited.

The church door was created in 1374 out of Cedar of Lebanon.  It is decorated with scenes from the Annunciation of Mary, Saint Lorenzo and more.  The set of doors got a lot of use: prayers were said twice a day and once during the night.

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Certosa di Padula; Part II – May 2, 2018 – Padula, Italy


By Tom Allin

As we entered each area of the cloister there was a detailed map and description of what you would see.  That was the good news.  The bad news is most of the time Nancy and I couldn’t understand where we were on the map.  But what the heck we enjoyed everything we saw.

The church has one nave with cross-altars.  We walked into the nave and our cameras started clicking.

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Certosa di Padula; Part I – May 2, 2018 – Padula, Italy


By Tom Allin

Yes, you read that correctly: Part I.  This is going to be a three-part photo essay because I went crazy with the camera in the four plus hours we walked the grounds and buildings.

It was an easy drive that lasted about one and a half hours.  As is so typical of the Italian countryside it was beautiful.  We arrived, parked in a large parking lot (not typical of Italy) with very few cars and only two or three buses, and set off for the entrance to this UNESCO World Heritage Carthusian monastery.

One of the reasons for all the photographs is this monastery is the largest monastery in Italy.  One of the statistics is: 320 rooms and halls – thank god (no pun intended) not all the rooms are open.  The oldest portion of the monastery is 450 years old or another way to think of its age is construction began in 1568.  Most of the monastery was built in the Baroque style.

If 1568 is not old enough for your enjoyment remember the monastery was founded in 1306.  The monastery was dedicated to one of Nancy’s and my favorite saints, Saint Lawrence.  He was supposed to have been roasted alive on a griddle iron and is the patron saint for rotisserie owners – you just can’t make things like this up.

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By Claudia Lowery
Center Stage Cuisine columnist for the former Piney Woods Live entertainment magazine

I doubt I’m the only person around Marshall that feels the need for a dose of atmosphere and an occasional attempt to hide a few hours to collect thoughts, visit with a bestie, or have a quiet heart-to-heart under a small-town towering shade tree. A new getaway spot right in the heart of downtown Marshall is hidden from view, but if you’re in-the-know, or curious enough to ask how to find it, it’s easy enough to find. Take a walk through Blissmoor Valley Ranch store at 208 N. Washington St. and walk to the back where a cozy lunch counter and room becomes The Blue Frog, a lunch and catering business with special evening events. But the hideout I speak of is literally…. off the chart. Keep walking until you are out the backdoor. Like stepping through Alice’s looking glass the exit enters another world, The Alley Downtown Marshall.

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