Friday, October 31, 2014

Cinque Terre and Pisa

Hello again!

A rather brief post here. I travelled from Genoa to Vernazza in the Cinque Terre. Stunning towns on the Cinque Terre - I wish I stayed longer! Not sure why I only made it one night now... Oh well... 

After that was Pisa! Where the funny old tower is still leaning at a rather comical angle. The Camposanto was certainly the highlight for me, however.

The reason this post is brief is because I'm exhausted!! Visiting these two towns resulted in meeting some wonderful and also some odd people, drinking far too much wine and feeling rather dreary the next day. But it was all good fun! 

I have only got a couple of pics for you today as I haven't edited many and all I really want to do is go to sleep! :) 

Next post/s will be Florence! (It's wonderful here!) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Milan & Genoa

Good evening! 

I was a bit sad leaving Venice. I'd met some lovely people and was starting to get used to its rhythm, yet I had already planned to go to Milan!

In Milan I met with a family friend, Paul, whose of Italian origins and knows the area particularly well. Fortunately for me, this man who travels around the world regularly for business, was in Milan the same time as myself! 

He picked me up from the station and then we went on a small tour around the city, saw the Galleria and the Duomo. We were lucky to have the organ playing while in the Duomo. The acoustics were spectacular! And the cathedral too, of course! 

We also toured around a town called Monza. It features a small cathedral that is very simple on the outside but jaw-droppingly beautiful on the inside. Frescoes everywhere! I wasn't prepared for it! The most special thing about this church is that it contains the Iron Crown of Lombardy - the royal crown used for the Kingdom of Italy until Napoleon took it and crowned himself. That was kind of the end of that then... 

I have no photos, a church service was about to start so it didn't feel appropriate. However, it was a wonderful experience. 

The next day we went on a long day trip to Lago Di Garda and the beginning of the Alps. This was spectacular! To be brief, small mountain towns with Austrian style architeture, old crumbling castles, churches on hills... Then more churches on hills... Oh! And another one... The alps make our mountains look like pipsqueaks... Stunning. I'm very lucky and grateful to have been shown this beautiful part of Italy!

I then journeyed to Genoa for the one night. (I'm sitting in my BnB right now! Mainly coz I don't really want to go out... The men stare through you here it seems...) anyway! To Genoa... And while Italy has art, architecture, gardens, food, music, culture! I went to the acquarium. It's one of the largest in Europe... So why not?! Manatees, jellyfish, spectacular coral and dolphins playing with the cords that were being used to clean the pools. 

Pics below! Next! The Cinque Terre and Pisa!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Hello all! My goodness it's been a busy week!

I did manage to get the plane from Prague, even though my accommodation was a while away from the terminal. No one spoke English to assist... May have panicked internally slightly... But it all turned out well! 

Arriving in Venice was breath taking. Immediately you feel so relaxed and are in awe of how on earth the city is possibly there.... Still... After all this time. Navigating the streets, although romantic at first, proves to be extremely difficult even with the assistance of Google maps. But! Like the Italians, you just go along with it. Their pace and relaxed nature is so refreshingly different to Australia. 

I did a lot in Venice, and met some wonderful people! Unfortunately, the blog won't allow a full recount of these experiences. In other words, just ask me when I get back! I certainly don't expect you to read a detailed account of my adventures! Haha...

So! The highlights and musings on Venice. (These are just a few!)

- Ca Pesaro Gallery of Modern Art. I didn't get around to the Guggenheim... But was spectacular in its own right. Found a sculptor that I'd never heard of, Adolfo Wildt, whose works I just love. Other artists included, Rodin, Klimt, Miro, Klee, Kandinsky to name a few... Wonderful!

- Doges Palace. Fascinating learning about the politics and power of Venice. Stunning architecture and history.

- Chiesa Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. Stunning church. Part of me feels quite out of depth in Itsly, given I have no religious upbringing and very little understanding of the content of the artworks (although I am learning!). Yet, this church, compared to others that can be kind of oppressive, was a beautiful celebration of religion. Spectacular artwork (Titian!) and architecture. 

- Dogs of Venice. Dogs everywhere! In bars, supermarkets, on the street without leads... And chasing pigeons in St Mark's Square. Bliss!

- Osteria da Filo. A fantastic little bar in Venice in the Santa Croce area. No tourists, brilliant music, food and wine. So friendly. I spent three out of my four evenings there at some point for a drink! (Not in the guides books... It's a wonderful little secret!)

My photographs, however, did struggle! I think I may have been expecting too much from the city for myself that I found it difficult to relax my artistic eye. Yet, despite my photos suffering, I still have wonderful memories. Here's a few below!

(I've been travelling a fair bit, so only a few photo so edited...! More when I get back!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Petrin Hill & Prague Postcards

Two blogs in one day! Prague is too beautiful... I can't help myself! Hehehe.... 

Sunday morning was a very still, foggy morning in Prague. I wandered up my street to the side of Petrin Hill, Prague's main gardens. As I walked through the park I could hear church bells ringing in the distance and to put the icing on the atmospheric cake, someone, somewhere was playing "Moldau" by Smetana. Another Czech composer! This piece is part his "Ma Vlast" (My Country) check it out here so you can get a feel for what it was like!

The park was beautiful. So peaceful, and actually kind of what I needed! Just get out of the touristy centre of Prague. Although, I did spot more segways in the park. The people of Prague must be so sick of them. All I can think of is Gob from Arrested Development when I see them. Haha...

I got asked out by the worker at a gallery called the "Magical Cavern". He invited me into his "magical cavern" but I declined. He then proceeded to ask me where I was from, what I did for work, what star sign I am - "Scorpio"... "Oh! I'm Cancer! We are a good match!" The only thing I regret on this trip so far is not getting his portrait. Such a character! 

That afternoon I stumbled across the Prague Senate gardens. They were in the Italian Renaissance style and featured many bronze reproductions of 16th century sculptures as well as an enormous drip wall with many weird and wonderful creatures peering out of it. 

I also visited the clock again... And went to the top of the clock. The view was lovely... The tourists were not. We were all sanchwiched in on this tiny walkway, fighting against others who were taking selfies or portraits of each other. To a certain American I know....if you go to Prague, don't do this... You'll hate it! 

And here are the pictures! First lot is of Petrin Hill and it finished at the dog tearing up the hill. And then enjoy the rest! 

Tomorrow to Venice! If I make the plane... Here's hoping.... Hahaha