Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

23 April, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge - Day 112 Vegetable

We were on the cruise leg of my trip to Angers France for the Turf Conference in 2010, and one of the meals we had onboard, we were served Vegetable Samosa's with a mango chutney as an Entree... Now, I was worried about this, but when I tasted it, it was actually very nice, curry spiced inspired, but nice all the same...

Vegetable Samosas Mango Chutney

Hoo roo for now...


26 April, 2010

Day 24: - Sorrento & Pompii

WOW, WHAT a day... We did Sorrento and Pompii tours today! (for ALL photos, look HERE due to limited time (and cost) for internet!).

We first had a Dawn Service at 6.30am to remember our past lost soilders from Australia and New Zealand who landed in Gallipoli in 1915. It was quite a nice memorial, and I overheard the crew saying that they were originally going to have it for themselves, but on the passenger manifest they had so many of us (105 Aussies and 15 Kiwis), they HAD to do something a little more. We were greeted with Orange Juice and Champagne prior to the service (a little wierd, but a nice touch as they coldn't do it typically after due to breakfast and tours).

A breakfast fit for a king was had, and a couple at our table had a much earlier tour than ours... Ours was the last out, so we could relax after an early start!

Our day took us out to Sorrento. It was an interesting bus ride, past Mt Vusuvious (Volcano that buried Pompii many centuries ago) through mountains, along cliff edges and around some very tight bends... But we arrived at the Sorrento and had a quick demonstration in Inlayed Wood Working. It was vary interesting! We then had some free time in and around the city before boarding the bus for Pompii. We also had lunch here, which was a quick and easy hand held as we kept exploring!

Almafie Coast Sorrento, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cheese Tasting Plate, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Flavoured Liquers, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Inlayed Wood Working, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Cameo Making, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

I actually had 40 winks inbetween, and we arrived in Pompii. We were taken into the Cameo Making Factory, and I was truly blown away! I had never seen how these were made before, and I can now appreciate JUST why these things are so expensive! The workmanship in them is stunning! After this, we then headed into the Ruins of Pompii. I had no preconceptions what so ever, and I was in awe... These ruins are stunning, and sureal at the same time. Seeing the plaster casts of how dogs and humans were found centuries after the explosion that buried the city, was the best.

Pompii Ruins, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Pompii Relics Human Cast1, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Pompii Road1, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So now, we are once again sailing, but due to a strike in Athens, we may not get there. There are two causes, 1) is that the Union of Ministry of Culture WILL go on stike on Tuesday and as such most sites will be closed. Furthermore, 2) there is a possibility that the Athens Bus Drivers Union may also stike from Monday 26th through to May 8! As such, (if they both DO go ahead) we may be heading to Iraklion (Heraklion) Crete instead! So we will just have to wait and see what happens. Tomorrow is a day a sea, so not much will be happening, except for some rest and relaxation, maybe by the pool as sun is forecast!


24 April, 2010

Day 22: - A wet look at Rome!

We had a great day today, although I suspect that Julie (IN particular) will be having a good night’s sleep tonight... I will start from the beginning...

We started the day with breakfast and it was still raining. It started a little last night between finishing dinner and to the hotel. But overnight, it was much more. Anyways, we marched on and got onto a hop on/off bus and were lucky enough to get upstairs first seat and under cover! We went all around which took about 2.5 hours and then went BACK to the hotel to get some warmer clothes on. It was cold and wet!

We then had some lunch, some hot sandwich’s, and then jumped back on the hop on/off bus to the Vatican City/St Peters Square. The rain had eased a little, but it was still cold!

We were walking through when approached about a walking guided tour by a girl from London. It seemed very strange, we could try a short distance for free, and it seemed ok. But it really seemed strange when we ended up in a bar to pay for the tour and entry fee!

Anyway, we threw caution to the wind, and paid our money (16 Euro) and we were on our way. She was very good, obviously enjoyed doing these tours and was passionate. Why we were worried I will never know!

Rome St Peters Square PANORAMA, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After the tour (2 hours) we (I really wanted) to head to the top of the Dome of St Peters. There was a lift, but it only went a sort way and from there, there was 320 odd steps. I knew that after the Duomo in Florence, this would be a breeze! I was so proud of the 'Grey Brigade' for doing it. The view, even through the rain, was magnificent!

Anyway, the trip down (as in most cases) was nowhere near as hard and mum almost ran down. We then hit the souvenir shop and then to the Treve Fountain and dinner.

Dinner was also great, I had a Mushroom Risotto, YES Mushroom, whilst Julie had Spinach Risotto, Michael Italian Sausages and Fennel and mum had Spaghetti Bolognaise! It was all VERY good, and not to badly priced!

I am now back in the hotel, only person here, and then a group of German/Dutch maybe, people came in. There was plenty of space but they decided to literally sit on top of me! I fell as though my personal space is compromised... One lady, trying to sit near her partner, was SO close to me, I asked her if she would like to sit on my lap! I think she/they got the idea as they moved a few seconds ago when I was updating my FB status!

Anyway, tomorrow at noon we get picked up and taken to the port to board at 2pm. Not sure about internet whilst I am away, but we will see...


23 April, 2010

Day 21: - Half way... A drive to Rome!

WOW, we are half way already!!! I can't believe it really, as we have been on the go all of the time! If I had not been so busy with the conference and a couple of meetings here and there, I do not know WHAT or WHERE we would have been!

Anyways, what did we do today? After a slightly (15 mins) later breakfast, we headed out into Florence to do some last minute shopping etc, and to visit the Palace which was also great! Infront of it is a (copy) of the statue David.

Florence Lolly Shop, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Florence Horse Chaf Bag, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Florence 2 stroke van, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Florence David, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Inside was also great, but as I had packed my camera (David was from my mobile phone), other shots are not worth posting! BUT, after checking out of the hotel, we headed up to the Michelangelo Lookout to have another look over Florence and some lunch before heading to Rome.

Lunch at Michelangelo Lookout, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
MJS AT Michelangelo Lookout, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Once on the road, I literally fell right back into driving on the wrong side of the car/road. In fact, on the motorway, I even got up a fair speed of 155klm/h! I was on fire!

So we got into Rome, and to the hotel without a hassel, but when I got the file for the return address for the hire car, there was NO address there, but instead simply RM6 (where ever that is)! I only had 10 mins to get there, oh well, it was 10 mins late! I got back to the hotel, and we headed out to get some dinner and a walk (as if we hadn't done enough of THAT already!!!) ;)

Rome, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So, what will tomorrow bring? Who knows, but it will most likely involve a bus tour, a few visits to a couple of old places and the like... At least I dont HAVE to drive!


22 April, 2010

Day 20: - Florence!

Today, we hit Florence in earnest... An early breakfast was waiting for us downstairs and then we were of to the S. Duomo. This is a Marble construction Basillica in greens, whites and red. In many ways, it is a little 'garish', but at the same time, I can appreciate its grandure! Anyways, it was not yet open, and they were doing some resoration works. But as we walked around the side, the acces to the top of the dome was open! Alas, I was the only silly body to go... BUT, I was so glad to do it as well!

Duomo Florence, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Duomo Tower Florence, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Inside Dormo Globe, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Me atop Duomo Globe, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Duomo Pano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After climbing the 400 odd steps up, and back down, we headed off to do the hop on hop off bus tour. A tour that took 2 hours to go around. A highlight was a stop at the Michelangelo lookout which offered some amazing views. Pity it was quite hazy today!

Mum and Julie Open Tour Bus, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Ponte Vecchio, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We also took in the S. Croco which was another basillica, but this one only had the facade in marbles of green whites and red! But inside, there were many art works and chapels, and behind the altar area, was being restored. There is also some leather workers in the side of this basillica, and the most amazing bags and wallets etc...

Santa Croce Florence, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

We then took to the streets to do some shopping, oh the markets here are up every day, and I got a leather jacket. I will have to get a photo later of it, but suffice to say, it was a good price, and its very nice! I almost didn't get it as I had walked out after disagreeing over the price, however, a final offer was accepted and the purchase was done!

Abbey Road Attempt, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Spitting Angels, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Florence ELECTRIC Mini Bus, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Funny little car, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Pig Party, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

So, we are off tomorrow to Rome, again, driving on the wrong side... tee hee MB, but we are going back up to the Michelangelo lookout for a morning tea!

Hoo roo!


21 April, 2010

Day 19: - Driving on the WRONG side...

For the last night in Venice, after dinner, we took in some of the bands that were plain in St Marks square... It was really beautiful in there, a cool night (no where NEAR as cold as earlier in the trip) and very peaceful! BUT, I alos wanted to get some night photography done as well! I walked back to the Rialto Bridge to get a couple.

Rialto Bridge Night, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Rialto Bridge Night, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

When we woke the following morning, after breakfast, we decieded to take the water taxi to the Airport to collect the car for the trip to Florence. On the way, we noticed that an Iberia A320 was on approach, so airlines were back in business!

Taxi to Airport, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Taxi to airport, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Once we got the car, and I familiarised myself with the opposite to what I know,. It felt very strange for a little bit, but by the time I was going after about 15 mins, I was all good! I set the Garmin for Florence and we were off! Trouble was though, it took us OFF the motorway, to go through a toll, only to rejoin the motorway! Then it took me off an exit (even though Florence was straight ahead) only to find it wanted me to go where a road did not exist! So we did an extra 30 odd klm for nothing! But the best was when we got into Florence as due to roadworks and some (more) recent one way streets, we ended up going around the block a couple of time with different back lanes until we finally got to the hotel... phew, it was over!

So now, tonight, we had a cheap dinner of a couple of Pizza's, a bottle of wine and we are now in bed, well, the Grey Brigade are anyway!

Pizza wine for dinner Florence, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

20 April, 2010

Day 13 ~18 Wrap up thanks to travelling and NO Internet!

Man, it seems ages since I did a post... But it was not my fault, HONSET!!!

Fitrstly our last day in Paris consisted of a bus tour of central paris and a trip Up the Eiffel Tour and the a trip up the Sein in a ferry (both were great!).

Champs Elysees, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Arc de Triomphe, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Eiffel Tour, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Paris Sein, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
River Cruise Sein Paris, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After this, we then caught the metro back to a station near the hotel, and guess what, there was an Antique Market... Both Michael and Julie were in heaven (me too, just quietly...). but it was all stuff I/we could not get back home very easily!

We ended up with a few small things, and headed back to the hotel to collect the bags and head to the train station, Paris Bercy. MAN, am I glad we had everything pre-booked, it was chaos! People everywhere, and trains running late... AND, to top it all off, the train (special) to Rome was running late which meant when ours came, all of the Rome people were blocking our passage and it was a HUGE crush! We got through in the end, but we left around 15 mins late...

It was an interesting trip, dinner in the coach car had the waiter balancing meals and serving, whilst we travelled through at a very brisk rate. We headed back to our cabin and adjusted the beds. I think I had the best nights sleep out of all of us! I must try and find what route we took, but when it was daylight (and an hour or so out of Venice) there was vinyards as far as the eye could see!

We quickly found our hotel and had showers etc and hit the city, although we were all very tired...

Now today, we were given a free trip across to the Murano factory... A water taxi arrived for us and it was a most enjoyable trip. And once across, we were taken into the blowing room, the showroom, both were amazing! I could not take any photos of the showroom, but rest assured, it was great!

Venice Water Taxi, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Murano, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Murano Purchases, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Michael and Julie made some purchases, and when I got to the last showroom area, I found what I wanted, and made mine. So much for the 'free' trip hey!

Rialto Bridge, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice rand Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Venice Canal, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Anyways, we are now up to date (sort of). Tomorrow we enter dangerous territory, when I pick up the car!!!! Driving on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong side of the car... Wish us luck!

Florence, here we come!