A Travellerspoint blog

July 2009

"I think I could live here"

Florence Concluded

semi-overcast 80 °F
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I can't really say that we did a lot or saw a lot of the more famous things in Florence. I skipped seeing the “David” and avoided all places with lines or entry fees (which pretty much excludes everything that you read about). However, I loved Florence. Just walking around the streets, seeing the architecture and the multitude of piazza's and statues all over town was very enjoyable. I still find that the Italian women are rude and unpleasant. The men however are outgoing and quick to offer up a quick wink and 'bon journo' (and probably other remarks that I am unable to understand with my limited Italian).

The food has been hit or miss. Some places, it's amazing and others leave a lot to be desired. I fear that the Italian's laugh at us “American's” with our quick meals and haste to finish and 'check please'.

I think we all enjoyed our time in Florence. I find it interesting that the places that I enjoy the most are more likely to have a lot less pictures...

My favorite time in Florence was Michaelangelo Piazza at sunset. It was a beautiful vantage point to see the entire city. The piazza sits on the edge of the city on a hill with breath-taking views in all directions. Trinity thinks it would be a great spot for a marriage proposal. and states that she would expect nothing less... I fear it will take a man well off in order to please her!

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We have been staying in a mix of hostels and small hotels where we have all three been sharing a room. Trinity and I will experience a shared dorm tonight as well as Corey. It will be interesting to see how it feels to sleep with strangers. I'm certain that Corey will be happy to finally share a room with men rather than us girls for once.

That's really all for now....no funny or interesting stories to share today. Will try to update again soon.

Ciao!

Posted by Khandilee 02:59 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Florence

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Florence....

I see why everyone loves this place! Maybe my reactions are a little skewed after being in Naples, but this place is wonderful! Beautiful sights, broad piazza's, great food, friendly people.....yes, I like it here!

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We arrived yesterday after a 5 1/2 hour train ride around 5pm. After showering, we headed out to explore a little with no real plans. Found the Dumo, it's beautiful! I will post pictures a little later, but it's been enjoyable so far.

I never did take Trinity out for a birthday drink, but will do so tonight.....

Ciao!

Posted by Khandilee 04:57 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

The Ghetto

or better know as Naples.

sunny 84 °F
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First impressions were bad. Dirty, noisy and run-down. These were the first thoughts that I had on arriving in Naples. I thought that maybe I was being a bid hard on the city so decided to give it a fair chance.

After spending the morning at Pompeii (more on that later) and taking a short breather from the heat, I decided to give Naples a chance. Neither of the kids wanted to join me for a jaunt around town exploring (looking back, I wish I had saved my feet), so I headed out on my own and had an amazing sunset.

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All I can say is that sometimes, first impressions are right! I hated Naples! Yes, I said it...HATED IT. I'm sorry if you live there or if you love the city for some reason....I promise not to hold it against you personally...I just didn't like it at all.

I wandered around getting totally lost (seems a theme for the Italy trip in general). I was nervous the entire time. I imagined getting pulled into one of the creepy, dirty alley/roads and being held at knife-point and my life threatened to give up all my money. I imagined being bashed over the head and left for dead for someone to find me the next morning...yep! It really was that bad!

After finally determining that I had given the city my best try (this consisted of walking around for about two hours), I gave up and found the nearest Taxi to take me back to my hostel. Now that is another story.....

I would label my taxi ride as 'the worst possible, hair-raising, white knuckles gripping, eyes wide" experience of my life. It was better (or worse) than the most gravity defying roller coaster that I have ever ridden! Driving through an alley/road that was obviously made many years ago for a horse drawn buggy (if that would even fit), at aprox 50kph. There was barley enough room for the car to even get through....then on top of that, the driver swerved around people (almost skinning them with the mirror), past parked cars (I still dont know how he did this), past old folks walking with canes, little children playing ball and around fruit stands....all without one minor incident (except me nearly pissing myself).. I think I finally breathed when the driver finally pulled up to my place and stopped. Whew....even Vietnam wasn't that bad with all the moto-bikes and such!

Now....back to the boring stuff.

Pompeii was actually quite interesting. It was quite well preserved in some places and it was much larger than I had imagined. It was full of photo opportunity and also stray dogs. Yep, stray dogs...they were everywhere. Other than looking a little emaciated, they looked pretty harmless. They just lounged around and walked like they owned the place.
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Overall, I would say that Pompeii could be a miss if you were traveling on a tight schedule and if you go I would certainly recommend that you day-trip from somewhere other than Naples!

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Ciao

Posted by Khandilee 13:49 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Leaving for Napoli

Who's idea was it to leave so late in the day?

sunny 71 °F
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We booked our train tickets several days ago and decided to leave around 2pm. We were not thinking about the fact that it's about 90 degrees F at that time of day. So, it's nearly 8am and we are packed and ready to go....but have several hours to wait. Not sure what we are going to do while waiting for our train?

Will update more later.....

Posted by Khandilee 22:42 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Macabre and Religious Sights

A busy day in Rome

sunny 84 °F
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I spent an enjoyable morning out on my own. Was only going for a short walk around while the weather was cool and ended up getting lost (sort-of) several times while wandering around searching out interesting alleyways and such. I came across this church. It was so peaceful and I sat here at the fountain watching the people come and go while I enjoyed my Italian breakfast.

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I visited the Spanish Steps (again) and had the place mostly to myself with the guy that cleans the steps each morning doing his daily duties.
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Continuing to meander, I found myself at the Pantheon. It was very peaceful here at this time of day so I sat for a while and watched the morning activities, and engaged in conversation with a young gentleman who was out for a morning walk with his Doberman and Min-pins. It was quite a cute site to see and made me miss my Aco back at home with Mom.

When I arrived back to the apartment, the weather was turning hot. The kids and I headed out for some more sight-seeing.

chiesa di santa maria della concesione
Cripta Cappuccini

We wandered out to see this macabre sight. It was quite interesting. According to my Lonely Planet book, there are bones from approximately 4,000 Capuchin monks used here to decorate the walls. It was a little disturbing to see and I have to wonder, what would make someone want to decorate with bones? It made me wonder if the particular monk that designed this was some sort of wanna-be serial killer or something.

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We then headed to the Vatican where the mob of people quickly made us realize that it was Wednesday and the Pope would be apearing today. We hustled in with the crowd and waited to see the Pope. It was interesting and I can now say that I have seen the Pope but the Swiss Guards were the most interesting for me. I love their uniforms!

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From here we made our way to the Pantheon. Although we had already seen it several times, this was the first time that we had made it during the daytime when it was open. It was spectacular! I don't really know what I was expecting but the entire interior was polished marble. It was huge and looked like it was built yesterday. It gleamed with the sunlight streaming in through the hole in the dome.

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After enjoying an overpriced lunch at the Pantheon, Trinity and I headed back to the apartment in the now sweltering heat! Along the way, we had to take a picture of.....

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A good day in Rome.

Ciao

Posted by Khandilee 22:05 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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