2006 March, Italy & Budapest Archives

February 10, 2008

Return to Budapest

I feel quite unique in having been to Budapest. Not very many of my circle have been to, or plan to ever visit, this lovely city. In fact, a few friends have no clue where Budapest is in the world...which surprised me because I thought everyone my age would have learned the mnemonic "Butter passed hungry" to remember Hungary's capital. I was sure I learned it in school, but on second thought, it may have come from my Aunt Phyllis (a brilliant woman from whom we learned a great deal, including a few things about which our mom may have preferred we'd remained in blissful ignorance!)

It's a bit of a lame mnemonic, but memorable - although not, I admit, as memorable as the method Coach, from the old TV show Cheers, used to remember facts about Albania.

(To this day, I remember that Albania's chief export is chrome!)

But back to Budapest...

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February 18, 2008

Feeling at home in Marina Grande

The last post got me thinking about our trip, and looking back through my photos of the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento.

One of the highlights of our stay in Sorrento was the little village of Marina Grande on the waterfront below Sorrento itself. Both Mom and I were struck by the familiarity of the place, it's sights, sounds and smell were very reminiscent of home. Marina Grande has much in common with many a Nova Scotian fishing village: from the aging population, tangy salt air, individual fishing boats, and cries of seagulls wheeling overhead, to the signs of tourism threatening to negate the authenticity of the place.

Often in NS, prime waterfront land is snapped up at exhorbitant prices and developed into high end subdivisions. Then property values in the neighbourhood skyrocket. It's a conundrum, because on the one hand tourism and development are an extremely valuable piece of the local economy,on the other hand, fishermen who've eked out a living in small villages for generations suddenly find their homesteads priced out of their reach. But I my soapbox and back to Marina Grande!

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The Amalfi Coast bus ride...

Mom and I took the bus from Sorrento to Amalfi in March 2006. I found it absolutely exhilarating!!

I came across this video on youtube - camerawork's a bit shaky, but I think the person did a very creditable job of capturing the feel of the Amalfi Coast bus ride:

February 21, 2008

The Smiles of Rome

A recent find in my favourite used book store was a collection called "The Smiles of Rome", edited by Susan Cahill. This old New York Times article will give you a feel for the book.


The ending paragraph in her introduction is this:

In the end, what comes across in these pages, in a wide range of voices, is Rome's astonishing expressiveness. The silence of the Palatine. Bright mosaics, travertine, terracotta, pale pink brick, marble, peperino, so many stones. The light. Early morning in Piazza San Cosimato, the peaches in the market stall. People, unpretentious, affectionate, the dazzle of their sprezzatura. Love of life, the imperfect world made new again, among the ruins of this old, old city.

I was yearning to return before I even started reading the actual content...

And amongst the Overtures, this passage:

...In Rome, in the eternal city, I feel nearer to my own past, and to the whole past and future of the world, than I should in any cemetary or museum....Old places...when spirit dwells in them, have an intrinsic vitality of which youth is incapable; precisely the balance and wisdom that come from long perspectives....
~ George Santayana ~

I believe my delayed discovery of Rome was meant to be. I did not visit Rome until after I turned forty and am convinced that my younger self would not have deeply appreciated that elusive quality of this "old, old city" that seeps into one's soul...

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February 22, 2008

I see...Assisi

You just never know what you might see while wandering around Assisi . We happened upon this little police car in the Piazza del Comune...

Now this poor guy looks like he sees defeat. I read somewhere that this (temporary) exhibit in front of the Temple of Minerva portrays Francis on his return home from the Crusades.

Come, take a stroll through the streets of Assisi and find out what else there is to see...

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February 23, 2008

Not the only one with Assisi on my mind...

Don't you just love odd coincidences? I was at a loss about what to post yesterday, when Assisi popped into my mind. Perfect, I thought, I'll post a little pictoral tour of this beautiful town.

This morning, I check out the Globe and Mail and see this article by fellow Slow Traveller, Sandra Cordon. How cool is that?!?!

Obviously this can only be a sign that I need to return to Assisi post-haste!! (Sure, maybe it was just an ordinary coincidence, but I'd much rather see it as a sign...)

One thing I do know is that when I return to this part of Umbria, I would love to spend a couple nights at Letizia's agriturism, Alla Madonno del Piatto. The stunning view alone would be worth the price of admission! I think this spot would suit Dave too, being the city hating guy that he is.

Assisi, Rome, many places, so little money. (I'd better think of a few more expenses to cut so I can build that travel fund faster!)

April 28, 2008

Rome at Night

A copy of this wonderful article from the New York Times found its way into my local paper on Saturday. The author, Ian Fisher, does a great job of capturing the feel of Rome's magical golden glow. I enjoyed the printed article so much that I looked it up on the NY Times website to see if there were any extras. I found this slideshow, and this interactive walking tour.

My mom, sister and I spent Sunday afternoon reminiscing about our March 2006 visit to Rome. We hope to return in the not-too-distant future and stroll these golden streets once again. Of course, we may not be so lucky as to have them all to ourselves the next time!


August 25, 2008

The Lady of the Well

Annie's recent entry on vera da pozzo reminded me of one of the stories Mom and I heard on our March 2006 Ghost Walk of Venice. (Note: the photos below are all mine, but were not taken during our Ghost Walk...I think they illustrate the story quite well anyway! I am almost positive the Lady of the Well story was told in a campo in San Polo...)

Our guide, Isabella - with her marvellous sing-songy Italian-accented voice - was perfect for this evening tour of Venetian nooks and crannies. We met on the Rialto...


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March 10, 2010

Join me in a vaporetto ride...

Once upon a time...

Italy, indeed Europe, was a far off place that I longed to see, but hardly dared dream of ever visiting in person. But in March 2006, the dream came true! My mom, my sister Lynn and I went on our first trip to Europe. The idea grew around a conference Lynn was attending in Budapest, Hungary. On hearing of this conference, Mom and I, nearly in unison, said to Lynn: "hey, we should go with you!!" And so we did. Off to Budapest and then Rome we went with Lynn. Mom and I went a couple days early and snuck in a quick visit to Venice, and also stayed for another week afterward and took in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, as well as a couple nights in Florence.

This video is our first real glimpse of Venice, of Italy, of Europe...brings back some wonderful memories! As I watch it, I am filled again with the awe, amazement and bursting joyfulness that Mom and I both felt during this ride. Just imagine, we thought breathlessly, we are in Venice - the magical Venice of so many travellers' tales. I fell head over heels in love with Italy in this trip...and my love affair with this beautiful country just grew stronger on two subsequent trips. I can't wait to return!

PS - this was also my first time using a video recorder. Dave got me a dvd-cam for this trip, and I'm so glad he did. Mom, Lynn and I have enjoyed countless hours of pleasure reliving our travels through these videos!

March 14, 2010

On this day in 2006...


March 18, 2010

On this day in 2006...

During our first trip to Italy back in 2006, mom and I spent a couple nights in Sorrento. On March 18, we took the bus (yes, the famous Amalfi Coast bus!) to Amalfi and spent a day wandering around that magical place. I took some videos of our day and pieced a few snippets together. The quality is not great, but I'll share it with you anyway.

Notes of what you will see:
The first bit is of the bus ride. Was very hard recording on the bus, but I included a couple minutes of the ride for those who have not yet experienced this thrill, just to give a sense of how close the road is to the edge and how close the bus comes to walls and buildings while zipping along. I also love the cool horn sounds, very different from automobile horns in North America!

Then a panorama of Amalfi, taken from the wharf at the bottom of the hill, just after we got off the bus.

We then wandered up to the Cathedral, and while I was recording, we realized there was an actual wedding taking place, so I snuck a bit of that into my video! The pipe organ was spectacular, what a rich and deep and gorgeous sound. I remember that outside on the landing of the church, friends of the newlyweds had laid out entwined double hearts in rice! I didn't get a shot of that unfortunately.

And off for a couple days...heading out the door very shortly - Valerie and I are taking Moira and Kaleigh to the camper for a couple nights. We are "letting" Dave and Mark join us tomorrow night :), but tonight is just for us girls! Val and I have to pop back to the church for this evening's Lenten worship service (kind of hard for her to miss that, being the minister and all!) But otherwise, just hanging out, probably go for some walks, clean the winter debris off the campsites (not to mention the junk left behind by the previous owners of the sites.)

I've scheduled posts for Friday and Saturday, and expect to be back to "live" posting on Sunday. I wish you all a fantastic weekend!!

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Let us go then, you and I in the 2006 March, Italy & Budapest category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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