Monday, June 28, 2010

Music I'm absolutely loving right now...


Dash & Will


Marina & the Diamonds


One Night Only

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Five Things I Hate About Traveling


I would definitely consider myself someone who has caught the travel bug. If I had the money, I would spend every free minute of my time exploring new and wonderful places. Traveling is something I've always loved to do and will continue to enjoy for quite some time. But even the most seasoned traveler can have a short patience when it comes to some of the little details...so here are my five least favorite things about one of my favorite things.

1. Airports. I don't know if it's my recent "traumatic" experience with easyjet (two canceled flights, one for "personal reasons" the other for the volcano, both of which they did nothing about despite us being stranded in a foreign country and numerous late flights that severely messed up other plans. we got so upset with the traveling at one point we didn't go to berlin and came back a few days early. Long story, needless to say, I will never ever fly easyjet again. If I need a budget airline, I'll go Ryanair) or just the general stress and chaos that seems to surround people in airports, but I absolutely cannot stand them. That, and no matter how much I fly, I'm still a little afraid of it. Any of that dropping up and down kind of turbulence and I will be clutching the person's hand next to mine so hard they won't be able to feel their fingers.

2. Packing. When I was younger, I loved packing. I would start packing a week before going on even the smallest trips because, to me, it was a sign that something new and exciting was happening. But now it has just become a chore. You'd think with the amount I need to pack and unpack I would be good at it, but no. I either way way overpack and end up only wearing a third of the clothes I bring or try and "pack light" and end up forgetting some key piece, like tights in the middle of winter.

3. Weather. When you're at home, bad weather really isn't that big a deal. Despite the constant moanings of many people when it rains, it really isn't a big deal to me. I just don't get it, I mean you can basically do everything you normally do when the weather sucks? Unless you were planning on walking around lots or having a picnic...things that most people only do when they're, you know, only holiday? But I digress, the fact that enjoyment on holiday is so dependent on having good weather always bothers me. At home if I was planning a picnic one weekend and it rained for three days straight, I would just go to the movies and have a picnic the next weekend...but when you're away you don't have that luxury...and the weather can put a serious damper on the whole trip.

4. Not speaking the language. Until I traveled this summer, I actually can't recall ever being somewhere I didn't speak a single word of the language. Of course when I was younger I went places in Asia I couldn't speak the language, but I always had parents or friends to do interpreting and would always learn a few key phrases and words to get by on. But this summer, we went to five countries in the space of five weeks and the "key phrases" just didn't stick in my head. That and the fact that I left my Greece guide book at home didn't really help matters. Needless to say it led to some interesting situations, when my hand gestures just didn't quite cut it...and I always feel like such an idiot when I can't speak the language (although I know I shouldn't, since no one can be expected to speak them all). It is pretty cool though when two people start going through the languages they know in an attempt to find a lingua franca...which is how I ended up conversing with an Italian in French.

5. Er actually that's about it, I pretty much love everything else about traveling. I probably could find some other things to complain about but I feel like that list is sufficient as I don't want to put anyone off traveling!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lazy Days of Summer




Since I have no super exciting trips planned in the near future (at least for a month or two) I've taken to photographing places around and about with my Holga camera in an attempt to stop myself from slipping into a mind-numbingly bored state while spending the summer at home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photos from Rome (part 2)

Please listen to this song while reading this post, as it was playing in my head most of the time I was in Rome (thanks to the Lizzie McGuire movie...yes, I should probably stop admitting that these terrible chick flicks made me want to go to some of the most wonderful places on earth).

These are the final noteworthy pictures from Rome.


Trevi Fountain


Roman Forum



Museum (...the type of which I have already forgotten)



We stayed at the Kame Hall which was in a good location, nice and clean, and since it's not a proper hotel, not too expensive. As I mentioned before, all the main attractions are within reasonable walking distance of each other...so if you find a hotel near one attraction, you won't be too far from the others. There were no restaurants for breakfast or lunch in the hotel, but since we were so close to pizzerias, cafes, and shops it really didn't matter.

I'm already trying to work out when I can afford to go back as it is a truly magical place.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Santorini, the most beautiful place on earth?

Okay, so I have to admit that what made me want to go to Santorini years ago was:
Yup, I am a sucker for bad chick flicks but The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants just made Greece look so beautiful. Combined with the fact that pictures of Santorini are absolutely everywhere, it's a place I've always wanted to go.

I think we chose the perfect time to go (late May) as we still got wonderful warm weather with mild nights but we avoided the scorching heat and hordes of tourists (something I was very surprised at, a couple of times a day big groups of tourists would come in from the cruise ships and then completely clear out a few hours later).

We stayed in the Aressana Hotel and Spa, which was a little cheaper than the original place we wanted to stay but I am glad we chose this one instead as it was in Thira and walking distance to everything we wanted to do (although Oia was a beautiful city too so I would stay there as well). The hotel itself was nice, it had everything a hotel needs. We didn't try the spa though as it was horrendously overpriced. Breakfast was included and was absolutely delicious, I'm already craving this pastry/ cake thing that was half sweet and savory and covered in powdered sugar mmmm I have no idea what it was, but it was delicious!

We went to Oia for the evening to watch the sunset from the ruins of the castle. It's supposed to be one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. To be honest, the sunset was nice but nothing special. The coolest thing was actually seeing the hundreds of people who came to watch the sunset. Some brought picnics and sat there for hours to get that perfect view.
We also rented quad bikes which was great fun. Lots of tourists seem to rent quad bikes or dune buggies, as the island is pretty small it's a great way to get around!
There are also some great little boutiques in Thira which don't close until midnight so we spent a couple nights just wandering around through the winding streets trying on clothes. The beaches are nice in Santorini, but not the nicest I've ever seen. They are black sand because of the volcanic ash which is pretty cool. Overall, Santorini just had a lovely atmosphere. It was the perfect combination of authentic Greece and a tourist resort, I will definitely be back!
And now a few pictures for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rome (part 1)

Rome was absolutely incredible, it's impossible to even describe in a single blog post. I loved just wandering around the city eating melon flavoured gelatto. We tried to squeeze everything Rome has to offer into three short days and came pretty close, we saw all the sights we wanted to see except for the Villa Borghese. What we did see included the Colosseum, St Peter's Cathedral, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum and the Vatican. Also saw numerous piazzas which have all blurred into one if I'm being honest.
We got on a city bus tour which isn't entirely necessary because you are able to walk between all the major attractions (which we didn't realize at first, assuming that a big city like Rome would be very spread out) however it was nice to be able to admire the city while sitting on the open top bus.

Must eat: Gelateria Old Bridge on Viale dei Bastioni di Michelangelo: the best ice cream I have ever tasted in my life. Try the melon or cinnamon.

We also had lots of delicious and inexpensive pizza as many cafes sell pizza by weight which makes for a great walking lunch or snack.

More photos to come after I have sorted through them all.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Beginning of Summer 2010: Monaco and Nice

Our summer adventure began with what was perhaps the dullest portion of our trip: Monaco and Nice. Monaco was an hour and a half by bus from the airport and along a long windy mountain road. The first day we had an incredibly overpriced breakfast (8 euro orange juice??) and went to the palace and gallery there which was having a Damien Hirst exhibition. We went into the casino briefly but were incredibly underdressed to stay a moment longer. Instead we has a wonderful dinner in a restaurant overlooking the harbour. Overall I wouldn't rush back anytime soon unless I suddenly acquire boatloads of money I would like to gamble away (and even then, I'd probably go to Vegas).
(view of Monaco from the exotic gardens)
(back of the Monte Carlo)
Next up: Roma!

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