Saturday, August 03, 2002

Rome & Other Adventures

So, I skipped Paestum, because the day I wanted to go there was a train strike. I was worried about meeting up with Alan, as it was a sketchy meeting to begin with, and I had lost all of his contact numbers. I spent a day getting to Rome, had time to pop into the Capitaline Museums, and then went to meet him. But he didn't arrive.

The next day I was really worried. I did do some touristy stuff during the day (Colliseum) and went back at the same time we were supposed to meet the day before and ta-da! he was there. Seems he had gotten the days mixed up - which caused my near heart attack!

We had fun in Rome together. Ate a lot of really good food.

Then we did a bus tour in London and headed back to Edinburgh. The train was delayed several hours as the result of someone committing suicide by jumping in front of a train.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

A room with a view

I am at a cafe in Pompeii with not much time. The keyboard is really annoying, you really have to hit the keys so if this message ends up being a bunch of nonsense, you'll have to bear with me. This computer keeps talking to me in Italian-very odd.

Well, I am having a wonderful time, it is very hot and sunny though my first day in Milan it was miserable-tons of rain and I wandered about lost looking for my hostel. I had a bit of a time getting to Milan. I thought I was flying there directly, but ended up in Bergamo instead-I will have to pay more attention when flying cheap airlines. In Milan I really only went to see Da Vinci's last supper and then went to Venice to escape the rain where I had to get a hotel room as the hostel was full by 10 am. It was two minutes walk from the grand canal, not particularly nice or anything, but I loved Venice, especially the islands around it. The gellatto is very, very good. I got very lost at one point trying to find a church, but even that was fun.

I headed down to Florence, where I learned to walk across the street in front of cars, since there aren't any lights. It was a bit of a shock after Venice, so after seeing David at the Academia I escaped to Cortona. I ended up meeting one of the uni of Georgia students (they have a summer programme in art) and so stayed a couple of days to hang out eating and drinking late into the night. I bumped into Jenny's friend Gwenyth-small world. When I went back to Florence, I fell for a scam-quite literally actually. One man knocked me over on the steps of the train station, while the other helped me up while pickpocketing my money belt-but all he got was a credit card and my passport. Not much of a big deal, and I got the opportunity to have a cultural exchange at the police station, where an officer didn't even see me at all, they just stamped my handwritten report.

I went to the Uffizi-wow!!! However, as wonderful as it is, I must admit to an exhaustion with gold medieval art. They are all just in about four different poses and I must say that it gets a bit much eventually. I also went to the Bargello, which I loved.

I came down to Naples, though I am staying in a hostel at Pompeii. I saw the excavations there yesterday and then went into Naples to see the museum, including the erotic secret room, for which you must book a special tour. Pan certainly does some interesting things with those goats! However, it was half closed, so I missed the Egyptian stuff entirely. It was a long day, and while walking back to the hostel (a half hour walk) I was stalked by a middle aged Italian man on a moped who kept offering me a ride. Up until Naples, I hadn't really encountered the dodgy male Italian phenomenon, but here they are. This city is full of them!

Today I went to Herculaneum, which was spectacular. Possibly better than Pompeii itself, since I didn't get so tired! However, I could not drag myself to yet another touristy thingy, so today I am going to just read in the hostel courtyard, instead of madly wandering about. This is the first day I have stopped being touristy at 4, and it's a nice feeling. Tomorrow I think I am going to take the train down to Paestum and then I have to catch an evening train to Rome, to meet Alan at "the store that sells only water"-we'll have to hope that works out, cause I lost my little notebook with addresses, phone numbers (including his mobile number) when my passport got stolen. So, if you haven't received a postcard yet, you'll have to wait until I get back to Scotland.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Plans for Italy

I am in London until Sunday, then I fly to Milan on the 15th. I will be in Venice the evening of the 16th and then in Florence by the evening of the 18th, on the 23 I will be in Pompeii. On the 26th I will be in Rome, the hostel is booked until the morning of the 2nd (Alan joins me in Rome). Then we fly back to London the afternoon of the 2nd and spend the night in London, leaving the next day for Edinburgh, getting back at about midnight.

Monday, May 20, 2002

Spring Update

My birthday shoes are very cool-they have a bit of yellow that I didn't like at first but am now quite fond of. We went out for Thai for my birthday and Alan had an extremely hot curry-nice, though.

I am trying to figure out flights to Italy-I need to fly one airline to London and then another to Rome, and change airports in London. I may see what it costs to fly a normal airline, instead of the cheap ones, because it may just be easier all round and a friend tells me that it isn't too bad, plus you fly into the major airports instead of little ones far outside the city.

Alan and I are trying to renew our lease here until next June. Hopefully it will get renewed, as we both will be in Italy (not booked yet, obviously) the day the present lease ends.

He is studying for exams, and still has a year to go. He finishes mid next week and then we are off to a wedding the first weekend in June. I still need to buy something to wear!

We had a good time on our weekend in the Scottish borders. Lots of abbeys, etc.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

Happy New Year

We were at a friend's house on new year's eve and tried to walk down to see the fireworks at the street party-instead we heard them and saw some smoke. Obviously, we need to leave earlier next year!

My cold is finally gone, though I still seem to blow my nose constantly. We are moving buildings one week late for work, so it's another two weeks before it all starts. I got the position I wanted, working with a new computer programme. Hopefully it will be interesting. I bought two pairs of grey trousers and a couple of shirts, so I'm ready enough for the new dress code. I am starting a six month contract with the bank in February.

A snowy Arthur's Seat.