Travel Notes

Notes on travels and excursions


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My last trip on my own (2)

From Lake Maggiore (Stresa) the train took me to Verona – what a romantic little town!

Verona: Sculptures in a garden

Verona: Sculptures in a garden

One of my aims during this time in Italy, was to focus attention on photography and attending as much as possible music shows wherever I have the opportunity. I was lucky to be able to attend a Music festival in Stresa. Here in Verona the Roman Amphitheatre is a popular place for music concerts, especially for opera productions. I saw the opera Tosca here.  A great experience on a beautiful summer evening in the open air theatre.

Verona amphitheatre: TOSCA!

Verona amphitheatre: TOSCA!

Verona from the top of a hill

Verona from the top of a hill

Because I visited Venice before in 2001, I decided to do only a day trip from Verona (about an hour’s trip with the train). It ended up in a total photographic expedition. I tried to take as many photographs I could during one day and couldn’t drag myself away the evening at about 08:30 to catch the train back to Verona… I remember standing before the train station, taking up as much as possible of the ambiance, colours of dusk and the unique atmosphere of Venice, and boarded the train with a heavy heart. I didn’t know if I would see the place ever again! This is usually the worst part of travelling – saying goodbye…

Venice

Venice

Venice

Venice

Venice

Venice

Venice: Last photograph before boarding the train

Venice: Last photograph before boarding the train

My next stop was trying something totally new in Italy – the Marche district. I took a train from hell (very full of locals on summer holiday, very hot, without air conditioning …) to Urbino. The  last section by bus to the little university town on the hill. What an experience! I still want to go back to this very special place… Two days were not enough. In this area of Italy one does not really hear English or see any newspapers/books etc in English. People spot you immediately as a foreigner, especially when travelling alone…  they literally stare at you. I felt a bit “out of place”, but still enjoyed myself thoroughly, because of the quaintness of the town, as well as my very friendly hosts, who collected me at the bus station, brought me a big bottle of water (because they saw I was totally dehydrated) and gave me the loveliest room, looking out over the old part of the town… and now nostalgia is setting in again! Let the photographs complete the story …

Urbino: View from my room

Urbino: View from my room

Urbino - seen from the opposite hill

Urbino – seen from the opposite hill

Urbino

Urbino


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My last trip on my own (1)

In my previous life (while being single), I loved to travel alone. Why? I love to travel and it was too difficult to plan a trip if you want to invite a friend/family. Just imagine the difficulty to synchronise dates, decide on a common interest (which country/which style of travelling) etc. The easiest was just to plan my trip totally on my own, the fun already started during this planning phase… and then you just GO! Now after four overseas trips with my partner (which was lovely!) I do start to long for that independent travelling experience again… What bliss to sit at a Cafe in Rome, sipping the best Cappuccino ever tasted, writing in my diary… Now I never write anymore while travelling… there is just never time for it!

So yes, I am experiencing a little bit of blues today on this rainy day in Stellenbosch, thinking of my last trip alone in 2009… (This is while planning our next excursion to Paris and London together, which I am really looking forward to :-))

Florence: view from my hotel window

Florence: view from my hotel window

I was attending a conference in Florence, Italy. Although I were in Italy before in 2001, I remembered how difficult it was to choose an itinerary and that I had a long list of places left to visit. So, here we go again… I also prefer to travel only to one country at a time. It is because I prefer to immerse myself in the place’s culture, learning a little bit of the language as well.

Florence was really beautiful, just very hot, the conference at the beautiful Piazza SS Annunziata, my hotel also on the same piazza…

Rainbow on Lake Maggiore, seen from Stresa

Rainbow on Lake Maggiore, seen from Stresa

From here I took the train to the north, Lake Maggiore. Spent a few days in Stresa and took a roundtrip by ferry and train, exploring the area in one magnificent day.

Lake Maggiore: One of the little towns seen from the ferry

One of the little towns seen from the ferry

Domodossola: a surprise during the roundtrip back to Stresa

Domodossola: a surprise during the roundtrip back to Stresa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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