Saturday, November 28, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
During these long bouts of travel, Martello enjoys taking nearly endless pictures of the scenery as the train whizzes by (Trofie Wife prefers to read). Given that Sardegna had just suffered a bout of forest fires (along with nearby Corsica and parts of Spain) in recent weeks, we saw quite a bit of charred fields and huddles of sheep that we weren’t quite sure were alive or dead (Sardenga’s sheep census seems to rival that of New Zealand; Sardinian sheep are responsible for the delectable pecorino sarda cheese. Thank ewe!).
Monday, October 19, 2009
As readers can probably guess from the general theme of our marriage, this blog, and knowing us, we often like to leave things to the exact last minute. I mean, once you plan a full-on wedding in a month, what’s a two-week vacation crisscrossing the country? Child’s play. Of course booking a last-minute vacation in August when nearly the entire country is out and about is not advisable. If it were solely up to Martello, we’d have found hotels at each stop along the way, but since this is a shared venture, Trofie Wife insisted that we have sleeping spots booked for at least the first portion of the trip (in a highly-vacationed zone); an idea that Martello finally warmed up to when he starting noticing the price differential between online rates and the significantly higher rates posted on the room’s door.
All of the ferries have a pricing system that seems weird if it’s unfamiliar. You pay for the right to be on the boat and then you pay for the seats (or cabin, if you want a bed). Seeing that we booked the budget line, we opted to pay a couple euro more for the first-class poltrone (the seats).
However, upon finding our seats we were quite surprised to notice that many—not only in first but also second class—were empty. We soon realized why:
Trofie Wife had recalled once reading something about beautiful pink beaches on La Maddelena (though there was nothing in the guidebook accompanying us that day), so we set out looking for them, merely following vague signs (Trofie Wife’s chosen, and usually correct, mode of navigation in Italy) to the beach. As the local road gave way to a highway and we inched along the shoulder, we (well, Martello) grew increasingly skeptical that such a beach existed. Yet finally, we reached a beach. It wasn’t pink (we’d later learn that those pink beaches were ecologically protected zones that could only be viewed during special boat tours), but it was a pretty, almost otherworldly place on which to view a sunset.
We thankfully caught the day's last bus back to the center of town and had our first taste of Sardinian cuisine—spaghetti e bottarga (dried fish eggs; they would grow on us over the course of the week) and then took our third boat in 48 hours (and Trofie Wife really doesn’t like boats) back to Palau where sweet sleep awaited us (vacation was already tiring us out!).
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Following the tour, Trofie Wife re-joined her friends and we enjoyed some excellent (and surprisingly well-valued) gelato (I did, however, take them to task for only ordering one flavor and not two) and we returned to the apartment they were renting where the master chef amongst them was whipping up a fantastic meal with the items procured earlier that day (even more impressively, using his own culinary tools, transported transcontinentally). We dined and enjoyed catching up and reminiscing, bidding farewell on the banks of the Arno as I returned to my meager lodging (actually, for a budget place booked about 10 hours before leaving, it was pretty good).
Biblioteca Nazionale (otherwise known as the library that wouldn't admit me). Hint: if you're worried about the state of education in your country, maybe you should consider letting the public access the libraries!!!
Santa Maria Novella (not to be confused with the train station of the same name; I didn't have time for this church as I was headed to the station)
I have to say that when I first visited
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Our trip was capped off by Martello's transatlantic return flight birthday celebrations, with captain and crew bursting out in song and cheer (well, maybe in Martello's airline meal-fueled dreams).
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Although the rest of the family wasn’t quite up for the schlep and the crowds, Trofie Wife really wanted to experience Genova’s turn at hosting Italy’s National Gay Pride march (as noted several months ago, it rotates from city to city each year). Martello pulled himself away from the pool to join me as official photographer. Apparently he was quite inspired, as we have many pictures of various floats and revelers. We were stationed at the start of the parade, by the train station, so we don’t know if they encountered any unfriendliness as they drew deeper into the city and passed some of the churches. However, the news didn’t seem to report any trouble with protests. All in all, it seemed to be a successful event!
Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie Wife