Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bologna and some of everything after

Here I am at the most amazing sunset in Cinque Terre after a long hike through all the five towns , it was one of the best days of my trip!

Firstly I would like to say that having read my last post I am embarrassed at my extremely pour spelling and grammar, but I do have an excuse, I was writing on an Italian computer with Italian spell check, which obviously did not help me and I now see that I rely on it quite a lot, plus I was in a weird internet cafe and was paying too much money for the computer time. Alas with that said on with the story...
Leaving Rome I spent one night in Bologna, one of the oldest University towns in Italy with lots of red marble arch ways that cover the sidewalk ways along the streets. I sent way too much money on a closet of a hotel room looking to have a brake from hostel life with a hot shower and room all to myself. I spent most of the night looking for a place to do laundry and finally after walking around town for and hour in the rain with all my dirty clothes in a plastic marks and spencer bag, I found the laundrette that was really crowded and expensive but I was desperate and was proud of myself for navigating this unknown city in the rain and dark with a simple goal. As my clothes were washing I found a little pizzaria with huge slices of Italian and American style pizza. There I met this guy from Bologna who just started chatting with me about the joy pizza and of course wanted to know where I was from. It is the small random encounters like this that make the difference when you are traveling alone, it is nice to get to know the local people when you travel and if I was with other people I don't think I would have been as open to conversation. He accompanied me back to the laundrette and I found that some one had opened my now finished wash, and later i was to find that they stole only one sock, just to mess with me I think, I said goodbye to my new friend and made it back to my room to watch a little Italian tv and have some undisturbed sleep. I woke up and after a nice breakfast from the hotel made my way to the train station and was on my way to Venice. It as rainy and cold when I arrived but Venice is everything that people rave about. It is beautiful and there is no other place like it in the world, no cars or roads, only bridges and boats. As I was riding the Grand canal ferry to my hostel stop I noticed that most of the locals seemed to be wearing rain boots, I soon found out why. Venice has been flooding with all of the rain that Italy has had this season, plus the rising sea levels makes for a constant threat of water washing out st marco's square...
Sorry everyone I have been writing and trying to continue this narrative of my trip but I can't find the focus to do it now, rather than wait for the inspiration to finish it, which may take another week, I would like to update the blog with what I have and add some pictures as well. I will at some point continue the story but not now.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leaving Rome

Rome has been amazing. I have been traveling with a Canadian girl that I met in Cinque Terre and today she and I will be parting ways. Karen will be off to Florence and I will be headed to Bologna for the night, then off to Venice for the weekend. I have been overwhelmed by the culture of Italy. It has made me think so much about all of my time as a anthropology student. Traveling and feeling like a forgiener is such an essential expereince for understanding this world. Meeting fellow travelers has also been an eye opening expereince. I have found that there are more Austrailinas in the hostels in Italy than other English speakers, and most of them are traveling for at at least a year. I do come across Americans but at this time of year they are more likely to be students studying abroad.
A little about Rome... I visited the Roman ruins, colosum ... baths and temples converted into churches, every street corner there is either a church or a ruin and most times it is both. the Vatican was intense, St. Peters Basilica as over powering, I found myself feeling speechless and angry at the same time. Or maybe it was the belly ache I had from eating way too much gelleto for lunch. There were so much wealth in the Vatican it made me wonder I feel like I have become a bit desensitived to all of the history. But there is now doubt in my mind that Roma is a special place that I will always remember. I would love to come back some day with a lot of money so I could spend all my time in the fancy family restaurants eating my way through Italy. But it means that I will be back... Bella Roma...

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have spent three days in Florence, three days in Cinque Terre met some great people at the hostel there and have been traveling with one of then to Rome , via Pisa. Italy is beautiful and ugly, modern and ancient. All of lifes great contradictions. I am having a hard time uploading pictures but I can promise that I have some really great ones to add when I can. Today I watched the sun set over Rome on the steps of one of the many epic churches, birds were flying in these crazy patterns together, it looked like the northern lights, as the canadian i'm traveling with said. I can't focus enough to describe all of the amazing sense that I am having right now! Traveling is a gift and I am so grateful to be here. Not sure where my next move is but I know that I will be in York for Christmas. Maybe more of Italy or France...
I'll try and keep this thing more updated, sorry for the delay. I promise pictures next time too

Sunday, November 30, 2008



I have finally found the time and words to describe my travels. Switzerland is beautiful, very different from England. I have been staying with my Aunt Fay and her family for the past week. They live in the village Rothenflu, about 45 minutes outside of Basel. The village is very small and they live right across from the school, I can watch my cousin play in the school yard through the window from the dining room table. It has snowed since I first arrived, giving me the chance to see the beautiful mountins covered in snow. I have been kept very busy by my three young cousins Frankie who is 10, Audrey 8, and Tristan 4. Fay and I went on an amazing hike through the Swiss countryside right after the snow storm, it was like a winter wonderland. Of course I was hiking in borrowed shoes and jeans. I do not have enough cloths to keep me warm in this weather.

Here is a picture of Tristan, he is so cute and sweet. He has worked very hard speaking in only English to me with a cute Swiss accent. He loves the new words I've taught him like frig , and hot coco. 
It has been nice getting to know my family who are always so far away.  I will be leaving in a couple of days for Italy. Fianlly going to head out
 on my

 own and really do some of the traveling that I had been hopeing to do when I decide to take this trip.
Not sure when  I'll have a chance to use the internet and post again. 
But I will try and keep in touch.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Back in York

I have spent the last few days out in the East Yorkshire countryside, visiting with a friend that I made at the meditation retreat. Marian was so kind to invite me for a couple of days to stay with her family, husband Brian and son Ben, in the small village Skerne outside of Driffield, a little town south east of York. It was such a nice visit, amazing to think how kind people are to invite strangers into their homes and share their ways of living. Marian is like my English mother, I hope some day she will be able to visit America and I can return the amazing hospitality. We spent the days walking around the village visiting some local churches that are almost 900 years old. I talked with some local Yorkshire folks, was invited in for many "hot drinks" or "cup'a". It is so damp and cold here that it makes sense the English either have a cup of tea of coffee in their had as often as possible. Another funny English terminology for the weather, "sunny spells" to describe when there might be glimpses of the sun, but of course there are really no sunny days here. If you see the sun it soon is covered up with a large passing rain cloud for a nice little shower.
The Picture
Last week the river even flooded out in front of Marilyn's house, it was quite surprising to find the ducks and geese right out front of her yard. But it is something, I'm told, that happens quite often. In fact the next day I was walking the dry path into town.

I am anticipating the election and hoping that I will be able to have up to date coverage. I think I'll be staying up all night on Tuesday, and of course the next day is the 5th of November Guy Fox(sp?) day here, I've been told there will be lots of fire works and bonfires in the streets and along the river, lets hope that the Americans abroad in England can also use the occasion to celebrate the "right" President being elected!
That's all the news for now from York,
I'll try and upload some pictures from my visit next time so look for those!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More pictures

The beautiful sky above the ruins of Fountains Abbey. Marilyn and I walked around the grounds and were almost locked into the estate as the sun was setting. This was one of the most beautiful ruins I had even seen in England.
There are tones of birds on the river, on most days a cold wind seems to blow along the river path. This is a typical sight walking home from the town center. When I have a loaf of bread from the market in my bag the birds always pay more attention than this.