19 August 2017

Take Me to Barcelona - Sundays in My City

Not quite a year and a half ago I wrote a post about why I would go to Paris (or Brussels or Beirut...).  Since then there have been attacks in several places I've been and some places I haven't seen yet.  I didn't want to have to do another post like this.  But here we are.

I've walked down Las Ramblas. Of course I have. It's a Must when visiting Barcelona.  I've crossed the London Bridge (not to be confused with the Tower Bridge although I've crossed that as well).  Of course I have. It's a Must when visiting London.  I didn't see a concert in Manchester but I did walk quite a bit of that city.  Any one of these attacks could have taken place when I was there.

Manchester (May 2016) - Attacked May 2017

My kid at the London Bridge ( May 2016) - Attacked June 2017

La Boqueria on Las Ramblas, Barcelona (November 2011) - Attacked August 2017

I'd go to Barcelona right now (well, maybe I'd wait until tomorrow because it's bed time here).  I'd go back to Paris or London or Manchester.  I'd go to Finland, which was also the site of a "murder with terrorist intent" this week.  I went to Venice last weekend (no, it has not been the scene of a recent attack).  None of this will stop me from traveling.  If anything, it makes me want to travel more. It makes me more determined to go and see and be out in the world.

My heart aches for what is happening in places like Charlottesville, VA.  Fear and hate cannot be allowed to plant roots and grow.

When I was in the Peace Corps we had three goals:
1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

The 2nd goal is something I feel like I am still doing now.  I hope that the understanding people have of Americans is a positive one based on their encounters with me rather than a negative one based solely on the news.  I trust that the good in people will prevail and the recent outbursts of violence and bigotry will be squashed and smothered by the displays of love and tolerance and acceptance. I find travel, meeting people, and learning about new cultures and customs is one of the best ways to expand one's understanding and tolerance and acceptance of people who are different from you.  We're all human regardless of where we're from or how you feel about durian fruit.

How do you feel about travel given what's happening in the world right now?



Sundays In My City

13 August 2017

Sunset in Greece - Sundays in My City

Last month booked a last-minute trip and spent a few days in Chania (Crete), Greece.  This was my first time visiting Greece.  Like a few years ago when I went to Budapest when they were having a heat wave, it was super hot.  But it was also beautiful.

One evening I just sat and watched the sun set.  I couldn't look away.








I recently got a new laptop and I'm still figuring out how things work. I'm not super tech-y.  So it's been a while since I've posted.  Sorry about that.  There's more from Chania but I'll save that for another day.

Sundays In My City

28 May 2017

Support - Sundays in My City

I read about this art installation just a few days before going to Venice and knew I had to see it (I plan to go back before November to see more of the Biennale).  Due to its location and Venice's mostly-water access, the only real way to see it is from the water.  Which means you can't walk around it or take a lot of time looking at it.  You see it as your vaporetto is going past. 





Venice is sinking, sea levels are rising...this might be just an art installation but so many places are facing the very real threat that is climate change. Venice currently floods (and by floods they mean that the water level rises 110 cm (43 in) covering 14% of the city) roughly 4 times per year. The famous Rialto bridge has sunk 1.7 m (almost 5 ft) since it was built.  This is not a fictional disaster movie.  This is real. And it's only going to get worse if we don't take drastic measures to reverse it.

Sundays In My City

14 May 2017

Bologna Didn't Win My Heart But This Little Girl Did - Sundays in My City

I had some friends visiting and we took a day-trip to Bologna.  I didn't fall in love with the city although I will say the arcades are beautiful.

A good city to visit in the rain since you could walk much of it under cover.

As I waited for my friends to check out a church I watched this little girl (who was waiting for her father who was in the barber shop) play with this rock as if it were a soccer ball.  She was so intent, even stopping to center herself a few times.  I could have watched her all day.



She would pause, take herself to mountain pose and breathe before trying again to kick the rock like a ball.
I don't know that she's the next big Italian women's football talent but she was clearly having a good time and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her enjoy herself.

Linking up with Unknown Mami where you can explore lots of other things that won people's hearts (or didn't).

Unknown Mami

01 May 2017

Stand Back

See the yellow line?  You're supposed to wait behind (that would be to the LEFT in this picture) the yellow line in order to give the person at the ticket machine privacy to purchase their ticket(s) without

1. Having you looking over their shoulder as they enter their pin number
2. Being squashed while trying to buy a ticket.



Standing in line resembles the way Italians drive.  Right. On. Your. Ass.  I can't say I particularly enjoy either activity here.

Do people queue nicely where you live?

There's no queue at Unknown Mami's Sunday blog hop!

Unknown Mami

16 April 2017

Caffé Pedrocchi - A Unique Coffee Experience - Sundays in My City

I like coffee.  I don't NEED coffee and I don't turn into a monster if I don't have coffee.  But I do like it.  And I know how good Italian coffee is supposed to be.  But honestly (and I hope they don't kick me out of the country for saying this), I find it rather boring.  There's very little flavor complexity to the coffee here.  It's all just strong espresso.  I like my coffee to taste like more than just coffee.  I like to be able to detect chocolate or nuts or fruits the same way you're supposed to be able to detect more than just grape in your wine. 

I was headed to Padova the other day with some friends who were visiting.  We had no plan so I did a quick google search to see if there was anything special to Padova that needed to be experienced.  I found this:

Café Pedrocchi - Ernest Hemingway, Lord Byron and Stendhal are all said to have found inspiration within the walls of this 18th-century cafe. Founded by Francesco Pedrocchi of Bergamo in 1722 in response to the increasing coffee consumption of the European bourgeoisie, it has been a pillar of Paduan society for centuries. Famous for its neoclassical architecture and powerful coffees, it offers a drink known as caffé pedrocchi. This looks like a cappuccino but actually consists of cold mint froth on top of a strong espresso base; the combination of hot bitter coffee and cool mint will leave your taste buds tingling.  [Source] 
 
So, of course, we had to check it out.  It is a beautiful building both outside and inside (it was very bright out so my picture is not very good.  Here's a much better one.

[Source]

The coffee wasn't as strong or as hot as I expected.  But it was an interesting, new taste and I'll definitely take Gran here when she comes this summer. She'll love the interior and the fancy-ness of the place.  Plus, she loves coffee :)  You can check out their website here.


Again, not the best picture but this was my caffé pedrocchi.

Caffé pedrocchi.  You can see a hint of the green mint foam (which is really more of a heavy cream than a foam).

Thanks to Stephanie and Adam for the fun visit and the adventure in trying this new coffee (Steph's cup had mostly mint foam and very little coffee so she ended up eating hers with a spoon).



Unknown Mami

08 April 2017

Random Things I Like - Sundays in My City

Sometimes there are pictures that just don't make it into other posts. Its time for some of those.



You know you're in the Netherlands when you see...

See the skinny red?  It's the skinniest house in Amsterdam.



Entrance to the library in Liverpool.  It's beautiful inside!!

A long time ago some guy (see how well I paid attention on the tour!) charted the tides at the Liverpool dock for a whole month.  This fountain represents the water levels each day of that month.


Linking up here:

Unknown Mami

26 March 2017

Cute Little Kids - Sundays in My City

Spotted this on the way to rather non-descript building downtown where I had to go take care of some rather boring logistical requirements.  It was a part of town I hadn't been in yet and I was early (because I have a fear of being late) so I was wandering a bit to kill time.



Unknown Mami

11 March 2017

A Good Day for Gelato - Sundays in My City

The weather has been really nice for the last few days.  The parks have been full of kids and everyone has been out walking and jogging and biking.  Today I stopped for a gelato.  Mind you, I can eat gelato even if it's freezing outside :D

I love extra dark chocolate and I once found blueberry gelato but today I planned to get lemon.  I actually get lemon pretty often.  It's so bright and crisp and not overly sweet.  When I got there I saw a new flavor...pear and ginger (pera e zenzero) so I got a double scoop: lemon and pera e zenzero).  The pera e zenzero was obviously made with fresh pears as I could taste that distinctive pear texture...you know, pears have those little almost-crunchy bits.  But sadly I couldn't taste any ginger at all.  And I really love ginger which is why I ordered this flavor.  But still, the day was beautiful and the lemon was, as usual, refreshing.  So all in all, no complaints.

Limone, pera e zenzero gelato e un giorno bellissimo.

What's your favorite treat on a beautiful day?

05 March 2017

Venice Carnevale Attempted - Sundays in My City

Carnevale is an annual festival held in Venice.  It has undergone multiple different manifestations over the years.  It now mostly takes place over a few weekends.  A few years ago I went to the Carnaval (different languages spell it differently) celebration in the south of the Netherlands when I was living there.

A couple weeks ago I attempted to experience Carnevale in Venice.  I can't say it was at all enjoyable unless you particularly like seeing nothing but the back of the person against whom you're smashed while having no control over where you go as you're completely at the will of the mass.

I only managed a couple pictures as I had not the will to fight the masses.  Honestly, I have no desire to experience that ever again.  Surely I'll go to Venice many more times but I'll make a point of not going when there's a big event happening!

It took so long to get here (St. Mark's Square) that we missed the main event (Flight of the Angel).

Masks are a big part of the Carnevale celebration.  I took this one on the train using my phone.  I don't know why it looks almost water-colored...probably just because I have a cheap little phone without a good camera.
Fritale, or "little frieds,"  are a traditional Carnevale sweet.  I really had no interest in trying them since they look like little fried doughnuts and I don't like doughnuts but in the spirit of trying the things that go with the places where I am, I got 2 from the bakery next door.

I was right, they are basically little fried doughnuts but with raisins and cream.  Much like the Carnevale festival itself, I've no need to experience these again.
If you aren't like me and don't hate crowds then perhaps Carnevale is something you'd enjoy.  There are plenty of beautiful pictures and videos available online and from now on I'll be more than satisfied to look at those!

How do you feel about big crowded festivals?  Have you ever been to Carnevale?



Unknown Mami