Europe, Africa · 80 Days · 135 Moments · October 2017

Nicola's Europe Loop 5: Oct-Nov: Mediterraneo

21 December 2017

Planes After seven months mostly smooth travelling it's the only time I take a plane now the go home and it goes wrong. Missed my connecting flight in Lisbon by 15min due to a 50min delay of the first flight. At least the overnight stay eventually made me see the sun not only set but also rise over Lisbon, and from the sky. At this sight, I am still and always in awe of nature and of the world. Did you spot the šŸŒ’ in the sunset pic? And once again, on the occasion in Radisson Blu in Lisbon, I realize that I really don't like these kind of hotels. Big, sterile, and never quite holding up to the promise of their number of stars. Back home at last. Hello, German winter.

20 December 2017

Morocco, Casablanca This is the view from my friends' back terrace. The mosque is so huge (the tower is 200m high) that you see it from almost everywhere. The visit to the mosque is obligatory but among the few things to see in Casa. The seaside promenade is being renovated currently, the Medina I was told is not really worth it, the Jewish Morrocan museum I sighed out is quite far away and rather a collection of artefacts than anything else. The city itself is not particularly pretty and crazy busy with cars, always. The Royal Palace is totally fenced off. The close-by Habous quarter is quite touristic but really nice and pretty and an excellent shopping option for typical Morrocan stuff. And that's about it. About Casa and about my trip. Flying home this afternoon...

18 December 2017

Morocco, Casablanca - Mosque Hassan II Most impressive mosque which was constructed in the 1980s to 90s. I don't remember how many people fit but certainly thousands. And I'd like to know how many eggs were used for its construction as half of the stucco and columns are made with egg white and the hand painted wood decoration with egg yolk. Else, the mosque has some cool features like the hydraulic ceiling which (against some thousand tons heavy) is opened every now and then for ventilation. On the floor there is a system of channels, partly over glass, which in summer are flooded with water for improving air condition inside the mosque. And the pink boxes in pic 5 are built-in speakers, again some hundreds of them in the whole mosque. The main door doesn't open to the sides but is lifted up. The thousands of chandeliers with I don't know how many tons of Italian Murano glass are lowered electronically for cleaning.

17 December 2017

Morocco, Casablanca - street impressions
On the road... From Asilah to Casablanca

16 December 2017

Morocco, hotel Mirage Having a drink on the terrace of hotel Mirage with the most amazing view
Morocco - Grottes d'Hercules The cave is supposed to look like the African continent when viewed from the sea side, even with Madagascar in it (-;
Morocco, Kap Spartel Spanish coast in the background

15 December 2017

Morocco, Asilah - a dream in blue Cute little very well looked after medina, all in blue (and turquoise and green)
Morocco, Asilah - most charming guest house!! I was lucky enough to get invited to a long birthday weekend in Asilah by my friends who live in Casablanca.

14 December 2017

Morocco - From Tanger to Asilah (by car)
Morocco, Tanger Strange selection of TƔnger impressions: View from the 15th floor, Hilton breakfast lounge. Beach Street impressions from inside the car. Didn't make it to the medina... Always have to leave sthg for next time (-; Sum-up: 5star hotels are not my cup of tea, Tanger beach is quite dirty as apparently most public beaches in Morocco, there are some Westerners around especially around Hilton but still you draw the attention as a tall blonde, more than glad Morrocan pharmacies sell antibiotics without prescription, dining out with my friend's colleagues in an old palace uphill TƔnger with an air of French grandeur though all seemed just a little bit unreal and over the top to me.

13 December 2017

Crossing over from Spain to Morocco Pics 2+3 is Gibraltar, pics 5+6 the Morrocan coast. Probably worst trip of my whole trip: Ferry 90min late plus another 30min slow, so arriving with a delay of two hours, Yes!, to the wrong port :-/ :-/ :-/ There actually is a difference between TĆ”nger and Tanger Med. Argh. Had to grab a cab (they are shared here), 45min, 2ā‚¬, not the worst deal but after three busses and a ferry and lots of waiting in-between you clearly want to arrive. Which I have now, to the Hilton hotel where my friend has a work meeting and offered to share the room with me, yay! Welcome juice pic 8 (-:

12 December 2017

EspaƱa, Andalucƭa - Gines Afternoon in the park with the kids (of my friends) and incredibly delicious Italian pizza and dessert, all in Gines which is 15min from Sevilla.
EspaƱa, Sevilla Sevilla the beautiful. So many years, so many more tourists but still beautiful. Strolling through the neighbourhood where I used to live in 2000 (around Plaza Alfalfa) (pics 9+10), admiring the Christmas decoration, getting lost in the old part of town, buying jamĆ³n for my Spanish friends in Morocco and spending time with my friends in Gines, outside Sevilla. Sunny pleasant last days of my trip in Europe...

10 December 2017

EspaƱa, CƔdiz - where to stay Two beautiful and very welcoming places to stay in CƔdiz: Hostel Casa Caracol with a cosy kitchen where everybody gathers and Spanish Galleon Lodge with cute rooms with lots of detail to the decoration, sea and sailor style, and an amazing roof terrace. Both next to each other, both quite cheap and with the most friendly staff! (sorry forgot to take pics in all the excitement)

9 December 2017

EspaƱa, CƔdiz

8 December 2017

EspaƱa, CĆ”diz - procesiĆ³n La Inmaculada ConcepciĆ³n
Portugal, Algarve - Faro Two hours stopover on the way from Albufeira, Algarve/Portugal to CƔdiz, Spain. Calm and beautiful old town of Faro. Interestingly, Faro is right on the sea but only at high tide. With low tide you get marshland (pics 4+5). And anything can be made from cork here as you see...

7 December 2017

Portugal, Algarve - Albufeira Beach Reading day Sunset Christmas decoration

6 December 2017

Portugal, Algarve - Albufeira Walking along the endless beach of Albufeira. And when you reach the end you can follow the pass along the cliffs to the next beach and the next and the next. Presumably until Faro. Quite a change also from high tide to low tide. And I was sitting comfortably at a beach bar, drinking my Abacaxi com hortelĆ£ juice and reading my novel. 17 degrees and sunshine. What more can you ask for in November!

5 December 2017

Portugal, Algarve - street art Lagos There's only one street with all these images one next to the other. The rest of Lagos is pretty clean and neat. The only spot telling from bad old times is the former slave market. The Portuguese actually were the starters in massive slave trade from mid 14hundred throughout to 18hundred. In the search of India they landed in Senegal and took some natives back home as loot and then started trading them (for example one horse for 10 slaves), shipping them to America, financing expeditions to Asia with the profit etc. Today the former slave market is a museum in downtown Lagos.
Portugal, Algarve - Lagos cliffs Spectacular!!!

4 December 2017

Portugal, Algarve - Sagres Breathtaking cliffs, amazing beaches, massive fort, fun company, seagulls sailing over our heads cruising along the cliffs, bright sun and the most beautiful blue sky all day long in Sagres. And I had the best fish of my whole trip so far: Grilled sargo (seabream), fresh caught from this morning
Portugal, Algarve - Cabo SĆ£o Vicente Most South Western point of Portugal

3 December 2017

Portugal, Algarve - Lagos Christmas decoration
Portugal, Algarve - Lagos full moon
Portugal, Algarve - sunset Lagos beach
Portugal - bus from Lisbon to Lagos, Algarve Pine trees and cork oaks all the way down to Algarve. Very pleasant and quiet bus ride in a very modern bus, yay!

2 December 2017

Portugal, Lisbon - Alfama neighborhood

1 December 2017

Portugal, Lisbon - Bairro Alto Dinner at Casa da India with a very funny soup (Alentejada) which basically consists of some sliced of white bread in a broth with raw garlic, a half raw egg, parsile, coriander and olive oil. Apparently Alentejo is a rather poor region of that is their typical soup. Strolling through the neighbourhood afterwards which was getting ready for the Friday night...
Portugal - train from Porto to Lisbon

30 November 2017

Portugal - walk from Matosinhos to Porto 11.5 beautiful kilometers along the coast, with a short coffee break with my favourite coffee brand ((-:

29 November 2017

Portugal, Porto - street art

28 November 2017

Portugal, Porto Beautiful Porto. And Gaia opposite the river, where all porto wine is stored. Strong bonds and alliance with the Brits, since 13 hundred, still visible through the phone boxes pic 3. The train station pic 4 was inaugurated late so a new one had to be built in parallel (Campanha) which up to today is used for the long distance trains while the one in the city center only serves a few regional destinations. Pic 5 shows an on purpose failure in the tiles to stick to human imperfection and not offend God with his perfection. Pic 6: Harry Potter spotting... Apparently these university cloths were an inspiration for Mrs. Rowling. Lots of ups and downs in the old part of the city, narrow winding streets, lots of stairs, marvelous views, countless churches with massive gold (all stolen from Brazil and sadly given to the church), port wine offered everywhere...

27 November 2017

Flixbus from Santiago de Compostela to Porto What a shit bus! You constantly slide off the seat. I think the seats were fixed the wrong way. Can't be serious. Footrest broken. But at least we arrive at the border clean, yeah man. And we had an amazing sunset on the way over the rias at Vigo.

25 November 2017

EspaƱa, Galicia - Ɖzaro waterfall & Fisterra Got a spontaneous invitation to join a sunset trip to Ɖzaro waterfall and the end of the world in Galicia with my Argentinian hostel mate Victoria and the bunch of guys we met the night before. Drinking with style, saluting the sunset with white wine in party cups.
EspaƱa, Galicia - pulpo a feira Fresh squid in the making. Delicious!

24 November 2017

EspaƱa, Santiago de Compostela - Blanco Albergue Watching the sky from my bed... (-; Very cute hostel, perfectly organized,very quiet, good mattress!!
EspaƱa, Santiago de Compostela Pic 2 is poor Don Pelayo who got decapitated since a a strong Christian believer he refused to help the Musulmanes in Cordoba to help convert his comrades in Southern Spain. Lots of legends down here again, also about Santiago and why the shell as a symbol... Not as many pilgrims around as I would have expected. Too late in the year probably (-;

22 November 2017

EspaƱa, A CoruƱa Stormy day. Almost got blown off the (basement of the) Hercules tower. Just in time before rain and thunder to finish the paseo marƭtimo. Great coastal walk with beautiful views!
Bus from Oviedo to A CoruƱa Most modern bus with only three seats in a row, foldable table with glass holder, screen with movies and series etc, and USB plug. Almost wondered there was not waitress ;P Got totally submerged in the series "Touch" for the whole 3.5 hours trip...

21 November 2017

EspaƱa, Oviedo - street art Out of all places Oviedo seemed like the last place to have street art. Apparently, the new mayor gets sloppy and walls are cleaned up less. Admittedly, there is also a lot of ugly graffiti around. The cat and the giraffe I found in various places.
EspaƱa, Oviedo Beautiful city in Northern Spain, architecture reminds me of Madrid. Lots of statues all over the city like the one in pic 1. Pic 2 is the umbrella square. The umbrella was built to give shelter for the milk and cheese sellers which used to use the square as market place. Pic 4 is the university. Pic 10: Sidra!!! Asturias is famous for cider. You gotta be patient though as it is served by the waiter, sip by sip. You have to drink each sip in one go and it is served overhead, too difficult if you're not trained. On my lunch beer and snack I met a lady from Oviedo, Luisi, who told me a lot about the city and invited me for a glass of wine. Always be open for a chat!
EspaƱa, Oviedo - Cathedral Gothic style like the one in Barcelona. The portal (pic 2) reminded me a lot of the one in B. Unfortunately, the main altar retable is being renovated it seems (pics 7 and 8), apparently one of the most precious ones in whole Europe. Pic 5 is a 10x20cm piece of ivory (I was struck by the art work) from the cathedral's museum. The audioguide was the most boring I ever had in my life. The most important piece of the museum is pic 3, the sudarium domini, the supposed sweat towel which allegedly was wrapped around his head after he died. Anyhow, very important reliques for the pilgrims. Pic 6 is from the cathedral, found the dress curious.

20 November 2017

Train from Pamplona (Navarra) to Oviedo (Asturias). 6h30 direct connection.
EspaƱa, Pamplona - Cathedral Ticket for 5ā‚¬ includes cathedral, bell tower, cloister and museum. Really worth it! Wonderful view over city and mountains from bell tower. The bell weighs 10 tons and is the only one in function in Europe with this weight. It's run manually (2 people). Pic 7 is San FermĆ­n (I found the face of this statue very funny) and pic 8 the figures of the tomb of the kings of Navarra (note the veins on the kings hand, what a detail!). 9 and 10 is from the museum which is really stylish, modern and well presented, including animations, films, touch screens etc and this crazy pink house as representation of challenges of modern times.

18 November 2017

EspaƱa, Navarra - mount Izaga Most amazing light on our four hours hike with a splendid 360 degrees view from mount Izaga, some 15km from Pamplona. Good to have friends who know such places and take you there! The vultures were not waiting for us (-; but had a lot of fun in the current along the cliffs.

16 November 2017

EspaƱa, Pamplona Five days at my friend's place: shopping, spa, hike up Izaga, sunday market, pintxos, vinos, chilling, curious four years olds and home cooked food (pic: fideuƔ) <3

14 November 2017

EspaƱa, Barcelona - Hostel Yeah Barcelona Shit name but really nice hostel, well organized, staff always around, always friendly. Roof top terrace with pool. Rather for summers obviously (-;
EspaƱa, Barcelona - Sagrada Familia Obligatory visit... It's meant to be finished by 2026. Gaudi before he died in a street accident at least saw the faƧade of the naissance finished. It's crazy how he set the whole thing up in a mix of natural shapes and lots of different things inspired by nature. Gaudi himself is pictured in the sculpture in pic 2 and the Roman helmets were inspired by the chimneys from his building La Pedrera.
EspaƱa, Barcelona - neighbourhood El Born The hipster neighborhood of Barcelona and the only one I saw with street art, but here loaded.
EspaƱa, Barcelona - Gothic quarter Barcelona was originally called Barcino and was built in a kind of valley so that it couldn't be spotted from the seaside. Means little boat. Barcelona meaning one boat was then later created by unifying the villages around in the 19th century (ensanche). Lots of stories in the gothic quarter, sticking out the fusilation of children at Pl.San Felipe Neri 1938 during the Spanish civil war (pic 10) and Santa Eulalia a 13y old girl who was tortured and then crucified because she claimed she had had an appearance. Pic 5 is the biggest synagogue (underground), pic 7 a memorial for the world's biggest castillers (men pyramide), pic 8 indicating the facilities in the area (tea, cross for hospital, food market, stripes for town hall and the tit on top for prostitution)

13 November 2017

EspaƱa, Barcelona - Modernism Modernism is the Catalan expression for Art Nouveau, or Jugendstil. In Barcelona it comprises three characteristics: romantic symbols like roses etc., naturalistic traits like ocean waves, plants etc., and nationalistic symbols which is Sant Jordi (Georg), the patron of the city (symbolised by crosses, dragons, Jordi and the princess). The bourgeoisie commanded architects to either build new buildings in that style or redo the faƧades of existing buildings.
EspaƱa, Barcelona - independista movement
EspaƱa, Barcelona - MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art. Loved it! The best I couldn't actually capture quite well. It was a movie "blue" by Derek Jarman from 1993.

12 November 2017

EspaƱa, CataluƱa - Llinars del VallƩs Hike up to the Torrassa del Moro. The first pic is a delicious endemic cherry. Pic 7 is a little wooden hut we invented on the spot for the kids.

11 November 2017

Ferry from Porto Torres in Sardegna to Barcelona Last long ferry ride on my trip. 12 hours. Leaving 6:30am. The ticket says to be there min. 2hs in advance since else you may loose the right for boarding. But I asked and they said 1h before is ok. AND that there'd be shuttle busses from the center to the port. After 10min waiting and me getting nervous I started walking direction port or what I thought that was coz I couldn't see an inch of a ferry anywhere. After 5min walk I stopped a lady in a car who luckily (for me) was lost. She gave me a ride. Once at the pier they tell me the ferry is not even there yet (!!). Asking about the shuttle bus they go "dunno, not at this time I suppose". Haha. On the boat this time they explained me well and even in English where to go and what to do to get my paper ticket for the "relaxing seat" and the lunch voucher. Eventually we had about 8hours of rocky sea. Some people apparently failed to use their vomiting bags the rightā€‹ way...

10 November 2017

The day I didn't go to Asinara island (weather unpredictable, rented mountain bike that would turn me into mud in no time, ferry that would only leave at 8:30am and come back by 6:30pm), didn't go to Castelsardo (30km away, busses on strike today) nor to Sassari by train (because there is only three trains a day for the 15min ride), nor rented a city bike because my credit card is not registered for Verified by Visa hence I couldn't pay the fee). So: what saved my day was the international bookshop KoinƩ in Porto Torres which had books in Spanish, English, French, and German. Ended up buying one book in German and a children's book in Italian.

9 November 2017

My day today: Sleeping, food shopping, eating, reading, internet surfing, coffee, nap, washing. Essentially not moving much. What else to do on a grey sky day with 13 degrees and occasional rain? PS: Ok, AND I visited the Galvani church of Porto Torres on my midday walk for food which apparently is quite remarkable for its huge arcades which unfortunately I couldn't admire since the church was closed. Beautiful building though.

8 November 2017

Italia, Sardinia - Porto Torres Balai Beach Chilling in the autumn sun on the beach
Italia, Sardinia - Alghero Very pretty old town, was the starting point of Giro d'Italia 2017 and you still see a lot of pink rose bicycle decoration everywhere. Catalan history! Still visible today and apparently also left its traces in the local language. Unfortunately I couldn't visit the nearby Neptun's grotto as it's off season and the boats are not running and by the time I arrived (9:35 am!!) The only (!) bus to the grotto had already left (9:15 am). But you always have to leave something for next time I guess (-;

7 November 2017

Italia, Sardinia - curiosities Pics 1-4: the metro network of Napoli is bigger than the whole train network of Sardegna. Trains are clearly not oversized. Dunno in summer but today I got one of the two wagons for myself. Pics 5-8: city improvement measures. Doubtful outcome. Also not so sure if the twisted pics are intended fun fact or not. Pic 9: cigarettes, condoms, cookies, and coke. All you need in life in one machine! For obtaining cigarettes you have to insert your ID or health insurance. Pic 10: funny rain clouds sunset sky over Porto Torres

6 November 2017

Italia, Sardinia - Nora Small village west of Cagliari. One hour by bus to Pula and then a 15min walk. Pic 6 is a glimpse of the archeological park. Nora was built by the Phoenicians 800BC and then the Romans built on top of it. Finally abandoned when the Vandals came around 800AD and destroyed it. Funny day today. Rain showers every half hour, sunny bits in between, some 14 degrees. Busses only running every three hours so I was rushing down to the beach and back up in order to not get stuck in a lost village in dark and rain as the sun sets here by 5:30pm now.

5 November 2017

Italia, Sardinia - Molentargius saline natural regional park Supposedly lots of flamingos in this salinas park. Before I finally got to see some flamingos I had to walk a long boring dusty path. If it wasn't for the flamingos at the end and the beach I would have labelled the excursion the most boring one on my whole trip...
Italia, Sardinia - Cagliari
Italia - Ferry from Palermo to Sardegna Almost missed the ferry as the port in Palermo is quite huge & not really well signalled. So I went all along to one end to discover that the ferries to Cagliari were on the other side of the port... Also weirdest check-in system ever. Normally there is an entrance hall with ticket counters where you get the boarding pass and key card for the cabin, then luggage control and then a waiting room with gates. Palermo is one big busy harbour. You gotta find out yourself where your boat is. On the boat your ticket is checked and replaced by a sticker. The sticker gets you the keycard to the cabin two floors up at the reception. None of that is pointed out at all. But once on the ferry you get three announcements in a row in Italian, English, French, and German that the restaurant is now at your disposal. Had a marvelous 9hs sleep on the ferry though and a 4bed cabin instead of the 2bed as booked. Lovely to arrive in Calgliari port in the morning sun!

2 November 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Palermo

1 November 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Scale dei Turchi
Italia, Sicilia - Valle dei Templi

31 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Agrigento

30 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - sunset in Siracusa/ Ortigia island
Italia, Sicilia - Noto

29 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Pantalica Valle del'Anapo Pic1: NecrĆ³polis from some thousand years BC Pics 5-7: Grotta dei Pipistrelli We also walked up until the spring of the river Anapo. Very exciting to see the water stream out the rocks. Filled up our water bottles there. Pic 9: you see the black colour on the rock. This is from burning wood to cook Ricotta there traditionally until the 70s Pic 10: Francesco and me with Gianni, a local from the area who goes into Pantalica every Sunday. He offered us fresh almonds, showed us around to the spring and invited us over to his place for spaghetti, local sun-dried tomatoes, honey liquor and dolce di melocotania (Quittenbrot/ dulce de membrillo). If you ever think of going to Pantalica drop me a line and I'll facilitate the contact.

28 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Cavagrande Most crazy hike. I actually wonder why mapsMe showed the path on their map as it was mostly overgrown and the path down to the river and up again on the other side more guessing than actually seeing. Totally worth it though! Most stunning views. And also you feel like a real adventurer after crossing the river bare feet, avoiding giant spiders in the bushes, searching shrubs for traces of a path, spotting crabs in the river and all of this with half a liter of water and no food among two as we hadn't planned this hike beforehand.

27 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Gole dell'Alcantara Basalt stone like Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland!! Only in smaller and twisted. Nobody knows why they are horizontal and not vertical. Exciting
Italia, Sicilia - Etna Day tour with Etna People for 78ā‚¬. Sounds expensive but was actually quite nice with a very good natured and patient guide Roberto who told us all exciting stuff about Etna. The tour includes a visit it Etna, a lava cave, a vineyard, lunch and wine, and the Alcantara Forge.

26 October 2017

Italia, Sicilia - Taormina sunset on Castelmola
Italia, Sicilia - Taormina

24 October 2017

Italia, Eolian Islands, Stromboli - vulcano!!
Italia, Eolian Islands, Stromboli - storm
Italia, Eolian Islands, Stromboli - beauty

22 October 2017

Italia, Eolian Islands,Stromboli - vulcano excursion Guided tour up the vulcano. Moderate difficulty but steady up. Probably 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down. The trips start in the afternoon so you get to the summit by sunset. We were a little unlucky with the weather as a storm was coming up so we couldn't stay up there that long. Long enough to see some considerable eruptions even through the thick smokes of the vulcano. There are three craters which spit out magma every day. On top the wind almost blew us over the crest. Quite an experience. Vulcanos just don't feel like they are from this world. Or: it's where you feel the pure power and existence of nature.

21 October 2017

Italia, Eolian Islands, Vulcano - Restaurant Maurizio!! If you need a reason to come to Vulcano and you are not convinced of vulcanic craters, black sanded beaches or mud baths, here is your reason to come to that island: I haven't eaten that good, that cheap and that well attended on my whole trip so far! The dishes are delicious and abundant and on top you get a range of small homemade frittate, cheeses, olives and other partly vegan stuff on the house as well as a lime-orange granita, a small glass of dessert wine and some home made almond sesame cookies with orange peel and spices. Plus the bread is home-made, with seeds. And they don't even charge coperto. All of this is happening faster than you can think let alone digest and with Maurizio running between the tables chatting in Italian and French (many Frenchies around) looking that everybody is happy. Just amazing.
Italia, Eolian Islands, Vulcano Black sand, mud baths, warm bubbly waters. Feels like a giant jacuzzi. But in the mud bath you should watch your hands and feets when you move in the knee deep water. Some bubbles are f***ing hot. Also: you might want to consider buying a bikini at the entrance and throw it away afterwards as it stinks of sulfur!!! Mine now anyway. Probably forever. As does my skin... Pic 4 is my B&B roof terrace with the crater in the back
Italia, Eolian Islands, Vulcano - crater

20 October 2017

Crossover from Calabria to Sicily. Train on ferry. Takes forever... But is fun (-:
Italia, Calabrian coast - Scilla Very tiny, very sleepy (probably only this time of the year), not even sellers on the beach but certainly excellent food! Nice little two hours stopover on the way to Sicily.
Italia, Calabrian coast, Tropea - B&B La Conchiglia Rosella runs this lovely B&B, preparing an abundant breakfast with home made antipasti and cakes, cereals, rolls, fruit, croissants, ham, cheese. She even bought soy milk for me. The place is all modern and shiny. There is a terrace outside. It's a five minutes walk down to the beach. Rosella picked me up from the station and also dropped me there when I had to leave in the middle of the day. She is most welcoming and helpful and also had a marvelous recommendation for dinner (Il Pinturicchio). So, if you go to Calabria, make sure to stay at her place. Also, of all little coastal cities, Tropea was the most beautiful I found and with a beach big enough to find a quiet spot.
Italia, Calabrian coast - Tropea Last morning on the beach, relaxing, reading my novel

19 October 2017

Italia, Calabrian coast, Tropea - sunset Spectacular sunsets with the Eolic Islands in the distance. Obviously, the colours look a little different in real life. The sun should be a glowing dark orange turning to red ball. The colours of the sky are similar though. And it goes rather fast. Between pic 1 and 10 there is maybe half an hour. When the sun starts turning red it's behind the horizon within 15min

18 October 2017

...more of Tropea and the Calabrian coast

17 October 2017

Italia, Calabrian coast - Tropea
Italia, Calabrian coast - Piedigrotta, Pizzo

16 October 2017

Italia, Calabrian coast - Pizzo beach

15 October 2017

Italia, Calabrian coast - il mare (Pizzo)
Italia, Calabrian coast - Pizzo

14 October 2017

Italia, Amalfi coast - valle delle Ferriere Hike about one hour up the river from Amalfi. Pics 8-10 are inside a natural reserve you are not supposed to enter but there is a way around the fence and it is just a few meters behind it you reach this little paradise of water dripping off green walls of fern and moss and other plants and a Jurassic Park like waterfall you reach after climbing over slippery rocks.

13 October 2017

Italia, Amalfi
Italia, Amalfi coast Ferry from Capri to Amalfi. Pics along the coast with Positano (pic 6+7) and Altrani (pic 9+10)
Italia, Capri - Capri City For 2ā‚¬ up the hill with the funicular, reaching the very busy platform and main square of Capri. Capri city has around 8000 inhabitants and Anacapri the village on the other hill about 4000. (Or the other way round) Capri has cute narrow streets or rather tunnellike paths. Beautiful views once you made your way up to the Belvedere.
Italia, Capri - Island White grotto, green grotto, natural stone arch, the arched rocks in the water, THE blue grotto (skipped this coz it would have meant an extra 14ā‚¬ entrance and two hours waiting in front of the grotto along with numerous boats). One hour roundtrip for 18ā‚¬ and a very entertaining guide.

12 October 2017

Italia, Napoli - historic centre Sansevero Chapel: chapel mausoleum of the late 16th century with marble statues. Most precious pieces: Veiled Christ (marble looks like silk!) and the Anatomical Machines, two bodies which show arteries+veins in every detail. (No pics allowed) Food (pics 4+5): Taralli. Quite fatty rings of a savoury dough, traditionally with almonds. Napoles sotterrata (pics 6+7): The Greek built a city, the Romans reused parts of the Greek buildings. Then 500BC a volcano eruption buried everything and the next evidence are walls from medieval times, partly set up on top of Roman ruins. Nowadays you can see all three levels. My feet are on an original Roman street! As the city is built on a slope you have Greek remains at same level with souvenir shops next street. The Janarius Treasure (pics 8-10): Janarius the saint of Naples. Since > 700 years rich citizens+visitors donated precious gifts in honour to the saint. Again, no pics allowed. I took some before I knew (-;
Italia, Napoli - street art
Italia, Napoli - Cimitero delle Fontanelle The pest in the 16th century provoked a huge wave of death. Countless bodies were thrown into the lime stone caves of the city and only rediscovered centuries later. Today, all those bones are neatly put up in rows and little altars to honour the souls of the dead. Little macabre but quite fascinating.
Italia, Napoli - metro stations and parking logic in Naples (Metros Toledo, Materdei and Dante)

11 October 2017

Italia, Napoli Crazy city. Feels like being out of Europe. Busy, noisy, very very dirty and hence making me feel a bit unsafe. Most delicious sweets in any case! Posillipo has the most amazing views and old villas which look a bit run down now but again, if the streets would be half as dirty it would be much more charming.

10 October 2017

Italia, Bologna - a day on the bike Got a new daypack at Decathlon and then went geocaching on Andrea's recommendations which included the most amazing ice-cream (Cremeria Santo Stefano) and pasta (Pasta Fresca Naldi) and the temporary exhibition at MAMbo (Christian Boltanski, still on until 12 November 2017). All of them absolutely recommended!!
Italia, Bologna - street art

9 October 2017

Italia, Bologna - Biblioteca communale dell'Archiginnasio Practically the first kind of university in Bologna. Built in 15-hundredsomething, destroyed in 1944 and totally renovated. Anatomic theater, stabat mater, library. All very impressive
Italia, Bologna - Arcades I'm in love (again) with the city. PS: My favourite is pic 3. I think that's the new look here now in Italy. Forget skinny jeans!
Italia, Bologna

8 October 2017

Italia, Venezia - Burano island Forget about whatever coloured houses you have seen in your life so far...
Italia, Venezia - Venissa on Mazzorbo island Truly beautiful place. Art inspired vineyard with a Michelin star restaurant. Find peace here from all the tourist madness in Venice, Burano, Murano, the vaporetti, the bridges, everything.
Italia, Venecia - Torcello island Much quieter than the other islands (except for if you go on a Sunday and there is a wedding party...)
Italia, Venezia - Murano island The island itself is not that impressive maybe but the glass certainly is. You can of course also get Murano glass all over Venice but if you want the true selection and a Museum about it got to Murano. Last pic is from a shop in the Jewish ghetto. Funny combination of Murano glass with Jewish tradition.
Italia, Venezia - Cimitero (island)

7 October 2017

Italia, Venezia - sunset scenery
Italia, Venezia - Libreria Acqua Alta Very cute library, over and over filled with books, piled up in gondole and in the back you can climb some stairs made of books to have a view over the canal
Italia, Venezia - art
Italia, Venezia - Lido beach
Italia, Venezia - Venice on water
Italia, Venezia - Main island
Italia, Venezia - busy busy busy It's insane. I bet part of Venice being sinking every year is the masses of tourists treading on the islands.

6 October 2017

Cycle racks in Italy (-;
Italia, Torino II

5 October 2017

Italia, Torino I * Lavazza, Martini, Nutella,Ā and Vermouth were all invented in Torino Tauro is the emblem of the city. There was a tribe before the Romans came who named themselves after the tauro in honour of a drunk bull they sent to kill the dragon who threatened the area. The dragon died but sadly the bull as well. * Turin first (of three) capital(s) of Italy (only four years) * The 2 euro cent coins in Italy have the famous Antonelli tower of Turin on them. And some very rare 1 euro cent coins as well. * The tower mole Antonelli: until 1960 tallest brick stone building in the world. Storm broke the tower off and then got reinforced by metal which made it lose the record status (-;
Italia, Torino - arte
France - Italia Scenes from the train. #Borderareas

4 October 2017

France, Lyon - old part of town
France, Lyon - street art
France, Lyon - La Basilique Notre Dame de FourviĆØre I've seldom seen such an impressive basilique. Floor, walls and ceilings all made of mosaic! Pieces of art!!
France, Lyon - Cathedrale St. Jean-Baptiste

3 October 2017

France, Lyon - by night

2 October 2017

First stop: Lyon... Pics to follow