My dear readers:
It has come to my attention (ahem) that since the last time I updated this blog was an astounding eleven(ish) days ago. There is very good reason for that, and if you are one for Fall Out Boy titles, than surely you know that I have been in Italy. And now I am back into the folds of Budapest city life.
My parents left early this morning – 4 am early – and I am already missing them extremely. So in a sense this recap this blog post if both for myself, and for them.
I wish them a safe journey home, and that it is not nearly as hot in Washington as it was in Italy.
During my stay in Paris I had forgotten what it was like to have a full and crazy household; noise, clutter, and wait times for the shower. Needless to say the extreme rush of relief and love that I felt upon seeing their eyes for the first time after such a time was an intense one. So even though we were cramped in a large-by-European-standards car and nerves at time ran high, I wouldn’t would have wanted it any other way. My parents arrival too signaled the beginning of what would mark an incredible Italian journey. It too will probably come to be one of the last times that we travel as a family – or at least with my parents shouldering the sole financial burden. We made sure to take over 10 gigs worth of pictures to mark the event.
Here you will only find a snippet of photographs what we saw and experienced. It would be insane to try and showcase them all on this blog, but if you ask I will be happy to sit with you and go through the step-by-step photos of all the places we visited.
(Even though I may have had my fill of Italian pizza, but never gelato)
In a word: wonderful.
Whistle-stop is was indeed and wish we would have had more than 10 days worth of visiting time because we would visit places such as Sorrento and Rome and the Amalfi coast, never wanting to leave.
We drove through Croatia and Slovenia – us finding the latter in much better condition and roads and better graffiti – my new project which I’ll explain in a bit – even though my brother in what I hope was a joking matter swore up and down that the women were better in Croatia. (We didn’t see any women in Croatia) My mother being the only one without an EU passport had to get stamped in the countries, and we didn’t and so as a result she looks much better traveled, even though I can say with certainty we too were there, even if my passport remains blank. (One of the joys of travelling within Europe as a citizen, it is akin to moving between states back at home)
My newfound project being that of the places I will henceforth visit, I want to document the various types of graffiti and street art of the cities. I think that it’s a wonderful way to get a feel for the type of city and certainly no two styles are the same. I know that this is not a new notion – and indeed I am looking for special tags instead of the usual scribble – but I feel that when I look back it will remind me in a special way of the feel of a city. In the pictures that will be uploaded following this post you will see some of my favorites. (My favorite might be the Slovenian one, which you know when you see it)
We being first times tourists had to stop at all the big name cities – but we also took a detour here and there – Zagreb and Ljubljana notwithstanding) Counting them now it was Zagreb, Ljubljana, Venice, Sorrento, Rome, Assisi, Napoli, Pompeii, Pisa, Florence, Bologna, Siena, Amalfi. Some we spent a few hours in, some over night.
In Assisi for example, we almost ended up sleeping in the fields with only the stars as our blankets – perfectly fine as it was 25 degrees at 11 o’clock at night – but my dad has gotten sunstroke or something and we found what was arguably the best hotel in all of Assisi, and even for the duration of the trip. High up in the mountains with a view that any impressionist painter would be hard pressed to copy.
Italy is as hot and sunny as it gets, with the sky a clear blue that one only finds in little children’s eyes. It is also completely overrun with tourists. The worst for myself being Venice, where so dense is the crowd that you can barely breathe, much less turn around, being forced through channels with thousands of others. We often opted to spend the hours of high heat on the vaporetto (the public ‘bus’) Lido was by far my favorite island, a resort town in a resort town. But to watch the gondoliers sing in their classic striped shirts, tan as could be was a beautiful sight in and of itself.
However, outside of Venice, everyone was as wonderful sweet as everyone claims the Italians to be. It might be the weather or it might be the insane quality of the milk there, but the more south that one ventures into Italy, the warmer and more receptive people are. They may not speak the most perfect English – but my mother seemed to be able to hold her own.
And the gelato! If I’ve ever eaten myself silly, it might have had to have been at gelato. it falls in line with my belief that the milk in Italy might be the best in the world – certainly the best I’ve drank to date – with the fresh fruit flavors of lemon, melon, peach, mango is unparalleled. With the high heat pushing 37 in some cities, the gelato melting even within the coolers, we were happy to lap it up twice or more a day. (Which is only the sort of thing one allows themselves to do when on vacation.)
We sunned ourselves on the Amalfi coast, and got excellent jumping pictures from a little bit of a ledge althourhg my brother the monkey man climed higher than any of the girls dared.
There was more pasta and pizza than I would ever care for to eat again in such a small time, and the Roman waters from the fountains foundin the plazas ran clean and cold. Wonderful to think that they are stil working after so many hundreds of years.
Huge roman sculptures and statues towers well over head over a relentless sun that would burn memories into our skin, angry red. It would probably be later this that would give my dad a fever in the summer heat.