Archive for October, 2010


Pisa is a tourist town. All the menus are in English and German. All the signs are in English. And all the Italians look bored.

This doesn’t make it any less pretty or the lean on that tower any less ridiculous. I did the tourist shot, but I don’t really want to show anyone. I look like a goon.

It was mentioned that there’s all this hype over this building that some goose totally assed up when just next to it is a gorgeous example of how to get a building right.

The baptistry really is lovely but more importantly, it’s straight (ish, everything in Pisa seems to have a bit of a lean).

After the sightseeing there was lunch. I’ve developed an affection for the house wine – bianco or rosso della casa. Today’s half litre reminded me a bit of apple cider. And yes, I’m sharing, it’s not all for me.

Gelati was also something I wanted to do today, so after lunch and a but of a stroll to the cities river and walls I got myself strawberry and coffee gelati and sat on the grass behind the baptistry and watched the other tourists look like spanners as they pose around the tower.

Rome II

This morning was a chocolate croissant and cuppercino made for me by an old fellow who thought my bad Italian was hilarious and rewarded my efforts with a heart shape in my froth.

Walked to the Trevi fountain and was blown away by it’s size. And
by how ripped the old dude (Neptune?) in the middle was. Pretty sure I managed to photo bomb at least two photos. Go me.

Stopped by Bernini’s fountain and was tempted by gelati but we had apparently wandered into the home of “The best tartuffo in Rome” and were compelled to test that claim. Sat by the fountain and totally gorged myself on the most chocolatty-chocolate desert I’ve ever chocolated. Then felt like rolling around on the ground for a bit because it was so rich. Didn’t though.

Waddled on to the cat pit. A patch of ruins in the middle of the city given over to stray cats. In one corner there is a facility/charity that cares for the sick/young/old ones. Saw about 5 carbon copies of my cat in various states of snoozing. Was also used by a kitten as a jumping castle. Crazy place.

There were more ruins today and pizza for lunch. Hung out in a supermarket for a bit and looked at all the weird food (they call Twisties here “Fonzies”). Bought some weird food and am now on a train heading to Lucca eating said weird food.

The scenery is gorgeous.


Arriving in Rome was easy. No complications at all.

But of course I booked my holiday on the weekend that they’re canonising Mary Mackillop. There are Australians everywhere. Flying with a bunch of very exited but very well behaved Catholics was exactly how you would think it to be, except no singing. Somehow I had expected singing.

On the train into the city it was me and this Japanese couple totally ogling the scenery. There are ruins everywhere you look. Pretty sure I took more photos than they did.

I spent the whole of today walking around old stuff. Really really old stuff. Mostly stalking families and couples. (there were a few people I just kept seeing no matter which random monument I went to).

I saw a real monk. Was pretty excited. Didn’t ask for his autograph though.

Petrol stations here are these funny tiny booths on the side of the road that take up the length of a car space. Speaking of cars, I’ve seen smart cars parked perpendicular to the kerb but I got a tiny bit excited when I saw one parked diagonally to fit into what really wasn’t a car park.

I haven’t eated the gelati yet. The weather is a muggy kind of cold that we don’t get in Melbourne town.

Met up with the tour. It’s 5 girls about my age (including our leader) and one more mature lady. I’m calling it “The Estrogen Tour 2010″ in my head. We all got excited about drinking wine and eating chocolate so I think we’re gonna get along just fine.

No surprises that my italian is comical. But I did manage to order my dinner without using English.

Oh yes, the food here is unbelievable. I will come back fat – I promise.

Ps: All photos are from the iPhone as I cant download photos off my big camera without a real computer.

Notes on departing Melbourne

Final bag weight was just under 10 kilos. I should win a prize.

You would expect that gate 6 would be between gates 5 & 7. But if you’re at Melbourne airport you would be wrong (it’s next to gate 11).

Just a few hundred meters can reduce any chaos into a charming miniature.

The middle of Australia looks like the sea floor.

Movies watched;
Iron Man 2 – loved it.
500 Days of Summer – loved it (for the second time, first was on a plane too)
Prince of Persia – rather enjoyed it, no one is more stunned by this than me.
Wall-E – It made me cry, but meh – so do some tv ads.

Tv watched:
3 episodes of the big bang theory
1 episode of the inbetweeners.

There was no sleep.

But now I must dash, Hong Kong airport has it’s own Muji. I must go fondle some minimalist Japanese goods.