Simple yet Complicated

June 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

The hardcore adventure begins!!

We are now truly adventuring.  As I am on a borrowed computer, I am afraid I can’t post any new photos as of lately, but how about a link to my Euro album?
We have a handy little iTouch buddy that takes super fun photos.  The rest, from the big kid camera, will have to wait until a later time.

Anyhow, we’ve been in Genova for a while now, perhaps too long.  It’s been nice, but it’s deffinately time to move forward.  We’ve made some great friends…few, but dear.  We’ve seen some neat things in the city, and in the vicinity…but not enough.  We hope to come back to Liguria to check out all the other ‘must see’ places.  For me, the Cinque Terre are a must.  Perhaps I will convince Chris into a day (or two) trip once we get back from Ukraine.

Tomorrow, we will be on a little Mercedes bus that will take us into Chernivtsi in western Ukraine.  We will stay one night to rest and get cleaned up.
The next morning, we will hop onto a bus from the main station and almost 24 hours later, we will be in my home-town, Simferopol.

There’s a lot coming up and a lot to write about.  I’ll keep it simple, and post photos as often as I can.  Eventually, I will update everything.

We are safe, happy and in love.  Traveling is challenging, but fun.  Sometimes, you just gotta keep wearing that pair of shorts until you can take them off and hang out in your under-wear while they wash!!!

Chris has some fun guest spots coming up after our refreshing visit to Ukraine.
Here’s a LiNK to his site.

Until next time. 


Antiques, Bruschetta & People Watching

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the small town of Ovada in Piedmonte

Zoom zoom on the autostrada and we were in Ovada in no time.  Almost in the mountains, the temperature and air was refreshing.  It was especially refreshing to escape the big city smog.
Allora, aside from getting out of the city, there was an antique market throughout the whole town, and our friend Stefano wanted to take us up.  What a treat it was! Please, allow the photos do the talking: 

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Pretty awesome, right? 

Albenga on a Sunday

June 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

We arrived just before noon …

… our first stop was at a cafè just across the street from the bland train station.  Our coffees were nice, and we even had a sweet encounter.  Italians are neat, if you show a bit of enthusiasm for their art or labour, they will gladly reward you in someway.  In this case, I took a few photos of the giant coffee mug full of sugar packets the man was working on and in return, he treated us to a couple of nuggets of chocolate goodness.  Much like brownies with fudge in the middle.  Happy as ever, we went on our way to the bike rental place.  


Only €10 for the whole day?  It’s on!

With a map of the tiny town and a couple fo rented bikes, we rode off into the town.  Strangely, there was no one around.  Barely any cars and just about no pedestrains.  As we kept rolling, we realised why, all the shops were close.  Typical Sunday in Italy…especially in a small place like that.  Much luck for us, we could coast around freely.
The history of the city goes back to the IV century, or somewhere abouts.  In the city centre, inside the old walls, things are so old and so well preserved.  It was fantastic to see.  Following the guide points on our little map, we rolled around stopping at each marker.  A lot of archaeological sites look much like, sorry to say, a pile of rocks.  Thankfully for the multi-lingual info boards, we got to read about what we were looking at. 

the main road through town ... how nice

Immediately after we parked the bikes in the town centre…Chris brought it to my attention that we should just coast around ON the bikes we just rented, rather than on foot.  Silly me.  So we continued on. 🙂

it was hard to take a photo, roll slowly and not crash

 A really old lion buddy.

This cathedral, and tower, were from the IV and V century…although, other parts had been added or fixed as the centuries went on.

AHA!! here's another one of my favorite sights; laundry drying out of a window. even better when the window is ancient.

A mid-day siesta is a must!

As the sun beamed more heat, we decided to find a beach, catch some rays and eat our picnic.

Nothing fancy.  A beach we didn’t have to pay to enjoy.

….and then back on the road!

We cruised the outside of the old city wall.  Way cool.  Chris pointed out all of the satelite dishes on the ancient windows, nice touch.  Having a good look at the map, we realised there was more Roman archaeological stuff across the river.  Within minutes, we were there.  Busting up the steep hill as far as we could go on our cruisers, we eventually had to lock them up and hike up Via Julia Augusta.  An important road built in 13 A.D by Augustus the Emperor.  The whole road is an archaeological site with many ruins along the way.  Roman funeral buildings, an ampitheatre and some cathedrals.  The neat thing about it, is people were jogging, mountain biking and walking their dogs all along it!  To one side, the view was fantastic.  Crisp, blue water with the Island of Gallinaria poking out.  We eventually got to ‘the Pilone’, a funeral monument from the second century A.D.  There were (small) structures where you could see the ‘kilns’ for cremation and even slight traces of black and red wall decorations.  We perched up in this place, and enjoyed a cool beer and a refreshing view.

taken from outside the wall. the river ran parallel to it, so we rode along until we got to the bridge. can you spot the satelite dishes? 😉

this wasn't on the map, but it was old and just beautiful


This island was an important reference point for maritime navigation back in ye olde days. In 1989 it was instituted as a national park. Its name is due to the many wild chickens that inhabit the island.

...another old, cool thing along the ancient road.

cremation station


Maybe a ventilation hole? Either way, a pretty neat photo, yeah?

…and as the sun was setting…

We dropped off our bikes, grabbed a tray full of dolci to take home.

  To kill some time before our train at 8:10, we gnoshed on some of them and watched people stroll by. 
The End.

Rome in May

May 26, 2011 § 1 Comment

So hard to sum it all up.  What a fantastic trip!!

The main reason for the trip was to go break the ice at the Roma Tattoo Convention.  We have been in Italy for one month, and have mainly kept to ourselves.  Spending time with my father and his lady.  We’ve managed to see some nice local towns and explore a lot around Genova, but not much outside of Liguria. 
The convention went very, very well.  We met a bunch of new friends and connections and learned a few things for the future.  I managed to keep a pretty detailed list of what we could use for next time.  It was fun, profitable and a great social scene!  If you’d like, you can see a bit more about it here.

Please allow me to tell you about where we stayed.  It was called ‘Roma Camping Village’, and it was much more than we expected!  For just €28 per night we got our very own tent with 3 beds.  We tried to book a bungalow, but they were all un-available, most likely due to the convention.  On-site there was a mini super-market, a pool, a hot tub, volleybal, billiards, a restaraunt and a fun bar that was a disco at night.  Clean showers and plenty of them.  We will be staying there again.  Also, there is a chain of them throughout Europe! Score.  Our alternatives were local hotels for a minimum of €80 per night.  If that was the case, we couldn’t have afforded to go!

the row of tents at night. we didn't spend much time in the day there.

us partying at the bar with Mitchell, the Aussie .. good one.

more shots!!

the boys got pretty buttered up and hit the streets!

I have no idea why this post has taken me alost 3 weeks to finish.  At this point, my memories are not as fresh, but deffinately lingering in my journal.  For now, I will just post up some photos, and call it good.  Thanks for reading!  There’s always more on the way. 🙂

Walking Around …

it was a hot few days

…and then there was the Vatican…

long lines, extreme heat and toursitherding

Non-the-less, it was gorgeous.  There was too much art to take in all in one visit.  Looking back, I mostly took photos as I was being moved along the maze rather than looking with my own eyes.  Anyhow, being lucky enough to live in Italy, this trip wont have been our last to Rome.

… this is all I can handle putting up.  See you next time!!

What Luck!

May 4, 2011 § 4 Comments

Wandering around the city on a gorgeous day, we stumbled upon the wrappings up of a monthly vintage bazaar!

Attempting to keep my calm, I scrambled around and managed to sift through a few tables and racks as things were getting put away.  My favorite item was this magnificent, snake skin clutch.  Made in Milan.  A piece of vintage beauty from Italy.  Unfortunately, I was too awe-struck by it to take a photo, nor could I afford it this time around.  €20
If it’s there next month, Chris promised me he’d treat me to it.  Yay.

Here are some of the trinkets I did get to capture:

Vintage photos are always awesome.  I epsecially like the woman in the circular frame on the left side.

Valued at €40 each … I could only afford to touch these compacts, made with gold details.

Old globes.  In the Northwest region of USA, Seattle and Astoria were the only ones listed.

I’m not really sure.  Just things.  All of the tables with the really cool stuff, the people were not too happy when I busted out the camera…and I haven’t built up enough guts to just shoot anywhere and accept the consequences after the fact…like I do with most areas of life. Haha.

Pipes, anyone?

Junk, to be honest.  Although, stuff is always neat looking when it’s old.

A proper nut-cracker.


Although we are just days away from our first real travel adventure while here, wandering around Genova hasn’t gotten boring.  Not the slightest.  We haven’t even tapped into the night-life yet.  Spring evenings are still a bit chilly here.

Just a few more glimpses of ancient beauty that I would like to share with my followers.  Thank you!

Snagging some free wi-fi from a tried & true spot!

These are everywhere.  Here I was just playing with the aperture.  Still don’t get it.  Back to ‘auto’ for me.

It’s really nice how the super old bits show through.  If everything looked brand new, than we might as well be in America.


‘Drink from brick’

Unfortunately, we didn’t get brick wine or mini-nutellas.  Instead, I had an idea to shove a large Heineken in between some frozen packs of zuchinni and walk around the piazza long enough for it to cool.  Drinking in public isn’t frowned upon here … although beer is never sold cold in stores & costs so much in bars.  Truly, we can afford to drop a few euros on an ice-cold beer, but why be confined to a locale when we can freely wander the streets?  The freezer solution was pure genius, if you ask me. ;-D

a small decorative detail, on a lamp post, worth admiring


these next few are from Cattedrale di San Lorenzo.  if only I had a lens wide enough to capture the marvel in one shot. impossible

Just a few snaps of one doorway. 

Next post : ROMA!!!

EuroFlora 2011

April 28, 2011 § 4 Comments

It only happens once every 5 years.
To have made it here on an ‘on’ year, I consider ourselves lucky.

Between Chris & I, we took 500+ photos.  Sorry, not going to upload them all.
Although, sooner or later there will be a post of the beautiful flowers he has drawn from some of the pictures that were taken, here.

Until next time … always stop to smell the flowers. 😀

Ancient Beauty In Genova

April 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

In a midieval port-town, it is hard to get bored.

Never a lack of visual stimuli.  A street is rarely wandered without thoughts of who might have wandered there before?  Long before.

Not forgetting to look up.  A mix of old and new(er).

Of course, looking down never hurts, either.  There’s always something artistic waiting to be recognized.

Ah, there’s that mix of old and new(er) I love to see, and capture, so much.
 Porta Soprana, pictured here (in portion) is very near the present day geographic center of Genoa.  Built in 1155 to defend the city against enemies.
Its walls and towers were, and are, massive.

Just below the gate to the city, is the Romanesque cloister, and also the house of Christopher Columbus, born in Genoa in 1451.

Oh my word!! Just behind the cloister, there is a small marble wall…and just beyond that wall is a sea of scooters!!
Pictured here is just a third of what I could capture from that angle!

Piazza de Ferrari.  This is the town center.  Just ahead is a long gallery of shops and cafes. 

This would have to be my favorite photo.  The texture and colors are really up my alley.

Some azaleas.  Not ancient themselves, but I bet the pot they were planted in is older than America itself.

Another photo that I am mad about.  My imagination goes wild thinking of who ahs been here before..what thoughts have crossed their minds, or what enemies pounded on the exterior walls.

Who knows what that says, but here’s me signing off.  Check back often for more visual joy!

Coming up:  Deffinately a trip to Rome … and some, yet un-planned, trips to the sweet villages in the hills of the Genovesato.