Friday, 24 July 2009

Adding airmiles.

Where does the time go? it's nearing 2 months since my last post. In my defence, I have been away for 3 weeks without my computer. Plus, to steal an idea from another blogger, I blame facebook as with regular status updates it's hard to remember what I've blogged and what I haven't.

Anyway what have I been up to???? Way back in June I had to do a visa run as my wonderful new college still hadn't organised my visa, so I day tripped to Dubai. As I was hoping to get a job back in Europe (I haven't yet), I thought I'd do some tourist things and take some photos. I went to Bur Dubai area and wandered around the old streets, nice car-free alleyways with old style buildings either side, visiting art galleries, the Dubai museum & the souq area. After several hours in the heat, I headed to the Dubai Mall to see the ski-slope in the desert, and to buy a suit. After the usual hassle with Barclaycard blocking my card for use in Dubai, despite them being told every time it's me using the card, I then caught a flight back to Muscat. My pics can viewed on flickr here.

A week later it was off on my holidays. I'd got a cheap flight to Italy via Amsterdam. I arrived there at 5am and headed off by train into Amsterdam for my first visit. With only a morning I aimed to wander around and take pics of the canals and bikes. On flickr Amsterdam's bikes and boats. I found it an interesting place, but apart from wishing to visit the galleries I will not hurry back. I took more photos on the return leg during an evening in Rome of L'arte romana. Not having a map or guidebook, and with the direct trains to Termini cancelled I hopped on a train, and got off where a fellow passenger said there was a tram stop. I was guided by this woman to purchase a tram ticket, and to get on the tram. She said the end was in the centre, and to get off with her, however... As I idly gazed out of the tram window watching the suburbs pass by I saw an interesting church, piazza, and old buildings and jumped off. I wonder if the woman noticed me missing from the tram? I later found out I was in an area called Trastevere, which is south of the river from the centre and unlike Amsterdam I certainly intend to return to. Unfortunately after a lovely evening meandering around, due to my cheap ticket I then joined the masses camped out at Rome airport waiting for a 4am checkin.

In the middle of the traveling, I drove to my flat in Calabria. It is really a pretty area of Italy, as my parents found out when they joined me a few days later. Together we did some tourist stuff, a few beach days, got caught out by a strike by petrol attendants (I was running the hire car on fumes so had a stop in a nice B&B Cirelli in Scalea), but mainly we ate HUGE Italian meals. A highlight for me was

which is down the valley from my flat. We went there via a waterfall in the park with 2 friends who live in the area year-round and we all had a great day & meal. Unfortunately during the whole holiday, being the only driver I didn't get to drink to much Prosecco, but have brought a bottle back with me to be opened soon. In fact the time has come to sign off and maybe visit the fridge :D Sx