Friday, February 27, 2009

Bologna - revisited

It's hard to imagine it was a year ago we were in Bologna. Time flies and we better get things done and fast. There are so many places in the world and there's limited time and money. I like to make full use of whatever time and money I have and see as many places as I can. This was a Sunday and thank God, a museum was opened. This was the local museum. We saw some incredible art, this was their permanent collection, some Renaissance paintings. There was a collection of Christian Iconic art in another wing that I saw and was thoroughly impressed. In the basement was a collection of Antonio Basoli's work that I loved. I also went to the Morandi museum. Both Morandi and Basoli are from Bologna.
We stayed in the middle of the old town in an old building but the hotel was fully renovated and modernized, a lovely place with incredible views of the old town. It wasn't very expensive, we had a self contained room, huge enough for 3 people.

Reminds me of 'Room with a view', the only problem, it's the wrong city. This was Bologna, not Florence.

One of the due torre....

Old and peeling paint which makes it so quintessentially old Europe.

Imagine, instead of modern walk ways, all the shops have Renaissance buildings and arcades.

We took the bus all over town. I love Bologna, I can live there.

The nearby piazza.

The market area.

You know you're in Italy when you see fresh pastas in shops.

It was Easter time.

A pizza of shrimp and rocket, it was so good. I'd like to go back and eat this again.
I'm on vacation and will be back the first week of March

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Roussillon - revisited

I came to see the red dirt, they used to mine it for making paint pigments. Now it is a show piece and still very beautiful. We paid our admission fee and walked around the red dirt cliffs. It is hard to get here without your own car. We took a bus tour from Avignon and was allowed almost 2 hours to see the cliffs and the little village.

Another delightful and delectable French village, it is colored like the red dirt cliffs near it. It is so pretty.

This is a popular place for artists, they come, sketch, draw and paint. It is so colorful.
I'm on vacation.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Annecy - revisited

Here is one of the most delightful places in the world, in France, near the France/Swiss border. Here is an absolutely delightful and pretty place. Everything is the color of macarons, the pastel colors of macarons, quite like the pretty pastel villages of the Italian Liguria, the Italian Riviera. It is like Venice with its water canals running through the whole town, the water is sparklingly clean and comes from the nearby lake, Lake Annecy which has the cleanest water. We were there in October and I can imagine the crowds in the summer time. We've often wondered, what if you live in a place where people come to vacation, where do you go for your vacation? To another vacation spot or to the coast, maybe.

I'm on vacation and I'm arranging for these posts to appear while I'm away.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Erice - revisited

When you read this, I'm on vacation but I'm re posting some old stuff. It started as a lovely and clear morning in October when we took the bus from Trapani and went up the mountains to visit Erice. Erice is ancient and mystical. If you don't drive, there is a bus from Trapani, at the station right next to the train station. It takes an hour, the bus winds up some narrow road up the mountain to Erice. The view on the way up is picturesque, giving a panoramic view of Trapani below. We left Trapani at 9 one Sunday morning and arrived in Erice at almost 10 in the morning. It was still nice and promised to be a great day to go traipsing in Erice but it all ended too soon. The mist came in and it was still nice but then the rain and the wind came and our beautiful day came crashing down.
It is a walled city and in the words of author, Amy Oakley, 'next to a hill top town, a walled city is her downfall' or something to that effect. I feel the same. This is a hill top and walled ancient city. They say most of her residents are rich Sicilians who use these as a weekend getaway. I don't mind. It was so quiet, there was no one about....because it was early yet....then came the humongous tour buses.

Then the mist came in and it was still so lovely.....mystical....ancient....

These are ancient pavings, they were there for thousands of years and so beautiful.

A peek into some one's weekend retreat. I don't mind owning something like this.

The convent's pasticceria reminded me of the book ' Bitter Almonds' by Mary Simeti, I never found out if this was the same pasticceria written of in her book. It was Sunday and it wasn't opened.

I have a feeling it is the same pasticceria written about in 'Bitter Almonds' by Mary Simeti.
I've told the story many times, it was here that we got rained on. It started to pelt rain and the wind was blowing so hard, we couldn't find our way to the bus stop. A stranger gave us a lift to the bus stop in his new BMW. We were soaking wet, there was not a dry spot on our bodies. We waited for an hour in the shelter of the public restroom till the next city bus came and took us back to Trapani. It was still a great trip. If it didn't rain, we could have jumped on the next train and went to Segeste. Instead we retreated to the warmth and dry apartment on top of Ai Lumi restaurant.