Tuesday, July 29, 2008

more "likes" ...

Firenze (Florence for all you American speakers)
coat of arms, cartouches, medallions, crowns, scrolls, knights

I am into all thing royal right now and can find them on buildings as added architectural elements in both Italy and Croatia ... these have been the main things I am taking pictures of on this trip... oh yeah and lions and horse statutes as well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

new discoveries and things i am not into

While traveling I have learned a few more things about myself and what I do and don't like .... and while Europe is great and fabulous and wonderful, there are a few things that i won't miss:

squat toilets (to be expanded upon at a later date)
toilet brushes (eww and double eww)
feeling like a fool because everyone speaks multiple languages but me

But there are more things I have discovered that I do like:

bread salad
aviator sunglasses (italians dig them but i probably wont be buying them any time soon)
pistachio gelato (double yum)
some fish
drawing and measuring buildings
curried carrots
breakfast in the morning
Richard Marx songs in Croatian blasting in my Radio Shower (it was sick)
The Adriatic Sea

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Out of Order European Trip Notes

WOW ... graduate school really did kill the blog! Traveling around Europe without regular internet access doesn't help either. So I decided to add a few random notes of what happened last night. The posts will be out of order on what happened as I re-cap my trip (which is on its last leg of the journey).

Yesterday Abby (fellow graduate student and friend) and I took a ferry boat across the Adriatic Sea from Split, Croatia to Ancona, Italy. We arrived an hour later than expected - about 10 pm - and were one of the last people off the boat since our huge backpacks were stored on the otherside of the boat from where we were sitting ... and really, who wants to hold a 50 lb bag on their back and a 15 lb front-back (aka backback worn on the front because your big old hiking pack is on your back) while just STANDING in line waiting for costums to stamp your passport before getting into another long line to walk through a tiny portal and off the boat? We didn't, so we waited. By the time we got off the boat there were no taxis around ... you would think that there would be TONS of taxis waiting at a ferry arrivial in a port city, but no ... no taxis for us. We knew where we were going to stay for the night since we had stayed there last week on our way to Croatia, so we started to walk in that direction. We ended up walking the whole way, which was only like a 20-30 minute walk but we were carrying a lot of weight here people! In the course of our walk (by this time it is about 11pm) we had more than 3 whistles and "cat calls" ... more than any we had had our entire trip (which may be due to the fact that we did have a man traveling with us before)! Anyway ... we decided that the front-back must be considered attractive here in Ancona because we were definitely not looking good ... we were sweaty and frumpy and grumpy. But the front-pack it drives Italian men wild! hahaha

After we get our room and leave our bags we decide to go to the ATM, since in Croatia they use the Kuna and in Italy it is the Euro, and we also wanted to go across the street to the train station and get our train tickets for the next day. Of course we passed multiple ATMs on our treck to the hotel but now could not find even one that was working! The Johnson luck as we say in my family. I was also starving, not having had dinner, and so we stopped into the "Fast Food" place down the street which had "kebabs" which were really like gyros that turned out to be very good, although very spicy hot. Before we could get our food however, we witnessed an italian argument between the vendor and a punk kid that was being a jerk ... but as all things in Italy the war of words took a good 15 minutes before we could get our food ... so much for fast. There was another young Italian guy that could tell we were a little uneasy and annoyed as we sat down to wait out the episode and told us in English "don't worry, it is ok" ... he was a cute little muffin as a friend would say.

Finally we get food and eat and the vendor appologizes and tries to explain what happened and says to eat inside, not outside because the guy is still there ... we were like - "its ok ... fine, fine" ... we just wanted to eat since it was now MIDNIGHT! Heart burn here we come! As we are finishing up our meal of "kebabs" and FANTA which is actually really good (side note: Italian fanta is better than Croatian fanta) a guy in a leather jacket and a motorcycle helmet comes in to buy beer or something and starts talking to us but we have no idea what he is saying. He is pointing under his eyes and pointing at Abby and I say "do we look that tired? because we are" and he realizes we dont understand him. We get up to pay the vendor at the counter and says, "beautiful girl" and the vendor tries to explain to us what has now become obvious. It takes another 10 minutes to get out of there saying "thank you, goodbye" numerous times to both the motorcylist and the vendor.

Ah ... and that is just one story to get you started for my more regular updates on my European adventure.