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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 20, 2014

Saturday - more sightseeing and getting lost

Saturday morning was another gorgeous one.  Walked over to the sidewalk overlooking the water and marveled at it for a bit. 
 And I had decided that I would first go to see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and I got smart and lightened my purse some by tearing out the two pages that talked about what I was going to see and how to get to it and left the heavy book in my room.  I don't like this guidebook as much as I thought I would and will probably leave it behind when I pack to come home cause I think I'll just keep tearing out the pages I want on any given day.  So, here we are at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo:
 And they're quite ruined, but then again, they're quite old.  Wikipedia tells me (my guide book doesn't) that it is believed to have been erected sometime in the 6th century B.C.  Their picture looks a whole lot different than mine and makes me wonder if it's an older picture and some things have fallen.
 These ruins, by the way, are in the middle of a very busy shopping area with lots of vehicle traffic and lots of pedestrians.  For instance just a short way past the site is the outdoor market which is open every day until 2:00 p.m. and, of course, I had to go there too.  I am always envious of people who live near big local markets.  Like the one in Paris right across the road from my apartment, this one had it all - fish, meat, veggies, fruit, dried beans, olives, olive oil, and on and on.

I bought two bananas and a little pint or so of delicious strawberries.  I tried a banana today and it tasted really kind of weird.  I saw some Chiquitas there - I should have bought those - even my store at home doesn't sell them anymore.

When I was all through with the noise and bustle of the market I started walking back and that's when I got lost.  At some point, I realized that I didn't know where I was, I had missed the little road back down to the hotel, and the street I was on, wasn't indicated on the strange map I had, so I kept walking and walking and walking and it kept getting hotter and hotter and hotter.  But, of course, eventually I ended up at the water only I was way down at a harbor where all the boats are that take you on excursions around the island and such (which I should think about doing).  I took some pictures while there cause I wasn't totally miserable yet. :)



Some of the many, many boats - all shapes and sizes.

I'm pretty sure this must have been a gate in a wall like I've seen in Florence.  It's massive and the sign said Porta Marina if I remember correctly.
I started walking back (I thought - realized before too long that I was heading in the opposite direction I needed to be heading so got that taken care of) and after passing through a really kind of dismal area of basically flea market type stalls and getting really close to being totally miserable, I came to this little park with four of these "islands" with the huge trees growing in each one.  Of course, I had to take a picture of each one.  Their branches spread way, way far out, extending into the area of the other trees and they were just really pretty incredible.  I think this is where I saw a sign for an aquarium but I didn't explore that.  I was too tired and hot to focus on diversions except things like trees and the wonderful shady spot they created.


Isn't that something??



Blue sky, greenery, a man fishing, the sea and a sailboat with hills way off in the distance - what could be more pleasant?
I think (and I'm going to check later and see if I'm right) this is where the "fountain of Arethusa" is - a natural spring that features all the way back in the times of gods and goddesses.  I'll be getting more into that in my Sunday report.  But for right now, it's an almost hidden pool because of all the papyrus growing in it.  And isn't it a good thing I went to that museum cause otherwise I wouldn't know what was growing here.
Not real sure why I took this picture except that it was an old, beat-up building, I guess.  I have noticed that there is a fair amount of restoration work going on to some of these buildings which is good.  I'm liking Ortigia, but it's not the most attractive place in the world because so many of the old buildings are really in need of work.
And this is looking down into the pool where the papyrus grows.
And I think this is a scuplture of Arethusa being pursued by Alpheius, the river god.  I'm going to check all of this out today (Monday).

At some point after this I was still getting confused on which way was onward and which way was wrongward and finally stopped in at a cafe type place where there was even a policeman and said show me on the map where I am.  They did and I got myself going the right way and knew I'd get there.  It was embarrassing though because I literally had sweat dribbling down the sides of my face, my hair in the back was wet, my clothes were wet from the inside out and I was HOT!!!

Knowing what I was doing enabled me to keep being a good enough tourist to take this one last picture. I happened to notice this building with just the one really neat corbel, I guess you'd call it. All the corbels were quite lovely but the one with the griffin just got to have that little something extra.  They talk a lot about the baroque here in Ortigia and all of Sicily actually.  I guess this is a pretty good example of it, as are a lot of the buildings.

I got back, took a nice shower, loafed around for awhile working on Friday's post, then went to the DaVinci exhibition while I waited for dinner time.  It was interesting because it's astounding how many futuristic ideas the man came up with.  And, also ideas that were put into use back then.  I didn't understand the mechanics of some of the things too well, but I really enjoyed seeing all the models which were made of beautiful wood and metal, twine, etc., as needed.  They were all working models and some said "do not touch".  I figured that meant all of them, but as I left a couple of people were working the ones that didn't have signs and I wished I had done that too. Some pictures of course and the printed material explains the object, if you're into it.  The first three are panorama shots which I think I mentioned Chris had shown me how to do in Florence.  Aren't you glad I have an excuse to take even more pictures??  There were only the two rooms and these are pretty much the entire room for each one.

Well, you're all in luck - I've been trying for 15 minutes or so to post 4 pictures (just two models) and I'm giving up.

I will move on to Saturday night's dinner.  I piqued Chris's interest by telling him it was hilarious or something and it was to me.  I went to a little place up that dark street called Carravaggio's where I had hoped to have lunch and get a pizza.  But when I stopped by they had already closed so I went back that evening and got my pizza.  I ordered a pizza that had Emmenthal cheese, fresh tomatoes, rocket (I think that might be our arugula) and oregano.  I also ordered what I thought was a glass of wine since it was just 4E.  So first here comes my wine and it was half a liter!!  I mean, that's a LOT of wine!  I laughed but didn't really bother trying to order just a glass cause there it was poured in a carafe, and plus if it cost 4E a glass would be like 50 cents or something.  So, I poured myself some and waited a while and here came my pizza and it was probably a 14" pizza - big!  Again, I just laughed out loud.  But I dug in and oh, my, goodness...it was good!  I started out by cutting regular triangle pieces (they don't cut the pizza) but decided I'd better eat all the center which was definitely the tastiest part.  The outside crust was wonderful but no sauce or cheese just wood-fired fresh made crust so I concentrated on the center and did a fairly good job.  I'm sure they thought I was a really crazy American, but that's fine.  I am sort of a crazy American, I guess.  Anyway, here's what it looked like.

And oh, the aroma and the steam rising up from it because it was hot!!  Italians seem to know how to serve hot food - our food in Florence was always really hot when we got it.  Looks weird with all that lettuce on there, but mm-mmmmmm it was good.  And they sent the wine home with in in a plastic water bottle which I found truly hilarious. 

The last three pictures are from Friday but I went ahead and included them because...

I thought the top trim on this first building was pretty wonderful...
I liked finding where everyone goes to swim and sunbathe...
and hot as I was and how wonderful the water looked and then seeing this very comfortable and quite bountiful woman, I thought why in the world didn't I get a bathing suit and bring it along???

And before anything else can go wrong with this netbook, Google blogger, or the wi fi connection at the hotel, I'm signing off so buona sera!  And I'm not proofreading this either.

3 comments:

Christopher said...

Wow, there are certainly some lovely baroque buildings there for sure... love all the ornamentation on the buildings. Seeing the ruins has me excited for when you venture out to proper Greek ruins -- since I've heard they're basically the best in the Greek world... And I though wine in Florence was cheap, at 2E / glass -- but I'd say your carafe is a new bargain!
Stay cool, if you can, in that heat!

Mary Lynne said...

I told Blogger to publish this note from my sister, but it didn't so here it is:

Catching up on your blog and will just say those four trees are the most amazing I've ever seen. Are they banyan trees? I don't remember for sure what they look like but think maybe they get all twisted like yours -- enough to make getting lost worthwhile!!

And I want to respond - just wait til you see Tuesday's tree!

January said...

Those swoopy trees are something else! They'd make me feel better after a long, hot walk too. I'm really tickled that you got your wine given to you to go in a plastic bottle. That's amazing and wonderful. I'm also looking forward to seeing more pictures from the Da Vinci exhibit when you get back!

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