At the tender age of 21, I boarded a plane to Paris with hopes of 1) Miraculously evolving into a “strong, independent woman”, and 2) Becoming fluent in French. It’s fairly safe to say that neither of these things happened… but that’s a story for another day… (let’s just say my Visa was valid for 9 months, but I was back on Australian soil within 6 weeks…)
Nonetheless, I got to go to PARIS! The city of love! The city of lights! The city of homeless people and cigarettes!
So in this Travel Tuesday post, I wanted to share a couple of favourite memories from my short stay in Paris. First up, the iconic Eiffel Tower (or la tour Eiffel as the Frenchies would say!)
It IS pretty spectacular. I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer size of it. The structure was built in 1889 and stands at 301 meters- which is 3x the height of the Statue of Liberty, and only 80 meters shorter than the Empire State Building… impressive!
COOL FACT- The amount of paint on the Eiffel Tower weighs as much as 10 elephants!
Okay, I’m back for Part II of our 2013 Italian adventure! Today I’ll be reminiscing about some more of our tour (Naples, Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri), as well as Florence. I will be saving Venice and Verona for the third and final installment of our Italian holiday. Let’s get started in Naples!
After we finished off in Rome, C and I were picked up from our hotel to ultimately make our way to Sorrento. Now for those who are unfamiliar with the geography of Italy (note: I would be putting my hand up if I was not writing this post), think of Italy as a knee-high boot with a big heel. Sorrento is about where an ankle-high sock would sit- right on the coast of the left side. That probably makes no sense at all, but… I tried. I will include a map of our journey at the end.
On the way to Sorrento though, we stopped through to Naples and Pompeii. These first photos are from Naples. It was so extremely cold that day, I had to bust out the ear muffs! I would like to go back to Naples in the warmer months, and have an opportunity to try their famous pizzas.
Ahhh reminiscing. Back to a simpler time when the only thing we had to think about was the pronunciation of “due caffè al banco per favore” (two coffees at the counter, please) and how many layers of socks to put on.
In February 2013 C and I used nearly all our savings and annual leave hours to go on a 3 1/2 week holiday to Italy. We got lost nearly everyday, had limited access to the internet, and even more limited language skills. It was magical and cold. I think it was on this holiday that we both developed an addiction to coffee. In the spirit of reminiscing, I thought I would share some of the photos from our trip- going in the order we traveled. We began our Italian adventure in Milan.
I love this picture- it was actually the very first photo I took in Italy. We got off the metro stop, looking for the ‘Duomo’ we’d heard about, and weren’t sure where we should be looking. We turned the corner and this magnificent structure came out at us. The Duomo in Milan is absolutely breathtaking and awe inspiring.This was one of the only clear days when we were in Milan, and we were fortunate enough to be able to get such a wonderful shot. There were SO many pigeons by the way.
This is the view from the top (or near top) of the Duomo! We had to climb like a million stairs to see this, but it was well worth it. The ‘Gothic’ style of the Duomo in Milan is quite rare of cathedrals throughout Italy (note: ‘duomo’ in this situation means ‘Italian cathedral’, apparently it can mean ‘house’ in some other contexts).
Although we saw the outside of the Duomo by ourselves, we thought it would be a good idea to get a tour. I ended up booking a walking tour of Milan through http://www.viator.com that not only included a trip inside the Duomo, but also all around Milan to see the main attractions. Obviously, this included seeing ‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci. We went through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (pictured below), and also to a few other spots. The tour guide was very passionate about Milan, and you could tell she LOVED her city.
A couple weeks ago, I went to Melbourne for a short girls’ trip. While we had a fantastic time trying out all the restaurants and bars, one of our favourite things to do was simply wander around and find all the hidden laneways Melbourne is so famous for. We made sure to hit all the big ones- Hardware Lane (had an amazing $10 risotto lunch special there), Degraves Street (be sure to check out Lustre Bar!), Centre Place… But in my opinion, one of the best laneways is Hosier Lane aka “Graffiti Lane”.
The thing I love most about Melbourne is that the city is open to taking risks and doing things differently- while most councils would spend money cleaning up graffiti, Melbourne has provided a space for local artists to show what they’ve got. I also love that Hosier Lane is constantly changing- in fact, when we were there parts of it were being painted over white and then re-graffitied.
Unfortunately, my pictures don’t do Hosier Lane justice. There is amazing artwork everywhere you look. Paint covers the walls, the floors, the windows, and even the bins.
If you are heading to Melbourne, be sure to check out Hosier Lane!