Category ‘2009’

November 8th
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

As you may have learned in elementary school, Pompeii is a Roman city that was covered in ash and preserved when Mount Vesuvius erupted 2,000 years ago.  In terms of ancient sites, Pompeii really stands out because of how it’s preserved.  It’s not like ancient sites that have been discovered in tumbled ruins and restored – like Machu Picchu – or ancient sites that have been handed down through the ages – like the Parthenon – Pompeii is an entire ancient city that has simply been frozen in time.  The difference is in the tiny details of everyday life that are visible everywhere. One-way streets and a pedestrian-only boulevard.  Takeout restaurants and beware-of-dog murals – some of them helpfully labeled “CAVE CANEM”.  It’s hard to believe that all of this was 2,000 years ago.

Beware of Dog

Pompeii’s answer to Panda Express

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November 4th
2009
written by Alonna

Ahh, beautiful Tuscany! Now I see why people fall in love with this place. There’s just something addictive about the pretty scenery, charming small towns, and relaxed feeling you get in Tuscany. We wished we had more time there, and Ben and I both agree this is one place we will return to.
 


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November 1st
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

People travel from all over the world to visit Pisa, for one reason: so they can take a picture where they pretend to support the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

This is the basic idea:

Europe_2004_54_Leaning_Tower_of_Pisa_Italy_Kendall-718611LeaningTowerpisa-leaning-tower-illusion

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October 31st
2009
written by Alonna

After Cinque Terre, Ben and I headed to Siena for 3 nights. Compared to it’s old rival, Florence, Siena has a charming small-town feel, with hills and narrow cobblestone streets. As an unexpected bonus, the hotel we’d booked had a big terrace with an amazing view of the city. Here’s a few photos from the terrace:
 

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October 28th
2009
written by Alonna

The Cinque Terre is a region on the northern Mediterranean coast of Italy. There are five towns situated on the rocky coastline, each with it’s own charm, and all connected by hiking trails. This area was made famous for Americans by Rick Steves, and it was apparent the minute we arrived. Besides seeing Rick Steves travel guides in the hands of many visitors, the hotel and restaurant owners showed the book saying “I don’t know if you have this book, but we’re in it!” to entice you to shop there.  But Rick Steves recommends Cinque Terre for a reason: it’s a beautiful area with charming towns, amazing views, and great hiking.
 

Following are photos from the 5 towns (more…)

October 26th
2009
written by Alonna

 

Ben and I spent a full 7 nights in an apartment in Florence.  It was perfect, and exactly the relaxing break that we needed. Staying put in one place (and knowing it in advance) allowed us to enjoy some things we’d been craving… (more…)

October 24th
2009
written by Bullet-Point Ben

Venice is even more amazing than the postcards you’ve seen.  The real place is like a postcard in every direction.  For about 400 years (beginning in the 1300’s) much of the wealth of the world was concentrated in Venice, and the results are spectacular.

Some images from Venice:

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October 21st
2009
written by Alonna

We now have less than a month left of our Europe trip!  We’ll return home to Boise on November 16th from Rome.  Here’s an update on where we’ve been the last week and our plans for the rest of the trip…

After Budapest we took a budget flight to Venice, Italy and spent two nights.  Venice was amazing.  We spent most of our time wandering the streets and enjoying beautiful views of canals, gondolas, churches, and Venetian style buildings at every turn.  We’ll post photos soon.

Following Venice we decided to (more…)

October 21st
2009
written by Alonna

Ben and I didn’t really hit it off with Budapest the way some people seem to.  I guess different cities just suit different people.  Other factors are involved too, like your mood, the weather, how long you’ve been traveling, and just random events and people.  But we ended up staying there 5 nights to take a break and relax.  We also met some cool people at the hostel that we enjoyed chatting with.

Here’s some things we liked (more…)

October 17th
2009
written by Alonna

It seems like so long ago that Ben and I went biking along the Danube River in Austria, but it’s only been a little over a week. Compared to where we’ve been since – Budapest and Venice – it was so sunny and even hot.

So anyway, while we were in Vienna I read about this bike trail nearby along the Danube River, and we decided to give it a shot. We wanted a little change from the big city sightseeing; to head into the country and get some exercise other than walking. So we headed to Krems, Austria on a morning train (more…)

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