Irregular Posts

Irregular Posts are experiential writings from the road.  They reflect what I am seeing and experiencing as I travel and photograph.  My travels are irregularly spaced to places all over the world.  Writings happen as I find time and the subjects to reflect upon … “travel light and wear a smile.”  jack...

Irregular Post; Cinque Terra, Italy

Tuesday, April 25 2017  Riomaggiore, Italy Buongiorno, Well, that was a FINE visit. Some places are “GoBackTo”, Cinque Terre especially Riomaggiore is one. I had been here in June 2015 while Meg was hiking in Spain. I knew she would like it, so I brought her here. Last time I was in Riomaggiore, I had a single small room up the hill of the village. beyond the restaurants and shops and harbor. This time for our 47th anniversary, we had a sea view upscale “top floor” room on the harbor. We overlooked the narrow protected harbor the small boat launch, restaurant, and out towards the sunset. ;~}We arrived on Thursday afternoon on the local train. It stops at all of the villages; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and my favorite Riomaggiore. A long tunnel through the hillside leads into the village. A musician was playing; the songs echoed greeting thru the tunnel. The village has a long street leading up the ravine. Buildings are brightly colored, tall and not wide, sharing common dividing walls. Narrow walk-alleys separate some of the buildings with stairs that ascend the ravine slope to other tall narrows above. There are a lot of visitors! Holidays! Last weekend- Easter and Easter Monday, this LONG weekend – National holidays, school vacation time is USA and elsewhere. I did not see these people midweek in early June. We decided to hike the villages from Riomaggiore to Monterosso on Friday, to avoid the Saturday crush. It was a LONG day; 9 hours on the trails. I had forgotten that I took the train between two and did not hike...

Irregular Post; Genova2

Thursday, April 20,2017 Buongiorno, After walking the “same” narrow alley-streets and piazzas it was time to see other parts of the city. Porto Antico is on the semi-circular harbor The Old city hugs the harbor and then expands away. Away up the amphitheater hill that surrounds and overlooks the port. Old town is poorer than the terraces up the hill. There are stores that are old school; internet cafes with phone center, laundry stores, tailors etc. Up the hill the are satellite dishes on apartment buildings. Small market stores are fewer and more upscale in product and clientele Public elevators, funiculars, and long stairs lead you up up up the “rows of the amphitheater”. Nicer homes appear in the apartment building mix. Way up is a “Castle” built by some rich one in the 20th century; very eclectic architecture because he could. It looks out over the lower rooftops with narrow streets between, and down to the harbor, the cruise ships in their berths, the refurbished docks where local and tourist alike enjoy the Porto Antico. Far out is La Lanterna, the lighthouse guarding the port entrance. In a small upscale mercado, a few dozen people are sitting at tables; empty wine glasses and plate settings. They are watching three cooking demonstrators doing their thing while a guy with a microphone walks and talks. WE could stay but it is too soon to eat. We take a funicular down toward the Stazione Principe. Surprise! It exits onto an alley that ends across from our hotel. “I don’t want to eat beside the hotel.” So we are back on the...

Irregular Post; Genova, Italy

 Tuesday, April 18,2017 Buongiorno. “Genova? Who goes to Genoa?” “We do.” It is a city not on the edge of becoming a tourist destination. The old city and renewed old port that is quite interesting. It is “nice” gritty; personable, not isolating like NYC or Rome. A varied mix of people are here; tourists (mostly Italian) for Easter Holiday, young male sub-saharran africans, some muslims, and others. Streets are cobbled and old looking and feeling. Small streets without streetlights are “8 shoes” wide. On Easter Sunday and Easter Monday holidays, when shops were closed, the narrow dark streets looked “threatening” until an old lady with a cane comes out of a door or a kid rides a trike on the cobbles. On Tuesday with the stores open, their metal shutters up and their lights on, it was vibrant old world with a few “foreign” tourists about. The old port is separated from the city by an overhead highway, like the southeast expressway did in old Boston/NorthEnd. Genoa tore down buildings that separated city and harbor, opened and lightened it up. Developed the harbor front into an attractive public space; aquarium, venues for performances, play areas, walk ways and tie-ups for pleasure boats and yachts, restaurants, and tourist info office. Murals were commissioned for the wide elevated highway supports. Traffic continues overhead. A Monday walking tour of a couple of hours ended at three city museums made from 16th century palaces. One had Paginini’s violin on display. Some Carriviggios, some van Dykes, and other Flemish painters who stayed in Gena were displayed as well. Genoa and Venice were the two...

Irregular Post; Bagnols2

Friday April 14, 2017 Bagnols en Foret Bonjour,             Noisy-quiet here.  The boys run and scrum and follow and jump and climb or chase laughing and occasionally voice significant displeasure with each other.  As you might expect, sharing is not yet  high on their list of behaviors.  Sometimes they sit and read with Meg or Alice or Francoise (Alice’s mother) who joined us from Paris mid-week or play with Daddy and the legos or Papy with long balloons.             Since David can not drive with his foot injury, I drive us in my tiny rented Fiat Panda to the big Carrefore in Frejus to do the shopping.  Unbelievable the variety of meats and cheeses and pastry and prepared dishes and wines there.  Want a whole fresh rabbit (skinned and gutted for sure) for roasting?  Varied fresh lamb and veal cuts?  Assorted fresh terraines or pates? Got it.  They had a wine special earlier in the week; 50 euro store credit when you buy 150 euros of wine.  Got it.              Tuesday we visited the beach in Ste Maxime (Turkish kabab for lunch), historical centre Frejus on Thursday (Lebanese take away for lunch).  David’s foot injury limits the kind of places we walk and visit.  Francoise saw Meg take a foto of a rotisserie roasted lapine (rabbit) beside the roast chicken.  She bought it for dinner.              Frejus was called Forum Juli when founded by Julius Caesar in 44AD.  There is a large ancient forum, aqueduct, and a fine  archaeological museum (not yet visited by us) there. It is a “go back to” when the kids are not with...