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I finally found on the Friday of my stay with Livi where all the Americans around here go and I can see why. The place is called 5 Islands and refers to five villages dotted along a sheer part of the coastline south of Genoa. They are called island because the only way to reach them before road and rail was by sea and it is still the easiest.

All except the middle one have harbours in the centre. They all have crystal clear waters around then and in part I wish I had brought packed my swimming costume as although the weather had started unpromising it turned into a sunny hot day and I have the red face and neck to prove it.

Livi's father drove us along the coast to just south of the island to the Port of Venus and we caught a boat to the furthest north of the collection, which was also the largest. We pasted one of the most isolated collections of house on the mainland. They can only be reached by climbing many steep steps it had no mains electricity or running water each house has a well and solar panels

We spent some time exploring the village finding out that most of the street ended in dead ends up hills. There were a couple of very interesting churches that I got to explore. Including one that had fallen into disrepair after the group that worshiped there disappeared. It looked a little a free masons house the way it was decorated.

There is a path that can be walked between all of the five villages and we walked a small part of it between the two further south villages. It was an easy 30 minute walk on a man made path some of the others are much more rugged. This part was paved and level with parts of it covered over to escape some of the burning heat. We all managed to get a little sun burned. My skin being the fairest I came off the worst of the three of us but by the following day most of it had vanished thanks to lots of applications of moisturiser.
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On Tuesday the weather finally broke to wonderful sunshine and we made out way over to the cemetery. I had been rather impressed by the statues I have seen in PortoFino but I was told they were nothing compared to the pieces in Genoa. It used to be outside the city but as the city has grown it has moved inside the city limits but still is a very large site. As soon as you go in the door you come to the family tombs that make up three walls of a very impressive entrance with a giant statue in the middle. I was not prepared for the scale but it was amazing so many life size figures grieving widows and children gather around the door. Lots of angels pulling the souls to heave. They were so life like detail of dress fabrics and lace of the shawls. We explored some of other gravesites as well going almost all the way up to the top. I am never quite prepared for the amount of hills I keep having to walk up I need new knees.

Wednesday we did a lot more walking this time around the old city centre the historical bit of the city and the market near Livi's house. I was by then suffering with a full-blown cold but I didn't want it to slow me down so had to learn a few more Italian words for things to buy for a cold. We did take things a little slowly but still saw many churches and other sites of the city. A lot of the Churches were done out in black and white stone that is from the local to the area. I loved the way the houses were painted in most cases instead of being carved. Saint George's house was a beautiful example of this with a full mural on the wall facing the sea and smaller details all the way round. We also went up to the highest point in Genoa that is reached by a train that is pulled up and down on a rope system. It was amazing to be up that high and see a few more of the watch points that are dotted along the mountains behind the city.

Thursday did some more exploring of the city centre with a need to buy things to bring back home. We meet up with Livi's sister for this adventure. Saw a few more churches and some odd little streets. Stopping in a bar to have a drink. Bars in Europe in general are very different to the bars you find here. We got brought a small plate of things to eat and asked if we wanted an alcoholic or soft drink. We were than presented with crushed strawberry drinks as we all opted for soft drinks. It was an easy place to be than some of the bars here. I hate the loud music and the crowded places as I find it very difficult to concentrate on what anyone else is saying or even hear them most of the time. This was a very different type of place.
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Mary commented that she hadn't had a chance to see Portofino in her travels around Itatly so if gives me a good excuse to post the first collection of my pictures from my travels.

Warning to dial up users there are lots of pictures under the cut so it may take a while to load the page.
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Sep. 26th, 2006 07:22 pm
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The holiday so far is an eye opener I never expected Genoa to be so big but seeing it on arrival I realised that I under estimated just how large it would be. It is very beautiful city of differences it has grown from a small centre up into the mountains that surround it. It is a patch work of the old small fisherman's cottages and multi-storey multi coloured buildings. The large important older buildings have their outsides painted to mimic carved stone and status.

My first day here Livi took me up the hill at the back of her house to see one of the villas and its gardens that have been given to the city as a park. Like Scotland this part of Italy gets a lot of rain so all was green and lush but Autumn has not come yet so the trees still have all their leaves.

The second day we took a boat trip to a little village down the coast called PortoFino it is cut into the hills it sits on with only small space in front of the harbour that was flat and leave surrounded by bars and tourist centred shops. Walking to the church there were galleries and more examples of the small fisherman's cottages. The Church from the front and the side facing the village was bright yellow. The grave yard at the back had a few graves in the ground but most people seemed to be commemorated on plaques on the wall with coffin shaped spaces behind them. A few were empty so I could see how deep a wide they were. Some of the very important family had small shires on the second level. I was told by Livi and her parents if I found that impressive i should see the cemetery in Genoa as it is one of the largest and has the most impressive monuments in Europe.

Yesterday we visited the largest aquarium in Europe. It is in the harbour and made party from a boat that was special built for it. I was very surprised at just how big it was not only does it house an impressive collection of fish it also has seals, dolphins and penguins visiting like me from Edinburgh. The whole place took several hours to look around and we took many pictures some of which even turned out and when I get back I will post several pictures.

We also saw some of the historical centre of the city with it's many beautiful churches and Cathedral.

Today we explore the cemetery of Genoa it is one of the oldest and Largest in Europe. It has some truly breath taking sculptures. The tombs of the rich and famous line the wall of the front part most are covered with life size statues many are members on the family. A few had the widow at the tomb or the children staring up at the grave of their parents. It was amazing to see so many of them in al in one place. I again took many picture trying to capture what I saw. Most where white marble many of the dresses cut to look like black velvet of the women's moaning cloth.


Apr. 3rd, 2006 11:21 pm
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Image hosting by Photobucket

more like this below the cut
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Last Saturday for my Nanna birthday I went to visit her and go off to the Harrogate flower show. She goes to see it twice a year but this was my first visit. Ofcourse I took my camera she was rather impressed at the pictures i could take and we had lots of fun with the zoom function and different flash settings.

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I decided it was time to update on a few pictures I've been taking over the past couple of months. I took about 100 from my time in Coldingham (don't worry I won't be posting all of them). I also have some from last weeks trip to my parents house. I went to Harriogate Flower show and I have a couple of pictures of my birthday speakers.

Coldingham first
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Slow going

Jul. 23rd, 2005 02:19 pm
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I could tell you my landlord, flat-mate and best friend is wonderful but I think most people who know him know that as well. As I posted earlier in the week Artemis has gone off to see if she is fixable. Patrick knowing how lost I would be without a computer the same day mine went in got out one of the G3's we have sitting acting as back up and server for the system and set it up with a net connection in my room. It is such a typically wonderful thing for him to do.

Other news in the week finally after months of not seeing him arranged a Friday out with Keith present. I don't think I've seen him although we do write during work time for at least 4 months. He joined myself, Liz and Patrick for dinner and movie. We went to Frankies and Benny's for dinner and then on to see the Fantastic Four.

The movie was a laugh really glad they didn't completely CGI "The Thing" for me that would have completely pulled me out of the film moment. There were some very clever ideas like Johnny learning to fly and Victor's way of killing Reed. Also loved Sue's first attempts at turning invisible seriously made me laugh, Jessica Alba as an actress both here and Sin City has impressed me I think I would like to see more with her in it. As always loved seeing Ioan Gruffudd I'm really happy to see he seems to have made a name for himself in Hollywood. I know so many other actors go over and never quite make it or get a show that gets cancelled very early in the run.

This weekend I;m washing all my clothes so I'm ready for my holiday next weekend. I'm starting to get really excited about it. Very sad considering I'm only going two hours down the road. But it is completely away and I need this sort of break. Since the computer more than likely won't be coming I intend to take and read three books also take the camera for lots of pictures.

And just because its the weekend here is a meme nicked from my flist.

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Expo 2005

May. 21st, 2005 07:39 pm
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Brief version for people who were there. If you want my detailed view it is behind the cut.

I did enjoy myself, met many new people and some old friends. I have both photos and autographs and will more than likely go back again next year.

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Yes its finally all finished being typed up now I just need to put it all together. I will warn you it does jump tenses in parts. Some of it was writen on reflection while most of it was written while the events actually happened.

The Venice AdventureRead more... )

Adventure day 2Read more... )

S. Nicolo de TolentionRead more... )

Frari and Film setsRead more... )

Stopping for breathRead more... )

Sunday in VeniceRead more... )

The Aventure dayRead more... )

The last day of VeniceRead more... )

St Marks Square Read more... )
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Still not the blog but a movie Patrick is very kindly hosting.


two things about posting it - firstly its big (3.7mb) and that it's really broadband only at that size. It may not be there long as bandwidth restrictions may mean Patrick have to pull it.
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Will post the written bit of the blog tomorrow but first the photo album. The full album is here

But a few highlights below
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I'm off home again tomorrow and expect the big blog of the holiday over the weekend.

If any of you know can you let me whether the floods on Sunday were a big event. It felt massive and most places still seem to be cleaning up two days later. I have a sweet story about the cleaning lady who loaned me her boots from then.

I've had a blast here and taken so many pictures. I'm not going to post them all just the highlights.


Oct. 30th, 2004 08:37 pm
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Just a brief pitstop

Venice is full of water as you all expected.

Saw Heath Ledger yesterday they were filming the end scenes from Walt Disneys Casanova in front of my so far favourite building "Saulte".

Done many other fun things as well will update when I get back.
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A maudlin though for this trip but part of me can't think of a more beautiful last sight as we drift across the clouds. There is the occasional break for the green and brown of the land to show through, the silvery sparkle of rivers and in the brown strips of road. The plane itself is rather cold but the sun streaming through the window warms me. Through twists of fate if I sit by the window I always seem to be near a wing, maybe the planes I fly are so small this is unavoidable. I like sitting in the window even if I doze for most of the flight the glimpse out gives me this wondrous view of the world. I guess astronauts must feel this even more, everything looks peaceful no trace of problems you know are going on under your feet, It is breathtakingly simple all ordered and arranged in neat little sections. Here is a village which leads into town and city to open out into fields criss-crossed with rivers and all above blue sky and shining sun.

As I walked for the bus today there was a man with the usual end is nigh type boards around him telling is all to repent as we would have to meet God someday. If I'd had time I would have asked "Your God or mine." Being so peaceful up here away from it all I feel much closer to my centre and the therefore my idea of god. In such beauty who could be afraid to meet anyone or anything?

My ears are starting to pop a sure sign of a landing soon. The sprawl of London has started to blink through the clouds.
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This day started far too early to think about after a wonderful evening at Liz's. I was spending the night there because of today's early start. We arranged that I brought dinner over. I decided that Chicken and baked potatoes was a good idea Liz had recently stocked up on Liquid Smoke which I wanted to try. It was like eating something that had been left over an open fire all night without the bitter after taste of the fire. We also had more of the wonderful corn on the cob. It was all rather civilised affair. As the food was cooking Liz had suggested an adventure of going to the movies. We decided to go and see Troy at Omni. I hadn't seen and fancied a bit of fluff. Unfortunately when we arrived it was later than planed and were told although the film hadn't started it was rather full and the only seats were at the front not fancying that we decided to see what else was on next. The next film showing was "Harry Potter" so I went to see my first ever Harry Potter film. I've not seen or read any of the pervious stuff so Liz spent the time before the film started filling in some back story. I did enjoy the film for its story and film type it hasn't inspired me to go read the books or watch the other films but i would watch it again.

I got to bed just after midnight and got to sleep about 1 before been awaken by the alarm at 4:15 Liz had already gone to bed so I tried to be quiet while I got up. I was picked up by Graeme at 5 for our journey to the airport. We were flying out at 6:35 to London City airport. I'd done a lot of work in the previous weeks to make sure that meetings were all arranged and everything was set to run smoothly. I was proud of myself that all the ground work was done and I'm slowly pulling the practice records into shape. We arrived at the right address in good time easily slipping into the building. The building is very similar to Dundas Street in style but the PA's sit in a separate office from there managers I've got a desk in there. The only minor glitch was some of my files have not transferred to this computer so all the work I meant to get done in the space between meetings will have to wait. The day in general has been rather long I felt like it should be lunch about 11 o'clock and the day could really have finished at about 2. The day was hot and balmy typical summer weather for me visiting London quiet a bit different from the misty mildly warm night I left behind.

The best meeting of the day was with the former manager of the group she took us to her favourite lunch time pub and we had a long working lunch while doing the final handovers. I met up with Steph this evening much to my joy I was worried she was still in Moscow but she got back so she came over to the hotel to go out to Soba for our dinner. We arrived for happy hour and Steph got to try the Melon juice while i tried a new rice dish. Steph had also brought her set of photos from Expo including my favourite of myself and Connor on the second day. I didn't stay out late as I'm still feeling the effects of not sleeping well for the last couple of days. We caught up on each others lives and swapped dreams for the immediate future. I've been asked recently if I would like my job to become real and Graeme has been trying to work out if we have ever met before. My checked job past means its not that far from possible we have crossed paths before but I'm at a lost to know where.

I;m enjoying my hotel here. The Novotel is rather posh compared to my usual fare. The room is massive and a little like the room I stayed in while in Paris for features but more so. I've opted to make sure that all the optional extras where switched off this means I've had to go out to buy drinks but it was so much cheaper than the £2.00 charged here. The shower is wonderful a real powerhouse in a bath you can sit on ledge to enjoy the pulse or have a really deep bath. The room has a double bed, desk and TV which plays radio.

I'm off to the ice machine down the corridor, talk about posh it even has a shoe buffer next to the lifts and if I really wanted it a gym down stairs.

Waking up again in a strange bed wasn't too bad but I miss my coffee very were seems to be hooked on Nescafe and I really can't drink the stuff.

The morning was a haze of activity had to Graeme home sharpest rearranging all the meetings. After that the day was full of the usual stuff and a little bit of writing on the sly. I've enjoyed being in London but very glad to be home.

I finally remembered to add here that Patrick has seen my magic deer. On several of my drives home I've been joined by the local wildlife of owls and deer but until last week Patrick had never seen the deer and wasn't really sure they were real.
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Its strange how reading other peoples reports has jogged my mind of random things I forgot about the con. Standing in line for Marina talking to the couple behind me as the girl got her first look at Connor and I explained just how wonderful he was and yes she really should go and find a reason to talk to him.

Telling Dominic we couldn't go to the dinner and when we told him the cost he comment "Sounds about right" was with an under tone of understand. Reading Elf's I think we both got the same idea he knew it was out of reach for some of us.

Meeting a wonderful group of girls just as mad as I was, loving their fantastic T-shirts and feeling quiet plain in comparison.

I'm sure looking through the photos will jog further memories.

Other peoples reports can be found at
Zoe's wonderful pictures
[livejournal.com profile] elfbert
[livejournal.com profile] probodie
[livejournal.com profile] indehed
[livejournal.com profile] stormymouse
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My wonderful weekend away in full detail written on location in various parts around London.

Friday 14 May 2004

Current Music - Pinky and the Brain blame the guy sitting next to me in the departure lounge
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Saturday 15 May

the Adventure continues.

Current music - 80's trash
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Sunday 16 May

Current Music - News Quiz
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I have photos to develop scan so I can show the world how much fun I had.

To say it was wonderful and so much fun I would truly love to go back with better shoes and a digital camera.
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I'm back safe and sound from my exciting weekend in Nodnol. I had a wonder time kissed several famous people hugged a lot more and finally managed to get complete sentences out at the end of the weekend.

I'm going to post tomorrow a full techicoloured report that I've been writing while there but it needs a final proof and touch up before posting.

Also have the first day of my new boss tomorrow to look forward to.

Patrick is going travelling for two weeks so I get to watch all the bad TV so late nights with the discovery channel here I come.


Dec. 26th, 2003 08:28 pm
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This technically is a back dated entry I went to London and Paris in October and had a wonderful time. I kept a sort of journal while there I never quiet finished typing the last part until tonight (I know it was months ago but other things always seemed to get in the way of it)

travel )
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