Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Romping Roma, Navigating Napoli and Caprice in Capri,

Was back in Rome for a day last Friday to collect my Swedish Visa. And so thus far, the Trevi Fountain thingy was true. One coin to return to Rome, and another for your wish to come true. Down one, another to go. I did the 1-hour Vatican shimmy from St Peter's to the Vatican Museum along with all the other tourists. The Sistine Chapel was great except that they didnt let us take any pictures....but I did anyway just for the heck of it. Also had the chance to visit the 100 Flavour-Gelati shop near the Pantheon....took a conno 3-Gusti pistachio crema, Cioccolato con Cannella and Miele con susamu. yummyyyy

Saturday went to Napoli by train and took a ferry to the Isle of Capri....Caaapri....not caPri. NO one understood us when we first pronounced it. Capri was lovely..a private playground for the rich and famous, the poverina like us could also enjoy the fantastic views on the coastline. Had a mishap when climbing a natural arch...landed on the coccyx but fortunately bum had a lot of fat to cushion the fall. Otherwise, Capri too had those quiet spots of wonder which I found in Venice and Bologna...those little nooks and crannies that make you wonder 'Is this a dream?'

As for Napoli, the day ended with me arguing with a ego centric hostel owner which ended my day sourly somewhat. The girls in my room ( 2 from Austria, 2 from Germany and 1 from Scotland) made the evening more bearable with a glass or two of wine and beer. Francy came late and we could only spend the little time together over breakfast. And Napoli pizza is good, believe me.

So all good things come in 3s for me - the Rome-Napoli-Capri trip was a welcome break in the break.....stattbuon for me now!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hala Turkiye'yi

Exams finished, friends gone, things shipped; I took the opportunity to return back to Turkey for a week. It was a trip down memory lane, trying to fit 6 months worth of memories in 7 days. Unforeseen events threatened to mar my trip i.e. Delayed flights and change of schedules (I hate MYAIR!), lost money, etc but providence played the better part, thank God.

Anyway, back to will always be what I call 'Magic Land' for me. Magic because no other country evokes such a sense of mystery and wonder for me...Taking a trip across the Bosphorus on a ferry from Uskudar to Eminonu - my most treasured experience. And this time thanks to Erkan, I got a motorbike tour all around Istanbul.

Funnily, Turkey always gave me 2 good friends to travel with - in 2002 it was Luciana and Tatjana. Tatjana left and then came Mihaela. Now in 2007. it was Pek Yen and Yanti...Fethiye mates (according to Pek Yen) Fethiye was blazing hot and the harbour and islands are still amazing. Did some swimming and jumped off the top deck for old times sake.

I also had a chance to visit Aya Sofia - didnt do that the last time I was in Istanbul due to being a poor trainee in Istanbul. Then the 10 million TL was a little dear. But I am glad I did this time around - it is truly beautiful on the inside. I love the quiet spots in the huge halls...where one can have a space of their own away from the crowds and quietly swim in a pool of thoughts.

After spending 6 months in Scotland and Milan, somehow that 6 months in 2002 in Turkey was more intense and vibrant. Maybe time has mellowed my senses. Nevertheless I was happy to be back and rejuvenated. The beauty of Turkiye was something which I didn't see, but felt in the heart and that was what I needed.