We were only in Venice one night but I still managed to get over three hundred photos because every corner I turned was more beautiful than the one before. Venice has the patina that architects dream of: the hundred year old paint fades from exposure to the sea, the walls are almost so meticulously crumbling with wear it looks as if somebody chipped at them on purpose. My previous experience with this type of architecture has been at Epcot, someone's weak attempt at trying to recreate the unbelievable authenticity that romanticizes all of Italy. Actual Italy > Epcot Italy. Sorry not sorry, Disney.
We arrived at the airport and took a bus to Piazzale Roma, adjacent to the Santa Lucia Railway Station. This is the part of traveling that hardly ever gets romanticized when you're backpacking: getting from one place to another. We could've spent a ton of money on a taxi from the airport, but even then we'd have to take a water taxi to get to our hotel or just walk. By the time we were in Italy, we were done walking with our backpacks. DONE. We were also starving and poor, so we took a bus for about 6 euro and a water taxi to our hotel (Hotel Al Duca di Venezia - turned out to be quite lovely) and then booked it to some pasta. Dalt on the GPS and me, 10 feet behind at all times, stopping to marvel at and photograph every damn thing I saw. You can't blame me though???
We got pasta to go from Dal Moro's (photographed somewhere below) once we careened our way through the crowds and hallways of streets. They make their own pasta right in front of you in their little hole-in-the-wall shop.
The hardest part about Venice and perhaps every other destination is that I had an idea of it in my head and that idea did not include it being overrun with tourists. It is overrun with tourists. And look, I was one of them in the way that I too was visiting one of the most visited spots in the world. I feel as if it's sinking because of the foot traffic from those very people who want to see it before it sinks. It felt much less intimate than I expected -- romantic, yes -- but I think I'd wish to visit in the off season, where I could run up and down the corridors and dart into cozy corner restaurants. I dream of a desolate Venice, where St. Marks Square is empty apart from the pigeons, in part because if I were alone I would feel as if I were taking a trip back in time, no iPhones or Sketchers to be seen.
hi from Malibu! the best part about living in Los Angeles is its proximity to the ocean. and one of the best parts about the ocean is that this pier lives on it. we had lunch at a sweet spot called Malibu Farm -- serving farm to table grub with a beautiful view. here are some photos from our outing today!
okay, so more stories coming soon but for now I'm packing my life up and trying to get some shiz done before I move to Los Angeles in ONE WEEEEEEK. ah. I can't resist reminiscing over summer days in this city.
I love this city.
When I was a junior in high school, two of my best friends and I went to NYC for spring break. We did musical theater together, and 2/3 of us hadn't seen a Broadway show, which was a sin. We spent four days doing/seeing/eating everything we could, and I've been itching to go back ever since.
Alas, my dad's old roommate lives just north of New York City -- and his sweet family invited us to stay with them! The Brocketts roadtripped up the East Coast, stopping in Charleston and Washington D.C. without managing to slit each other's throats. Just arriving in NYC was a success in our book.
Holy hike. This place is incredible. I'll let the photos do the talking.
above: #views at the top of the hike from Riomaggiore to Manarola (more on that later)
Click to use it here. fo free.
Hit File>Make a Copy and you can start editing your own itinerary.
Yep, I made it. Is it insanely detailed? Yes. Am I crazy? Probably. But it really made me feel like I had my trip fully organized before I left. And it helped along the way.
Here you can see the date, day of the week, the city, train or airfare, the accommodations and how much they cost, along with estimated food and activity costs. "Other" leaves room for museum entrance fees (bring your student ID!), cab or uber fare, paragliding in Switzerland... that sort of thing.
I probably didn't spend $40 a day every day on food. But it all evened out in the end. It's better to have planned for a little extra than to starve!
Note the color guide. I used this itinerary months in advance for planning purposes. After each place or plane ticket was booked, I'd change the color from blue to green to know what I still had left to pay for.
What a dream. Santorini is my new favorite place in the world for two reasons - one, because it reminded me of my usual Florida summers by the Gulf, fishing and swimming and relaxing, and two: it was a total change of pace. We'd been constantly moving from museum to park to landmark trying to cover our grounds, and in Greece, we were content just taking in all the views. It's not hard to do.
If you're going to Santorini, you must visit Oia (pronounced ee-uh). Stay there if you can. Don't stay in Fira. The cruise ships dock there and I suppose it's a good time if you like to go out, but it's not nearly as pristine as Oia. Proof below.
UGH these marbled streets took my SOUL
the bougainvillea also took my soul and my heart and I JUST LOVE THESE FLOWERS OK
And then there's Atlantis Books... our favorite spot. It's just this magical little bookshop, the only one on the island, filled with classics and foreign language novels and Greek cookbooks and bestsellers. The terrace is the best spot to relax, it stays quiet while the people walk from store to store below.
I wrote in my journal:
"Everything about this current moment is good and ripe - the two glasses of wine slowly dissolving in my bloodstream, the view that keeps distracting me - sun juxtaposed with blue, deep blue, water, and the mars-like island cliffs. You can see the sediment and thus you can see time, the white layer of washed houses at the top. We're at the Atlantis Books terrace, reading and contemplating, feeling the wind, the sea, and the dinner rush below. This is my favorite place in the world, right here, this spot on Earth. Few things have made me feel so small.
I'll never see another sunset the same, except that the same sun sets everywhere. I've always known that to be true but as I travel farther the world gets smaller and it's never seemed so real."
I can tell in the last sentence that the wine had done its work and I was losing my ability to write complete and thoughtful sentences (what exactly has never seemed so real? Who knows).
Ammoudi Bay is photographed below. Absolutely stunning place to grab a bite to eat if you have the money to.
We drank coffee (the cheaper alternative) and had fried zucchini (delicious) and then walked a path to the left, if you're facing the bay, to where I took this photo.
Keep walking (climbing?) around the corner and you'll find a little beach and a rock with a little chapel you can swim out to and jump off. See that guy standing on the little cliff? It's higher than it seems...
My generous and well-traveled friend Xander recommended this taverna (and just about everything else we did in Greece), which you can find on the right just before the walking streets in Oia, and we went twice. Simple and lovely food and not expensive, either. About 10 or 12 euro for a plate.
ATVs, scooters, and cars can all be rented on Santorini and I'd highly recommend renting any of those three. The drives are stunning and it's the easiest way to get around. Together, we spent about $100 total (including insurance) for a three-day ATV rental. That was mid-season price. Gas is about 8 euro to fill up (make sure you fill up before you head out!) and we filled up once, driving from Imerovigla to Oia several times a day. It's about a 12-15 minute ride, and it's incredible. I mean...
Below: Katharos Beach. Rocky and rugged and the perfect spot for an afternoon swim. A ten minute walk from Oia or, if you're lazy like us, it can be reached via ATV. If you're in Greece for longer than a few days, be a tourist and bring water shoes! AND SUNSCREEN. Bring. It. With. You. Or pay 25 euro for it. Your choice.
The view from a little restaurant in Imerovigla we went to on our last night to eat dessert and watch the sunset. Which is mind blowing and photos can't do it justice - a perfect reason to go experience it for yourself ;)
If you have any questions -- ask away!! I'd love to help.