Saturday, 26 April 2008

Cinque Terre it is...

M. and I have finally decided on our next trip destination... It is going to be a trip through Tuscany, Italy.

As I already mentioned in one of the previous posts (link), we have already done most of Tuscany, but have never been to Cinque Terre before. This part of the coast actually falls into the region of Liguria, which lies to the northwest of Tuscany. Cinque Terre in Italian means Five Lands. All five of them are a part of a magnificent natural park, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is going to be a five day trip and hopefully we will also have time to visit Florence (Firenze). We like this city a lot and take every opportunity to visit.

We are planning to stay in our trusty tent in a camping site near the village of Levanto. If some really awful weather forecast doesn't make us change our plans, you can expect another set of gorgeous photos.

Wherever I go, usually I don't buy any souvenirs. I have enough of things full of dust lying around as it is. Nevertheless I make an occasional photo of the more interesting souvenirs. On the couple of photos above you can see two such products made by street artists in Florence.

If you liked this post and are interested in more information on our trip, please click on this link or on the Cinque Terre label in the right frame.


Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A Night in Villa Allegra

Last Friday I attended an IT conference in Portoroz, Slovenia. It is called Days of Slovenian Informatics and spans over three days.
Unfortunately I only had time to participate on Friday.

I arrived to Portoroz late on Thursday and joined a conference party, which was sponsored by the company I work for. First we had dinner on a tourist boat and then continued in a nearby cafe. The boat made a slow circle off the Slovenian coast and in the meantime we enjoyed some fish and some surprisingly drinkable wine. It was an all you can eat/drink kind of supper.

I really love fish, so I took advantage of the situation. However, I went easy on the wine. I had to drive a couple of kilometers to a villa, where I arranged a place to stay over the night.

This time I had a whole villa for myself. This sounds very fancy, but in fact it was a free of charge kind of arrangement.
A colleague of mine inherited this villa a couple of years ago. No one has been living there for the last couple of years, because it badly needs renovation but he can't afford it at the moment.

So with a use of my sleeping bag it was a really pleasant place to stay. I woke up to enjoy a cute view of the Portoroz beach from the balcony. The weather wasn't something to write home about, but I enjoyed the view anyway. The location of this old villa really is superb!

It was built in traditional style and therefore it still looks really nice (there is a year 1831 written on a metal plate, fixed to the front of the house). Unfortunately time took its tool and adaptation of this thing would be a real trouble. That is why its owner is thinking of pulling it down and building something else from scratch.

It's a shame really, but I can also understand his point of view. I guess he doesn't want to spend a fortune for adaptation and then live in a damp house for the rest of his life...


Friday, 28 March 2008

Where to go next?

The first of May is approaching fast. This means a new opportunity for a short vacation.

April 27th, 1st and 2nd of May are all national holidays in Slovenia. That means a couple days off from our everyday jobs. 27th of April falls on a Sunday this year and unfortunately in Slovenia we are not so lucky to get a free day on the next Monday.
However, 1st and 2nd of May fall on Thursday and Friday. Together with the following weekend they add up to four free days in a row.

Like always, I see this as an opportunity for a short trip. Together with M. we were going through our options the other day. Well, here are this year's contestants for our Spring trip...

1. Party trip to Rovinj, Croatia
A group of friends from my college days visit this place by the Adriatic Sea every year. It is a great opportunity for us to get together once in a while and also to see if we can still party as we did in our college days. With that bunch of guys, having a good time is a guarantee!

2. Fishing trip to Pasman, Croatia
Like a couple of times before, another group of friends is going fishing. And with this I mean some hardcore fishing - all through the night, every night. This might seem unpleasant, but actually it is quite relaxing. That is if the weather isn't too cold, too rainy or too windy. The part I like most is the menu - grilled sea bass (locals call it brancin), fresh out of the sea. Everyday!

3. Camping trip to Cinque Terre, Italy
We have been to Tuscany quite a few times so far and we like it very much. One of the places nearby, which are still on our to-visit-list is Cinque Terre (those Five lands are actually in the region of Liguria, just next to Tuscany). Our plan is to find a camping site near by and go there on day hiking trips. The only thing that is a bit tricky is the weather. It can still get a bit too cold for camping in the first days of May. Also in case of bad weather, hiking isn't all that fun.
On the other hand once near Tuscany, I am sure we couldn't get bored despite bad weather. In Florence and Pisa you can always find a hidden place to explore regardless of weather.
A visit of some relatives of mine, living just next to Pisa, is also a must when going there.

4. Trip to London, UK
Since the last time I have been to UK, I have been missing the taste of a proper ale.
I don't consider myself much of a beer enthusiast, but I think a traditional British ale tastes much better compared to ordinary lagers. I will not even begin to count other things London has to offer.
It is the only one of these locations we would have to fly to, but with quite a few low-fare airlines flying there, the trip itself isn't all that expensive.
Unfortunately everything else in London is.

5. Some other option, we haven't thought about just yet
I am pretty sure at least a couple more options will come up before we make the final decision.

Since we have been to all those places before, I have posted a photo of each one of them. I think you'll agree it is not an easy decision to make.

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