Thursday, September 23, 2010


Orvieto is yet another charming hill town, about an hour north of Rome, just off the autostrada.

Posted by Picasa

San Gimignano

An evening in San Gimignano. Set in rolling Tuscan countryside, this is a popular tourist destination. I can understand that, but compared with Lucca it is a bit rough around the edges. Characterful, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Even through the roads are narrow, and quite busy, Chianti is a very popular cycling area. On Sunday morning lots of grey haired cyclists on expensive machines were about. As always, style is everything. I confess to being just a little jealous. Perhaps next time.

Sunday is also marching day in Siena.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rome, 29 August

I know that Rome is more than St Peter's Basilica (espresso for instance), but its interior is quite literally breathtaking in its scale and grandeur.

I fear for the custodians of this place, if that is what the Italian people are. I know its a bit like an American's view of Australia before she has stepped outside the airport, but as far as I can see Italians are doomed. They smoke too much, they eat too much, and their compliance with the rules of the road is approximate at best. Still, many are charming, patient and hospitable to crude visitors like us.

Athens, 26 August

The Acropolis of Athens: hot, crowded and utterly facinating.

At the base of the Acropolis is a very fine new museum, with a full scale representaion of the Parthenon on its third level. Many of the friezes and other carvings are arranged as they would have appeared on the temple itself, with the notable (and often mentioned) exception of the Elgin Marbles (in some museum in London).
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Santorini, 24 August

You will see a similar image on Sylvia's blog, but its worth repeating. As I said to a passing traveller (from Birmingham, I think), now that I have this shot, I can go home happy - mission accomplished.

All these pictures are of Oia, which is well worth the 1.40 euro each way from the main town on the local bus. I have an answer to the great question of why Greece has no current F1 drivers. They are too busy driving the local buses on Santorini.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ephesus, 25 August

These are just some of our new friends from Ephesus. On the day of our visit seven cruise ships, with at least 15,000 passengers were in one of the two ports near the ancient city. Apparently the next "super" day is in October. Anyway, I tried to take pictures with none of our new chums in view.

This is the original Nike.

This is the libary (or at least the upper part).
Posted by Picasa

Lucca, 31 August

The shop keepers of Lucca, and there are may of them in this apparently prosperous town, must be in some sort of competition for the most attractive shop. This is one of many, and no matter what is offered for sale, they are universally artful and sophisticated.

But the very best thing about Lucca, even above its tasty food, hospitable people and town wall (4km of cycling nirvana), is that it is not Rome.

Posted by Picasa