Monday, April 23, 2007

xin's last post was dreary and wordy and boring - meant for either reallyboredpeoplewithnothingbettertodothantoreadxinyi'sinaccurateversionofitalyratherthanreadingwikipedia's *gasps for breath* or me (who seem to fit into the previous category anw)

so this post will be a little more colourful =) i hopes. (and everyone else fervently hopess.)

soo after siena we truly explored the ponte vecchio amongst other things.
we went to fiesole as welll =) a hillside town? to view firenze from the top...

we went to pompeii via napoli (though we did nth at napoli except run to buy some tasty pastry at the pasticeria).
we had a gorgeous lunch at this famous restaurant. it was so posh! and the food was goood! and they had a live band which played TICOTICO!
then we went into the ancient city of pompeii!
spent many hrs walking around and then left for roma termini agains.
did i mention i arrived in rome on my birthday, a drizzly, gloomy day, a day i tried so hard to stay cheerful, and almost spent it quite uneventfully, despite the coldrain, despite the restaurants that were all closed during dinner... and i had to catch the wrong train, ending up 22km away from my accom, and having to take a 60euro taxi ride home =(

we went to the colosseum
and to the trevis fountain which was so beautifull!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

firstly thanks to alllLL the lovely people who wished me happy birthday.
imagine my surprise. it seems as though being stuck in scotland all by myself (not exactly) but like without all of you.. makes me feel a little forgotten. sometimes when i hear about batch outings i'm no longer invited to, just cos it's pointless inviting me. haha! and about sunny singapore thingss. and then on my birthday, facebook gets spammed. xinyi has facebook can u believe it! erps. and my hotmail gets spammed. faces, words and little wishes from bits and pieces of my history re-emerges.. thanks everyonee =) love u alll.. very muchhhies.

xin has vanished for an eternally long time. due to pre-easter-stress in handing up ESSAYSSSS i still HATE essayss. ew.EW.EWWWW. and then pre-easter-vacation-preparationss. endless nights of researching about italy, about train passes, about accomodations, of peering at maps and wondering how far the little red point where my accomm is is from the little green triangle where the station is and the dotted square where the city centre is. hasty packing. is italy cold? don't know, don't want to pack my fat jacket. brings 2 thin jackets. whee. camera. handphone. nothing much else. and we flyyyyyy.

unlike kenny who has decided to write in elaborate detail about the trip, xin is kinda lazy (and hasn't even uploaded her photos so her memory card is bursting full of stratford and italy photoss) so i'll just describe what i feel like. HAHA.

as usual. i like to fly. but the little prestwick airport, which smells of farm and cow dung and grass (trust me, it was a familiar smell, bringing back memories of pony riding), doesn't seem like the departure point of great magnificent aircrafts as we have gotten used to. nothing like the glory of the changi airport, with a few meagre shops just awakening, and a most comforting WH Smith and Starbucks (that all airports seem to have). ok basically we fleww. and landed in bergamo orio sth sth airport at midnight (but it was 1am there o_O) i'm 1h further away from home and my family and my friendss. we spent the night with rowdy!swearing!singing!and notoriously DRUNK scots! again!!! cos scots was playing italy the day after o_O in the 6 nations thingy or maybe not the 6 nations thingy in football in BARI which was at the heel of the italy boot. chased around the chilly night, regretting immensely not bringing the FAT jacket. tossing and turning to the lullabies of scottish national songs yelled over the PA system till a security guard yelled in italian to the scots. we finally got to the next day where we would head off to MILANN. we missed a bus. another bus. and another buss. and we finally got to bergamo station where we had MACDONALDS (kenny's favourite obsesssion - and ian's?) and we trooped off to milann. irrelevantly kenny has calculated and concluded that we have covered roughly 2400km. not 2.4km but 2400km the whole trip. whee~

we reached the hotel and concussed. and got up frantically to go sightseeing in milan. saw the golden quad, felt HIGHLY inadequately dressed though i was wearing a long skirt and nice jacket (which will haunt me for the rest of the trip cos it was cold and that was my thickest jacket) and saw the excellentEXCeLLENT duomo. question: why are all churches dark? kinda ironic isn't it. church where shakespeare is buried is like the brightest church i've been to. HONESTLY. blahBLAH and we went off to VENICe mestre. my favourite place. though venice santa lucia was the main stop, but we stayed a station off, in a lovely camping place in a sweet new cabin by ourselves, which had a grand ensuite toilet and lovely heating. it was a peaceful neighbourly (silas marner!!!) place. and it housed our favourite gelateriaa. DID I FORGET TO MENTION? we had at least ONE gelato everyday. whee. one gelato might mean more than 1 scoop (or gusti as they call it) AND did i mentino my italian is brilliant? i can count up to ten (or more i bet. whee) venice is my favourite place, although we didn't sail down the grand canal in a romantic gondola which is very expensive o_O or even take a traghetteria across the river. i love the small winding paths with obscure dead ends at canals and rickety, dubious signs pointing to piazza roma and ican'tremember o_O. imagine spending 2h wandering aimlessly thru little cobbled paths occassionally chancing upon a bridge cutting across a little canal that runs like a road pass houses, with boats parked in front of them as if cars, sometimes passing through a little piazza, a small little clearing, where little kids play and huge dogs gambol, and then stepping out into a gigantic open space, where the magnificence of the duomo shines at u, glares at u almost. it's spectacular really. amazing. despite the drizzle. the incessant drizzle that drenched my shoes and indirectly burned a hole in my sock (long story). okay, it was grand. brilliant, i love venice. i so recommend walking around aimlessly. seriously. the beautiful gorgeous countryside of Tuscany where vineyards populate (which i didn't see a single one or if i did, i didn't recognize o_O mayb it's the wrong season) trooped off to pisa the first day (so din see firenze). and it's so strange to stand next to the leaning tower of pisa, or to look beyond and see stretches of people standing on the grass, hands outstretched, in a valiant attempt to push over the tower of pisa (or look as if they're doing so) and then get chased off by diligent police, blowing furiously at the whistles and waving at the 'keep off the grass' sign, ironically, the only location where one can get a good photo of them 'pushing' over the 'excellent' architectural fiasco.

it's getting late. i'm getting lazy.. siena will wait till tomorrow

pisa has a GREAT trattoria (a little like restaurant). it's near the main attractions and starts with 'antica.... trattoria' and it serves great food at a decent price (i had seafoood - prawnss and crayfish and FISH and calamari) and despite what all the postcards proclaim, the leaning tower of pisa does NOT light up in the night. i bet they photoshopped the lights. damn. no we din stay all the way till it was dark to see the non-lighting up; we stayed there so we could shiver our way home, after our 3rd gusti of gelato.