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16 November 2013

Sochi - Indian Summer of this Year

Sochi is not only the capital of the Olympic games this year. This city is the most desired summer destination in Russia. For it's excellent warm climate.

I like Sochi in early autumn. September and October are the best months in the year there. You can swimm, lay or sit on the beach without those unpleasant sensations of excessive hot. You can visit infinite beautiful and interesting places... You can do everything. The weather, Indian Summer, is really excellent in this period in Sochi.

Unfortunatelly, I was not very happy with the weatheer this year. The temperature was very good and the water was warm. But... all the period I was there, there were natural disasters there. Rain, hurricane, typhoons... The river you see on my photos went out from it's bed and the water covered the street. We could not went out from our house for 3 days because the door was clothed by the water. Many big trees fall down and it was unpossible to walk long the streets.

The workers began to saw the trees next day after the hurricane (it passed only in this part of the city) but they needed about a week to remove most of them. Here are some photos to show you how it was. One of the friends of my mother was stroke by a big branch when the hurrican was at the beginning and they were in the street. Fortunately, it fall down far enough from the head.

After I turned back in Italy, my mother said, the weather turnd to the normality.







20 June 2013

Flowers of Vesuvius


Vesuvius is a place where I pass relatively much time. I visit it with the tourists who come in Campania, a region in Italy, with cruises or on their own, and with a local group of excursionists.

It's not always easy for me. Specially when I have to drive and to tell stories to the tourists at the same time. The road is not the most direct in the world. With those returns every some meters. It is too narrow, too. And it means when you meet a bus, or, better, when one or some buses meet an other bus or a line of buses, the situation becomes very interesting.

Honestly, I hate to drive in such situations. I become so tired after this work!

Then, when you arrive on the parking place (I can't name it "square"), you have to climb about 500 meters till the crater of Vesuvius.

Not all of you know that Vesuvius has 2 craters. The large, Somma, has the diameter about 4 km and the Great Cone inside this first one, 500 m large. This is what all the tourists visit when go to Vesuvius.

I visited the inside crater with the excursionists on June, 9. Practically, it was the first sunny Sunday after many, many days of rains. The walk was so pleasant and incredible because flowers were everywhere. At the difference of all our gardens where the modern varieties flower all the year long, the plants in the nature follow the nature. So, you can see everything in flower only some days in a year. Here are some photos...




10 May 2013

Memories of Don Pedro de Toledo in Naples

One of the places I did not visit till the month ago is the part of Naples "dedicated" to don Pedro de Toledo, a viceroy, governed in Naples from 1532 to 1553. I learned some information about that period of the history of Naples but am still not very interested in it even if that period is very important from different points of view. First of all because it's bounded to an other name I'm very interested in: Ferrante (Ferdinando) Sanseverino, the last prince of Salerno. And their king, Emperor Charles V.

For this reason, I was very curious to visit the church San Giacomo degli Spagnoli where there is an exhibition of the pictures and other works of very important artists of that time like Vacarro, Giovanni da Nola etc. Here you can see some photos from that church with the sepulcher of the family (created for don Pedro but since he was dead far from Naples, there are his wife and son buried there).





24 April 2013

Phlegraean Fields at the Time of Odysseus

Phlegraean Fields, as you know, is a very interesting place not too far from Naples in Italy. It is characterized by great quantity of craters of sleeping volcanoes. 24 precisely visible from the space. This place is breathing -this "breast" goes up and down normally something about 2 cm a year. It's about the underground pressure. The phenomena has it's name: Bradyseism.


The name of this zone, Phlegraean Fields, means "burning fields". There are documents describing how was  this zone in the times when ancient Greeks visited it. They had seen literally burning zone because the volcanoes were alive at that period and there were different eruptions at the same time probably. Those eruptions had to be not so violent as the eruption of Vesuvius when it buried many Roman towns.

What the Greeks have seen at the time was, probably something like this:



The photo is of Naples some months ago. When the "Town of Science" was burned down. But, I think, the look had to be similar to the period of eruptions of the Phlegrean volcanoes.

08 April 2013

A Tradition Dating Back More than 300 Years in Japan

This is a feast I really would like to assist. I like fireworks very much and would like to assist the firework "concerts" all the times it's possible. I do not say about the desire of some persons to spend some time shooting. I say about the real concerts that it's possible to assist from time to time. Sincerely, a real concert I've seen only once. And it was not too far from our village. The artist created entire gardens of flowers that evening. We were in our car on the way when the show began. We stopped the car and went out to see that beauty. Some time later, we noticed that all the cars were parked and all the were looking in the sky. Imagine km-s of parked cars, hundreds of persons near them. All with the faces pointed in the sky.

I can't forget that night till today. It was the best fireworks show I've ever seen.

So, now finally I pass to the more than 300 years old tradition, Sumida River Fireworks Festival (hotels) that is organized on July, 27 this year. Interesting is to see how Japanese do it. They are at the origin of the feasts with fireworks and they have completely different way to imagine the show, so it would be very interesting to see how is it. I've seen some photos on dedicated sites and they were impressive. Here is the photo from  English Guide


21 March 2013

Architecture of Rajasthan

This blog is about the places all over the world I would like to visit. If I will not have the possibility to do it in this life, I'm sure, I will do it in my next life. Sometimes I think, I have to imagine me as a woman-bird. Do you remember those birds like late images of Sirens on the Greek vases. Even if the normal human body as this statue left looks better for me...

So, I like imagine me as a Siren flying far far, round the world and visiting all the most incredible creations of the human beings. One of the first places would be India. I heard about it's incredible palaces and gardens from my childhood.

Now, I found different forts' and palaces' names and wanted to see if I can read some more about them to feel myself like a Siren flying over them. Kumbhalgarh Fort (XV cent), Chittorgarh Fort, Mehrangarh Fort (hotels in Jodhpur), Pink City of Jaipur.


This is Mehrangarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort


Chittorgarh Fort


Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur

Very beautiful and incredible architecture of this last one is great attraction, but as a Siren, I would prefer the first one, Mehrangarh Fort, specially because I like the human stories about every place I visit. And, in those few texts I read before I write this post, I've just found some of them. One about a man which was immured alive in the basement of the fort. They say, raja promised him his family will have special treatment for always. Imagine, the family still lives there! Voluntarily immured... I can't understand it, you know... the mental state of such persons.

12 March 2013

Castle Saint Elmo in Naples

This year is absolutely anomalous. We hardly had a week of good weather from September, I think. Rain, rain, rain - every day, all the days long. And if some shy rays can go out from the clouds - it does not last for long time. This morning, I had to go shopping and was very happy that the sun shined brightly. Two hours later, the rain began. And it has not any intention to stop.


Two days ago, we were much more fortunate: it was a day without rain. And we visited one of the most important castles of Naples, castle Saint Elmo. It is always a great pleasure to go there since this most high point of the city is special at any time, despite the not always good weather. You can see all the gulf of Naples with all the islands, Vesuvius. And all the Naples. ALL it's parts.

The castle makes impression with it's massive walls and incredible power. You feel yourself an ant near it.


And it looks like a little town when you leave the lift and go out on the "parade ground". 


It was built by the best military architect of the time. And was thought to be impossible to occupy. But... sarcasm of the fate... it was occupied by every kind of conqueror and destroyed many times.

11 March 2013

Fontana Nissan Car Dealerships


Nissan is a popular brand for many different reasons. Most important of any, it is a great car and is built to last. It is also very affordable! Finding the best cars at Car Dealers In Fontana isn't all that hard considering they have a reasonably sized inventory laid out, which makes it easy to find the exact car you may be looking for. Even if you have no clue as to what kind of car you may want, there are tons of sales representatives who will be more then willing to help you find the perfect Nissan. Whether you need a family vehicle or if you want a Nissan-like bachelor car, there are tons of different models to choose from while visiting dealerships. Check out a Used Cars Fontana, available at http://www.metronissanredlands.com. There are plenty of Nissan dealerships available in the California area. I had recently moved from Oregon to California (I know, a big change!) and did not have the slightest clue as to what dealerships were good and which ones were not. I had to get a new car, because I had a used Corolla that just could not stand to run anymore apparently. It was to the point where I was going out on an errand and I was scared if I was going to make it back to my house without my car completely breaking down, or like it sounded, about to blow up. So I decided to check out two dealerships in particular, Metro Nissan Nissan and Nissan Los Angeles. Both were very professional upon first glance and I felt completely comfortable strolling inside even though I was not a California native. I know that it would not have mattered much where I was from, considering all they were really interested in was my money. But that is besides the point, and I would have to say that I spent my money very wisely at the Fontana dealership. Although the Nissan Los Angeles dealership did offer a pretty expansive inventory, I noticed that some of their cars seemed to be over-priced for what they really were. At Metro Nissan I felt like everything was affordable, and I really loved the fact that they had so many different types of specials to offer us customers. I bought a brand new Nissan Altima from the dealership in Metro Nissan and have never regretted it. My car still looks just as gorgeous as the first day that I purchased it. The Nissan Altima runs absolutely wonderful and, in my opinion, is one of the best looking cars available on the market today. I still visit Metro Nissan dealership now and again depending on what specials they are offering and what is on sale. If you really want to find some of the best Nissan models currently on the market, I would suggest checking out the dealership of Metro Nissan. It is a personal favorite of mine and has been serving my family for quite awhile now.

07 March 2013

We Visited Vesuvius in March

If you think to visit Campania in Italy this year, you have to remember the crisis and be ready to pay more than a year ago for example. Even if I think, the constant - sometimes two-three times a season - increase of the prices of the most important tourist objects are absolutely unjustified. It's absurd when the exaggerations of the governors have to be paid by the persons who appreciate history, culture etc.


The best option to go to the crater of Vesuvius is surely a car. There are bus from Ercolano and Pompei but they give you only one hour to arrive to the crater and to turn back to the bus stop.The problem is that one hour is not enough for a calm walk. So, you have to run up and down. Specially, if you have children or persons which are not very quick. 


Vesuvius, for about a year, I think, had not smokes. This time, there were many of them on all the walls. My tourists were afraid. They asked me if it means that Vesuvius will erupt now. No, do not be afraid! Much time before the eruption begins seismic activity. It's impossible that the eruption begins from one moment to other.

We had a little girl with us and she did not want to go around the crater. And the mother remained with her. Sometimes, children are very persevering. But I admire the parents which travel with their children.

28 February 2013

Australia's International Flights

One of the most complete travel sites I've ever seen, Australian Travel.com.au, offers very interesting and great choice of international flights. Among them, there are different possibilities to undertake Round the World flights, too.

This site presents very clear navigation where you can choose your destination in some seconds if you know where you have to go. Click on Europe, Asia, North America or any other part of the world listed under the main search tool of the site, and you will pass to the page with the departure points. I like this solution. Sometimes, you do not know what airports are serving this or that direction and loose time and money booking the flights that are too far from you. It happened different times to me and that is why I appreciate it so much.

In case you do not know where to go this time, you can find different options on Travel.com.au where banners and photos present most interesting flights of the moment. There are flights on sale, cheap business class flights and other possibilities. What means it for you? It's that you can treat yourself with love: travel in business class at economy price, for example.

Do not forget to control very useful page of Travel Tools where all the useful information you need before you depart is collected. And in case you need help, you can call Travel Experts of the company. Travel.com.au is known for it's excellent client service.

18 February 2013

Reggio Emilia in Italy: About the Hotel

When I wrote here about our preparations for a travel in Reggio Emilia, Italy, I promised you to tell about the hotel I booked with Booking.com.You will remember that I was surprised by the excellent client service of this hotel booking company.

We went in Reggio Emilia on Febr. 9 and left it on Feb.10 after we visited the ornithological exhibition organized there. It was the second time we were in this city but we had not possibility to walk there and to visit at least the main streets first time. We had not too much time now, too, but we wanted to have a good relaxation evening.

Our hotel was situated really in the center of the old town and even if we did not know the way to reach it, we arrived there without any problem. There were problems with the parking for our car because there was not place on the little square behind the cloister where the hotel has it's parking. If we would not able to find a place, we had to pay for the parking place. For our fortune, we found enough space for our car even if not in regular spaces but they said us in the reception, there is not problem, we can leave it there.

Next morning, all the square was free! So, all those cars the evening before were not of the hotel's guests!

We came in the hotel when it was just night. The room was warm enough, there was a kitchen with a fridge in the room. My husband was despairing for the TV that he could not turn on. He even went in the reception but they confirmed the fact: the TV does not work.


We decided to go out and enjoy an evening in the Old Town. 




Some days after we turned home, I received a mail from Booking.com where I was asked to write my opinion about the hotel we booked. And some days later that opinion was published Student's Hostel della Ghiara

07 February 2013

Excellent Client Service of Booking.com

We have to undertake an other long long travel with our car in Reggio Emilia. This time, I was very determined: we have to go there one day and turn home the other day. I don't know how many km-s are between our town and this city but they are surely more than 500, and it's not clever to guide so much in one day. We were fortunate one time but it'as not a joke. So, I had to book a hotel.


I usually book hotels online. I have not preferences in sense of booking company and book the best offer that suits my desires. Normally, I prefer to have a minimum of comfort: a single room with a bath in it. Breakfasts in the hotels do not  seem good to me, so I prefer to have my breakfast in a bar.
It happened so that  I booked hotels with  Booking.com for my last voyages, and ones I choosed really terrible hotel in Milan. I wrote all I thought about this hotel when I turned home, and the company published my review after they controlled it meticulously.


This time I found a good for us room with Booking.com, too.
We will come in Reggio Emilia very late in the evening, and I was worried because I did not write about it when I booked the room. Sometimes, receptionists do not want to accept you if you come late, you know. It happened to me different times in Milan. So, I wrote "update" to my order just after I received a confirmation mail.

I was so much surprised when an employer from Booking.com called me next day to tell me that they solved my problem, and I can come whenever I want, in the hotel, and there is a place for the car nearby, too. They even sent me a map of the streets of Reggio Emilia with the explanation where the garage of the hotel is!

Never and never, I could expected such a client service from a hotel booking site.
Next time I'll tell you about this hotel.

29 January 2013

Which Dealer to Go to for a New Car?

There are literally hundreds of car dealers in Southern California, and if you’re like me, you ar e rarely in the market for a new car. Who can really afford a new one every year? Or even every two? I asked around, and I had a lot of friends who live near me who recommended a Nissan Dealer in Riverside . I went there and shopped around and was extremely pleased with the customer service and the attention I got from the salespeople. Believe it or not I even enjoyed the coffee!

 But I like to be diligent, so I also checked out the Nissan Dealer in Chino Hills. Also a fantastic experience, and one I would recommend for anyone. The salespeople let it be known that they were around, ready to help if I had any questions, but also not shoving paperwork in my grill saying buy buy buy, sign here, what are you waiting for. I did have questions and talked to a great, knowledgeable salesperson, who let me test drive a Sentra and an Altima, both in my price range.

 I was also happy to check out some of the Car Dealers In Pomona. They are nearby each other so it’s very manageable to do in one day. Basically, my advice is to visit a number of dealers and determine at which one you feel most comfortable. A lot can be said about the shopping experience as a way to determine if you should get a car somewhere. I mean, really, there’s no way to know what kind of car you are getting, so might as well go with a vehicle from a place where the people are nice and respectful. I found my experience at these three dealers to be very rewarding and I ended up going with a Sentra and I’m in love with it now!

17 January 2013

Naples and It's Catacombs

Naples is the city built over different kinds of caves. These are not only catacombs but passes, aqueducts, other holes. Some of them are opened for the visits but the most spectacular are without doubts catacombs and charnel grounds. I wrote about one of them in one of my previous posts (Catacombs of Naples - San Gennaro Catacombs ). Here are some words about an other place you can visit - cemetery of Fontanelle where bones of the persons dead during different plagues so frequent in centuries of the history of Naples are collected. They guess, there are bones of 40 000 persons in this cave actually. But those are only those found on the ground. Many of them were buried under the actual floor.

Residents "adopt" sculls, carry about them and ask them to help to solve their problems. And, this belief is alive today, too, the deceased really help. 





12 January 2013

Save Money on 2013 Holidays by Booking Ahead


If you’re feeling the pinch but you’re still desperate to go on holiday next year, don’t despair. There’s a whole host of affordable holidays out there that won’t break the bank. It’s just a matter of finding the one that suits you and your budget.

Summer 2013 might seem a little way off, but with a nip already in the air and many shops starting to advertise those dreaded Christmas gift ideas, you can bet your bottom dollar that the next few months will fly by in a whirr of cold dark nights, flashing Christmas lights and hazy New Year celebrations. Before you know it, Summer will be knocking on the door and you’ll be faced with a late deal or nothing.

The best way to save money on your next holiday is to book in advance. Whether you’re after a trip to the Caribbean or a no-frills holiday to Turkey 2013, make sure you book as far ahead as possible. Not only will you get to take advantage of tour operators’ special offers and discounts, you’ll also get longer to pay off the cost of your trip.

Take package holidays with Thomas Cook for example. As a major tour operator they’ve got significant buying power which means they can buy flight seats and hotel rooms in bulk, and pass on the savings to the customer. Most new seasons are launched with great fanfare and in typical travel agent style, this means advertising huge discounts and special offers such as free kids’ places. It might not be as spontaneous - or as cheap - as a late deal, but you’ll enjoy the full spectrum of availability and you’ll have that bit longer to save some spending money.

It’s generally considered the best and most sensible way to book a cracking holiday, and you’ll most likely save some serious money while you’re at it!

10 January 2013

Catacombs of Naples - San Gennaro Catacombs

Naples is very famous for it's catacombs. I heard about them many times and that is why I went to visit some of them when I knew they are opened for the tourists.

There are guided visits Saturday and Sunday but I can't go in Naples on weekends so I decided to explore them myself even if I was not very convinced about the safety of such a walk. They say, the district of Naples where catacombs are situating are not recommended for the visits. I had nothing valuable with me, and I had only a little photo camera even if I wanted to take my Nikon to have good shorts.

In any case, there was nothing "terrible" even if the district made bad impression for insanitary conditions of the streets.

The first I visited were San Gennaro Catacombs. These are like cathedrals or basilicas.


 Very interesting are not so numerous but antique frescos. They present different art styles. And they are the oldest Christian fresco of Campania while they come from the II century. These Adam and Eva I liked very much.Real Roman time art.


The other frescos are from IV century and later.




04 January 2013

Festive London: Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of London’s most magical hot (or cold!) spots at Christmas time, and if you’re planning a festive trip to the city then it’s a must do. As well as being one of the most beautifully decorated areas of London during December, Covent Garden also boasts some fantastic shops and market stalls ideal for indulging in a little gift shopping.

If shopping is on your mind, it’s fair to say that money may also be. Christmas shopping in the capital doesn’t come cheap, especially with so many lovely things tempting you to buy them, so why not try to keep costs down elsewhere?


Choosing budget accommodation for a festive trip to London can be a wise move. With so much to see and do in the capital it’s unlikely that you’ll be wanting to spend much time in your hotel room, so why spend a fortune on a bed for the night?


Browse online to see the wide range of London hotels that Travelodge offer and you’re sure to find low cost accommodation to fit in with your plans. There are 51 Travelodge hotels in the city centre, meaning that you’ll easy find the perfect location for your Christmas shopping plans. 


Travelodge Covent Garden is perfectly situated for visiting this London hot spot, as well as offering easy access to the attractions of Soho and Theatreland, and the myriad of shopping opportunities on and around Oxford Street.


Buying a budget room needn’t mean forfeiting location, and the Travelodge Covent Garden hotel is right in the heart of the action. The nearby Travelodge London Farringdon and Travelodge London Central Euston also make great choices.


The plans for Christmas 2012 in Covent Garden are still firmly under wraps, but a quick look back to previous years can give us hints as to what magical delights may await.


Last year saw Covent Garden transformed into a winter wonderland with the help of stunning illuminations. A festive lighting extravaganza lit up the piazza and market building, including giant chandeliers to add extra pizzazz to the festivities.


In addition, Covent Garden always boasts a giant Christmas tree with huge shiny red baubles, which was joined last year by a 32ft topiary reindeer.


Although dates haven’t been announced as of yet, the Covent Garden Christmas lights switch on usually takes place on or around November 10th, so keep an eye on the events calendar on the Covent Garden website for the announcement of a date to put in your diary.


For gorgeous gifts to pop under your own, slightly smaller tree, you’ll be spoiled for choice when browsing the market and shops of Covent Garden. For kids, find traditional toys at Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop, as well as niche character items in the TinTin and Moomins shops. For the chocolate lovers in your life, the Godiva chocolate shop is the place to stock up on delectable treats, and for those who love their sparkly trinkets, try Links of London.


There’s something for everyone at Covent Garden, meaning that you can get all your gift shopping out of the way in one fell swoop! Save on your London hotel room with Travelodge and you’ll have all the more cash to splash on gorgeous gifts to pile high under the tree!
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