Friday, April 23, 2010

The Damage

The eagle has landed...more like the boyfriend but here's the damage:

Feeling a wee bit guilty now. Probably shouldn't have sent two e-mails with lists.

Oh well :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

There's No Use Crying Over Spilt Milk

...but it is a little difficult trying to reconcile your expectations with reality.

I was supposed to have one of the most awesome weekends ever - in the end it turned into my bumming on the couch trying not to think about how much fun I could have had.

Well it wasn't as bad as I thought it was, but you kind of get this really strange feeling because you don't want to be upset (as there are people out there who have it worse than you... I mean seriously, people living near the volcano have to be evacuated, that is definitely worse than canceled travel plans...) but you just feel off. Like something is wrong and there is no way you can fix it because it is not even in your control.

I was supposed to go to Stockholm, but on Thursday morning a very "nice person" told me that there is not going to be any flights out of Oslo. I was kind of annoyed that first thing in the morning, somebody is raining on my parade, but "nice person" probably wanted to be helpful. True enough, the Oslo airspace started shutting down, canceling strings of flights and I was getting very anxious (my flight was on Friday).

A quick text to my travel companions resulted in the collective decision to wait until Friday and see if anything happens.

Friday morning we decided to cancel our hostel reservations. This was supposed to be my first trip where I stayed in a hostel to learn to not live in luxury. I mean I love hotels, to me it's part of the fun of traveling, but sometimes it would be good for the soul to see something different - good for the pocket too as hostels are like half the price!

Today is Monday and I am yet to call the airlines to find out how we can obtain the refunds for our tickets. I spent Saturday bumming around as well as hanging out with the nice couple whom I was supposed to travel with. We did a bit of walking around shops and had nice coffee/tea. I also learned how to knit, but I think I'm lousy at it.

Sunday, I stayed at home in pyjamas, reading, watching two movies back to back - Paiyaa and Pink Panther 2 - and cooking simple yet scrumptious Veggie Nachos as well as Pasta with Bacon and Red Pesto. It was a nice Sunday. I forced myself to skip the gym from Friday to Sunday as I figured I should rest and cheer myself up.

The other disappointing part is that the boyfriend is traveling. He was supposed to come to Stockholm and meet us there (myself + nice couple friends). He's still in San Francisco, hoping to get a flight out middle of this week. I hope that happens. He is normally the eternal optimist, but he does seem a little bothered as he's been away for more than a week now - the original plan was 6 days.

It's nobody's fault, so you can't really get angry either.

Oh well, this too shall pass. Things will get better and one of these days I'll go to Stockholm and write "I WAZ ERE" a la high school on some sand and then I'll feel better :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Ah Venice :)

Venice was beautiful. Here's a link to the photographs I took.

I shall write more about it soon :)

Well, I'd better write my memories now, before they disappear in the daily grind.

So we went to Venice from March 31st till April 4th. It was beautiful. We stayed in a beautiful hotel in Dorsoduro, so you kind of got the feeling that you were far away from the noisy touristy area, that is San Marco, Canareggio, San Polo, etc.

I have to say, the most frequently used word in Venice is "Marco". You hear it and you see it EVERYWHERE.

We went to the Doge's Palace which was very nice. It's amazing how luxurious and classy it looks on the outside, but on the inside it is actually split in two. You have the modest, practical looking floors where the middle class used to work. And then you have the opulent parts where the Nobels are. We did the Secret Itinerariestour and our tour guide was so enthusiastic, she verbally transported us to the 16th century. It was so much fun :) The tour of Cassanova's cell and her recounting of his "great escape" kind of makes me want to watch the movie "Cassanova". Not sure how good that movie is though.

The buildings in Venice are old. I get really spooked by old buildings - I don't know why. They have character and charm, definitely, but for some reason I keep thinking of ghosts and how they probably haunt these buildings. Overactive imagination, huh.

Now, although these buildings are old, I am in awe of how well they have been built - most of them are still standing after 6 or 7 centuries! Can't say that about buildings nowadays, can you?

When San Marco is empty, there's a certain sense of calm and tranquility about it. Since we were there on a Wednesday, it was quite relaxed and not very busy. Of course there were still tourists, but you could walk in the streets without bumping into anybody. The boyfriend and I strolled through the streets, me drooling at leather bags that I did not buy because they weren't exactly cheap, and I just didn't feel like spending money. I don't know why, the whole time I was there, I was quite thrifty - so unlike me :) We had the best gelato ever, at 1.50 Euro a scoop. Sometimes we paid a bit more, like 2 Euros.

(I don't mean to sound like a spoiled brat, but I always compare my expenses with Norwegian prices when I travel. See Norwegian prices are not bad, because you can earn enough to survive in Norway and you get used to how much Ringgit the things cost. But when you travel, you feel like everything is a lot cheaper..)

Apart from the main sistieres, we also went to Murano, Burano, and Torcello. These are three very cute islands in Veneto. We didn't spend much time in Murano apart from visiting a glass factory, but in Burano and Torcello we managed to take a quick walk around the island and get a feel for it. If I do get to go to Venice again (fat hopes, but hey, a girl can dream :)), I want to check out Lido island.