Autumn Poetry

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold” – Eidth Piaf

Decided to take a break from travel posts and try writing some speed poetry! I challenge you all to do the same. Choose a word, in this case ‘Autumn,’  and in few  minutes write the best poem you can, free verse, on what images it summons up for you! Criticism is welcome! Hope you enjoy, and have fun! I choose autumn because its almost here! Its already in the air!

An Autumns Day

The smell of crackling smoke that rises over petite houses,

The fresh pine breath of nature,

a frisky, fresh chill caressing you,

faint fleeting crystal white breath,

memories of mugs of steaming wintery teas,

and mulled drinks of exotic lands,

of cuddles and over sized musky smelling jumpers

of big thick, stacks of crinkly pages of books

that smell and read of another century

thats what autumn speaks to me,

and I await for it, with a the kettle ready,

and stack of books and jumpers waiting…

Bonjour l'automne  ♥

Hope you liked it! Poetry isn’t my strongest point, but I thought it was worth a try! 🙂

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Tips for Florence

Took this off my recent article for fear of length. Here are just the basics but more will be added.

Tips for Florence:

  • A night walk is recommended…preferably in the wee early hours of the morning…I’m talking 1-3 am. There is no massive pressing crowd, the majority gone. (To be SAFE please only do this if in the company of big no. of safe and known companions)
  • There is a table charge – usually 2 euros per person. Usually to avoid this, its best to supermarket and eat in a park, but we decided to treat ourselves – Italy in addition to many other things, is famed for its food, after all!
  • Try Gelato…I’m serious its a must! True for anywhere in Italy but my favorites were in Florence. My personal favorites -pistachio,peach/mango, goats cheese and fig.
  • Take into account waiting times for museums -even with bookings their are only shorter waiting lines.  For the Uffizi, around an 1:30 to 2:30 hours, the galleria around1 hour. They let 30 people in every 30 minutes. I think its a great policy, because even with that restriction its still quite crowded…I didn’t even want to imagine how it would be without the restrictions.
  • If you are from an EU country, bring your ID or passport! It gets you half price on museums. It’s worth it – 11 euros is a lot to pay, compared to 5.50 euros.
  • The red wine of the region is a must try!

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Exploring Florence

We rose early and rushed to the local bus stop to  catch the bus from Tavernelle to Florence. The four of us ended up just falling head over heels in love with the enchanting scenery we saw through the bus windows…the beautiful scenery of countless vineyards and rolling hills that seemed to have jumped off a postcard and stapled itself on our windows…then to a contrasting neglected building with Italian charm that had the lyrics of The Cures song ‘Friday I’m in love’, lovingly penned on a wall. Good music transverses all borders!

The view from the bus, of vineyards and green hills waving at us.

The view from the bus, of vineyards and green hills waving at us.

Then we arrived in to the destination – the city of Firenze.

We walked through the charming alleys were we succeeded in discovering the most beautiful structures and monuments with no intention…we ran into ivory figures in the midst of dramatic battles and stances…unknowingly we had run into the famed Piazza della Signoria  and barely a breath-span away, the  Loggia dei Lanzi.

Caught in the midst of depictions of mythology and proud statute animals guarding the stairs, I could have dared anybody to not be impressed – and I’m pretty sure they would have failed. Florence is a city for those who appreciate history, art and culture…those three epitomise the essence of the city. A replica of David was also in the piazza – it gives you a taste and prepares you for the real one in the Galleria dell’Academia.

Loggia dei Lanzi

Loggia dei Lanzi

One of the two marble Medici lions.

One of the two marble Medici lions.

The Rape of the Sabine Women - by Jean de Boulogne, or rather,  Italianized Giambologna!

The Rape of the Sabine Women – by Jean de Boulogne, or rather, Italianized Giambologna!

Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus - Giambologna again!

Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus – Giambologna again!

We waited in the shade by Cathedral Santa Maria Novella  for the free walking tour that had reached our ears through hostel brochures. Now an opinion…It was very well done, but had its cons: it was  a bit to crowded. You can get pushed to the end of the group and can barely hear much of what the guide was saying. What you do hear though, will be undoubtedly interesting. For example…What do you think these are?

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Santa Maria Della Novella

Santa Maria Della Novella

You are probably right..well, I wasn’t. I don’t know what I thought, but I was wrong. We were told they were the tombs of  nobles…In those days, in the extremely religious country, it was a common belief that the closer to a church you were buried…the closer you are to god and thus your chances of going to heaven are increased. And the nobles who had money for this, unsurprisingly paid for this privilege.

Another particularly interesting story…The church, Santa Maria Della Novella was funded by a rich businessman…on the condition that it features his name displayed on the church. His name was connected to his business which consequently flourished. This church, the guide had chuckled, had essentially worked as an advertising board in old Firenze!

We lost the group being charmed by the fresh fruits on display in one of the many stalls in the alley and were not really fussed about catching up. It was time to explore ourselves. Feasting on fresh figs and small peaches as additives to our breakfast of our lovely friends granola bars, we set of to explore on our way to the Uffizi museum.

The Uffizi museum.

The Uffizi museum.

Second breakfast time!

Second breakfast time!

Now, two warnings – there is a long line…secondly, don’t expect to take pictures. It is forbidden. I saw people with smooth hands who subtly managed to take mementoes on their phones. I tried – a friend was going to take a picture, I walked in the direction of the security guard preparing to ask him a question if he so much looked the way of the phone camera. And then before I could so much as glance at the guard, an echoing ‘click’ muted the hushed chatter in the hall for barely a second. Wincing, I turned around the same time the guard did. Idiotically wanting to distract him I asked him if you can’t take pictures, a fact any idiot with a brain can see advertised in the countless signs. He gave me a undoubtedly practiced dark look , reading my intentions and muttered ‘no,’ before raising his voice and instructing my friend to get out. We all panicked for a minute –  especially me. It would be my fault as I was prepared to explain…but fortunately my friend was only sent outside the room, and I subtly joined him under the guards dark stare, feeling guilty for even trying – like a little kid whose teacher had snapped at them. Obviously some people  are just not cut out for sneaky pictures. Trust me to not turn the sound off. A mistake… It ended relatively well, but I was still annoyed at myself for the whole scenario. Looks like no more forbidden pictures inside museums for me…I had learnt my lesson. I’ll just have to live off  fading memories, or better yet, the pictures my more subtle friends can take.

I can say  I would not have minded to see Ezio Auditore running on the rooftops, or that my mind may have wandered on multiple occassions to analysing how I could climb the countless bell towers and buldings with the hand-holds and ledges…I also may have been tempted to shout very loudly ‘ASSASSINO.’ I resisted, but barely. An aim for another day, when I return to my beautiful florence.

After the museum we set out for lunch, being thwarted and charmed by gelato! Onwards we continued and found a cute little restaurant in one of the many alleys. We sat down and scanned the menu. ‘Per mangiare.’ I assured the waiter, when he came, and we ordered what appealed to us. I choose a strange salad consisting of rucola, juicy raisins, sliced pears and percorino cheese. Mouthwatering. A clear winner.

A clear 10/10 I assure you!

A clear 10/10 I assure  😀

Then as we left, we did some shopping – looking at much needed shoes for one friend whose shoes looked as though they survived every war this century, looking at the leather the city is famed for, looking at suits to bookstores – as we passed by a certain suit/leather shop, a steaming pizza piled with cheese and cherry tomatoes, still warm teased us greatly sitting right by the door of the shop. The owner must have seen our wistful looks, because he tumbled out with one hand on his phone another on around his glass of sangria and cheerfully told us to try it! Suspicious, I smiled and posed a question I had become accustomed to saying and consequently seeking confirmation after traveling on such a tight budget. ‘Gratis?’

‘Gratis’ he laughed nodding.

We each took a piece, scanned the store out of courtesy, and tumbled away, covering our mouths as we spoke rushed ‘grazies’ He laughed and waved us off. How nice these Italians are to us! As we walked off it occurred to us that it was also an essentially brilliant manoeuvre to get people into the store – free pizza by the door! On another note, unsurprisingly it was an amazing pizza – a tiny slice offered for free by a random Italian business defeated many high establishment pizzas I had eaten in Australia or Dubai – not very sup rising. The Italians know how to do it.

We walked out of a bookstore, and I in the middle of examining what I had bought followed my friends shoes, my head bowed. The sun was radiant – that summer warmness that lathers everything with a sharp golden glow. Thundering, almost deafening but clearly atmospheric bells started ringing. As the chatter of people around me increased I finally looked up from the text and I assume my jaw dislocated and my mouth fell – the scene that graced me was only made more impressive by the fact that I had sorely underestimated Firenze and not expected such an awe-striking structure, and the fact that the boisterous bells were thundering all around the piazza accompanied by the sudden flurried flight of a crowd of pigeons, the tip of ones wing grazing my cheek . I was just in pure awe: gazing at the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. These simple words I write now, really can not breach what I experienced but hopefully they can at least give you an idea.

Santa Maria Della Fiore

Santa Maria Della Fiore

We returned back to the hostel, and spent the remainder of the night drinking cheap 2 euro wine from the store and just sucking in the atmosphere of the evening while digesting all the beauty and adventure we had had that day. Florence had certainly captured all our traveller hearts.

Till next post, with love, grand statues, magnificent basilicas and delicious pizza,

Maria xx

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Tales of Chianti

Our trip to Florence began with the decision to choose a hostel not in the centre, but in fact in the Chianti region surrounding Florence.

If that wasn’t a good decision, I don’t know what was…the hostel was brilliant…but getting there was the problem. Drama started immediately. Our Hostel was Ostello del Chianti…and we heard the good reviews and were excited to stay there, but just lacked the main knowledge…how on earth do we get there? We knew we needed to catch a bus as most people cited the only fault was the distance of the hostel from the centre of Florence, (in our eyes that was a sort of pro to see another side of the region) We, in a prime example of our lack of organisation, jumped on a bus google maps recommended..and about 10 minutes into the trip, on a bus going at quite a fast speed we came to the worrying realisation that it was the wrong bus.

Oh boy, did we panic. The ticket inspector had firmly told us that the bus was not heading the right direction…we needed Tavernelle…this bus wasn’t going there. We were bordering on panic. After a 20 hour boat trip from Split to Ancona, after exhausting ticket confusion from Ancona to Florence, we longed for showers and had only just barely discarded our massive backpacks before the trouble had started again. We just wanted to get to the hostel but had absolutely no idea what do do next.
My Italian was limited to a few phrases and an occasional helpful word. We felt stuck on a moving vehicle and not really sure where it was going…my panicking mind jumped to the worst- what if we ended up in another city and what of the cost it would take for us to come back to centre bus station to catch the right bus? The complications just piled on each other…Between panicked conversation with my friend, I spared occasional glances at the ticket inspector….he was speaking to the driver and making some calls on his mobile….was it about us?

Then almost at that same moment the though crossed my mind once more, he gestured to us and told us to put our bags on.

“We are getting off here. The bus going to Tavernelle will stop and pick you up”

We couldn’t believe it! He had saved us!The ticket inspector was simply put..the saviour of the day… He was under no obligation to, but he had helped us. He even waited with us! We piled out, and stood by the busy road under the scorching early afternoon tuscan sun.

As we waited the friendly Inspector shared with us an exciting and interesting list of things to try in the region.

“How long you girls here fore? 2 months, 3 months’?” He asked.

We fidgeted .”2″

“2 weeks, 2 months?”

Again we fidgeted, slightly embarrassed. “2 days”

“What? For Florence alone you need at least a month!”

We assured him next time we definitely planned to stay longer! We knew that is impossible get a taste of Italy and to not come back for more…especially in Florence! All I had seen of it was through my history books, and Assassin Creed and the jumbled rush to the bus that allowed us barely even a glimpse of the city…but all those together gave me the direct message that Florence was an amazing beautiful city with much to discover, that 2 days would barely scratch the surface of it. A month was the minimum. Saying that throughout our adventures we kept lengthening our time in Florence…2 days became 3, 3 became 4, 4 finally became 5 beautiful days, which I still barely consider to have skimmed the city. Florence I shall return!

Conversation continued pleasantly with the inspector.

“The red wine is a must!! You like red wine? Chianti red wine is beautiful! A local speciality! You are going wine tasting, yes?”

We affirmed that, and I practiced my most likely grammatically incorrect Italian and mentioned ‘L’aperitivo,’ a traditional custom I heard from a hostel worker in Milan.
He laughed amiably.”Ahhh you know of L’aperitivo! You speak true italian!”

Then before we knew it, the right bus had arrived! After many thanks we tumbled on the bus, finally set in the right direction. We finally arrived at the hostel!
The reception wasn’t open yet, but we lingered in the common room talking to our fellow hostel dwellers. Already, before we even checked in we made plans with others, preparing to cycle around to a wine tasting and maybe a medieval village the next day.

We checked in, showered, and with a new Canadian friend, us three set of to explore Tavernelle. A cute and charming small town, we walked past a cafe that offered wine tasting for 3 euros. Remembering what a girl at the hostel had said for the free wine tastings in the region, we decided to start with this. She had stated that they weren’t as pleasant as they should be. That when she had gone, they had barely had a chance to finish and savour the small portion in their glass before the next one was pushed down their throat. Also she disliked the pressure applied to them when it had finished to buy expensive bottles. She told us she would recommend paying for the ones that don’t rush you. Taking this insight into account we decided to walk in to this cafe.

It was charming. The interior was oh so old and italian. The people were incredibly friendly and they seemed eager to share the story of their wine empire. We tried four bottles of delicious red wine while the young man in charge told us the story of his family business, the attributes of each particular bottle, produced wine booklets and rankings where his wines were, talking about it all with such pride and passion it was a delight to listen. He was one of many sons and all were involved with the business. THe others at that moment were working in the fields, while it was his turn in the store/cafe.

A picture of one of the delicious Chianti red wines that we tried and the delicious plain focaccia behind it :)

A picture of one of the delicious Chianti red wines that we tried and the delicious plain focaccia behind it 🙂

We savoured and discussed, and just breathed in the atmosphere. The staff, being wonderful brought us out delicious plain focaccias and breads to enjoy with the wine, and later a delicious tomato focaccia all ‘gratis’! Also stories of the cafe were told. Apparently it was the oldest cafe in that city, and used to function as a stopover for many, in the old days when horses trotted through the stone streets.

A particular favorite was the 49, one of the wines highest in the ranking index. Absolutely delicious. The wines must have affected me, because being my painfully clumsy self I managed to not swirl the wine elegantly, but aggressively thrust it at the table, spilling it over a brochures. Sophiticatation at its finest. Even the young wine trader chuckled.

Overall it was a wonderfully pleasant experience! A definite recommended visit! It’s recommended on Trip Advisor so after I look through the wine-stained brochure, somewhere in my travel memories box, and find the name, I will leave the link here!

By this time we were hungry as hades! (I have this perk…i try to create my own sayings…I don’t know why Hades would be hungry? Was it just alliteration that caused me to choose that? I don’t know…moving on.) We asked at the hostel for a recommended place to eat and the lovely lady working gave us a map and recommended a local sort of community hall, where food was cheap, plentiful and delicious. We set off. The region was so beautiful. You can’t go for a 5 minute walk without running into beauty like this! I love running into amazing views like that.

Then I tried to utilise my italian to read the menu! (this time with success!) We all ordered pasta with pesto and fresh tomatos. As we waited we just savoured the atmosphere. Everybody seemed to know each other and there was the constant hum of conversation, beautiful Italian being sung at every occupied table.

The poster at the unoccupied side of the hall :) I felt nothing more would scream tourist than if I whipped my camera out and started snapping away at the busy tables, so I meerly took this quick picture as a keepsake.

The poster at the unoccupied side of the hall 🙂 I felt nothing more would scream tourist than if I whipped my camera out and started snapping away at the busy tables, so I meerly took this quick picture as a keepsake.

When the food came we were in heaven. It was the best pesto I have ever tasted! Only 3.50 euros, but it was a dish I could swear by!

Then we went back to the hostel, and did the traveller thing…talked to fellow travellers, from interesting guys from Madrid, awesome girls from America and Australia, to even some lovely Canadians. Then making plans to go to the city of Florence tomorrow we retired to our rooms for a good and well deserved rest! Alarms set, windows open for the barely there night breeze we drifted off.

Maria xx

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Winter Loves

Ever since I began watching/reading A Song of Ice and Fire I openly use the expression that I’m a summer child. I love summer…swimming, not wearing 10 layers of clothes, wearing my summer dresses, actually being able to make myself get out of bed on time! I simply adore summer. Winter is beautiful as well…but not my cup of tea, I guess. Summer is  greatly preferred!  Yet Winter is reaching it’s end soon (sort off…maybe my hopes are too high) so I thought I’d do a quick “Things I Love Doing During Winter.” (Despite my preference of summer, there are quite a few winter loves I have)

And so, in no particular order my winter loves…voila!

1. Scented Candles.

I’m generally a huge scented candles fan but winter is my 1# season! I go crazy! Especially the warm vanilla, winterberry and cinnamon scents! Yum!

2. Snow!

From photography, skiing to snowball fights! Some things won’t change!

3. Watching the snow fall.

There’s something so serene and beautiful about seeing a familiar (or unfamiliar) landscape covered in softly falling snow.

4. Cuddly Blankets.

Nothing better than a warm soft blanket to cuddle inside in with whilst watching a good movie or reading! Bonus points if combines with 5#

5. Big books &  winter teas.

Imagine a beautiful stormy winters day. And reading a wonderful huge book whilst sipping a lovely cup of tea….Need I say more? 😉 Heaven…

6. Winter Knitwear (usually from the mens section)

Winter in my opinion is a season created specifically for knitwear  Or I guess you could view it the other way round, I’m not too fussed, but either way the two are simply made for each other!

Now I’m a girl and I regulary in Winter buy men clothes…hey! The patterns are cooler – I don’t need 500 grams of sparkles. I like nice winter earthy tones; dark blues and reds and greens. And what catches my eye is the mens section, where they actually exist! I also don’t need a jumper that exists to suffocate you. I usually prefer quite oversized jumpers espeacilly since in winter you’re likely to be wearing multiple layers under that! 😛 To me an oversized jumper is a good jumper!

I’ve noticed that they’re suprinsgley also usually better quality with higher amounts of wool…etc. In the shops I frequent the girls section have a lower percent while mens wear is commonly higher… full to 50%, but commonly at 80%.

9.The  atmosphere of a beautiful fire.

10. Baking.

I always bake in winter…I love it! Especially Christmas cakes and cookies. This also unfortunately also explains my winter weight gain…

11. Going to cafes…

I love the winter cafe atmosphere. I either go with friends and family…or my myself even with a good book.

12. Winter drinks.

Hot chocolates varieties…mulled wines…(warm apple cider which i have yet to try but heard its good)…the list goes on and on. Make cafe’s even funner!

Your turn now! Are you a summer child or a fan of winter? Either way, what are your winter loves?

Maria xxx

Some of my 2013 winter photography

Another 2013 winter photograph

A photo I took this winter of a lovely landscape covered in snow.

A photo I took this winter of a lovely landscape covered in snow.

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2013 New Year Travelutions

Happy New Year all! (albeit belated) I hope you all had wonderful new year celebrations, are incredibly excited to start the new year and that 2013 will be full of adventures & joyous wonderful moments!

The new year seemed like it’s the checkpoint I was waiting for – now last year seems like a different life. Now all my planning is taking top speed and now my ‘dreams’ and wish-lists, all endlessly compiled during my break moments last year are finally coming into action! I’m relatively free to experience the world, to have adventures big and small and in between,  to create, suck up knowledge, read, play music, watch films, and in general enjoy myself and live to the fullest…and of course indulge fully in my greatest love: travel!

Packed & Ready!

Packed & Ready!

Oh yeah…I’m ecstatically excited.

Adventures await and I decided that I should be some what organised with my plans – otherwise I’ll just spend my un-defined time re-reading A Song of Ice & Fire, watching Death Note and How I Met your Mother reruns and baking…(a lot!) (Well…not that there’s anything wrong with those!) 😛

This year I’m in Europe and oh boy do I plan to travel! My official plan to travel throughout Europe commences in February…so now I figure I’ll be physically able to start checking some of these dreams and must-have-adventures off my list!

I have a much bigger list on general ‘adventures to have (a.k.a. Things to Do Everything & Anything),’ to be posted later this month…but it’s just too big to accomplish this year where I’ll essentially just be in Europe. For that reason I took a some of the European centred adventures from my list with the aim of checking them off this year! I had to be choosey espeacilly considering certain events overalping and my lack of teleportation skills! This is not by any means all I want to do with my 2013 European trip, (I have a colossal list of places to visit/things to do in Europe safely wandering in my head) but this is a simple collection of a few main events/things that I plan to with my utmost determination to experience this year!

So without further ado, here are my 2013 New Year Travelutions! ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈

(Prone to many more additions!*)

  1. Cycle in Amsterdam with no destination in mind
  2. Croatian Island hop
  3. Go on a horse tour in Italy
  4. Attend the Carnival di Venezia
  5. Do a Pub Tour in Prague
  6. Visit Barcelona’s architectural masterpieces
  7. Visit Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
  8. Drink one beer mug at Oktoberfest
  9. Attend the Ivrea Orange Festival, Ivrea, Italy, (8 Mar 2013)
  10. Get lost in Venezia
  11. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  12. Learn to Scuba Dive
  13. Cycle through provence-alpes-côte d’azur
  14. Go Sky Diving near trakoscan castle in Croatia
  15. Visit the Catacombs of Palermo, Italy
  16. Go on a Husky Sled Tour to see the Northen Lights
  17. Attend Glastonbury Music Festival (last week in June.)
  18. Learn flamenco dancing in Andalucía, Spain
  19. Experience white nights in Leningrad
  20. Volunteer & make a difference
  21. Attend the Mera Luna Festival in Germany
  22. Go to the 2013 Rock en Siene festival in France
  23. Attend La Tomatina, Buñol, Valencia, Spain (29 August)
  24. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) in Ireland
  25. Watch CALCIO STORICO, Florence, (Italy 24 Jun – 24 Jun 2013)
  26. Visit Pisa.
  27. Visit Postojna cave,  Slovenia ✓
  28. Explore Montmartre, France
  29. hang glide/ canoe in Switzerland,
  30. Experience the view from a sunset stroll to Piazzale Michelangelo
  31. Visit Murano island in Venice
  32. Wander through Vienna
  33. Ski in the Croatian Platak.

And there are a few other resolutions that I can now devote my time to as well! So here are some General 2013 Resolutions

  1. Finish a Movie Script
  2. Learn Italian (to a fluent level)
  3. Finish a novel
  4. Improve at Guitar
  5. Create an underwater photography album
  6. Start painting again.

Life has began – cliché undoubtedly, but still true!

Do you have any new year travelutions? If you can think of any wonderful events/places that should definitely be on the list and please share!

With love, packed suitcases and many exciting adventures to come,

Maria xxx

One of my secret loves: vintage travel posters!
stock-graphics-vintage-travel-posters-0105

vintage travel poster london england travel063vintage travel poster venice italy

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If I could live in another time…

Firstly I have to confess that as bad as my view of this ‘modern’ world can appear to be at times, I honestly don’t mind the time I live in today and feel honestly blessed to live in a time of internet, advanced medicine and decent hygiene and sanitation. (well…only in some parts unfortunately.)

But I always find myself wondering, however randomly and out of the blue, what  it would be like to live in another place, another time…and how much I would undoubtedly enjoy  it…(any one else out there?) Fitting concerning my musings, I decided to make this idea the theme of this post – If I could live in another time for  lets say a decade, what time and what places would I choose (at this current moment, with my current favorites and knowledge – I have to admit though, I haven’t done as much research as I should if I was to ever (hopefully) be faced with a decision like this, so I am aware as for my chosen times and places, along with the many pro’s there will always be cons, as is common with most of history)

To be honest though,  the majority of my infatuation with some of these times is probably because in my head the idealized version and situation lives there. While I’m positive many would love to be, lets just choose a random time,  an 18th Austrian princess or prince none of us would like to be the impoverished Austrian peasant……

If I had a time machine and could visit places for short periods of time as many times as I want, my destinations would be unlimited. I’d travel to every time and everywhere to try and experience as much as possible as you do when visiting a foreign country and try to build up to that impossible goal that you can always strive to but never reach:  to  fully experience all the world has to offer.

So anyways,  back to the post, if I could only choose just  three times/places to experience for a decade, I would choose the the  following three. They are in no particular order are based on the assumption that I would be be an ordinary middle class lass in her 20’s for the span of the  chosen decade… not a continuously time-hopping era-pirate unfortunately;

1.  The 60’s, America

There is the accepted image of the oh-so-very general summary of the 60’s  that involves mainly the atmosphere, the people, the activism and of course THE MUSIC! It was a wonderful time, but it did also have it’s cons (Vietnam War undoubtedly for example) and it is not necessarily the completely perfect idealistic image of revolutionary antics and easy going protests as many think, but I would love to live in this time for the atmosphere, people and well, for the main aspect which draws me to this time…simply, the music. The majority of those who I classify my favorite artists were musical pioneers during this time – I would love to be one of the young girls going ballistic over the fab four at one of their concerts, I would love to see and hear The Doors LIVE, the stones, The Seekers, to be alive and present for Woodstock! It was a static revolutionary storm atmosphere with it’s own soundtrack and I would have loved to be part of it.

2. 1920’s, Paris

Midnight in Paris is  one of my favorite films for its music, its whimsicalness and how it effectively re-introduced me to this era and opened my eyes to the wonderful atmosphere and brilliant persona’s of that time present in Paris.

I would love to live in 1920’s Paris, or the “Années Folles” as it was refereed to in French for many reasons: I adore the fashion of 1920’s Paris, the culture, the jazz, the interesting artists, the rise of surrealism,  the change in women’s status,  all of this coupled with the embezzling charm and beauty of Paris, the literary aspect of the writers living in Paris, for example some of those Americans in Paris, who are some of my favorite writers and personalities in general: Hemingway, the Fitzgeralds, the writers like them and Stein who are “Generation Perdu,” The Lost Generation…To be present in a time just overall endorsing the wonderful joie de vivre and exciting creativity!

3. Late 19th Centuary – early 20th centuary, Egypt

great-pyramids-egypt-100723-02

*The timing would be a decade but I’m not sure when exactly – currently I’m inclined to the 1890’s.

Thinking about this now, I must consent that there’s probably a reason why  The Mummy is also one of my favorite films. Nothing cinematographically that revolutionary, breathtaking or even super emotionally tolling about it,  but simply its plot is buried (no pun intended)  in one of my favorite subjects! Egyptology!

When I was around 5 I discovered my love of …well everything about Ancient Egypt. I remember sitting on the kitchen counter and quizzing my befuddled mother about Egyptian gods and goddesses and the importance of papyrus.  My love of the past, of people & their culture originated from my original infautation with Ancient Egypt, and there have been many a days where I wished I could have been an archeologist during the times of Egyptmania  I always loved archaeology because it encompasses my thirst for history and answers, for mysteries waiting to be solved and new ones in their place.  I always loved how it made history seem like a puzzle,  carefully piecing together a story of a civilization through discovered artifacts! (Emphasis on carefully though.. Were those charred remains really a sacrificial religious locations or simply a common diner gathering..?)

Female egyptologists like Amelia Edwards are my heroes and it is no surprise that Anthropology and Archaeology are still on my list of possible careers.  I just always wished that I was born during this time so I could be one of the lucky ones present during  height of Ancient Egyptian curiosity,  when there was still so much to experience and rediscover!

I can imagine the atmosphere; one of excitement, sand stinging your eyes, on the brink of a new discovery , the musky chemical smell of tombs that had not been opened for centuries, the delight of discover, holding a glistering torch through a damp, dark and narrow passage, staring at a wonder from another time. Of course this serves as my personal blatant Romanticism of the whole experience:  one must not forget the sweat and dirt, the sexism and disspaointment that one would experiance more freuquantly than the excitement above – but for me it would be worth it.

That new atmosphere of excitement, of re-discovering tidbits from history from another time, another civilisation. Eh I love it!

It’s your turn now! If you could live in any three places, at geographic location, at any particular time, where and when would you choose?

With lots of love, cobwebs and glittering Egyptian tombs,

Maria xx

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