Thursday, 21 August 2014

Days 486 to 489: The Midwest Mini Roadtrip

Mount Rushmore is 939 miles from Chicago. I know this because Google Maps tells me so. And because I drove there.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Days 484 to 485: Chicago

We spent four days in Montevideo: nice, but a little dull. We three days in Lima: one would have been more than enough. And we spent three days in ghastly Naples. Yet we spent barely two days in Chicago, wonderful, cool, beautiful, exciting Chicago. What the hell?

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Days 475 to 479: Toronto and the Donuts

Every now and again in a man's lifetime, something very special happens. A moment of magic that changes everything, so that everything else in that lifetime can be measured as pre- or -post event. In Toronto, that happened to me. I discovered this:

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Days 469 to 474: New York

Here are some facts about New York.

1. It is a city. A big city.
2. It is made up of five districts, or boroughs as they are called here. They are Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island, but the only one visitors care about is Manhattan. Some of them occasionally pretend to be interested in Brooklyn, but they're not really.
3. Manhattan is stuffed full of skyscrapers, many of them very famous. Other cities also have a lot of skyscrapers but none of them are as cool as Manhattan's. As far as is possible with skyscrapers, which are a concept that only became possible in the late 19th Century, Manhattan has historic skyscrapers. Seven of them were, at one point, the tallest buildings in the world.
4. Danielle and I were there, from Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th July.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

As the last review, on the Sagrada Familia, might have suggested, we were in Barcelona. But only for a few days. Originally, the plan had been to spend a couple of weeks in northern Spain, then pop back to Scotland for a weekend of weddings, before continuing the travels. But for the last few months, Danielle's wisdom teeth have being causing her a lot of discomfort, and so we decided to pop back to Scotland for a couple of weeks. She had a couple of her wisdom teeth removed, and we spent a lovely week up north, in the country, at my mother's house.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Days 459 to 466: Rome

Rome. It's quite a famous city. It may be the most influential city of all time. The Romans turned it into the most fabulous city in the world two thousand years ago, and ever since then it's been on a roll. The Catholic Church set up shop there, Renaissance art flourished, and spaghetti carbonara was invented. It was the very obvious capital for a unified Italy from 1870. It's had its ups and downs, but there's no doubt Rome has lived a very full life. The evidence is all around. Rome is packed full of history, monuments, ruins, all gloriously spread across the city like juicy currants in a hot cross bun.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Days 454 and Day 456: Pompeii and Herculaneum

This is not a nice mountain.

Days 455 to 458: Sorrento

Sorrento is a coastal holiday town on the edge of the bay of Naples, about an hour in a dreadful train away from the dreadful Naples. It's... ok.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Days 452 to 454: Naples

Naples is an absolute dump. Finally, Italy doesn't deliver.

Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Siena, Perugia, Milan, Verona, Venice, and Bologna: all were wonderful, all I would happily return to. Even Genoa I'd happily spend some more time in, although I think Danielle would leave me to it. But Naples. Oh, Naples. Am I still in Italy? Is this still Europe? Or have I been transported to somewhere in the third world, a city piled high with rubbish and patrolled by people who look like they've just failed the auditions for Jersey Shore?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Days 450 to 451: Bologna

"Where are you off to next?" the Hilton receptionist asked, upon check-out.
"Ah, the city of arches!"
"Uh... yes?"