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text 2017-05-14 16:53
The Sunday Post: Clachnaben

Happy Sunday!

 

In a spontaneous turn of events, a couple of friends invited me to join them on a hike yesterday. I was at their house waiting for the tow truck to take my broken down car to the garage when they came up with the idea of walking up one of the many, many, many hills around this part of the world. So, of course, I was delighted - even tho the prospect of getting up early for outdoorsy exercise after a night of drinks and nibbles (it was Eurovision night last night!) was a bit daunting. 

 

I needn't have worried. I woke up freakishly early (you know that waking feeling when you're trying to decide whether a hangover will develop or not?), made sandwiches and coffee, and dug out my hiking boots.

 

I haven't been hiking properly for about two years (and am not the fittest of people), so this really was a bit daunting but the company was great and we got there early enough to have a lot of time to make our way up the hill.

 

 

Clachnaben (Gaelic for "rock on the hill") looks pretty impressive but it is still classed as a "hill", not a munro. The ascent, however, was pretty challenging - well, it was for me - and changed between wide paths to very narrow ones on the edge of steep slopes, from smooth to rocky steps and rubble.

 

 

By the time we made it to the top, I was done for.

 

 

The views made up for the effort, tho:

 

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text 2017-04-17 00:50
NUART Festival

It's Sunday. 

 

I could have read all day. I could have made soup. However, on the spur of the moment, I met up with a friend for tea, gelato (somebody had to taste my favourite gelateria's new mojito flavour), and a wander around an art exhibition. The twist was the artworks were mostly murals and graffiti that has been commissioned all around town.

 

It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday, scavenging for art. There were lots of other people who had the same idea, and after a while we delighted in seeing the same groups all over town. It meant we were close to another exhibit.

 

We also discovered a few works that were not part of the current NUART project, but that was equally astonishing.

 

I'll add some of the pictures I took below without further comment.

 

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This last one, Emile Sande, is probably not part of the current project, but I thought it was beautiful. Right in the city centre, in a park that was recently saved by public vote against refurb into a glorified car park. Love it.)

 

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text 2017-03-17 23:31
Milanese Adventures

I'm back home with a sodding cold so I wanted to post this before retiring with a hot beverage.

 

The work part of the trip went better than expected and we ended up with a little bit of time to go exploring and indulge in some of that lovely, lovely Italian food. I won't torture you guys with pictures of the food, but thought I'd share some of the snaps I took when visiting the Duomo. It is such a magnificent building. The masonry on the outside alone is just astounding - none of the images seem to be the same, some tell a story, some are cautionary (as befits the use in a church), and some were actually funny.

 

 

Impressive, isn't it? No wonder it took about 600 years for the church to be completed.

 

And when, after some queuing, we finally got to look inside, it just took my breath away...

 

 

 

 

Check out that organ! It's the second biggest in Europe (after the one in Passau). It has two parts - one of each side of the altar. I can only imagine the sound this would create.

 

 

The weirdest thing was that there did not seem to be any point from where you could take in the whole of the interior. Whenever you moved, a new section of the interior would be revealed. For example, you can't really see the magnificent windows from the entrance. You have to go all the way to the back, and as you move forward, you discover sculptures and other parts like the entrances to the crypts below. 

 

 

It was such an awesome place. Literally.

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text 2016-10-23 20:44
The Sunday Post

Hello,

 

First off, I'm sorry but there is no Sunday Soup post today. I just came home from the airport and it's too late here to make soup.

 

Second, I had a great couple of days away. My work commitments finished at lunchtime on Friday, which meant I had an early start to the weekend and as I was in Italy anyway, I just tried to make the most of it by taking the train from Milan to Como.

 

Unfortunately, one of the charms of Italy is that people tend to go on strike a lot. While Italians are kinda used to it, visitors tend not to find out until the last minute. For me this meant a complete change of plans because there were no trains from Milan to Como on Friday. There was no public transport on Friday, and although the strike was supposed to finish at 5pm, I really didn't want to rely on the Italian train service being up and running again from 5 onwards. So, there was only one thing for it..... Hire a car and drive. Amazingly, I didn't panic or crash. Yay! Also, I am now convinced that having driving in Italy - which, if you have not experienced it, is CRAZY - I'm ok driving anywhere, because lanes and signs are really recommendations only......

 

Anyway, I did make it up to the Italian Lakes without much hassle and managed to spend a couple of days relaxing and being a tourist.

 

 

The weather wasn't too great, but hey, it was warmer than at home and the autumnal colours were magnificent!

 

 

I only had a day and a half but I tried to do a little bit of everything. The main thing for me was the lake, however. I've wanted to visit Lake Como for years, and even though I have seen many other parts of Italy, I had never managed to add this region to the itinerary.

 

 

Happy (non-Soup) Sunday!

 

BT

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text 2016-10-19 01:24
Heads up....

Buona sera,

 

Just as a heads up, I will be out of town for a few days. In case I'm not responding to messages and posts, I haven't left BL or anything, I'm just trying to burn the candle at both ends and make the most of this work trip.

Should be back on Sunday night unless I get lost, which is always a possibility as I am going to try and add some adventure to the whole thing.

 

BT :)

 

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