A Travellerspoint blog

Today: Caesar's Rome!

sunny 28 °C
View Europe 2010 on tracebc's travel map.

Today was great! It cooled off considerably with fluffy white clouds breaking up the intense sun and a breeze came through. We wandered to the pantheon (an old pagan temple converted to a bunch of statues of saints). Some really interesting statues inside.
We did a bit of shopping (I now own a new Italian leather purse) and then in the afternoon we did a tour of Caesar's Rome. It was incredible! The colosseum is amazing although smaller than I expected (at least it's bigger than Stonehenge) but more amazing was the forum. It's massive and there are so many ruins! Between the colosseum and the forum was a trip to some church (St Peter's in chains?) where they have the chains that were used on Peter and Michelangelo's Moses. This whole Polish group was singing to the chains. I find relics like that creepy but the
Moses was neat. I'm not too fond of skeleton statues either.

We watched a very cheesy 3d movie at the end that I wouldn't even force my students to watch when we learn Rome. The outdoor cafes are entertaining as opposing waiters try to suck you in. Overall. I'm much more impressed with Rome than I thought. Aunty Lorraine, you can send private messages to me through facebook but i' glad the doctor said she was doing ok! I'm off on the cruise tomorrow so don't know when ii'll update again. Take care & be good!

Posted by tracebc 11:20 Archived in Italy Comments (0)

Day one: Rome

sunny 33 °C
View Europe 2010 on tracebc's travel map.

We arrived with good time last night! Just a quick update. The upgrade on the flight made sleeping easier!
We walked to the fountain nearby last night as well as some other nearby sights. There are thousands of kids here - today they'd taken over the vatican - most are German. Speaking of the Vatican, I found bobble head popes! (And you thought it couldn't be done.) we did a hop on hop off tour today and have a Caesar's Rome tour tomorrow. It's hot, but not uncomfortably hot.
That's all for now!
Trace

Posted by tracebc 06:29 Archived in Italy Comments (2)

Europe 2010

Soon the journey begins...


View Europe 2010 on tracebc's travel map.

Here's the map of my upcoming trip:

Stay tuned!

Posted by tracebc 22:04 Comments (1)

San Francisco, Summer 2009

Sun and Fog

sunny 22 °C
View Summer 2009: San Francisco on tracebc's travel map.

This summer's excursion was to San Francisco. Although the travel books and several people said that San Francisco was cold and foggy, and we did have fog, as you can tell in the photos, the weather was actually very nice. We stayed near Union Square, which is, I guess, above the early morning fog of Fisherman's Wharf, so most days were comfortably warm. (I should have brought sun screen!)

On the first day, we took a walk down to the Ferry Building, where I was greeted by a friendly seagull posing for a picture:

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We headed back to the hotel for a quick nap, and took the cable car up, and down, and up, and down, and up, and down, to Fisherman's Wharf. It was getting cool and foggy, and the wind picked up. After a meander, we got in the long line for the cable car:

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The car right before ours broke down, so we had to wait until the special cable car tow truck (a) came and (b) towed the car to the top of the hill, so it wouldn't roll back down and crash on the next car. What was most entertaining was watching all the people in line who either forgot or didn't know that San Francisco got cold and windy in the evenings.

The next day, we toured the city with Tower Tours. Because the fog was higher than the water, we could only see the bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge:

bridgeinhighmist.jpg

Also, because the fog was high, we couldn't go to Twin Peaks to take pictures of the city (all we would have gotten was fog), so the driver took us to the coast instead - to Cliff House, overlooking Ocean Beach, the old Sutro bathhouse ruins, and Seal Rocks.

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After that, we took a tour through the fancy areas of San Francisco, and stopped to take some pictures of the Painted Ladies on Steiner Street, right across from Alamo Square:

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We rolled by Lombard Street, and a cable car kindly positioned itself at the top of the street for a photo op:

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After a bit more touring, (pictures weren't great because of the windows on the bus), we ended up at Fisherman's Wharf, ate our first lunch at an offshoot of the Boudin sourdough bakery (clam chowder and a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough for me), and then took a trip to Alcatraz. The boat trip was fun, but I'll have to admit I wasn't too impressed with the history of the place. This was a neat shot of some of the old ruins, though:

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Also, this man, J.B. Albright, was there signing his book about being the last guard off the island when it closed:

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(I thought he looked too kind to be a guard.)

We then headed back to the hotel, this time using the F line - the trolleys, rather than the cable car.

The next day, we took the cable car once again to Fisherman's Wharf (this time, in a cable car reported to have been used by Humphrey Bogart when he was in the city - this information was carved in the rafters at the front of the car). We took a spur-of-the-moment tour on a cable-car wannabe (a bus decked out like a cable car), which was better than the other tour, as the windows were open for better pictures, and he took us to different locations, including over the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped first to look up at the bridge from the south side:

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and also took some pictures of the city from this vantage point as well:

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Then we went over the bridge and looked at things from the other side, including a nice shot of the Bay Bridge:

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This is a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, looking directly at it from the north side viewing area:

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We toured through the Presidio (nice forests) and wandered through some more streets and looked at some impressive mansions along the way. Afterwards, we ate lunch at the original Boudin bakery (this time, clam chowder and a turkey-havarti sandwich on a sourdough roll; MUCH better than Cobbs!).

We headed back to the hotel, and I took a meander to Macy's, although I wasn't impressed with their selection, which was probably good as we only had carry-on baggage.

On Thursday, we took the cable car up to the top of the hill and then walked over to Chinatown:

chinatownlantern.jpg

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After poking through some of the tourist stalls along the street, I did some more shopping (again, not too much in terms of selection), and ended up at the bookstore. I bought Wicked, which a friend had said was better than the musical. (So far, I'm half way through it, and not only is it better than the musical, it is entirely different. Entirely. (But I digress.)) We then went back to Fisherman's Wharf for dinner.

Friday morning involved wandering around the Union Square area and relaxing until our 12:00 checkout time, followed by a walk to BART and a journey through Oakland back to the airport. After an hour's wait because a mechanic had to come and check the plane following its bird strike (the plane won), we headed back to Bellingham, and back home.

Posted by tracebc 01:19 Archived in USA Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Oregon Coast


View Summer 2008: The Oregon Coast on tracebc's travel map.

Here are my photos from the Oregon Coast. Just a few of them!
(See my photo gallery for larger pictures: http://www.travellerspoint.com/photos/gallery/users/tracebc/ )

Newport

The beach:
oregon.jpg

The beach again:
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I got my feet wet soon after this next picture:
oregon-1.jpg

I figured an art deco bridge should be in sepia tones:
oregon-3.jpg

Closeup of a sea lion hanging out on a pier in Newport:
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Lighthouse
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Agate Beach, a wonderful little beach with mini sand dunes:
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Bandon - the not-so-nice zoo (Animals are in small cages, making for great photos, but sad animals.)

A sleeping lion:
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These guys run around in a little "gang" amongst the people. They're very skittish: the bear, in a cage, will lunge at them to try to catch lunch, and they'll take off, thinking he can catch them:
oregon-8.jpg

Baby panther, waiting to be petted:
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Winston - the good wild animal safari park (Well worth the visit - you drive through it in a car, and only have to have the windows down when you go through the bear section.)

Antelope-like guys - I love his expression:
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Baby buffalo, guarded by mommy's hoof (and an abundance of flies hanging around mommy). One of her friends got in front of Darrin's car and licked his bumper. We got stuck in the middle of the herd for about five minutes before they moved enough to get through. They seem to enjoy this immensely:
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Near the duck pond:
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Zebras:
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A black bear exploring the bulrushes:
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Can you find the giraffe? He's hiding:
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Emu? Ostrich? Hmm. Whatever he is, he tried to stick his head in the car to check out the interior.
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Cannon Beach

Haystack Rock and the beach:
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Another shot, a little less foggy:
oregon-19.jpg

My mark in Cannon Beach:
oregon-18.jpg

Posted by tracebc 09:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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