Indian food in Amsterdam
A bottle of Kingfisher beer waiting from my Tandorri Chicken (I know it's probably not a real Indian dish but I like it)
I have been very quiet and I am sorry for that but since we checked out of the Hotel on June 19th (almost a month ago) we have not had full internet here at the apartment. We just got our FASTWEB connection last Monday and so I hope to be blogging a bit more regularly. Where to begin?
Still loving it here in Torino at our apartment which is pretty much finished as far as decorations and such.
We have been funishing the place with IKEA for the most part. We know that stuff isn't really meant to last but it seems to go well in this apartment space and it's relatively inexpensive (nothing here is inexpensive, believe me). The last few things have been ordered and will be delivered in the 1st week in August, just before the region goes on holiday.
We haven't just been working in the apartment. We have found time to travel around so lets talk about that a bit.
Joe, our youngest son, was with us for almost two months. He left to go back to the USA about two weeks ago. Reason: his internship in Hong Kong fell through so he had
A view from Vondel Park
to scramble to find another so he could officially graduate. That caused him to need some software that we did not have here so his only recourse was to head back to Boone NC, where he is still officially a student at Appalachian State, and use the design lab tools to finish his portfolio so it could be distributed to other prospective companies.
Anyway, before he left we had a great time together. Not only in Torino but I also hooked up with him for 4 days in Amsterdam in late June. That was a blast. I really love that city too. I'm not comparing it to Torino just saying that it has its own charm. We saw the Rembrandt House, Van Gogh & Rijks Museums had some great Indonesian and Indian food and visited some truely awesome parks. The biggest highlight for me was the fact that it is truely a city that respects bicycling. You really can't beleive just how many bikes there are and how many people ride them in this city, it is truely amazing. Pretty much every road has a corresponding lane reserved for bicycles and riding them is taken very seriously.
Joe an I
spent a great 4 days there and as you will see from the pictures I posted we covered a lot of the landscape. I will definately be back there during our stay in Europe, especially since it's just a little over an hour and a half away by plane.
After Joe and I returned to Torino we did a lot of walkin and biking around trying to visit out-of-the-way places. We also worked in a 2 day trip with Debra to Pisa, Cinque Terre and Positano. The night before we left for the weekend we walked downtown for a dinner out. We settled on a resturaunt called Mazzini which is on Via Mazzini, just behind the old hotel. The food was just ok. I had a risotto with porchini mushrooms. It was fair but we were looking forward to our travels so we weren't phased by a mediocre meal. Problem was the the next morning I woke up with a bad case of hives (so I am allergic to something but don't really know what yet). Our train was leaving at 1130. I had to bike down to a farmicia to get something because I didn't pack any antihistamine. I
was given Formicin. I won't get into the gorey details but this trip was not the best for me. I was out most of the time sleeping in Pisa. Cinque Terre was beautiful but I couldn't walk very far and that place is meant to be walked. I am going back when I am better it was just stunning. Positano was much better than the Universal replica but we had bad timing and visited the harbor when no eateries were open so we will have to re-visit that as well. Anyway, I have posted some pics that should show the positive side of this place.
Joe left not long after that trip which was about 2 weeks ago. We really miss him and his brother Jason. I hope they can both come back very soon. Last week Debra had a business trip to Rome and I tagged along. I was feeling much better. Hives were gone, still a little uncomfortable but I was able to get around. We stayed at the Marriott Fiore at the top of Via Veneto very near the Villa Borgese and the surrounding parks. I did a lot of walking while Deb was at her meetings.
Bicycle Parking Garage
Full to the brim - I have no idea how anyone finds there bike?
Tried to get tickets for the Villa Borgese but they were sold out until the afternoon of the day we were heading back (last Thursday). That place is one of our all time favorite museums. It's comparatievly small but every painting or sculpture is exquisite and they limit the number of visitors at any one time so it is never crowded and you can gaze at a Bernini for as long as you like without anyone obstructing your view. Next time we will plan it better. We ate at Hard Rock Cafe Rome twice. I'm embarrassed but we had a hankerin for hamburgers and fries. It was all good and surprisingly affordable. We left on Thursday morning by train. I have to say it was a very relaxing 4.5 hours back to Torino (via Milano). I love the trains here, very relaxing and accomodating and punctual too.
The Friday after we got back (last Fri) I finally took a long (32Km - 20Mi) bike ride on my Raliegh Cadent F2. It's a performance hybrid and the 32mm tires are far more sutable for the sometimes roughly paved or cobbled Torino streets. I'll be putting my road bike through its paces
soon enough - I'm planning a longer ride to Pinarelo via Susa in the next few months - before the fall sets in fully. That will be about 150km total with 2800 ft elevation change as well (something this FL rider is not used to at all).
Well that was a post that was sort of all over the place but I'm trying to catch you all up without taking up all of your precious time. So, take a look at the pictures, keep in touch and be on the lookout for more news to come.
En Boca Lupe,
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