October 22, 2011

Ten Things to Like About Europe

Europe was fantastic! It is difficult to summarize one of the most sensational times of my life, and I don't use the word sensational lightly. In Europe, all of my sensory faculties were exercised in new ways: Textures, colors, sights, sounds and scents-- there is really just no way to report the dynamism of this adventure in one blog post. I've grappled with how to share this great experience, and I've landed on this: Just to share a few of my most immediate and casual perceptions of Venice, Koper, Dubrovnik,  Korfu, Olympia and Myconos.

While we wined and dined delightfully throughout our trip, food and wine wasn't the focus. Since this is technically a food blog, though, I'll lead this list with that topic:

 1.  The fish along the Mediterranean is impeccable. Fishing is, of course, serious business there, and every bite is served at it's peak of freshness.  We had wonderful fish and seafood every day, and sometimes two or three times a day. In Oregon, we live about an hour's drive from the Pacific Ocean, but we rarely get fish as beautiful and tasting-of-the-sea as this. What a lovely treat.

2.  Graffiti happens. EVERYWHERE. Even on the 400-year-old  Ponte de Rialto, the oldest bridge spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. What you must remember is that 400 years is pretty young by European standards.

Graffiti happens in Koper, Slovenia, above and below:

And in Dubrovnic, Croatia.

I wonder if we globally embraced graffiti as the public art form it is most often intended to be, if it might not just go away. Maybe. Or not. Maybe we just have to get used to it as a part of every landscape.

3. The US Postal Service might not have to raise its rates if we took a tip form the Italians. The three people from right to left in the above photo...

...Il Postino. Yes, postal workers. No uniforms. They wear whatever they please, at no cost to the Italian government. Shrewd. And, they just hop onto the water-bus (vaporetto) to make their appointed rounds.

4. Men in Italy don't have haircuts, they have hair-dos,

and apparently, the more hair the better.

This young fellow is getting an early start at the man-do. This is something I really enjoyed about Italy!

5. Italians take good and beautiful footwear very seriously. Starting, again, at a very young age. These silver sneakers were on the feet of a little girl about a year old,

and these sliver sneakers were on a man about 60 years old!


I didn't want to appear too voyeuristic, so I didn't get all the photos I wanted of great footwear,

but these were my very most favorite of all the great shoes I saw. Metallic is "in" the whole world over, it seems. (As is a nice pedicure!)

6. If the grandeur and heft of buildings are a reflection of a people,

we in the US we should start to worry. It's not just the fortifications and cathedrals that are built to last, but houses, too.
I guess rooftop air conditioning units aren't necessary when your walls are stone two or three feet thick.
The ruins in Olympia make me wonder how much of any building in my town will be standing after nearly 4000 years.

7. I'm so glad I read the book City of the Falling Angels by John Berendt before going to Venice. It gave things like the Gran Teatro La Fenice,

and this Murano glass figurine blown before our eyes depth and interest, and linked Venice's rich and colorful history with the people of today.

8. Like interesting shoes...

... eye wear is pretty important to Italians.

I think these clear lucite frames in a shop window are wonderful,

and if you look closely to this shop window, bizarre and wildly creative frames will emerge.

I wish I had the presence to wear something like this (not to mention the bank account to support an eyeglass habit!)

All the eye wear I saw, both on faces and in windows, was anything but subtle.

9. Sunrises all around the globe are worth waking up early for.


10. People and their dogs...

...look alike...

...the world over!
A huge thank you, Nancy, for making this extraordinarily memorable time possible, 
and to Ebba Jo, Marti and Luc 
for providing such wonderful companionship.
And a big hug to you, My Baby, for providing me entree to these wonderful people and this delicious experience!

11 comments:

  1. Glad you loved it! Can't wait to go back home over the holidays...

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  2. GREAT post! I was fortunate enough to live in Sicily for 3 years and you are absolutely right...the eyewear is incredibly stylish (and they look SO good in it), the food is always fresh, seasonal and enjoyed with gusto!

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  3. Wonderful post! I very much so enjoyed how you took the different aspects of your travels and still found a way to integrate them into your food blog. I find that culture says a lot about the types of foods we see in different places because food is part of culture itself. Quite the enticing post, and now I'm more eager to go to Europe than ever.

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  4. These are so fabulous! I love how unique your choices were. The pictures really reflected what you saw culturally. I admire you for being able to pick out just 10 things! It had to be a wonderful trip. Wonderful post.

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  5. Great post. I had many similar observations.

    The Graffiti in Rome is out of control. My guess is there is a uniform for Italian postal workers but rules are not the biggest thing in Europe.

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  6. Great photos. Those Italians do know their shoes, their bags, their hair, and their food. I adored Italy, every thing about it, but the food trumps all. Oh and the good looking men in Venice and Florence in suits on scooters. Love the dog and hair pictures. If you haven't been to Sicily, that's a country all to itself (like New Orleans is to the U.S.) and a must visit for a real adventure. I'm shocked about the graffiti, though and a little sad about that. But it goes hand in hand with the culture of
    tattoos, another thing I don't quite take to.

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  7. What a wonderful journey you just took us on. Thank you for sharing your trip in that delightful and witty way! I enjoyed it so much, though I did find #6 sobering. I've been to Europe, as well as the Middle East, and have thought the exact same thing.

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  8. Thanks for sharing, reminds me of our journey to those destinations. Love the photos and observations!

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  9. lovely post! so many amazing things to see and live. thanks for sharing

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  10. It is always nice to see how similar things are the world over. So glad you enjoyed your trip.

    Was there an absolute best thing you ate on the trip?

    Jason

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  11. How fun! How was Dubrovnic? I really would like to get there....The history here in Turkey covers 1000s of years and always amazes me!

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