Rants and Raves

After the mess of a year 2012 was my New Year’s resolution was that 2013 was going to be a year of firsts. This year also seemed to acquire a slogan as well due to my Contiki trip, and that was #noregrets.

Now I know that I have ignored updating here as often as I should in favour of quick tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagrams. For the year-end post I thought I would take a moment to list my firsts for the year (in no particular order).

1. Had a real birthday celebration.

2. First time in Monaco and Liechtenstein (small enough to be a single first).

3. Went to an adult costume party for Hallowe’en.

4. Exceeded my custom’s limit.

5. First major out-of-town music festival. (Osheaga)

6. My first “snowboard”.

7. Tried out a few new restaurants. (Decimal 81, Britt’s, Lemongrass)

8. Volunteered for my first theatre event. (Fundy Fringe Festival)

I have also included below a gallery of some of this years best moments that I have photos of.

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Travel

The Face of Truth
Fountain Replica of The Face of Truth

There is not a more fitting way to start this post than with the Face of Truth. The truth about Rome is that it is the most miserable place on Earth.

This was my 3rd visit to Rome and it seems to never get better. Rome has a very limited  Metro system so getting around is not the easiest although unlike many other cities Rome is very consolidated into 2 hour walk to anything. The charm about Rome is it’s history as the centre of an ancient empire. Though when you get to see the real Rome most of the ancient ruins besides the Coliseum, a field where Circus Maximus was and the Pantheon there is really not much left to see of that empire. The only real remaining Empire left to see is that of Christianity and Catholicism.

When it comes to food, Rome is very lacking on it’s own identity it adopts styles from other Italian regions and International inspiration. On my first night in Rome I went to a place called Piazza Navona which was loaded full of people easting at all the restaurants that circled the Piazza. I went through a couple of allies and found Ristorante Ottavio. I was small, quant and “Roman”. In typical fashion while travelling I ask the server what is really good to try. The gentleman says that the lobster is very “fresh and wonderful”.

I then ask him how fresh it is. He quickly leaves and brings back this poor almost dead looking lobster that to most who have never seen a real fresh live lobster before would be very thrilled.

So instead I ordered a pasta dish that was much more amazing than the plate that that poor unfortunate lobster would eventually ended up as. While in the Piazza I saw a Seagull catch a Pigeon in mid-air and fly off with it in it’s beak. This had me thinking that given the number of pigeons and seagulls that we have in Saint John that this is just further proof of the miserableness of Rome.

Rainy Day at the Pantheon
Rainy Day at the Pantheon

Though Rome does have many sides and moments of wonder. Earlier that day I was on a walking tour of of the area and as I approached the Pantheon the skies just opened up and dumped as mush water as it possibly could on the crowds of tourists and street people who with amazing speed switched from selling collectibles to selling ponchos and umbrellas.

That being said it did not rain for very long just long enough to get completely wet, and leave enough water to make it more humid as being evaporated by bright sunshine that rapidly came out.

The Trevi Fountain was amazing as usual and like Pigeons in King’s Square or like any other old thing in Europe was over packed with crowds of people.

And the Coliseum and Roman Forums have not changed a bit since the last time I seen them in 2011.

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Travel

I just read the following article and am very surprised at this. Over the last 2 years I have been on a Contiki tour at the very same campsite.

Aussie woman dies on Italy Contiki tour | The Australian.

The Seven Hills campsite was one of my favourites, it had the awesome showers in the cabins that had the full body sprays. Although, camping was crazy as the ground was very rocky and hard to put the pegs on.

One difference about this site over others is that you have to use these pre-loaded cards to buy stuff. Now this seems all in well however on the night you leave most of the people I knew would empty the cards at the super-amazing bar, and Rome is one of the heavier drinking spots that I have been to.

Interesting enough the article also goes on to state, “Contiki said the tour group had continued to Venice.” Now although Rome is a heavy drinking spot. The Fusina Bar at Camping Fucina in Venice is more so. They have the Amnesia drinks for about 8 Euro that go down way to easy.

It must be really hard on the Contiki staff to actually lose a camper in this manner. Usually people just get left behind when they partied too hard.