Monday, December 21, 2009

Brugge, Belgium

Last week saw a wicked cold snap and a snow storm in Belguim but still I decided to press on with my plan of visiting Brugge, while on a layover in Brussels. The snow stopped falling by the time I had hopped on the train at Centraal Station. The train ride was just under an hour and the views of the snow covered fields helped make it seem even less. We arrived at Brugge station and headed into the Central Market where vendors galore were selling handmade scarfs, hats, Christmas trinkets, waffels, glühwein, cheese, and beer all under the stunning and imposing architechure of the Bell Tower.  Even though it was bitterly cold, I manged to stay warm with the help of frequent stops for Glühwein. Anyway, enough of my yammering... here are the pics!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Montserrat, Spain

 There are some times in my job that I literally feel like a ping pong ball being volleyed back and forth across an ocean, and it it seems like an endless struggle with time zones, jet lag, irate passengers, holidays spent alone, turbulence, etc. One of the quick fix remedies for that feeling is a wonderful layover in which I am slapped with the reality that, at times, my job is pretty fucking cool. I was just given one of those layovers, 48 hours in Barcelona. I have been to Barcelona before many times and have posted some other photos on here, but this time I left the city and headed north, well northwest if you want to be technical, to Montserrat. It lies about 50 KMs from Barcelona, and the abridged vesion of the story is that in an ancient village on top of the mountain an image of the Virgin Mary was found in cave after some locals had experienced visions that they believed were signs from God. That statue, the 'Black Madonna' is on display at a Monestary perched on the side of the mountain, but you can also go further up the mountain to see the ruins of the village and the cave itself. Dont worry if the Catholic part doesn't interest you because the cable car that whisks you up to the top, and the view looking down over surrounding Catalonia is worth your 22 Euros, and then some. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rome 2

My love affair continues. Here are some new photos from my trip to Italy last week. I put an on my iPod with a playist of the Italian pop trifecta of Eros Ramazotti, Elisa and Tiziano Ferro and headed down to Castel Sant Angelo. For those of you who need more incentive then the view and the history that this structure affords... there is also a bar at the top! It was a blustery and rainy day (so blustery that my umbrella became a causuality), but just as I got to the terrace the rain subsided and the sun poked her head out to shine over the Tiber.