Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Mediterranean Sea

As much as I love the sun and the sunny days, I absolutely adore the sea when the weather is bad.
The energy is totally different then. Primal. Strong. Goose bumps worthy.

A couple of hours after my arrival in Nice, it started raining, no, actually, it started pouring down. I have rarely seen so much rain in such a short period of time! The city emptied out and when the rain stopped I went on a long walk on Promenade des Anglais, soaking up the energy after the storm

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nice (Côte d'Azur)

I spent my days in Nice walking around town ... practicing being in the moment :-)
The old town (vielle ville) mostly, but also along the Promenade des Anglais.
I fell in love. As in instantly fell in love.
What I didn't know was that Nice was actually part of Italy until 1860 (Garibaldi was born here!). In  fact the city feels Italian (and not only because the pizza was yummy). Their slang sounded Italian. The architecture of Place Masséna reminded me of Turin (which is BTW going to be my next destination!).

I obviously went up the Colline du Château ... for the view!

Marché aux fleurs (touristy but not too much). I loved it!

Don't the colors of the houses remind you of Italy?
This is definitely a place I want to go back to. Definitely!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Nice (Côte d'Azur) or How to Prolong my Summer

Where I live (Central Europe) this year's summer said goodbye rather abruptly. One day we had sunshine and nice temperatures. The following day autumn said hi with a rather harsh temperature drop and heavy rain. It broke my heart, as it does every end of summer! I wasn't ready for autumn yet, at all, so what to do?
Why not prolonging my summer for a couple of days, I thought? A kind of gift-wrapped couple of days (as September is my birthday month)??
Yes, why not?
Nice (on the Côte d'Azur) pretty quickly became my destination of choice.
And it was a wonderful choice. The weather was nice and warm (well, besides the rain on the first day which luckily lasted only a couple of hours! That's when I took this picture.). Les Nicois were a friendly bunch of people. The buildings were beautiful. I soaked up the culture, the sea, the beach, the sun. And I even went on a guided tour to the countryside of the Côte d'Azur.
Really. It was the best gift ever :-)

that's why the Côte d'Azur is called the Côte d'Azur!
 More picture to follow!

Perfect Moment: Adieu Summer

Beach Nice

Friday, September 1, 2017

Where To Draw A Line (when it comes to taking pictures)

My friend's wedding in Crete was magical. The couple in love and radiant. The location wonderful, on top of a hill surrounded by the Meditteranean Macchia with an amazing view of the sea. It was classy and I had the best of times celebrating their love.
So far so good.
Then something tickled my brain at the very beginning of the evening, during the ceremony. I ignored it until later on in the evening, while we were all dancing to Greek music (yes! I danced to Greek music hahaha), when it tickled again.
Something was bothering me but what exactly? And then it hit me. I was bothered by the three photographers and the one guy who was filming the whole thing because they kept bumping into everybody to get the right shot or the right angle. They obviously were just doing their jobs and nothing is wrong with that. Somehow though, at least for me, their moving around took a bit of the magic away. They had done the same during the ceremony when they placed themselves in front of the couple exchanging their vows in order to take the best of pictures (hello? magic?). Same goes for the invitees who were taking pictures all the time (how was life before Instagram? Can someone remember??)
It felt, at least to me, that taking pictures or making a video was more important than living the actual moment (like crying when the couple said yes to each other or dancing to Greek music).

Don't get me wrong. I understand that a couple who is getting married wants to have pictures of their day. And I get that invitees want pictures to remember that particular day. I did so too. Nothing wrong with that at all.
But where do we draw a line?
Some people might feel that there is no line to draw.
I, however, believe there is one. Certainly the effort to "take pictures in order to put it on Instagram" or "in order to not forget this wonderful moment" is understandable and right. I read somewhere that We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone. I do so totally agree.
The line to draw is when taking pictures prevents us from living and enjoying a moment. Some moments in life are to be simply lived and felt. Not only that. No picture can bring back joy that you haven't felt because you were busy taking pictures. You know what I mean? Good moments, happy moments where you were so busy FEELING that you totally forgot about taking a picture. No picture needed for such moments. They are engraved in your heart forever!

For me (the ever over analyzing me SMILE) this wedding was not only a magic moment spent celebrating the love of two people I respect and love but it was also a reminder not to always look for the next picture to take. A reminder to not forget to live every moment of your life at its fullest!

Goodbye Summer!

Goodbye Summer! I will miss you.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Lake Geneva / Lavaux

I went on a day trip to Lake Geneva last week. I wanted a change of pace because I knew I'd be working full time for the next couple of weeks!
I had actually forgotten how beautiful this part of Switzerland is. Well, I lived in Lausanne for almost 5 years but back then my attention was directed to clubbing and shopping and being young and not to hiking and sightseeing :-)

Luckily, it's never too late to go sightseeing and there I went, by train, to St-Saphorin (Lavaux region, UNESCO world heritage) where I started my walk (hike would be too big a word haha).
I spent a wonderful day walking along the vines, soaking up the sun and the energy of this wonderful region.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Conscious Writing and Speaking

I have been thinking about racism a lot these last couple of days. Not only because of what happened in Charlottesville, USA but also thanks to the many discussions I had with this friend of mine and her boyfriend (remember? The couple I went sightseeing with in Crete?). My friend's late father was from Ghana. Her mother is Swiss. So, she unfortunately knows about racism first hand.
Even though I am the daughter of Italian emigrants, I have never been a victim of racism. Nevertheless, I have been attentive to the issue of racism ever since I can remember thinking. In recent years, in countless discussions with friends and family (especially the part who lives in Italy), I started pointing out that when using the word "stranger" or "alien" they were talking about me and my parents as well.
Their answer? No! It's not the same!
My answer? Of course it's the same. Just because me and my parents and my brother are not strangers for you, we are in front of the law. We are part of the percentage of "alien citizen" they like to talk about on TV.
They meant no harm, I am sure of that. I just want to make sure that they never forget where I come from. Conscious speaking ... see below :-)
I, for instance, never forget where I come from.
But then, you wonder, I write posts like the one about my stop-over in Santorini?
Remember me complaining about the hordes of Chinese? Is it racist to say that?
No, I don't think so because the focus of my words was on my dislike of hordes/crowds and not on the Chinese people. It could have been hordes of whoever and you would have heard me complaining too. Hordes annoy me. Chinese people do not.
Should I have been more precise in my post? Yes, I should have and I realize that now. I promise to be more accurate in future posts!

Language is important. We all know about the power of words and even though free speech is our right, a right that many before us have fought for, don't we ever forget that (in other parts of the world, even in 2017, you get killed for what you say!), we should use our words carefully.
I'd say the best way is ... conscious writing and speaking.
Yes, I like that. Conscious writing and speaking. All part of conscious living :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Remembering Greece: Crete (and Chania in Particular)

Heraklion was chaotic and hot :-) Like Athens on a smaller scale. The Archeological Museum though was definitely worth my staying there for one night/one day. In the evening, I took the bus to Chania which was pretty cool because I got to see the countryside and the coast (it's a 3 hour drive!).

Chania was were the wedding took place. Such a cute little town. I loved it! I will tell you more about the wedding and there was also the horse riding we did, with a friend of mine and her boyfriend. It turned out to be quite the adventure and it deserves a full post! So, more to follow!

August in Crete wasn't the ideal month to do sightseeing. It was way to hot. One day, with said friend of mine and her boyfriend, we rented a car and drove around. We spent a good part of our day in a restaurant on the sea, eating Meze and talking :-) Which was pretty cool but not much about sightseeing! But then it's not always about sightseeing and I will have to visit Crete another time (not during summer time, that's for sure!) because there are quite some sites I'd love to see.
This time though I stuck to Chania's old town and the Venetian harbor. What a wonderful place! It felt a bit (just a tiny little bit) like being in Venice. The narrow streets were ideal for getting lost and you know how I love to get lost! Up and down, left and right I went, in an out the cute little shops!

Chania seen from afar

Chania's lighthouse

the old town


the port