A Travellerspoint blog

South Africa

Jefferys Bay

sunny 24 °C

Howzit people, so sorry I haven't blogged in ages.
I've been having a good time over here, not quite as eventful as I had hoped but enjoyable no the less. I'm missing all you guys and girls in NZ can't wait to see you again.

My mom and I are currently travelling up the east coast of South Africa, we are currently in Jefferys Bay, international surf spot and beach town, and the surf sucks (for those of you who don't know I learned to surf in Cape Town) the swell is ok today (non-existent yesterday) but the onshore is pumping killing all the waves, they are breaking poorlyu so messy it's hard to surf and near impossible to get out there to catch waves, oh well maybe it'll be better at St Mikes where I'm hoping to stop off aswell.

ok got to go now, take care.
Mike

Posted by MikeTrev 07:32 Archived in South Africa Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

SOUTH AFRICA

Pretoria

sunny 25 °C

Hey all this post is way out of date but there is a reason for that, I was wanting to suprise a friend in SA and I knew they would check my blog, so in order to maintain secrecy about my location without lying to all of you guys I stopped posting for a while.

Anyway I've arrived in SA, and had a wonderful week and a bit in Pretoria stay with my family there, gettign up to lots of nonsesnse hahaha, I went to Spur, the legendary South African family restaurant, Steers the legendary South African take-out.

I also spent a weekend at the Vaal with my cousins, Paulet, Desiree, Paulet's husband Gavin and their kids, Kevin and William. It was very nice even though the weather was lousy, had some great braais and my afrikaans got a LOT better than it has been in years.

While I was in Pretoria we celebrated my cousin, Bernedine's birthday wich was pretty cool. It was also really nice just to hang out with family I haven't seen in a while.

Anyway I'm in Cape Town now but I'm being unsocialble so CT update coming soon.

Take Care all, hope exams went well for all those writing. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by MikeTrev 06:10 Archived in South Africa Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

Florence - Present

Sick as a sick dog

sunny 20 °C

Florence

Ok so I'm back in Greece now, staying with my aunt and uncle agian,
but i'll get to all that later. FOr now I shall tell you about all
the mischief i got into in Florence. After my last post I spent two
more nights in florence.

The next day I took it pretty slowly, I was feeling pretty sick and
not up for much, anyway I went and saw the Medici Chapels, a little
bit of history for those of you who haven't studied art history, the
Medici were the main ruling family in Florence for a long time in the
past and through the Renaicance, anyway Florence had become a republic
and was under pressure from neighbouring states ect. (please feel free
to correct me this is really only what i've picked up in bits and pieces)
Anyway Florence at the end of the middle ages was looking for a case study
if you will on republics, well they found their example from the Roman
Republics and the Greek City states of antiquity, so the Medici (not the
official rulers) started collecting roman sculpture and apparently were pretty
much enthralled with anything roamn or greek, thus the neo-classism
of the renaicance was born (obviously this in not the only cause but
it is one of the important factors as I understand). anyway Lorenzo, the
magnificent, Medici, the godfather of the family (i think) took a very
young Michaelangelo under his wing, I can't remember why he didn't
or couldn't stay with his parents, anyway it's this Lorenzo who gets
Mike learning painting, sculptuor and architecture. Mike falls in love
with Lorenzo over the years and as mike is becoming a bit of a know
artist (I think) Lorenzo dies, anyway Michaelange carves his tomb, it's
never fully completed (he also carves lorenzo's brother's tomb, i think it
is his brother, another inportand Medici anyway) So in this Chapel
are these two tombs, each consisting of three statues (I think the architecture
is by Michaelangelo aswell) and quite a lot of scethes ect. on these two walls
Basically the tombs (esp. Leronzo's) is this act of love and devotion by
Michaelangelo, they are really impressive. Each has a statue of the deceased
and a pair of statues, one has night and day and the other dawn and dusk.
It was definitely worth seeing, really beautiful carving capturing so much
of the character of the men and the attitudes of the personifications.

So I saw that and pretty much went home by a long route, saw a few other
places, mucked around.

ANYWAY the next day I was up at about 6:00 - 6:30 because I was goign to see
the gallery Uffzi, one of the most important galleries in the world on the day
after it had been closed so it was expected that there would be huge lines all
day and I didn't want to waste time as I wanted to get a train out that day.
So I arrived at the gallery with the last tolls of the seven o' clock bell
I must say it took me a long time to get out of bed, came close to giving it
a miss. Anyway there were only two people already waiting so i was third in line
which was pretty neat. Anyway I spent my time doing Su-do-ku and chatting to
an american who was next in line after me and the japanese couple who were
learning their italian.

at 8:15 the doors were supposed to open, they only opened at about 8:30, anyway
I went got tickets and followed th crowds (I wasn't going to rush)(there is also
seperate entrace for people with reserved tickets which you have to buy in advance
cost more but get you in faster and lots of tour groups get these).
Inside the core of the Uffzi (offices) are housed a LOT of pieces of late gothic to
17th/18th C. art and it goes Chronoligically (or by artist if there are main artists
for the same period that they have a lot of pieces by)

Well the whole gallery was really impressive, I found I like the early renaissance
stuf more than I thought I would, I found I liked certain artist more than
others ect. and I got to see a lot of famous paintings :)
I saw stuff by Fillipo Lippi that I had read about, works by Leonardo Da Vinci
including his 'annunciation' I saw a whole big room full of Bottichelli's
including his 'birth of venus' I saw a whole room of works by Raphaello
including his 'self portrait' and 'portrait of Pope Leo X' I also two out of
the three Rembrant's that the gallery, his self portrait as a young lad
and as an old man, it was really interesting seeing how much his style changed
through those years, unfortunately his "rabbi" was being restored so i couldn't see
that. Anyway I ended up spending four hours in there and really enjoying myself.
I was really pleased that i went and got to see so much magnificent art up close.

understandably I was bushed after that, there was one more gallery in florence
but I really couldn't be bothered walking out of my way to it, standing in line,
jogging through it only to leave later than I wanted and have to arrange baggage
storage for the day.

So i went to catch the train out of florence to venice (I was hoping to get a ferry
from Brindisi to Corfu but in the off season they just don't sail often enough or
at good times for it to be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately I missed the train
I was going to catch by literally 3 seconds, thus I would miss the 7pm ferry to corfu
and would have to spend a night in venice, not what I wanted at all (didn't get a good
vibe from venice) but I had to anyway, so I found an internet cafe, looked at some
accomodation options and settled down onto the grass outide the train station to wait
for the next train. while I was napping I was woken by drunk italians talking really
loudly, the one was actually supporting the older one and they were walking and
talking and talking with other men about. eventually this happy couple got decidedly
unhappy and started to fight, it was actually really funny seeing these two trying to
fight, not a single good punch between the two of them, shortly they we semi-sucessfully
seperated and started to go their seperate ways, next thing out of the blue the older
drunked guy picks up someone else empty beer bottle, smashes it (holding it by the neck)
and starts at the other guy, this time they were more forcibly settled, now there
was some amatuer counselling and the younger guy got told to get out of there pretty much.
Anyway after everything seems settled and everyones laughing about it, the older guy
flips out, picks up a full beer bottle that someone had on the ground and starts to
try and run after the young guy. the old guy is so drunk he doesn't notice that he is
holding the beer bottle upside down and effectively pouring it all over himself
the young guy is now freaking out big time and sprinting away, the old guy lifts the
bottle to throw it, the young guy stupidly dives onto the path (rough bricks) meanwhile
the old dude throws the bottle at the ground near the young guy, glass goes flying
in a shower almost hitting some sitters by (luckily they were watching what was happening)
next the two guys are fighting again (not very effectively) and then the pigs show up
they do a take down on these two drunks, the young guy gets peeled off and doesn't fight
back, meanwhile the older (drunker) guy is on the ground trying to resist the police
so they start kneeing him ect. until he cries uncle (not uncle exactly but stops fighting
back) anyway it end up with the two dumbasses gettign taken in by no less than 5 police
and one guy losing his beer and everyone getting a free lesson on consumption of alcohol.

Anyway Venice had alright weather but was not pleasant, accomodation was cheap but I
paid 21.50 euros to get there (only 13 euro for a bed) which was waste of time really.
Anyway I went to get a ferry to Corfu, sorted that out, then tried to get into veice
again to get some sleeping pills and phone my aunt and uncle telling them when I was
getting back, that ended up being two and a half painful, long missions. So i really
did not have a pleasant afternoon. Anyway I got the ferry, my tonsilitis went from the
worst it's ever been to worse than that, the sleeping pills did not work, I gave my
aunt the wrong time to pick me up so i wasted their time, and didn't feel well at all.
at least on this ferry the staff were bearable if not exceedingly helpful but a pleasant
change to the pigs that the other ferry line employs.

Anyway I'm back in corfu now,not doing much, gettign some TLC and lots of soup.
take care all, Mike

Sorry about the weird spacign but i was typign offline to save my aunt and uncles moeny and well, i'm too lazy to fix it.

Posted by MikeTrev 07:20 Archived in Greece Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Firenze

beautiful Florence

sunny 22 °C

Well Florence has been awesome, i'm staying at a camping site which is ok, i'm sharing a room with and Isreali guy who is pretty cool.
the best part and probably the cause for huge bias is that it's sunny, everywhere else it ahs been raining and just plain ugly weather and now it sunny and clear skies, i'm sooooo happy.
well I arrived two nights ago, so i didn't see that much that day, but yesterday i saw a LOT, well it felt like a lota anyway.
I went to the main church in Florence, (santa maria di fiore) i think, anyway that was closed (on a sunday) so I headed to the baptistery where I was expecting to see Magdalene by Donatello (turns out the wooden statue was washed out in a flood) and was then moved. anyway the mosaics and ceiling were really impressive, next I went to the doumo museum (houses all the art that was in the baptistery and the chapel ) And a lot of other stuff.

Inside were ancient roman carvings and statues, the Pieta by Michaelangelo (the one he started carving for his own tomb but never finished, for reasons unknown) [REALLY amazing (self portrait in Nicodemus) beautiful lines and expressions uncompleted as it is]
Also there was a lot of Gothic pieces, and Magdalene by Donatello, that statue was amazing, beautifula nd scary and mournful and full of fear all at the same time, Donatello sure knew his stuff. I really regret not spending more time looking at those two, but I didn't want to loose the whole day.

Anyway I also went to the Academia Galleria, which house none other than the da da da DAVID, it is INCREDIBLE it is awesome, even when yo know that the hands are huge (compared to the body) it looks perfect. It is absolutely massive it is truley magnificent, overwhelming and beautiful and yeah just awesome.
There was also Michaelangelos prisoners, St. Mark, and a pieta originally accredited to him (not really up to his standard, Christ's chest is on several bottles of steriods and his legs are too short) anayway all of these are uncompleted.

Also there is the annuciation by Fillipo Lippi, which I quite like.
Anywya I have to go, i'm going to try and see the Medici Chapel, and some other stuff, the galleries are closed today so i've gotta e in line early tomorrow for those.

Pasta La pizza

Posted by MikeTrev 03:29 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Roma

City of walking a LOT in the rain

rain 18 °C

Hey all i arrived in rome yesterday didn't take me that long to find a place to stay, only 20euro (40 NZD don't want to know how much that is in Rand) So I got to see some sights yesterday, I took the metro and went to see the Colosseum, which was WAY more impressive than I'd anticipated. It is SOOOO huge and well made, I spent a while walking around trying to imagine the sounds and smells of a working Colosseum (complete with hawkers, animals, slaves, ect.)
THen I headed up past the archiological sites which I would have liked to spent more time looking at, but it was raining quite heavily and I had none of the history of them that I would be really interested in. Next I made my way to the grave of the unknown soldier, an absolutely massive building, with lots of statues. I also found the Trevi fountain which was very impressive.

Today I organised my second night's stay (the original place was fully booked) so I got a place down the road [cheaper and less people to share with]

Next I tried to do some of the angels and demons spots, I manages to hit St. Peters (I spent 30 minutes waiting to go inside and 35 minutes inside) It was actually quite dissapointing, almost nothing was well lit and there were so many dumb tourists and no signage telling you what was what. I went to The Popolo Piazzle but the church from the book was closed until 16:00 so I looked around the area and found a da Vinci expo, which had reconstructions of a lot of his inventions, the only dissapointments were that once agin, not enough explanation, and that the inventions weren't made really nicely, most of the time they only used one type of plank for all of the construction, even the flying machines, but it was quite interesting to see some of his more obscure stuff. I was very tempted to buy a book on his designs but I'll wait till I find one where the price isn't inflated by it's location.

I also saw the Castle and the fountain (water) the fountain was really cool but not how I imagined it at all. Anyway my time is running low. I head to florence tomorrow after I spent the moring seeing the Vatican. Asta La Vista

Posted by MikeTrev 10:02 Archived in Italy Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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