So, we're now out of the line and sitting an a warm Internet cafe trying to dry off and glad that we left that line when we did. I'll be back in Rome some other year sometime, so I'll save the chaple until my next trip.
I visited the Colosseum yesterday and was truly impressed at the building skills of the ancient Romans - and their creativity and cruelty. I wandered around Emperor's gardens, found street market's selling the most interesting herbs and spices and found myself eating a real Italian pizza in one of the back streets of Rome near the Piazza Navona. I have enjoyed many bottles of Italian red wine and last night for dinner had a fantastic Carbonbonara pasta in a restaurant that was over 100 years old... I think the bread that they served was also 100 years old, and I would have killed for some butter and Vegemite to spread on it.
Today we pick up a hire car and begin our journey into the Italian countryside. One of Judo's old Uni buddies has offered us one of her houses up the coast for a few days so that's where we're heading. I may be without any internet for a while, but if I get a chance to write something I will.
I'm having a great time and loving this city.
I met up with Darth G yesterday arvo in one of the parks here in Rome over near the Spanish Steps. It was great just sitting on the grass in the shade on a summer's afternoon. I was slightly jet lagged so I'm nt sure I've left the greatest impresion on him and his mates as I think I spent the time staring off into the distance in some sort of weird travellers trance. Sorry DG, next time I promise I'll have a bit more of a spark in me.
I've done most of the touristy things including eating traditional pizza. Yesterday's lunch consisted of a traditional Italian lunch of 5 courses with a fantastic red Italian wine to go with it. The location was recomended to us by our cab driver and he was spot on. A beautiful alfresco dining area on the banks of the river.
The rain has just closed in for the arvo, so I'm about to hit the bars and stay off the streets... actually, I would call this city one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
This city is totally cool. But very humid. The streets down town seem to go on forever, full of neon and busy street market noises. I loved the Aquarium streets... if I could have been able to bring back some weird and wonderful pets I would. Caught the Star ferry last night accross the harbour and got an amazing view of this great city.
Am sitting in a cafe at "The Peak" this morning, overlooking a cloud shrouded city. Well, better go...
Thanks to everyone who's wished me a safe and fun journey. I'm not going away for too long but I will attempt to blog occasionally while I'm away. I'm sure I'll have some very cool photos to share on Flickr too. I'll be back around the 18th June.
I've set up a Twitter account too. I had planned to do quick short daily mobile updates, however I haven't got mobile roaming switched on so that's going to be useless now. D'oh! But, if Twitter sorts out the IM side of things I'll do some short quick updates. These will appear in the side bar to the right... But more than likely it'll just stay saying something like "Just woke up - beautiful day here in Sydney. Off to the 'Billi for b'fast. about XX hours ago". If you're a Twitter'er then my url is twitter.com/muzbot - Let me know your Twitter URL and I'll add you.
So a quick run-down on where I'm off to:
Hong Kong tomorrow - then Italy - MotoGP - Switzerland - Spain - MotoGP - France - home.
I'll have a good ol' fashioned Jatz and cabanosi slide night on my return! :)
PS: I've got Twitter updates working... I'll send them through occasionally from the mobile.
Judo and I decided to continue my quest to explore all varieties of 'steak house' so we jumped on our bikes and had a great ride out to Penrith to experience more of middle class Sydney. This weeks steak house was called "The Spur". Oh man, did I eat big! Steak and Tex Mex combo. I even dived in and had coffee and desert.
Today we did a little more holiday planning and booked a couple more hotels. Then off to a FANTASTIC Japanese noodle restaurant in Crows Nest called "Ryo's Noodles". I swear I was transported to a little corner of Japan. The food seemed to be ultra traditional and ultra tasty. I went for the raman sour chicken soup with squid balls. After lunch we headed out to the Telstra Stadium for the Bulldogs -V- Cronulla footy game.
Have just got in from a great catch up and roast dinner cooked by my ex... oh, and coffee and donuts on the way home. Was another great weekend in Sydney.
Enter The X-Men.
Phoenix - Following an incident at the end of X2, the dark side of Phoenix is unleashed.
Storm – How handy… she can control the weather.
Rogue – If she touches you she absorbs your powers… or your life if you’re not a mutant.
Angel – OOOooo he can fly.
Juggernaut - He has tremendous strength, a total resistance to physical injury.
Wolverine – Animal like senses, the ability to recover from any wound and an unbreakable metal fused to his bones.
I took my camera for a walk this evening. The fresh air and purpose for the walk cleared my head a little. I wanted to try my hand at the new digital image format HDR. Total 32bit goodness.
My first attempt at creating a 32bit format took me close to 45 minutes for just the one image and a less than impressive result.
The image above is my favorite one from tonight and is my fifth attempt.
I need a new tripod I think to be able to get the stable exposures I require to perfect this format. However, I think I am starting to get the hang of it. I'm still learning about this format, so bare with me while I experiment with it.
On Sunday my sister had to be up and in the city very early for a "TV appearance", so I had a couple of hours to wander around the city taking some photos. I've uploaded some of them to Flickr.
Sunday arvo we went to Manly and while my sister wandered the streets and malls I went for a dive. It was a very average dive, I only took a few pictures. Not sure what was happening in the picture to the left, but I actually like the colour and motion in it. Towards the end of the dive Judo and I had a bit of air left in our tanks, so we had some underwater shenanigans including an underwater arm wrestle. That was so much fun in the weightless environment.
We finished up the night in Manly with pizza from the best pizza place EVER and a few drinks at a dodgy underground bar. *Note to self: Hide all microphones when there are 80's film clips on the television in the bar. :) It was a fantastic night and it was great to see my sister let her hair down and just enjoy herself... Love you Jules.
Zoran: 23yo form Qld
Joel: 24yo form S.A.
Demet: 25yo from Vic.
Aleisha: 20yo from Vic.
His top speed during the race was 333.5 km/h. His Ducatti was a whole 7.8km/h faster than Rossi's Yamaha. (As a Yamaha rider, I find this hard to swallow)
My other fave rider, Melandri, finished 5th again, however he has now moved into 4th place on the leader board.
It started Friday evening with a fantastic offer: "Do you feel like going for a ride?"
The answer from me: "Sure, where do you want to go?" The map on the left shows you my journey. The M7 is a fantastic piece of road. It's smooth and you really feel like you can go FAST. However, being a "tag only" road, it doesn't get used by bikers often. I had my tag in my backpack and did this fancy hunch over move on the bike each toll booth. We arrived in Katoomba late Friday night. Stayed up late chatting and laughing trying to work out which Beatles songs were on the Quiz Mania list.
Sat morning was up and off to meet my mates Farmer and family. We then rode towards Oberon via the Janolan Caves road. Back from there along Lowes Mt Rd to Lithgow. Then the great ride that is "Bells" back to Richmond.
When I was a younger lad, out on road trips as a passenger in a car, I used to see sports bikers on their bikes ride by. To me they always looked like they were a confident and daring bunch. For a shy lad like me, there was this strange appeal of a guy on a performance piece of machinery. The boys who rode past in one piece leather were the most fascinating. It oozed sex appeal. They just embodied what being confidently masculine was all about. Not being a yobo. Not being a rev head. They appeared comfortable, stylish, cool, and and venturesome. Well, for me, this weekend I achieved something. I was one of "those lads". I was riding a fuckin' hot bike and I was riding in my one piece.
It felt great. I felt confident and today I finally feel like I am growing into the sort of man I want to be. And the best part - I was lucky to be able to share this with my mate Judo. Thank you Judo. You are one special bloke - despite constantly pointing out the scab on my face and saying "No, really, it doesn't look THAT bad"... :)
This week, in honour of my European vacation later this month, I’m giving you a taste of France. I’m not talking about French baguettes or brie but French beauty and brawn. I don’t expect you to know any of these candidates so based purely on looks which piece of eyecandy are you going to root, shoot or marry?
The Ladies: Miss France
This evening, on my jog home from work, I fell down. Not just down, but face first down the stairs on the northern end of the Harbour Bridge. I think I would have to be the crappest of crap crap crapiest joggers ever. I don't think I am meant to be a fitness fanatic.