The Infamous Roundabout

July 27, 2016

RoundaboutIn Europe, the UK and many other locations for that matter, the roundabout replaces stops or traffic lights at intersections. They keep traffic moving. And they’re quite handy especially if you miss your turn or don’t really know where you’re going. You can just keep circling till you figure it out. It Italy it’s also called a rotator or a rotonda.

And BTW, Italians love to drive very fast and to them there is no right side or left side, they’re in the middle when you round the bend. If you’re lucky you may hear a warning honk. No question it’s exciting, but can be nerve-wracking. Even when stationary, Italian drivers are bold. They’ll park facing either direction, halfway up the kerb (European spelling), handicap spaces, no worries wherever they can fit the car they’ll park it! If they’re being extra cautious they may put their hazard flashers on but that doesn’t stop them from parking wherever suits their needs – another good reason to have the smallest car you can get just to be competitive.

double roundaboutTraffic in the roundabout has the right of way, so in heavy traffic it can be tricky breaking in. Horns honk of course and you may even encounter the occasional hand gesture. Luckily here in Italy they drive on the same side of the road as we do in the USA, otherwise navigating the roundabout could get really hairy. And though we didn’t see any there is such a thing as a double roundabout!

Here’s the cute little roundabout in Visgnola where we rented our apartment through Airbnb. And how classic, there’s an olive tree right in the middle!Roundabout (2)

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


“A Paragon of Party Discipline And Unity” – The Democratic Party

July 25, 2016

This is what was promised according the New York Times, “a paragon of party discipline and unity”. After viewing the Republican convention in Cleveland last week, especially the first day when there was a lot of dissension on the floor over RNC rules Mrs. Clinton (Hildebeast) promised her supporters:

“I can tell you we’re going to have a very different kind of convention.”

Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, the Bernie apparatchiks refused to fall in line. never vote for hillary

DWS

T-I-L-T

Bernie or bustIt all came apart with the WikiLeaks release of 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails days before the convention spotlighting concerted effort by party leaders, most especially Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS), head of the DNC and Representative from the State of Florida, to undermine Bernie Sanders. She’s supposed to be neutral after all, but WikiLeaks had the goods on her and many others.

WikiLeaks also revealed that the Democratic Party and Politico have a special relationship where party operatives get to review and offer comment on stories Politico will publish. How nice for them that they get to shape the narrative right out the gate.

There are plenty of Bernie supporters who are still feeling slighted regarding the power the super delegates have over actual voters and the WikiLeaks release of the emails sent the boat over the falls. DWS realizing she was not going to survive this agreed to step down after the convention and the DNC stripped her of her speaking slot. Then she was booed at the opening day breakfast and had to whisked off the stage by security and it may just be over for Debbie. It was her party, her big event but it imploded because of her own corruption and I wouldn’t be surprised (or disappointed) if she loses her House seat too!

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations durin

g my travel adventures.


Italian Train Strikes Are Scheduled in Advance!

July 22, 2016
Rooster from Ravenna

A souvenir rooster mosaic from Ravenna

Train strikes in Italy are scheduled, but nobody told us. After about 10 days of tooling around by boat or by driving up and down the shoreline to the various villages that populate Lake Como (Lago di Como) we decided to venture out for a few days to a different location. Ravenna is where we chose to go. It’s still in the north, on the Adriatic side of Italy and we chose to go by train; Como to Milano, Milano to Bologna, Bologna to Ravenna.

B&B BasilicaWe got online and found a B&B .5 km from the train station in Ravenna (an easy walk after consolidating 3 days worth of clothing & toiletries into one bag), left our home base in Visgnola and away we went. We bought round trip (retiro) tickets, €25.00 each way ($28) per person and arrived as planned in about 5 hours. What we didn’t know is that there was a rail strike scheduled for the Friday of our return trip. Apparently strikes occur so frequently in Italy there’s a website dedicated to this activity! Italians schedule strikes in advance! Can you believe it? Their transportation strikes are scheduled, it’s just that nobody told us, including the chap in the stazione centrale where we bought out tickets.

Trian route to RavennaWe wouldn’t have known at all had it not been that we stopped by the train station to check on return times as our ticket was open. Keep in mind neither of us speak any Italian beyond arrivederchi and vino rosso, so it came as a bit of a shock when the nice lady finally got across to us that the trains would be on strike the day we’d planned to return. Thanks to a nice young man in line behind us and much pantomime, we learned we could likely get as far back as Bologna if we left at 6:28 AM (yee gads, we’re supposed to be on vacation here), but would only make it all the way if we upgraded our tickets from the slow train (more stops and longer between stops), to the much more pricy fast train.

So that’s the plan because we’ve already prepaid our hotel and parking at the stazione in Como where we left our car. This traveling is hard work. It’s a good thing you can stop almost anywhere, anytime for a cold beer, delicious coffee (and/or pastry), or a gelato!

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


Side Trip To Historic Ravenna

July 18, 2016

There are a couple of reasons for venturing from our home base in Visgnola, Northern Italy very near Bellagio (a 15 minute walk downhill) on Lake Como (Lago di Como), one of Europe’s largest & deepest lakes and a summer home location for George Clooney.

Typical street in Bellagio

    This is a typical street in Bellagio

Bellagio is hundreds of years old with narrow cobbled streets, limited vehicle traffic, and playground to some of the rich & famous. It’s a favorite weekend or holiday retreat for Milanos (Milan is about an hour south), and the small shops are top quality, very exclusive and naturally pricy. Not where you’re likely to find souvenirs to take home, so I’ve decided to forego the non-existent tchotchke and just settle for gelato!

Byzantine churchBut back to our side trip to Ravenna. We’ve found that all the villages on Lake Como are pretty much all alike. We’ve taken boat trips to several and also driven up and down the lakeshore a number of times. It’s great to stop for a coffee, cold beer or lunch at any of the many caffès or restaurants situated on the lake, but after a few days we got the itch to see something more. What we saw in Ravenna were centuries-old churches in the Byzantine style famous for their gorgeous mosaics.Ravenna church22crucifix from RavennaRavenna Church

We love the trains in Europe and always enjoy shopping for snacks and goodies to bide our time as the countryside glides by. We also love the seaside towns and the great seafood that abounds along the coast- surprisingly very different from seafood available in Hawaii. Ravenna was suggested to us by a local travel agent as a historically important city on the Adriatic Sea.  And the mosaics that fill the church interiors are absolutely beautiful or did I already mention that?

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


Why Does He ALWAYS Take The Side Of Islamists?

July 16, 2016

During the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 Iranian freedom fighters sent the White House an urgent memo calling for help. Obama ignored it, passing on the chance to finally displace the  government established by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Before 1979 enjoying their short skirts, tanktops, freedom, education, music, dance, Iranians had a future to look forward to. Now Sharia law is strictly enforced.

then in Iran

           Acceptable dress before 1979

now

               Sharia law dress after Khomeini                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama took the wrong side again supporting the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi in Egypt when the people rose up against the newly elected leader as he became more authoritarian. He raised taxes massively and the price of staple foods. He announced that the presidency was above the law and not subject to judicial review. Things went from bad to worse and the people soon supported the military coup.

Egyptians against Morsi

The Egyptian people wrote this banner in English, exposing Obama for to the American news media.

We saw the same thing yesterday when Obama could have supported the dismantling of an Islamic state, instead he urged everyone to support the democratically elected government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But As Lt. Col Ralph Peters states this coup may be Turkey’s last best hope. “The military and the people staging this coup are against the Islamists, fundamentalists and extremists. They’re for democracy. They’re for a secular constitution.” Is that what we need more of in this world we’re in today?

Nope, not Obama. He’s always for some strange reason on the side of the thugs and terrorists. We just need to show more love and compassion.

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


I Don’t Know What’s Better, The Coffee or The Gelato

July 15, 2016

Both are great and we indulged ourselves often, occasionally more than once a day! In fact if I ate too much at dinner and didn’t have enough room for gelato (hard to believe), I’d be quite upset with myself. These things take more planning than I am apparently capable of.

GelatoThe gelato comes in a kazillion different flavors and they go all out to make it look pretty and tempting. If you haven’t had real Italian gelato it’s hard to explain the texture, but its way different from American ice cream. I’d say it’s silky & smooth, but not necessarily creamier. I’m told there’s more milk and less cream and no eggs as in our ice cream. Does that mean it’s less fattening? Sounds good to me. You could get 1, 2 or 3 flavors in a cone or cup, pretty much just like here. My favorites in this order:  hazelnut (nocciola), cherry (amarena), and coffee (caffè). Man it’s good is all I can say.

Gelato -my fav flavor

              Hazelnut gelato is called nicciola

As for the coffee, not being a ‘hair on the chest’ kinda girl I steered clear of the espresso. It’s just too strong. Mostly I ordered Caffè Americano which is obviously the closest to American coffee but the interesting thing is they way they serve it.

Caffe

 

 

It comes in a slightly smaller sized cup (bigger than espresso, but not like a mug) and it has only a little bit of very strong coffee at the bottom. With that they bring two small pitchers, one with hot water, the other with hot milk, and you make it to your own taste! They can be very fancy with the cream toppings on some of the coffees too, which is unique and kind of fun. At any rate, you can’t go wrong with gelato or caffé -or both!caffe faces

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


Okay, It’s Time To Mix It Up

July 14, 2016

You’ve seen and hopefully enjoyed some travel blogs written in Italy which I’ve been posting over the last week or so. I’d planned to post all the Italian travel stuff before going back to politics, but there’s just too much going on not to jump in, so I’ll mixing it up, alternating Italy travel with my usual GOYBs postings.

Geo Clooney Como VillaBTW, about a year ago this time word on the street was that George Clooney who has a villa on Lake Como where we stayed for most of our time in Italy, was considering selling due to the paparazzi, but word today is that it may be an entirely different reason.Lake Comomigrant camp

How’s that? I managed to tie in current events with travel?!

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers

%d bloggers like this: