Category Archives: Travel Stories
Another day on the road, another day full of surprises and wonders. Stunning views everywhere I look all around me.
This is the video of my day, including the ride a sweet elderly couple gave me on my way back to the camp, since I pushed it a little bit too far and pedaling back to the camp was turning into a nightmare…
They saw me sweating my butt off under the rain, and insisted I took the ride. They were so nice!
Talk to you soon!
I admit, I haven’t been much of a blogger lately. What can I say, I’ve just been busy. You might not even recognize me since I grew a beard. You know, just for a change. But I haven’t stopped traveling though. My summer trip is coming so I’m getting more and more excited. I’ll tell you more in the next future about that, I promise. And I’m sure I’ll post numerous updates once I’ll be on the road. But for the moment I thought I could share another one of my travel stories. Pretty fresh from the oven.
I guess The Clash got it right. London calls you. I honestly don’t know if the song means it this way, but that’s how I feel about the city I consider the most beautiful in Europe (Rome aside. You know that, don’t you?). I need to go back to London from time to time. So, five years after my last time, I felt it was the right moment and I planned my four days gateway in London.
It would have been my fourth time in the UK’s Capital, but also my first time alone. So I was very excited to spend four days in one of the cities I love the most, wandering with no precise destination around the city, just living it, since I didn’t have to see anything particular because I had checked out all the touristic landmarks more than once before.
Then I did it, and got to the Generator Hostel the 2nd of June. The hostel was great, as I expected it to be, because Generator is a chain I tried before in Hamburg and Copenhagen. A very modern hostel, with pretty cool stuff, including a great pub, which served an awesome hamburger by the way.
And here’s the thing. As soon as I arrived, just after I made my bunk bed, I hurt my back. I don’t even know how that happened. I just found myself standing in my room thinking about my next move, which would have been having a coffee in some bakery in the neighborhood, and all of a sudden I felt my back hurt. Like it already hurt before. I was like “wait a minute…what did I do?!”
See, it’s happened before. But usually it’s after a bad move, possibly at the gym. So I thought it wasn’t too dramatic. Probably some cold, since I came from my 25 degrees in Rome and in London was kind of freezing. I don’t wanna think it was because I bent to make my bed. Well, either way, turned out it actually was dramatic. I couldn’t even bend to put my shoes on, what do you call that?!
So what do you do when something like that happens?! Well, nothing. You just keep going. I mean, I was in London, what was I supposed to do?! Spend three days lying in bed?! No way. Besides, at first it seemed I could walk pretty well, it didn’t hurt that much. So I got out and walked to Camden Town, a good 2 km from Russell Square, where my hostel was.
As a result, the next morning it took me like an hour just to get off the bed. I was completely beaten. So I needed to reschedule my itinerary. Priority number one was now stopping by the pharmacy, which I did first thing in the morning. There, the doctor opted for a mix of two different painkillers, considering I was barely standing, and begging for something very strong.
I took them right away, and decided to head towards Saint Paul’s, a 4 km walk. At least it would have been a walk if I wasn’t literally dragging my body around. But I made it, and I decided to sit a while inside the cathedral trying to regain some strength.
Gotta say, seated in there, feeling stuck, in pain and having given up every hope of feeling a bit better, wasn’t one of my finest moments. Since I was inside a church though, it had something mystic in it. Not to sound profane.
But after a good half an hour, I did start to feel better and I knew that probably I might have been able to manage to get through it with the aid of the painkillers.
And that’s exactly what I did. I got through it. And once again I walked a lot. I took the metro too, but mostly I walked, because I think walking gets you a better sense of the cities you’re visiting. And I got to hang out in places I hadn’t been before, like the far East End for instance. Of course I couldn’t avoid passing by some of the main spots. Matter of fact I love them. Isn’t Trafalgar Square what you can really call a square?
So I’m happy to share some nice shots I took, which apparently have some success among my friends. Everybody wonders how I am able to take those kind of shots since they all know I travel always alone, and now it’s not much of a secret anymore. Still, it seems I’m the only one crazy enough to wander around the world, placing my tripod wherever I like, acting unaware while I shoot my remote control.
Crazy right?! Good results though.
Talk to you in a while, take it easy guys.
I gotta say, despite my pretty good experience as a traveler, catching a sunset is something I’ve never actually thought of doing along my trips. Unbelievable. How come, is something I can’t wholly comprehend.
That’s why the sunset I told you about in one of my posts from NYC, a week or so ago, was actually the first I caught purposely. But I’m sure the idea came from the oneI caught by chance a couple of days before, during my visit to Coney Island.
I’ve already said before I love New York since I was a kid and hadn’t even been there yet. That’s because I grew up watching American movies, and still do for that matter. This is also why I knew pretty well the Manhattan map even before my first time in NYC, since I used to study it and admire it, dreaming of the day I eventually could make it to the city.
Anyway, one of the first movie that gave me some glimpses of the city I was starting to dream of, was “The Warriors“. For all of you guys that might not know this movie, well…my first suggestion is go see it immediately. Even if the image it makes you see of New York isn’t one of the best. Yet, the movie is a cult.
Just to be clear, the film doesn’t show you the New York of the wonderful lights, beautiful landscapes, skyscrapers and skylines. Rather the New York of the gangs in the 70s and the war they used to fight. If this isn’t enough, the movie is all shot at night along, say, not the most recommendable parts of the city, at least at that time.
Cutting to the chase, the Warriors of the movie is a gang from Coney Island that after a huge gangs meeting in the Bronx gone wrong, has to make it back home. It’s a long travel if you have in mind the NYC map. Anyway, that’s where the myth of Coney comes from. Eventually they made it, and Coney Island is the set of the last scenes of the movie.
The thing is, I don’t know exactly why, but you can still breath the retro style decadence I came to know seeing those glimpses of the Coney Island of the Warriors.
That being said, it was a damn coincidence I was there two weeks ago, at the exact moment the sun was setting. I just wanted to get back see one of the places I like the most in New York, which for some reason isn’t so beaten. Plus, I wanted to go see Brighton Beach, which is, say, the Russian part of Brooklyn. Nothing really particular to see there, except for a lot of Russian shops, but again… I read too many books. So if John Corey hangs out in Brighton Beach to whack his Russian pals, I gotta go get an idea of what we’re talking about. Anyway, it happened I was right there at the right time, and the light was great. So is the camera of my Note 5. These pictures are the result.
Well, as some of you might know, I just came back from NYC. I had a great time. How could it be different?
I gotta say, this one’s been the best time of all my three visits in the city that never sleeps. It was my first time in winter, and even though this isn’t my favorite season, I was surprised by the colors the city shows in December. Cold colors of course, yet they looked so meaningful to me. I guess it’s just that I love this city.
Anyway I’ll have to write a post about it as soon as I come to terms with the fact that I’m back to normal life. But it’s going to be difficult to explain what it’s like being in New York, which are the vibrations you feel walking in its streets. My only suggestion is, as soon as you get a chance to go to NYC, go for it as fast as you can.
Me, I’ll try to push you a little.
Like I said, I had a wonderful time. And part of the fun was filming some videos thinking about the blog. You might have seen this video article I posted from New York, that shows my little journey to Brooklyn in a rainy day, where I said I’d be back to see the Manhattan skyline in a clearer day. That’s how I came up with the idea of documenting my walk to Brooklyn a couple of days later.
Watch the video below, and maybe you’ll be able to perceive a glimpse of the atmosphere of the NYC streets. I hope you’ll enjoy the video, but more important, the images of a beautiful sunny day of a December in New York.
*the river I crossed is the East River, not the Hudson like I claimed in the video! I always get confused.