Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I really enjoyed Ravenna for the lack of Tourist and then I went to San Marino! When the bus arrived so did a few other tour buses and the city seems packed. I started walking towards the top of the town and as I climbed the rains came. The higher I got the less tourist there were and soon if felt like I was the only tourist heavy enough to not be washed away like all the rest.
I only spent a few hours in San Marino this small independent state surrounded by Italy. It is number 5 on the list of smallest countries in the world.
I am a lover of Castles and Fort so a castle on the top of a mountain was a great place to visit even if the rain also managed to was me away after a few hours.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I had some time off and could not decide where to go until I found a 10 euro flight to Bologna. How can you pass up a 10 euro flight to Italy so my decision was made for me. It cost me a lot more to the get to the airport on public transport than the flight to Italy. After the night in Bologna I caught a train to Ravenna.
Ravenna is on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites as Early Christian Monuments. I visited the 6 sites that are talked about on the UNESCO site. I have not always been impressed with some of the places on the UNESCO list but the mosaics are really impressive. The above pictures is examples of some of the Mosaics.
I also visited the Archiepiscopal Museum. I was surprised by the mosaics in the Archbishop's Chapel in the middle of the museum and also found the Ivory Throne of Maximian interesting. There were no photos allowed in the Museum so do not have any pictures to show.
I took what should have been a short bus ride to see the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe which is on the UNESCO list. I got on the bus going the wrong direction so went to the end of the line and then back through Ravenna before heading to the small town of Classe.
One of the things I really enjoyed about Ravenna was the small number of tourists. I had the Basilica all to myself for 10 or 15 minutes and no place I went to in Ravenna was crowded. The following is from the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Friday, March 1, 2013
I have recently bought a kindle and really like having a large library of books to read for such a small amount of weight. It is a kindle fire so I can also use it for reading email and browsing. When I was traveling for an extended period I had times where I had 4 or 5 guide books with me and that adds a lot of weight to the backpack. I thought that the kindle would be great and would solve this issue for me. For my recent trip to Nice I bought a LP guide book for France and hated it. I found it really difficult to find things when I was looking for them. Even when using the search function. If the word had an accent in it the search would not find it when I typed in the word without the accent. I could bookmark the sections I wanted when I found them but the bookmark did not always seem to return me to the specific page I bookmarked but the top of the section so at times I would think there was nothing on this page that I was interested in. I also just preferred a piece of paper in a real book. I was concerned about the maps but this was one of the things that did not bug me at all. The map was click-able and then it could be zoomed so it worked out well. It was difficult to flip back and forth between the map and another section but I think I could live with this. There were a couple of the diagrams of a site that were not click-able and the font was too small for me to read which was a bit disappointing but am sure this could be easily fixed. Guide books are not cheap and at times they cost me as much as my budget for 1 day in parts of Southeast Asia. I still feel they are worth the investment and I personally don't like to travel without a good guide book. I just don't feel I own the ebooks. When I was traveling I swapped, sold and gave away guide books. As far as I can tell this is not possible with the ebooks. I could buy the pdf version of the guide book and this would resolve it but the pdf version seems to have other issues. I tried a pdf version when I first got my kindle when I was in Hungary but also did not really like it. I am only writing this post because I was only able to find one negative review of electronic guide books. I feel I and this one other person can not be the only people to feel there is still a lot of benefit to having real paper books for travel. I also would like to know if others hated the e-versions and first and have been won over or other constrictive feedback. I am sure the kindle is now a permanent item in my backpack but have not sure if it will be used for guidebooks. I am currently considering buying one large multi-country electronic books from one guide book company and then buying the specific country books in the paper version from a different company. I will need to do a bit of research to even see if this might work. I am really interested in finding out others experiences so leave me a comment.