Monday, 26 September 2016

Villa Diodati

Back to my weekend in Geneva two weeks ago, my parents and I went to look at the Villa Diodati just outside the city in Cologny. What is Villa Diodati and why did you go to see it? I hear you ask!

Well this was one of the reasons I wanted to come to Geneva, sadly you cannot visit the Villa and I had to make do to trying to see bits of it! It was not easy I can tell you, trees and bushes everywhere but I snapped these photos anyway.

This villa was rented by Lord Byron in the summer of 1816, here he stayed with,  John Polidori his personal physician. During the summer the villa was frequented by his new found friend Percy Shelley, Mary Goodwin (soon to be Shelley) and Claire Clairmont (with whom Byron had had an affair), they had rented a place near to the lake.

That was summer was to be know as "the year without a summer" because Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted throwing ash and dust across the northern hemisphere, causing lots of bad weather.
Due to this weather front the group were forced to stayed indoors and to help pass the time Byron suggested each guest to write ghost/horror stories. It is said that Mary Shelley got the idea for Frankenstein during these times cooped up in the villa.

Like I mentioned already it you cannot visit the villa, but now I have just discovered that there was an exhibition nearby about Frankenstein that we could have visited! Oh well never mind now!

Wishing you a great week ahead!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Photo of the Week - Independence!

While in Ponte Delgada this summer we saw lots of fantastic street art, which I have already posted about.

Behind this photo is a bit of story, while we were on one of our tours of the island we had a guide who was from the Azores. He was very nice and was able to give us lots of information about the island and the Azores in general. While we were having our lunch the whole group got talking about politics as you do! We touched on the subject of Scottish independence and the group made their views known. The guide asked if we had seen the street art in the town about independence, we of course said we had seen it. He explained that that was his father, he mentioned also that there is a group that would like to see the Azores become independent!

It is always very interesting the people who you meet and talk to when you are travelling!

This Thursday see the start of the Zurich Film Festival, the tickets have been on sale for over a week and basically all the films which have the actors coming are sold out. I have tickets to see American Pastoral directed by Ewan McGregor (he will be here plus his co-star Jennifer Conelly) and War on Everyone directed by John Michael McDonagh (Alexander Skarsgard will be here OMG!!).

Monday, 19 September 2016

Geneva Jet d`Eau

The weekend we had in Geneva seems ages ago, when in fact it was only the weekend before the last. Probably because I have been at home all last week and will continue to be this week also due to my small accident with my foot, everything goes slow!

Anyway we had a great time in Geneva and of all the sights to see in the city the water jet (Jet d`Eau) remains my favorite one. It was installed in 1886 a bit more downstream from it present location, then in 1891 it was moved to where it is now. Since 2003 is operates during the day all year, except in frost and very windy weather.

In the evening my father and I went out for walk and we went to see the jet. It was illuminated red and looked pretty cool! We went right up to it as did many other people and took some photos!

Have a great week folks!

Friday, 16 September 2016

August Reading List

August reading list has only 4 books, I feel that I did read another book but cannot think what it was!

First up is Murder on Page Three by Ella Griffiths, set in Oslo the main character Karin is a writer trying to write a crime novel, but not having much luck. The next door neighbours are away in their holiday house when an old lady come to the door Karin`s door and says she is the aunt of the neighbour. Saying that she has forgotten her key ask if Karin could let her in, she does so and does not think anything of it. Later on her neighbour returns home and finds the old lady dead and goes over to see Karin. The begins the police investigation into the death and Karin is very much a part of it all. I did enjoy the book, it certainly kept me going to the end!

Stolen Souls by Stuart Neville, set in Northern Ireland sees Inspector Jack Lennon called in to the murder of a Lithuanian gangster in Belfast. It is a story about sex-trafficking, a girl from Ukraine is lurked to NI to work with kids but ends up in a brothel, she manages to escape by killing the evil gangster, but ends up with an even crazier person. This is the third novel of DI lennon, it was a good novel and may try to read the other ones at some point in time.

The Black Rose of Florence by Michele Giuttari, as the title implies set in Florence follows Chief Superintdendant Michele Ferrara. A woman has been found dead with a black rose on her, it touches on devil worship and the occult. I have read a few from this series and they are always a good read.

The Secret Life and Curious Death of Miss Jean Milne by Andrew Nicol, now I bought this book as a present for my mother at Christmas. Since she tends to take a while to read books I read it first. This particular book is quite interesting as it is the story of a murder which took place in the street with my parents live in Brought Ferry. This is a true story which happened in 1912 and to this day remains unsolved. In the book we find out who was the murderer but it is a fictional character, but is was a great read!

Some books links:

Chris Brookmyre wins Scottish Crime Book of the year! Definitely need to read it then!

Very interesting article about Roald Dahl¨

Agatha Christie stamps, rather cool!

More crime novels to read!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Photo of the Week - Butterfly House

It has been a while since I did a photo of the week, so here comes one now. It is from the butterfly house on the Island of Mainau, which is in Constance, Germany. It is a beautiful flower island which was the main reason we visited and there will be another post about that to come.

I am not a fan of going into places like that where things fly around my head, it makes me feel uncomfortable, like I may stand on one of the creatures. So once I was in it, it was a mad dash to get to the end, everyone was enjoying themselves and I was ducking and diving whenever one of the butterflies flew towards me. I managed a few photos but most were all blurry, this is one of the few if not the only one that is decent!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Youth Training in Letzigrund

Alessio got a chance to meet and train with some of the athletics stars who were going to be at the Diamond League in Zurich on 1st September.

It was quite by chance that he got chosen, I registered him and he was randomly chosen to participate. He was quite excited to go and a little nervous too!

We got there on Tuesday 30th August around 5pm and waited for the gates to open, once through we waited for the stars to arrive. All the children were put into groups and were able to train with two of the athletics.

The first training session was with Jenny Spanovic Serbian the triple jumper and the second one was with Ajla del Ponte Swiss relay runner. He enjoyed both sessions.

Afterwards all the kids got chances to get the autographs from the athletics, Alessio was on a mission to get them all. He got 10 autographs and was a bit miffed he could not get them all.

This was a fantastic chance to meet some of the Olympic champions from Rio 2016.

This weekend I was in Geneva with my parents just for the weekend and it was a lovely time, but sadly nearing the end of the weekend I tripped going down a ramp and hurt my foot. Now I have to wear an ankle support when I walk around and have two weeks off work for it to heal!

Goodness the things that happen to you! Wishing you all a great week!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

An Afternoon in Lucerne

Lucerne is always a lovely city to visit and this time I decided to visit the Richard Wagner Museum. It is roughly around 30mins walk from the main station and a rather nice one by the lake. The museum will not take long to visit, the lower floor has furniture, ornaments and music scores and information about the rooms. Upper floors had an exhibition, which was okay and since it was all in German it did not hold my attention. A nice cafe outside if you feel the need for refreshments.

Afterwards I walked back into the centre and walked around the old part, it has such lovely buildings and was very busy. I looked for a cafe for a short break and cool beer, afterwards returned to Zurich. All in all a nice afternoon and good to get away from Zurich even for a short time.

This weekend I am off to Geneva with my parents, we will go with the train so will get plenty of reading done. What is everyone else up too this weekend?

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Postcards of Porto Part 1

Dom Luis 1

Riberia area


Church of Saint lldefonso

Bookshop Lello

Casa Do Musica

Castle do Quejio


Clerigos Tower

Alessio and I spent 4 days in Porto as part of our summer holiday, and I have to say that it is an amazing city. It is a very hilly city so we spent a lot of time wondering up and down the streets, but at least we were getting some exercise in the process!

I will name of the things we saw in Porto:

1) Riberia Square, this is part of the historical centre of the city and designated World Heritage by UNESCO. It is really a lovely area to walk around, full of colour and fantastic buildings!

2)Dom Luis 1 Bridge, this is quite the focal point of all the bridges, Alessio and I walked along with both top and lower desks.

3) Boat trip on the river Douro, the cruise passes under 6 bridges and gives information about them all!

4) Churches, there are so many in this city and they are all beautiful with fantastic tiles!

5) Casa da Musica, this is a major concert hall

6)Livraria Lello, this bookstore is famous as rumor has it that J K Rowling took inspiration from here for the Harry Potter books! It is a fantastic store though, although you pay 3 euros to enter and if you buy a book then the entrance fee is taken off! Of course we bought two books, it was so busy but worth it if you like books!

7) Beaches, there are many up the coast and possible to get there by bus. We went to the Sea Life centre but was not impressed. I have been to a few and none seem worth the money.

Next post will continue with more sights in Porto!