Puglia, Calabria, Naples – 2018

Featured image


After last-minute car trouble postponed our plans for a central European road trip, Bari (at Italy’s heel) turned out to be the most affordable destination south of Ljubljana, so off we were. We rented a car at the airport and headed straight past Bari to the hills and the famed trulli region of central Puglia, Italy’s heel. A trullo is like a dry, southern-climate version of a Hobbit’s house: a small, cone-shaped building made of flat stones that is characteristic only of this part of Italy. Drive up into the hills of Puglia and they’re everywhere: from old, gray, half-collapsed sheds on the edge of fields to cute homes consisting of a couple of trulli and a modern addition and even white-washed mansions with a dozen trulli tips rising from the roof. Puglia, or at least this part of it, is more densely inhabited than we imagined. Where there are no houses or towns, it’s agriculture, particularly olives, and rocky, red soil.

Read more

New York City 2012

Several days in New York City, April 2012. Some tips and comments:

Finding baggage storage in New York City is a bit tricky if you’re not staying at a hotel. One option is Schwartz Travel and Storage – they have one location about five blocks from Grand Central Station and two other locations. The place is reasonable at USD 10 per day per bag/suitcase and the staff is very friendly, but it’s hard to find. Look for the Subway restaurant on the south side of 46th Street between 5th and 6th Ave. Right next to it is an unassuming door with a small “Schwartz” sign in the window. Baggage storage is on the 4th floor. Just an empty room in an unpolished building, but it does the job.

Read more

Ostfriesland 2011

A short trip back to Toms’ childhood and youth in Oldenburg, Germany.

The pictures more or less tell it all. But there are no pictures of Leer, which we also passed through. Lucky we did, too, because we were pleasantly surprised at what a nice town it seemed to be. Next time we’ll take a closer look.

Read more

The Pennine Way – 2011

While Amanda travelled Siberia, Toms spent three weeks walking the Pennine Way – a dream for those who love solitary hiking, enjoy bleak hills and wide moorlands, and don’t mind the English weather. The Pennine Way starts in a small village called Edale in Derbyshire County and ends 429 km later in Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders region.

Read more

Siberia / Russia – June 2011

First, the background information: on June 14, 1941, more than 14,000 people were forcibly deported by Stalin’s regime from Latvia to Russia – families were separated, the men sent to hard labor camps, women and children sent to work and fend for themselves on the Siberian taiga and tundra. Teachers, doctors, government workers, members of the Latvian national guard, active members of their communities – these were their only “crimes”. The vast majority of the men died of hunger, illness, exposure, and/or were sentenced to death as “enemies of the state” and shot. Far too many of the women and children died as well, of the same causes. Another 40,000+ people were deported eight years later in a second round of deportations by the Soviet regime.

Read more

Rome 2011

June 2011

The challenge was to combine 1) a whirlwind tour of Rome 2) in early summer 3) with three children with 4) a four-day visit with a dear cousin and her daughter, whom we haven’t seen in a while. And we were successful!

Read more