Tag Archives: pizza

Rio Birds

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9 am on December 27, 2012.  The power went out in the hostel.  Ivan went to get the free breakfast of cereal.  I went back to sleep. 

We took showers and then packed everything up.

A guy at Hostel Inn told Ivan that we should cross the street and wait for the bus headed to Iguazú Falls on the Brazilian side. 

We walked across the street to wait for the bus.  Two girls were waiting as well.  A taxi driver stopped and asked if we wanted to go in the taxi for the same price as the bus.  Ivan went over and said that was good.  So, we started going, but Ivan recognized the sign that we saw yesterday.  We were actually heading to the Iguazú Falls on the Argentina side.  The guy at the hostel gave Ivan the wrong information.   The driver took the two American girls to the Falls.  He told us that it would be 200 pesos to the Brazilian side.  To get there by bus, it would cost 160 pesos and we would have to transfer twice.  Ivan thought we should avoid the hassle and take the taxi.

The taxi took us to the Argentina Immigration where we didn’t even have to get out.  Our passports were stamped and off we went to the Brazilian Immigration. 

We got out of the car.  Ivan and I had to fill out forms.  The Immigration guy looked at my Brazilian visa and I got a stamp and our entry/exit form was stamped as well.  You have to keep the exit form and give it to Immigration when you exit.

It was great that both Immigration didn’t have a wait and it was very simple.

The taxi arrived at the Iguazú Falls entrance and we noticed two long lines.  Ivan put down his stuff and went in search of an ATM.  Ivan found out that the two lines are for buying tickets and one for waiting for the bus that takes you to the falls. 

We placed our bags in two lockers at the Iguazú Falls entrance.  Ivan and I thought we should try the falls later if the line was A LOT shorter.

We walked across the street to the bird park Parque Das Aves.  Ivan asked the lady at the entrance if the restaurant in the park was better than the restaurant across the street.  She said yes.  In Brazil, most people speak Portuguese.

The menu didn’t have many vegetarian or fish items.  Ivan and I ordered fish croquettes to share and an egg and cheese sandwich for each of us.  Lil Dave got a banana and peanut butter sandwich. 

Ivan read that people spend 3 to 4 hours at the bird park. 

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We spent 50 minutes walking around and saw many types of birds, a few snakes, crocodiles, turtles, flamingos and a variety of butterflies. 

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It’s too bad that there’s not an area where you can feed the birds.. Ivan loves doing that. 

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There wasn’t that much to see so I’m not sure how people spend so long at this park.  The best bird park we’ve been to is the KL Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur in 2009.

Walked back across the street to the Iguazú Falls entrance, but the line was still long.  It would probably be an hour to get on the bus.  Ivan read that most people thought the Brazilian side was boring compared to the Argentine side.  I thought that it would be best if we just left it and went to the airport early.

We got a taxi for 20 pesos to the Foz do Iguaçu Airport which was only 5 minutes away.  Our flight was at 7 pm.  Ivan noticed an earlier flight to Rio de Janeiro at 4 pm.  Since it was 2 pm, he asked the lady at the counter if we could change the flight and she said yes.  There wasn’t even a charge for changing the flight. 

Ivan used the internet while I worked on the blog.

Our plane took off at 4:05 pm.  Ivan and I watched the Christmas episode of Miranda and episodes of Balls of Steel Australia.  The plane landed at 6:09 pm in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

We got our backpacks and got a taxi to the house Ivan booked through Booking.com.  We were staying for two nights with a gay couple named Stuart and Mauricio at Casa Verde.  The English and Brazilian men were so very friendly.  They own two adorable Schnauzers.  The dogs are so cute, I want to take them home with me.

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Their house is beautiful with lovely artwork done by Stuart and a great pool outside.

Later on, we walked to dinner at Pizzaria Plano B with Stuart and Mauricio.  Ivan and I ordered a pizza with one half with tuna and the other half was mushroom. 

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Lil Dave got a banana pizza.  The pizzas were cut in a checkerboard pattern and we were given little wooden forks to eat it with.  We chatted awhile about traveling, Rio and hypnosis.

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Porto Crawl

Ivan and I woke up early on the morning of September 19, 2012.  We returned the car at the Avis located at the airport after 10:30 am.

We got the free Avis shuttle to the airport and then we got the metro to the city. 

Ivan and I checked out the Pull and Bear Outlet.  I bought two cute t-shirts. 

We walked around Porto stopping by a pastry shop Padaria Ribeiro which we saw during the walking tour yesterday.

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Ivan and I shared an egg custard tart.

Lunch was at Farol de Boa Nova with a lovely view of the river. 

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The waiter gave us cod fritters and cheese which was tasty.  Lil Dave got a banana sandwich.  Ivan and I each got the cod brás which was cod, eggs, onions and chives.  It wasn’t very exciting, but apparently it’s a traditional dish. They charged us 4 Euros each for the cod fritters and cheese – they never told us about the charge.. a bit annoying when they do that, but to be fair we did eat it, and it was pretty good.

We walked to Gaia (the other side of the river) to check out a cellar tour.  The banks of Gaia are full or port wine cellars.

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Porto is known for their port wines.  We walked around to find a tour that was starting soon. 

Ivan, Lil Dave and I did the Ramos Pinto tour.  It was 5 Euros each with a museum tour, cellar tour and two tastings.  We got a white and a ruby port.  Both were tasty.  Port can be very sweet.

Outside, we had fun putting our faces in the Ramos Pinto ad with the couple kissing.

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Next, we came across Kopke which is the oldest port wine house.  Ivan and I shared the La Grima which is a sweet white port and a Tawney Reserve which is an tasty oakey port wine. 

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It came with chocolate that went well with the tawney.  Chocolate and wine are a lovely combination!!  The two glasses of wine was only 5 Euros. 

Took the tram back.  I took an hour nap since I was feeling tired probably from all the wine we had.

We went out at 8:30 pm for dinner at Casa da Foz.    Ivan and I started off with a great shrimp & mushrooms dish in a spicy sauce.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza. 

Ivan and I shared a vegetarian pizza and a weird pasta with anchovies, but actually didn’t come with anchovies.

Lil Dave decided to take it easy and head back to the room.  It’s been awhile since he got to relax, jumped on the bed and munched bananas.

It was time for the Pub Crawl.  The starting point for the crawl was at Bar Porto com Arte.  There was an option to do a wine tasting for a separate charge.  Ivan and I didn’t do it, but got a white port wine instead.  There were lots of young people for the pub crawl.  The wine tasting took forever since the waiter kept babbling about how to taste the wine – nobody seemed to care about what he was going on about.

It was time for the first bar.  It was near the university and surrounded by college students.  It looked like a crappy café that you could get drinks on the cheap.  We were given a free orange watered down drink which tasted like Fanta.  Then, we got a beer.  The group were standing outside drinking.  It felt like being in college and being a student.  Ivan and I thought were too old for these pub crawls.  The pub crawls where they show you cool bars are interesting, but the crawls, like this one, where people just want to drink… are lame and usually boring.

We walked to Plano B nearby, but nothing was really happening.   So, we went back to get some rest.

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Pizza Tunnels

On September 1, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I had the big breakfast burrito in the Red Iguana Mexican place. It was so very tasty and big.

We got off the cruise ship at 9:30 am. It was completely overcast and gloomy out. We wore jeans and rain jackets and went into the city.

It was time to see the Il Tunnel Borbonico which are tunnels.  The tour was in English that Ivan pre-booked.  It was only us in the tour which was really cool.  This was made in the 17th century as a military passage connecting the Royal Palace to Morelli street.  It was also used for a bomb shelter during World War II.  It was supposedly the most bombed city in the war (This sounds so familiar since we’ve heard it before on other tours for other cities that we’re bombed during the war – wonder which city was ACTUALLY the most bombed city during the war).  It was really cavernous and huge down there.  We’ve been to the Cuchi Tunnels in Vietnam? and those were even hard for me to walk in without bending over (I’m under 5 foot).

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There was lots of old cars there since in the 1940’s to the 1970’s the police placed stolen or illegal cars here. 

Ivan found out today that you can actually do rafting underneath the tunnels.  Too bad that nobody was doing it today.  It’s something you do have to book ahead.  That would have been fun.

We did see parts of water tanks and the old electricity system on the wall.

Over by the old toilets, the lady played a air raid siren.. I think she should have played it longer for effect.

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It is sad to think that people lived down here during the war.  It was really spacious, but I’m sure it was quite depressing.

It was a really cool place.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t take pictures because of copyright.  They said they would send us pictures to our email for free (but still haven’t gotten them and it’s been two weeks after).  I would definitely recommend seeing the tunnels.. it’s really worth the 10 euros per person.  When you’re filling out the form to get the pictures via email you also get a ticket that lasts for the rest of the year.  Our friendly tour guide said we should talk about us online like Tripadvisor or Twitter since they don’t advertise.  She even told me that it’s weird that she works that and she can’t even take photos of where she works.  If I worked there, I would sneak a few in.  I don’t know her name but she was very passionate about the tunnels maybe since she doesn’t do that many tours. 

It was warm out so we probably shouldn’t have worn jeans.  It was a little cooler in the tunnels though.

We went back to the Carnival Breeze to change and relax for a bit.  I worked on some art stuff and the blog while Ivan used the internet.  Lil Dave came back to the room.  He’s been playing some silly monkey trivia games with his friends. 

Ivan and I went back into Naples to do our own self-guided pizza tour.  Naples is where pizza was created.  We wanted to try a few places eating a slice of pizza at each one. 

Our first stop was the pizzeria called L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele that was used in the movie Eat Pray Love.  There was a big crowd outside with people waiting for their number to be called.  Ivan grabbed a number.  It was rainy out.  Ivan noticed that people had take-away boxes.  Ivan is always the one to save some time.. he thought that we should just get a pizza take-away.  It was weird that there were lots of people STILL waiting for their pizza inside the small restaurant inside. 

There were only two options of pizza here:  margherita and marinara – one with cheese and one without (Why oh why would you get it without cheese?!).  We went for the margherita.  We saved a lot of time by getting our pizza to go.

We picked a spot that had a cover so we wouldn’t get wet from the rain.  The pizza had a lot of tomato making it more wet (which is definitely a Napoli pizza trait) and not enough cheese. 

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The cheese, tomato and bread were delicious.  Ivan and I agreed that it needed more cheese.  I gave it 8 out of 10 while Ivan scored the same.

The next stop was Pizzeria Sorbillo Antonio egigi Napoli (wheew what a name!).  It was weird seeing an Asian taking out the pizzas at this place.  The oven was right near the entrance.  We got the funghi pizza which came with mozzarella, mushroom and pomodoro (tomato). 

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This pizza was a bit ordinary.  I thought the cheese was good.  We both agreed that the bread tasted great.  I gave it 6 out of 10 while Ivan gave it 5 out of 10.  There was a guy playing music on a tambour. 

It was time for a break from all the pizza.. so we decided to check out the sights.

We checked out the Sansevero Chapel.  The most famous marble statue is The Veiled Christ. 

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It’s amazing how the sculptor made the marble look very thin like a veil.  There was another cool statue where the marble looks exactly like rope.  It’s amazing the work these artists make.. the artists these days just pale in comparison compared to these artists.

Our last pizza stop was Di Matteo.  We tried to go here earlier in the day, but it was way too busy probably since it was lunch time.  Ivan was right to say that we should come back later.  Ex-President Bill Clinton has visited here.

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We got the pizza sampler which was divided into four – one with no cheese or sauce, but with mushrooms, anchovies, eggplant, olives (asked for artichokes, but I guess they ran out – took the olives off since we don’t like olives).  The bread was okay, the tomato sauce was alright and the toppings and cheese were good.  We had our slice of pizza with a glass of white wine.  I gave it 5 out of 10 while Ivan gave it 4 out of 10. 

The best pizza of the day was the Eat Pray Love pizza at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Naples is known for their use of tomato making the pizza more wet. It’s different.. but as long as the tomatoes are tasty it’s good. Also, they don’t use much cheese… so, I guess that leaves you concentrating on the toppings and flavors. 

Watch a video of me reviewing the pizza at Di Matteo:

Check out the two other video reviews: L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele and Pizzeria Sorbillo Antonio egigi Napoli.

At the port, we bought some banana vermouth and a red wine.  The bags are checked at the port with the Italians and they don’t care what you bring on.  Usually, Carnival is very strict.. but this port had the gangway at Level 3 and they didn’t have a machine to check bags – plus they didn’t check what were the contents of the bag. 

We went back on the Carnival Breeze right before 6 pm. 

Ivan and I used the internet and I worked on the blog as well. 

It was time for some entertainment.  We saw Richard Griffin who’s a comedy magician – he wasn’t that funny and his tricks were the same ol’ stuff you see.

We went to dinner and chatted with our tablemates.

Credits: Il Tunnel Borbonico picture and The Veiled Christ picture

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Walking around Venice

On August 25, 2012, Ivan, Lil Dave and I had breakfast at the apartment.  We got the bus and then the vaporetto (water bus) to the island of Venice. 

We went to St. Mark’s Basilica which is located in the beautiful St. Mark’s Square.  Ivan signed up online for 1 Euro each to forego the line – he read that sometimes the line gets really long.  The line wasn’t actually long.  If you’re wearing a tank top or shorts, you have to buy a cover for 1 Euro.  I bought one, but I didn’t remember that I had my sarong in my bag until after I bought the cover.

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The church was lovely inside.  I lit a candle and prayed for friends who passed like my ex-boss who passed recently.  I joked at the end that the cloth I was wearing looked like a table cloth.. and at the exit there was a box of table cloths!  I was actually wearing a table cloth!! Obviously somewhere in Venice there is a restaurant with a confused waitor outside saying to anyone who would listen ‘Has anyone seen that box of table clothes I left outside?’ And there running away in the distance he can see some guy in a priest outfit with the box under his arm and a cheeky grin on his face!

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People were being stupid and putting back the table cloth that they bought for 1 Euro.  I kept mine so I can have a picnic on the cruise ship we’ll be boarding soon.

It was time to search for some lunch. Ivan checked out a few different places.  We decided to eat at a restaurant (can’t remember the name).  There was a set menu which was a pasta dish with a glass of wine for 12 Euro, so we went with that.  Ivan and I each had black ink spaghetti with cuttlefish and a glass of white wine.  Lil Dave got got the banana lasagna with a glass of banana juice.  Ivan and I looked like we had turned goth with our lips turned black from the black ink.  The food was tasted great.

It was time to go shopping.  I love walking around Venice since it’s a lovely city.  I checked out all the Murano glass shop, the souvenir stores and Venetian mask shops. 

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I could spend hours just walking around here – thank Goodness for GPS, it’s really confusing with all the winding alleyways.  I thought there weren’t any dead ends, but during our time in Venice we ran into two dead ends.

We did lots of walking around.  I see why Venetians eat so much… you spend a lot of energy walking around the streets that you need more energy before you go walking even more.

We stopped at Cantina Do Mori for cicchettis.  Once we did a Cicchetti of Venice tour and the group stopped here. 

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I remembered the bronze buckets that line the ceiling.  Ivan and I shared tuna fritters, cheese and fish and veggies on bread. 

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Lil Dave had to special order his cicchetis: banana on bread, banana with cheese on top and banana fritters.

We walked around even more checking out the souvenirs.

Ivan thought it would be a great idea to get some gelato.  I think any time is a good time for gelato unless you’re super stuffed from a big meal.  Ivan had choccolata extranoir (dark chocolate sorbet), mango and pistachio while I had blueberry, choccolata extranoir and lemon.  Lil Dave got 3 scoops of banana (of course!).  The blueberry wasn’t the best, while I really enjoyed the lemon and the chocolate sorbet. 

Ivan and I were feeling a bit tired, so it was time to get an espresso at a café.  If you sit down, the café will charge a service charge.  Most Italians just stand at the bar and drink the espresso from the cute little cups.

Next, it was time for wine.  Ivan can’t remember the name of the wine bar.  We had artichokes in oil and sparkling water. 

St. Mark’s Square is huge compared to the one in Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel and Casino.  It’s beautiful – it’s definitely a must see in Venice.

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We wanted to do the pub crawl again.   We saw the guide again and nobody showed up again.  I don’t know why.. maybe he’s lying that he has 20 people on his tour sometimes.  Ivan and I reckon they need to fire their marketing guy and hire somebody better.

It was a very tiring day, so we thought we’d head back and have dinner at the local restaurant near the apartment.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I got the vaporetto (water bus) back and then the bus.

We had dinner at Ristorante Tizano.  Lil Dave got a special banana pizza.  Our meal was lovely again with a tunno e cappolla (tuna & onion) pizza and some amazing pasta, and a white wine to wash it all down.

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Gondola Mask

Ivan and I slept 10 hours and woke up feeling refreshed on August 24, 2012.  Our room at Airbnb included breakfast for free.  Ivan and I had saltine crackers, cereal, a peach and yogurt.  Lil Dave had two bananas. 

We got the bus and then the vaporetto (water bus) to the island of Venice.  We rushed to meet up with Jane for Row Venice.  Today, we would be able to drive a gondola!!

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How freaking cool.  I knew Ivan would be better at this since it took me awhile to be alright at kayaking.  Ivan seems to pick up things a lot quicker than me in some things.  Ivan was up first.  Jane steered in the back while Ivan was in the front.  Jane told him to do the rowing.  It seemed easy, but I didn’t think it would be easy once I got to do it.  Jane is an Australian lady who has lived in Venice for 22 years – she’s married to an Italian. 

It was my turn to try it.  I wasn’t as good.  I felt a bit ganged up on since Jane and Ivan were telling me what to do.. and I was a bit confused.  I guess I wasn’t very confident about doing it since I thought I wouldn’t be good at it for some reason.  I was getting a hang of it though.

The views were beautiful with all the buildings with paint falling off the building and the lovely canals.

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Jane told us that up to the 1970’s deliveries were done via gondola. Not many locals take gondolas since they are expensive to take. Some people have their own gondolas or boats. It’s 2000 Euros a year to have a spot at the marina. Jane doesn’t use her gondola much – mostly for the tours since it’s easy to walk somewhere then get the gondola ready and boat there. The scenery was quite lovely.

We rowed out to the open ocean.  Jane asked if I wanted to steer in the back.  I wasn’t too confident, so I let Ivan go first.  Jane let me row in front while she was telling Ivan what to do.  Ivan kind of seemed to be getting the hang of it. 

I got to try the steering next.  It was pretty hard.. I think I was better at the rowing in the front.

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Ivan went to steer again in the front while I was in the front.  We had to head to a certain point Jane said.. but Ivan was making us go in a circle.  Eventually, we started heading in the right direction.

Jane told us that 2 people have proposed to their girlfriend on the gondola ride.  We had an awesome time rowing in the gondola.  Ivan was excited that he got to wear the gondolier hat.  Ivan got to go in front again while Jane did the steering in the back. 

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He even sang us a little tune.  This is a great thing to do.. I’m sure it’s lovely riding in a gondola, but rowing it is EVEN better!!

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Lil Dave wanted to try the rowing, but he was way too small for it.  Unfortunately, there aren’t any small monkey gondolas – I’d love to see that.. it’d be soo cute.  Jane liked taking pictures with Lil Dave.. although, she didn’t want to take off her glasses – maybe she’s hiding from the mob or something?

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I were so hungry.  Jane recommended a restaurant for us for civvitechhia?? (look in old blog), but it was closed for lunch.  So, we found a nice place that looked good.  Ivan and I shared a huge plate of vegetables and another plate of seafood. 

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Lil Dave went for a banana spaghetti.  The food was delicious and REALLY filled us up.  We had a spritz which is a local Venetian drink – a bit bitter… better with Aperol which is sweeter than the Campari which can be really bitter.

A short time later, we walked to Grom which is a great sorbet place in Italy.  Ivan had a dark chocolate sorbet, pistachio and mango in a cup while I had dark chocolate, fig and raspberry.  I’ll let you guess what flavors Lil Dave got.  Can you guess it?  Our favorites were the raspberry and the dark chocolate sorbet.  The dark chocolate had little bits of chocolate in it.

It’s so lovely walking around Venice – it’s a very picturesque city.

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It’s also nice to do some window shopping.  We checked out the Venetian masks stores and Murano glass stores filled with figures and jewelry.

One store had great masks, but they told me No Pictures.. but I was able to get in 3 shots. 

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Lil Dave was happy that he found a monkey mask.. but unfortunately the banana to Euro ratio isn’t very good now, so he wasn’t able to buy it.

We went to the mask place where the masks from the movie “Eyes Wide Shut” were created.  Ivan and I signed up for their Venetian mask making class for Monday.  The Venetian masks are beautiful in Venice and they’re not that pricey. 

We went to check out The Original Venice Pub Crawl and met the guide named Allen who’s Russian.  Unfortunately, nobody showed up which we thought was odd since it was a Friday night.  He thought it was because the barman said that a few girls wanted to do the pub tour but there was an opera on.  I doubt backpackers are going to the opera instead of a pub crawl. I guess it’s just slow or their advertising is really bad. 

It was time for dinner.  We went to eat at Ristorante S. Stefano.  Ivan and I shared a good tuna and onion pizza and a spaghetti with tomato and basil.  Lil Dave got the banana fettuccine. 

We took the vaporetto (the way  to say water bus in Italian – which sounds really cool!) and then the bus back to the apartment.

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Venice via Newcastle

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had to wake up early at 9:30 am on August 23, 2012. 

We packed up which took quite a while as all of our stuff was spread around the room as if an explosion had gone off in our suitcase.

So by 11am or so we were done. I realised that I had way too much stuff-before I had about 10kg in my bag but now I’ve got 13kg and that is just way too much for a little girl like me. Before we go to South America, Ivan’s going to get rid of a whole bunch of his smarter clothes and I’m going to get rid of some clothes as we are not going to need these while overlanding on the Oasis truck.

We got the train to Newcastle from the main Edinburgh train station. The train took an hour and an half and the journey flew by with the help of a tasty crayfish and noodles salad, and a couple of episodes of weeds and beaver falls on the laptop.

Once in Newcastle, it was another metro ride that then took us to the Newcastle airport. We were flying from here to Venice rather than from Edinburgh as it was much cheaper. The line for check-in was deserted and security was pretty fast as well – always the great thing about small airports I guess!

The flight was pretty uneventful…I just worked on the blog and read a bit of my book. Once we arrived and had got our luggage we headed towards the boat station to get our boat into the centre of Venice. Its always nice to get off a plane and onto a boat rather than a bus or taxi isn’t it!

We were staying on the Lido rather than the main island of Venice and luckily the boat we were on took us right there. A short taxi ride then took us to the Airbnb place Ivan had booked for us. We were greeted by a lovely Italian lady called Gabrielle who was quite the character and fun to talk with. We were staying in a room in her house along with her and another lodger. She recommended a local Italian restaurant, and due to the fact that we were pretty hungry , we ignored Gabrielle’s requests for us to ‘relax and maybe take a shower ‘ (in fact she was very insistent that we SHOULD take a shower – did we smell or something?), and headed to the local restaurant nearby called Ristorante Tizano.  The tuna and onion pizza, cod dish (which was creamy) and a pasta with olive oil, garlic and chili.  I don’t know how they make pasta so simple, but it tastes delicious.  The pizza was amazing and the cod dish was really good. 

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The cod looks like a penis and balls though haha… I think the chef has a sense of humor.

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Nova Postcard

Ivan, Lil Dave and I woke up at 9:30 am on August 3, 2012. 

We checked out of Vila Panonija. 

Lunch was at Caffe Che Nova? 

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It was great eating lunch in a such a lovely setting.  Lil Dave had banana pasta. 

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Ivan and I shared a delicious prawn & tomato stuffed squid and an average salmon risotto.

Our backpacks were left at storage at the hotel – so we picked them up and headed to Old Town.

I put a few postcards in the post box.

It was almost time to leave, so we walked to the bus station.  Everything seems so much farther when you have heavy backpacks on and you’re walking in the hot sun. But we don’t mind too much, as we think of the extra weight as ‘exercise’!

Sometimes you’re not assigned as seat as this was the case.  Ivan put our big backpacks in storage while I grabbed good seats.  We got lucky with a table all to ourselves.  Lil Dave was happy since he got his own window seat!

The bus arrived at the Montenegran Immigration at 4:20 pm.  The bus went into the bus lane and it took 30 minutes.  Ivan and I forgot again about the next Immigration for the Croatian side.  There was a really long line.  We were done there around 5:40 pm.  Thank goodness the bus was air-conditioned and we had cold water – otherwise the wait would have been a bit unbearable.

We arrived in Dubrovnik, Croatia at 6:30 pm and got a taxi to the Old Town.

The place we stayed at was called Dubrovnik Rooms Seka.  It’s run by a friendly red-headed Croatian lady. 

She asked for our passports and said did we want alcohol or coffee.  Ivan asked what the alcohol was and she said rakia.  I said we love rakia.  It was a lovely homemade (made by her!) rakia welcome shot.  She did a shot as well – not as big as the ones she poured out for us.  She didn’t speak much English, but she was super friendly.

Unfortunately, there was no free wi-fi like as it was advertised…..but it had a lovely view and was so close to the Old Town. The picture below was of the view from our window.

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We had dinner at a restaurant called Café Dubravka 1836.  We had a nice view of the castle walls.  Lil Dave got a banana soup and a banana lasagna.  Ivan and I shared a fish soup, tuna pizza and mussels in red sauce.  The fish soup was quite plain and tasted more like a boring chicken noodle soup.  The tuna pizza was very good.

We walked around the Old Town which has cobblestone streets.  Its truly a really magical place to walk around. I like all the cool souvenir shops and the restaurants playing music. 

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Dubrovnik is a lovely place especially at night.  I like the buildings with the green shutters.

Ivan thought we go check out D’Vino wine bar. 

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Ivan and I wanted to get the cheese platter, but we were stuffed from dinner.  Maybe next time.  We each got an espresso and chilled out.

It was great to check out the very cool postcards and the souvenirs in the shops.  I bought a bunch of postcards and we headed back to apartment at 11 pm.

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Souvenir Pizza

On June 25, 2012, I woke up at 10 am.  Jennifer got up at 11:20 am.  She requires 8 or more hours of sleep while I’m good with just 6 hours.

We walked to the Anchorage downtown area to find lunch.  Snow City Café looked busy…and busy is good right?  There were lots of people sitting down waiting for a table as there was a 45 minute wait.  I asked if we could sit at the bar and we were seated right away.  I don’t understand why people would rather wait for a table for THAT long when you can sit at the bar.  Maybe they don’t think of asking or they just want to sit at a table and not sit next to strangers…either that or they are just plain stupid.

I got tasty salmon cakes while Lil Dave got a banana omelet.  Jen got a delicious Crabby Omelet – she claimed it was the best omelet she’s ever had.  I’m sure all that Swiss cheese made it taste scrumptious.

We walked around downtown and checked out a couple souvenir shops.  Jen and I bought a few things for my parents and my bro.  We bought a ulu knife made in Alaska with it’s own stand – it even came with directions, which will come in handy since we’ve never used one before!

We decided to do a trolley tour of Anchorage..more because we had nothing else to do rather than because we particularly wanted to…We boarded the Anchorage City Trolley Tours trolley.  Our tour guide had lots of stories to tell about Anchorage…most of them not particularly interesting.

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The trolley stopped at the Alaska Railroad, Lake Hood (which is the largest float-plane base in the world), cruised Earthquake Park and the Cook Inlet.  You know it’s a small city when the highlight of the tour guide’s week was seeing 10 people behind a row of port-a-potties after the marathon.  She needs to get out more. The tour was alright – definitely not worth $15 though.

Jen wanted to mail postcards – so we walked to the 4th Avenue Marketplace since there’s a Post Office on the 1st floor there.  Jen mailed our ulu knife and the postcards.

We walked to a grocery store that is supposed to have unique food items for sale.  I noticed Patak curry sauces and Jen saw naan bread – but not much else that was unique.  I grabbed some bananas and bread for breakfast tomorrow since we have a morning flight tomorrow.

It was raining outside.  I thought we should walk back to the house, so we could have pizza later tonight. It was about  a 3 mile walk back, and we had walked about 3 miles earlier on in the day to get to downtown, so if that doesn’t deserve some pizza then what else does!

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Later on, we walked to Moose’s Tooth for dinner.  Lil Dave got a small banana pizza with honey on top. 

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Jennifer and I shared a delicious Strawberry Summer Salad.  It came with tons of fruit.  I hate it when I get a salad that should have lots of fruit – but it’s about 90% of lettuce.  We each got a tasty Hard Apple Ale that they brew themselves.  Our pizza came out next which was half of Wild Mushroom (portabella & crimini mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella, provolone cheese and denali sauce which is like pesto) and half of Roasted Garlic pizza.  It was so very delicious again!!  We both wish that Moose’s Tooth had a branch in Las Vegas.  We would be regular customers for sure!

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Sunny Solstice Market

I woke up at 10:30 am on June 23, 2012.  Jennifer woke up shortly at 11 am.  We headed out into Anchorage at noon.  It was a lovely sunny day. 

We walked to the downtown area, after getting lost quite a few times, taking a number of detours, and learning that there really arent that many taxis in Anchorage…especially when you want one due to the fact that you have walked miles and still have miles to go to get to your destination. We were hungry, so went to the F Street station which our couchsurfer had recommended to us. I got a tasty halibut sandwich while Jen got a crab sandwich.  We enjoyed our food with a sweet Riesling.  I noticed on the tourist map that there was a market going on.  I was disappointed that I didn’t read this early since we could have had a nice lunch there instead…..

After lunch, we started walking towards the market.  I saw a sign for the Downtown Summer Solstice Festival and Hero Games.  I thought we would check it out after the Anchorage Market & Festival.

The market was filled with many stalls selling food, jewelry, clothing, candles and soaps.  We saw a place selling salmon quesadillas. Jennifer thought that sounded really good.  I told her that we would come back later and have one…..not because necessarily we would be hungry later, but because you can never say no to a salmon quesadilas can you.

We walked to the Summer Solstice Festival. 

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We saw many things like wood carving with chainsaws, a big sand box, a pool of water where kids could go kayaking, a puppet show, skateboarding, animals to pet and bouncy castles.  There was one Hero Game we came across.  Two teams were playing volleyball with water balloons.  Each team had a blanket. 

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One team would serve the water balloon by throwing it up in the air with the blanket.  The other team would have to try to catch it.  If they dropped it, the other team would score.  It looks liked fun, but Jen and I would have rather had a great big water balloon fight with everybody.

We checked out the largest souvenir shop in Anchorage.  It’s definitely not as big as the largest souvenir shop in Las Vegas.  We didn’t get anything, but we’re going to come back to buy a ulu knife with a bowl for us to use at home.

It was time to walk back to the Anchorage Market & Festival.  Jen and I shared a delicious salmon quesadilla. 

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We walked around checking out the stalls we missed last time.  I bought some peppered smoked salmon. 

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There was lots of unique products being sold like fishing lure earrings, Alaskan nightlights made out of wood or hand painted clogs.  Jennifer bought a cool J scrabble tile zipper pull and banana earrings. 

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Hopefully, Lil Dave doesn’t try to eat her earrings mistaking them for real bananas!

We were feeling pretty tired after that, so jumped in taxi and headed back to the couchsurfer’s house.

After using the internet for a bit, we headed out to the Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria which had been recommended to us by the couchsurfer and was also number one on Tripadvisor for restaurants in Vancouver.

The pizzas were supposedly meant to be the best in Alaska….We haven’t had many pizzas in Alaska (in fact we’ve had none) so we can’t vouch for the validity of that statement, but we do agree that they were very nice pizzas!

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We got two small ones – both half and half. So four different flavors of pizza. Our favorite was the wild mushroom, and the roasted garlic one.

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