I’m telling the truth when I say I’m leaving Italy with some “pasta babies” located on the thighs, hips, love handles and even one clinging around my mid-section. I’m relying on the heat and walking in Morocco to abort all the “pasta babies”. I first started growing my pasta babies during our month visit in Lanciano which meant eating at a buffet for 99% of the meals, and I think we all know what buffet eating leads too. My pasta baby situation only got worse when Chris and I headed to northern Italy to visit my dear friend Christine who is currently studying abroad. Her university program has her living in three different countries this year:  France, Italy and Spain. We were lucky enough to catch her in Piacenza, Italy. I met Christine 10 years ago, in Lanciano Italy, on my first day of Grade 10. We were sitting next…Continue Reading
Mrika and I.
I know I can speak for Laura as well when I say that we found it difficult to leave Lanciano. As I write this, we’re speeding north in a cozy train compartment toward Piacenza, Italy to see our friend Christine. Laura is napping on the seats across from me, lines of sunlight and shadow moving lazily across her face as the train rounds a bend. The view is a blur of green, with olive groves, wineries, and distinctly Italian villas giving way periodically to sleepy towns of squat, graffiti-clad concrete buildings and ancient looking stone houses. Across the aisle I see nothing but blue sky and the slowly lapping waves of the Adriatic Sea. I know I should be excited to be back on the road, but I can’t help but feel like we’re leaving something behind that’s not easily found. Or replaced. Cris met us this morning at the…Continue Reading
A Mall?
As you might expect, our past three days in Delhi have been pretty exciting. We’ve been amazed with all of the contrasts in this complex culture, and are slowly getting used to the way things work. While waiting for the wedding on Friday we’ve had a chance to get a good look at most of Delhi’s famous sites, and got a full rundown on Northern India’s history from our guide Manju and driver Kimi. These sites are all amazing and represent the fabulous wealth that India has had over the centuries. We’ve also had the chance to walk the streets a bit and check out the markets. On our first day I was amazed at how “untouristy” these bazaars were… then came day two. Then came Day Two when our tour guide took us to see the “best places for the deals” where we met the hard-sell professionals. On Day…Continue Reading
At first Antalya looked like many of the larger cities in Turkey, row after row of off-white or peach apartment buildings all modelled after the same design. But once we started walking around, the beauty of the city was apparent. The city is located on the Mediterranean ocean. It’s natural fortifications resemble those of Dieppe in France. The city is perched on dramatic and beautiful cliffs. Walks, promenades and quaint parks weave in and out along this impressive coastline. The buildings in the old city all look as if they just received a fresh coat of paint. The shops display colourful shawls, pillow cases and rugs. Above all, the people of Antalya are welcoming, relaxed and friendly. In fact, having just joined CouchSurfing 10 days before arriving, Chris and I were aware of a monthly CouchSurfing meeting occurring while we were in Antalya. We were also aware that Ben and Pen, the Australian…Continue Reading
Laura and I have been having a wonderful time here in Lanciano, thanks entirely to our hosts, the D’Alessandro family. The family runs the Canadian College of Italy here in Lanciano, and life around town with them is non-stop. I call the old part of town the D’Alessandro Campus, as guests, students and staff are constantly bouncing between the school, the Allegria (for meals), their dorms, and the family-owned market. Luckily they’ve been finding lots for Laura and I to help with, and we’ve been only too happy to do so. Things have quieted down in the last 24 hours or so, as Davide flew back to Canada, and Carla and Mrs. D are off to a conference for the next week, but I’ve felt very lucky to have finally met the whole clan while they were all here. Not only do I owe this amazing family a huge thank you…Continue Reading
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter.  Here in Lanciano, Easter is a pretty big deal with parades and marching bands going around the town nearly everyday since last Thursday. Chris captured some amazing shots of the Easter parade this past Thursday. We’ve been relaxing in Lanciano with my good friend Cristina (who I call “Cris)  and her family. I met Cris when she was 13-years old and I was 16-years old. We hit it off from the very beginning. Some of you might recognize her because she was one of my bridesmaids.  Her family runs the high school here, called Canadian College of Italy the Renaissance School, where I attended grade 10, 11 and half of 12. Here are a couple photos of this beautiful Italian town and the people I love. The bell tower rings every 15-minutes. First it rings one tone of bell for what hour it is,…Continue Reading
Easter is of course huge for Italy’s Catholic population. In Lanciano, where we have been staying for the past week or so, Easter is a week long affair filled with socializing, shared meals, picnics, and religious processions through the streets, replete with religious artifacts, costumes and marching bands. On Thursday night before the Easter weekend, the Churches open their doors to display “Sepulchre,” or artistic displays of Christ coming off the cross. Thursday night also kicked off a weekend of processions with a hooded march through the old districts of the city. The mood was sombre, if not a little eery, with a marching band droning in a minor key. These shots were from that night. The interior shots were from a particularly well-done Sepulchre, and the rest are of the hooded procession.  
Hi guys! Just to reassure you in regards to our April Fool’s joke (hee,hee) we are actually safe and sound in Italy. We are hanging out in my old stomping ground of Lanciano where I went to high school at the Canadian College of Italy (CCI). Chris and I are both working on photos to show this lovely place to you, but for now here are some photos from back in Olympos in Turkey. Enjoy. -Laura-  
Laura and I are killing a few hours here in Rome before catching a bus to Lanciano. We had about a day to take in a few sights and pasta dishes here. After almost 2 months in Turkey, the food here has been a huge delight for us. Pizaa, pasta, beef steak! And the pork! (as a Muslim nation, pork products simply don’t exist in Turkey) Delicious! Don’t get me wrong, Turkish cuisine is great, but any food will get tiresome after eating nothing but for two months. Rest assured, we will be resting and regrouping here in Italy and will catch up on our blog posts, so expect more photos and stories from Turkey as well as the 3rd and probably final instalment of the Turkish food series. Here are a few shots from beautiful Roma. I have several more street photography shots from one day in Rome, but…Continue Reading
Coming out of the mosque I put my purse down to free my hands and aid in my safe journey back down the awkward, eroded carved steps. Suddenly the world was in slow motion as I heard my bag shift. Even though the top was sealed with Velcro, the only two objects similar in size and shape came rolling out. In disbelief I stared as a red shinny apple and my 50-millimeter Canon lens dropped-off the mosque steps. It all started when the four of us, Ben, Pen, Chris and I piled out of the car to hike the Ihlara Valley. I had hiked the valley 11-years ago with my mom, dad and two friends, so it held a special place in my heart. To help you with the THEN and NOW feelings I was having, here are some photos. We were extremely excited to hike the valley because of the tunnels,…Continue Reading
Hey everybody! Laura’s got a write-up coming about our last week or two. Me? I’ve got some photos to share. But first a few bombshells and a note on spelling. Bombshell number 1: We will be getting our visas to visit Iran within the next two days, although it’ll be a month or more before we go. After lots of research about the situation there and speaking with other travelers (as well as Turks), we’ve decided we’d be crazy not to visit this amazing and hospitable country. Stay tuned to the blog for some more information about why Iran (as a country) is not the bogeyman you hear about in your newspapers every day. Bombshell number 2: We’ve got tickets to Italy. We’ll be flying there on March 26 from Istanbul. We have plans to spend the better part of a month in Laura’s old stomping grounds of Lanciano, visiting…Continue Reading