Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Waterways all the ways... Amsterdam!

Amsterdam - Flower's Amsterdam
Amsterdam... land of water and land, history and culture, coupled with modern 'liberties' and lifestyles. Our holiday here was a mixture of highs and lows, some things we absolutely loved, and other things made us feel very uncomfortable. I guess this can be said of most cities in the world, as there is good and bad everywhere, but for us, we had never encountered this type of element before.

Amsterdam - The old city

What appealed to us was the lapping of the waters as our canal boat gently steered down the canal, watching the towering, skinny buildings on either side of us. Watching the young lady sunbathing on the roof of her river-boat; the young man beating his dust-filled carpet with a rod; the young girl curled up on the windowsill overlooking the canal, engrossed in the novel she was reading.

It offers, to the viewer and visitor, an intimate glimpse into the life of Amsterdam and is very special.

Amsterdam - The new... Nemo!

With good there is nearly always bad unfortunately, and whereas so much appealed to us in this old and beautiful city, some things went right against the grain for us. The high profiled drug use and sex industry is seen by many as a step forward for freedom and so-called democracy, but we see the darker element, and view this as sinful. There are only SO MANY sex shops one city could have, surely??? In this sense, things are quite monotonous and in-your-face. For people who believe that sex is to be kept within marriage, this is quite a lot to take in.

Having said that, we enjoyed this city, and the almost surreal-like element of the lifestyle on the canal.

Rome.... the ancient of days...

Rome - Flower's Rome
Rome is, without doubt, the most amazing and awe inspiring city we have ever had the privilege to go to.

We were gobsmacked.

It is all we anticipated and more. You learn so much about Rome and the Romans and the gladiators et al during school, you study the architecture and artistry involved in Art class... but until you have actually set foot on the soil, breathed in the air and ambiance, and nearlly twisted your ankle on one of those gorgeous but accident-prone cobble stones, you cannot truly know the feeling, and grasp an inkling of what is would have been like to live in the time of the Ancient Roman.

My Rome Travel Page

Rome - Powerful Pantheon!

The Pantheon has always been one of those mystical architectural splendours to me... I seriously never thought, when I was young, that I would one day be visiting it. Of course, at that time, I had no idea I would be living in England either, affording me the opportunity to travel so!

Vatican City - Flower's Vatican

Rome - The Vatican City

The Vatican City is something special: an ancient and bustling city within a much larger ancient and bustling city! Queues of people and heat aside, this is somewhere you really do need to visit if you visit Rome.

My Vatican City Travel Page

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Thassos Island ~ 'Mythical Land of the Sirens'

Thasos Island - Flower's Thassos

Thassos, the 'Green Isle', rises out of the Northern Aegean sea in splendour. A small island by most standards, this is a holiday destination if you are in need of some rest :)

Famous for its lush vegetation, Thassos is an island of enchanting beauty. It has a vast array of olive groves and 50 miles of unblemished beaches with white sand. The sea was like no other we had experienced before.... no waves... like a lake! A large lake :) Then near the end of our stay the waves (and rain) appeared.

Need I say, we LOVED this holiday! Whether you crave sea and sun, or history and culture, it has everything.. except one thing... crowds! Which suited us down to the ground.

Steeped in history and tradition

The island is steeped in history and tradition. In the north east, the scenery is more wild, in contrast with the serene landscape of the south west part of the island.

Sun, sea and sleep

Refreshingly uncommercialised, Thassos is the ideal choice for anyone seeking magnificent scenery and superb beaches. The pace of life is totally relaxing – just what the doctor ordered!

We stayed at Scala/Skala Potamia, a resort on the east coast of Thassos Island. It has nearly everything you will need on a holiday (sans a chemist!), and is refreshingly not too commercialised.

My Thassos Island Travel page