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Sarah Andrea

36 Blog Entries
3 Trips
192 Photos


German Wings
Europe 2010
Ireland Surprise

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Verona, Italy

Where to begin... 

When I last left off in Bergamo, I was sore. Now I am in Verona and I am still sore. Okay not as much. 

The journey from Bergamo to Verona is geographically not that far, however... Why did it take so long ?! 2 train changes later... And a quick bus.... And about 100 paces (20 back and forth times 5) and I had found my Veronese home ... I hoped! The B&B was not labeled or identified clearly. I kept asking the owner is it was truly the B&B but alas there is a huge language barrier. Also she seemed surprised - as if I didn't have a reservation. I did however and I showed her on my iPhone. Ahh, technology. Anyhow, she showed me my deluxe room. 

The first thing that stands out when you walk into town is the Arena .. Amphitheater . Amazing!  Built in the 1st century and has even survived an earthquake. Now it is host to many Summer concerts. 

I waited 4 whole days in Italy before going for the gelato. Even though it's chilly , the gelateria (?) is the most popular spot in any piazza. Rightfully so..

Later, I thought I'd try some pasta. I've been craving spaghetti . I know- not the most authentic of all meals I could be eating but... I found spaghetti with seafood. Out came a plate with a thing that had eyes. Ok.... I wasn't bothered until I tried to break it open and out came an oozing brownish liquid. I think it was the shrimps head. I carefully ate around it. I also enjoyed a lovely glass of the Veneto's regional grape ... Valepolicella ... However you spell it! So there you have it - prosecco and valepolicella! 2 drinks I am accustomed to drinking at home are from this very area of Italy :)

Today I have wandered around Verona visiting various piazzas. It's very pretty here. Oh and, yes, I have visited the casa di Giulietta (of Romeo and Juliet). Umm, it's a fictional Story, right? ;) Ahh I suppose it's fun haha. 


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on January 24, 2011 from Verona, Italy
from the travel blog: German Wings
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Bergamo, Italy

Sleep is good...

But before I bought my ticket to Slumberville, I thought I'd stay up and torture my body some more. Since there isn't wifi at my  accommodation, I made my way down the street to a small cafe bar with free Internet so I could check in back home.

It started with a small coffee .....5 glasses of prosecco later... And some lovely local company. I had officially earned a good nights sleep. But it was totally worth it. 

The next morning I woke up a little dehydrated, but rested. My plan was to wander around the citta alta. My plan wasn't much of a plan I suppose but hey, I didn't really know I was coming to Italy, much less Bergamo, until about 48hrs ago! So...

Furthermore, I may have underestimated how UPHILL the TREK was going to be. When I packed (lightly) my bag for this adventure I did pack winter clothing ... That's as far as my mind ventured. I never thought uphill cobblestone would be a factor! Let me further emphasize this by saying that when I made plans of my next northern Italian destination I actually looked for 'flat' cities and towns ...ha! 

The citta alta is gorgeous - the sunlit views of the citta bassa and surrounding area are stunning. On one side you can see      
green hills and the beginning of a mountain range. The hills are dotted with clusters of houses. On the other side you can see on to the busy lower town and to the outskirts of the Bergamo area of motorways and industrial lots. For a beyond amazing view go up even further to San Vigillio - there is a funicular - however, at the moment the station is under renovations so it is not operating until April.... My poor legs.

Inside the citta alta is a maze of narrow, single lane cobbled roads. There are many churches ... A monastery ..and shops. It wasn't very busy but it's low season, I suppose. I don't mind that aspect at all, but it does mean many of the museums, tourist destinations, galleries etc have reduced hours of operation.

It must be very nice to stay up there especially at night when it's lit up. The downside of traveling alone sometimes is not feeling as adventurous after-dark. And, furthermore, another downside to winter travel in these parts is it gets dark very early! 

I am okay though - needing a bit  of R&R as well. And let's be realistic- not sure whether my legs could take me any further today. Definitely not uphill...!!

One thing to indulge yourself in Bergamo is POLENTA E OSEI Yum! It's a pretty dome shaped cake covered in icing, sugar and chocolate shaped birds. 

When in Rome ...err, Bergamo, you must eat fresh pasta at some point. It's inevitable, really.  It isn't really low carb friendly here, but that is why I travel a lot .. It's a very good excuse to indulge ;-) I enjoyed a Bergamo invented pasta - casoncelli - like a ravioli stuffed with meat. 

One should also indulge in prosecco .... A dry, sparkling wine made in the Veneto area, but just as popular in these parts as I found out last night...

Anyways, I believe we are caught up now :)


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on January 22, 2011 from Bergamo, Italy
from the travel blog: German Wings
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Longest Day .. Ever

Bergamo, Italy

This feels like one incredibly long day. I haven't slept since Tuesday - not properly, at least. Last night I could have had a whole 6 hours but the thought of my 3 am wake up call made me paranoid so I just kept waking up every 20 mins. It was one of the worst sleeps I've had in a long time. I might as well have stayed up. Anyhow- despite that it's been good. There are some very helpful people out there. The girl at the reception at my Cologne accommodation was super helpful in helping me arrange my way back to the airport at an ungodly hour. Which brings me to the blind booking with Germanwings...


What a Surprise indeed. I've decided to head outside the city to enjoy some Northern Italian towns : Bergamo & Verona. 

In Bergamo, I have booked a room that turns out to be a small, rustic studio apartment. It's charming. The owner is an artist and his work is all around the building. 

There is a lot to get up to here particularly in the citta Alta (upper town), but right now I am exhausted and in desperate need of sleep before I attempt the uphill exploration! 

permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on January 20, 2011 from Bergamo, Italy
from the travel blog: German Wings
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One Week Out

Calgary, Canada

I am one week out from another trip across the pond. This trip will be only 10 days. I decided to go only a few weeks ago so just traveling on days off.

About a year ago I discovered the airline Germanwings and, subsequently, their 'Blind booking" option on their website.

The premise of Blind Booking is that you:

1) Choose a category - shopping, party, culture, western europe, eastern europe of skiing. Under each category are around 7-10 cities listed. Some overlapping.

2) Pick your outbound and inbound dates.

3) Book and pay 20 Euros each way (from Germany)

4) Find out where you're going!

I've been fascinated with this way of travel since I found out about it last year and I've been dying to try it.

Being a new year and all, I've decided to start 2011 out with a travel bang :)

I can't wait to get to Germany and find out where the wind will take me this time.

Also I've never traveled to Europe in the wintertime so I am excited to see how beautiful it really is...and not just in pictures.

The possibilities are endless and wherever Germanwings takes me I am sure it will be great.

What to pack..

permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on January 11, 2011 from Calgary, Canada
from the travel blog: German Wings
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Tour Eiffel

Paris, France

Not much to update on except that , yes favourite cousin, I AM AWESOME ;P And really good at taking pictures of myself. Ha!

Other than being super awesome I have been keeping in good spirits. Yesterday I went to Giverny (Monet's House and garden) and it was beautiful. So many flowers. The sun was out and the smell of the flowers was heavenly.

After that I came back to Paris and last night I went with a friend to see the Eiffel tower do its sparkly thing. Twice.

And that's that.... c'est tout!

Errr, shopping perhaps.


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on June 1, 2010 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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Oh! The Places You'll Go...

Paris, France

Good day today. Um, bought some stuff ..

I was given this book "Oh! The Places You'll Go" by Dr.Seuss when I graduated from university many years ago, but I never imagined all the places I would go. The last year has been very up and down, but I really have gone to some amazing places...not just on this trip but the previous trips as well.

Sooooo looking forward to going home... I met some lovely older Australian ladies while I was sitting down having a coffee. We were talking about our trips and we all agreed that it will be so nice to go home and be still for a bit. I definitely am feeling that at the moment. This is going to sound weird probably, but I am also looking forward to going back to regular eating. The food is amazing here, but I really just want to eat the way I normally do at home (and work)-- and that doesn't involve baguettes and lattes. Give me meat and veg please!! Ha.. plus I want to go back to work before I forget how to do it! (Double ha! because i don't go back until June 11)

I say all of this, but you know ....like The Littlest Hobo, I "just keep moving on" *sheds slight tear*....to another trip. ;)


Oh! The places you'll go..
By Dr. Seuss.

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on June 1, 2010 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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Paris .

Paris, France

..is beautiful.

I arrived in Paris 2 nights ago and the first thing I saw when I stepped out of the metro was the sparkling Eiffel Tower. I admit my heart skipped a beat because it is just that gorgeous when it's all lit up like that.

Yesterday I went to Versailles with some friends that I have met and it was great...though the weather was not. I love that place so much I could spend days there.

Ate a very nice meal and drank lots of red wine.

Today is a very nice day so I think it's perfect for Giverny.


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on May 31, 2010 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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London, United Kingdom

I'm in London! Still... but on my way to Paris like ...very very soon! Just so you know I'm still (yes, still!) not dead. (This is a horrible joke that never ends, eh?)

I don't have much to write at the moment-- been here, there, everywhere. I haven't taken that many pictures lately so not much to upload. Went to a couple of shows at Wembley. The weather has been great (except for today.... cold and rainy blah) and I've been in a great mood. I think the turning point was back in Amsterdam when I got 2 free hugs (ha!) from a young Irish gentleman. Believe it! Hugs.. for free!! Then Brugge ...then London. It's all been great.

But now, Paris. Second time in less than a year. I am a VERY VERY lucky girl.

I miss home though. I feel like this trip has been the longest trip ever. Sometimes I think back to a place that I was and can hardly believe I was actually there...seems like forever ago. I would do it again but it's definitely time to get back to "Normal"... for a little while anyhow. I'm already calculating in my head ;P

À bientôt


P.S.... is it snowing?

permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on May 29, 2010 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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France? Not Quite.

London, United Kingdom

Uhhh,yeah. Okay...small detour!

We'll talk about this later.... (will edit and blog later, I mean).

Just letting you know.... I'm not dead ...yet!! Hahaha.


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on May 26, 2010 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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You're Not Dead, Yet.

Brugge, Belgium

It was a beautiful day yesterday.

As I suspected, the Miro was closed because it was Monday. So yesterday I just walked and walked and walked. It was gorgeous. You can walk this whole city which I love. It was really easy to just get lost in the streets.. many of them are residential and quiet. i found myself on these streets the most because often i'd be the only one on them. It was very peaceful. On one of the streets I found a pub. I was thirsty because it was very warm so I stopped for a cold beverage. The owner ended up coming outside and talking to me for a bit about my trip. When I told him I had been traveling around Europe for 5 weeks now, he replied: "Oh!! You're not dead, yet!" and laughed. Haha, what did that mean??!! I'm not dead YET?! But after I left and started thinking about what he said. I thought it was a really funny thing to say and I'm not sure he meant it the way it came out....but just thinking about it.... it's true. I'm not dead....yet. There is still time.

I spent the afternoon sitting in the sun on the grass by a great windmill reading my book. There were lots of people out riding bicycles, taking walks, walking their dogs.

At this point in my trip, i think it's time to slow down and relax a bit. I don't feel a lot of pressure to "see" or "do" ...yes, there are things i still want, but I don't feel bad if I never get to them.

I think I'll be going to France tomorrow.


permalink written by  Sarah Andrea on May 25, 2010 from Brugge, Belgium
from the travel blog: Europe 2010
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