Tuesday, 25 August 2009

at 05:51 Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

We went on a day trip to Pompeii, the ancient city that was buried in lava in 97 AD and then uncovered. It was much bigger than we expected and we even got to see a preserved cast of one of the victims.

Omo is still practising her elimination communication. She had to pee. A LOT.
(Yes we clean up after ourselves - unlike many roman dog owners!)

We transfered from Naples to Rome.

Rome is our favorite place so far. We have happily found a hostel that has a kitchen!! and is totally no-smoking!!
We found a couple of natural food stores and I have been joyously cooking away, though I do have to share 3 burners with about 30 people (ALL of whom are eating white spaghetti with plain tomato sauce).
Omo is happy here. There are all sorts of people for her to play with and there are common areas where we can put her on the floor and she keeps herself busy looking at people's shoes. She crawls everwhere very fast, but her favorite thing to do now is to pull herself up to a stand on anything she can and she can even do it with one hand. (And another update is that she has her two top teeth coming in).

Sunday, 23 August 2009

at 05:39 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

From Trapani we went back to Palermo and caught an overnight ferry back to the mainland, to Naples.

The boat was 'first-class' only so us cheap people had to splurge on a 'luxury cabin,' which turned out to be absolutely no different than our cabins on the other boats. There were escalators all over the boat though. Whoopee.

Today in Napoli, we found a huge natural food store with a vast selection of organic pastas and we even found a new-ageish vegan organic restaurant that had a big selection of progressive books about vaccinations, the myth of AIDS, etc.

Omo has recently started to stand up and even with "no hands" for a few seconds.

Friday, 21 August 2009

at 05:34 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

We got sick of Palermo quite quickly, so today we headed to the west coast to see an old medieval town called Erice that is on top of a mountain overlooking the sea.

The clouds were so low that we walked through the cobblestone streets and Norman castle in a thick fog.

We treated ourselves to the traditional sweets made by the monks there - they were excellent, almond marzipan-like balls in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

When we left it was getting pretty dark and rainy looking but as our bus went down the mountain the blue sky and sun appeared again.
We then walked all the way up with our bags to a hostel that turned out to be closed.. (though the book said open year-round) so then we turned back to stay at a hotel in Trapani.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

at 05:26 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

From Brindisi we headed South to Sicily, where we are currently staying in the city of Palermo.

Of course on our first day we found the three things I've mentioned before and had a little trouble at the "vegetarian" restaurant after Orian's pasta arrived with shrimp. But we did get soy gelato down the street for dessert.

The city sponsored electric bike rentals and had methane (natural gas, almost no polution, though not from a renewable resource.) buses.

We took the bus to the top of the mountain there and saw the famous Monreale church that all done in gold and glass mosaic and we had a great view of the city and sea.

Tomorrow we're moving on to Erice.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

at 05:18 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

In Brindisi we found we found 'Urupia'.

It is an eco-commune of 12 permanent members (Germans and Italians) and there were also 13 volunteers from Germany, Portugal, Denmark, and Italy.

They produce organic wine, bread, marmalade, and other preserved vegetables. They had a gray-water system, and use only biodegradable cleaning agents.

We had a nice dinner with all of them and then sat around the fireplace talking. They were all pleasant people, though too many are smokers.
There was also little one and a half year old called Emma who was very excited that there was another child there, and she said "Omo" in the most adorable way.
The next day Orian worked with them collecting firewood (downed olive branches) which they needed to make their bread.

Because we had contacted them at the last minute, they were unable to put us up for more than one night, but sent us off telling us to come back soon, with a few days notice.

Friday, 14 August 2009

at 04:06 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

We didn't find any eco-communities or organic farms in Greece doing our research while in Palestine, so after five days of asking around in the natural food stores, we decided to move on to Italy, where we had listings.

We caught a 3-hour train that took us to the port where we caught an overnight ferry to Brindisi.

Here we are waiting for the train.

From the train we had a fantastic view of the rising sun. Omo slept a lot of the way, waking up oaccasionally to nurse.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

at 04:01 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

On our final night in Athens we took a night walk around Omonia Square:

And then spent our final night in our "ecological" hotel. They tried to save on heating bills and provided five blankets instead! BRR!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

at 03:49 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

Our first day in Athens was like all first days in new cities for us - we went to the tourist office and fount a map and then went off to check out the natural food stores, vegetarian restaurants, and internet points to connect.
On our way to all these, we got to see the city.

We were happily surprised that not far from our hotel at the Plaka area was a store labeled, "Healthy Food, Vegetarian Fast Food, Books" which was half a natural food store where we could get our organic whole-wheat bread, tahini, and produce and the other half was a cafeteria which served mainly vegan food, there we could fill up on reverse-osmosis water instead of buying new bottles (reduce.. reuse.. recycle).

We were surprised that the people who were eating here seemed to be all middle-aged and up working class and not young hippy kids.

We also ate at an all organic, slightly-upscale vegetarian restaurant which we found recommended in a few places which was good but more expensive. (Yes, as you can see I am a little obsessed with the food part of our trip.)

Other than eating in Athens we also went to the usual sites, the Acropolis and it's surrounding areas, the flea markets and food markets, but mainly just walking around. They also had an 8-floor bookstore with mainly English books - bigger than most American bookstores. There we found every travel guide written for everywhere in the world and we picked up a "Let's Go Western Europe" guide.

Here we are outside the Theater at the Acropolis :

We practised Elimination Communication (for those who don't know, Omo has been diaperless for 3 months already, she naturally communicates with us when she needs to eliminate. This method is called Elimination Communication.) From the Acropolis, we descended to the ruins of ancient Agora:

Saturday, 8 August 2009

at 03:34 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily 0 comments

Though our recent plan (out of many) was to go to Egypt and try to catch a ride with a yacht going south, we eventually decided that Mediterranean Europe is warm enough, so we took the ferry from Haifa to Athens via Cyprus.

Here is Omo as we packed our belongings just before we left home:

We paid a total of about $300 for a room on the ferry. It had no window but got a free upgrade to a room with a window because the ticket seller liked Omo.

Here are some pictures taken as we went on board:

Along the way we made a half-day stop in Cyprus and walked around the residential areas of Limassol, just getting a feel for the place.

Not too many passengers were on the ferry, the weather was great and we had a picnic outside:

Omo really liked sitting in front of the ocean by the window in our room. We put a pillow behind her, and she would occupy herself for quite a long time.

After 3 nights and 3 days we arrived in Pireus, the port town next to Athens. The trip was very relaxing, we could see Turkey and Rhodes on the way, and it gave us a good recharge for the busy city.