One Year Ago: Photo Time Capsule, Part III

The last month (of travel last year) was an interesting collection of friends from half a world away. I was with Charlie by this point (beginning of July) in Italy where we met up with his friend Andy, who’s from Germany but Charlie actually meet in Ecuador.

While in Italy, we also met up with James, who know both Charlie and me from Seattle, and Mark — who James knows from his time at Occidental.

I left Charlie in Italy and continued on to Switzerland where I met up with Quinn, a best friend from Seattle, at L’Abri. We then continued north and to hang out with Remo and Gunther, who first stayed with my family over 13 years ago in Seattle when Remo was in school.

After traveling with Quinn a bit, Charlie met back up with us in Prague (just in time for the tour). We finished touring together in Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany: Three great friends half a world away.

DSC_2489
18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2495
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2559
18.0 mm || 1/200 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Aigle, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland


DSC_2654
18.0 mm || 1/13 || f/9.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70


DSC_2683
29.0 mm || 1/60 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70


DSC_3186
18.0 mm || 1/3200 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Prague, Prague, Czech Republic


DSC_3248
18.0 mm || 1/15 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Krakow, Lesser Poland, Poland


Halt! Stou!
70.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Gmina Oswiecim, Lesser Poland, Poland


DSC_3414
18.0 mm || 1/125 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Krakow, Lesser Poland, Poland


DSC_3509
18.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Berlin, Berlin, Germany

via the Photojojo Time Capsule

This weekend is going to be ridiculously awesome! This evening, Carly and I are going Buzz Putting1 with a bunch of friends to celebrate Beth’s birthday. Then tomorrow we’re going to have breakfast and enjoy the Blue Angles — whom I haven’t been in town to see for the last two years — then a Polish wedding, a bachelor party2, all topped off with lunch with Jon and Kristen — who are getting married in less than a month — on Sunday!

Pyramid Formation Turn
190.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/6.3 || ISO400 || NIKON D70


Pyramid Formation
190.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/5.6 || ISO400 || NIKON D70


Bottom Side Pyramid Formation
70.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/9.0 || ISO400 || NIKON D70

Anyway, that wraps up the Photo Time Capsule series; hope you enjoyed the tour!


  1. “combining the best of childhood and being 21+” 

  2. sans Le GF 

Dateline: Florence, Day 1 – Return to the Scene of the Crime

Florence, Italy
9 July 2009

I was in Florence once before, almost three years ago. A lot has changed, not in Florence so much as with me. I graduated, secured a job, and am back in Seattle.

DSC_2429
18.0 mm || 1/1250 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2435
18.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2439
18.0 mm || 1/250 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2442
18.0 mm || 1/2500 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2443
40.0 mm || 1/320 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2444
70.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2447
31.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2454
24.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2473
50.0 mm || 1/4 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy

There’s something to be said for traveling almost a third of the way around the world and seeing good friends.

DSC_2495
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2501
52.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2537
29.0 mm || 0.6 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Interestingly enough, “grand teton” doesn’t quite translate the way you think it might from French.

DSC_2546
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy


DSC_2552
18.0 mm || 1/10 || f/4.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Dateline: Rome, Day 3 – The Colosseum

Rome, Italy
8 July 2009

DSC_2377
18.0 mm || 1/500 || f/6.3 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2391
70.0 mm || 1/640 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2397
18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2401
18.0 mm || 1/6400 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2404
18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2411
18.0 mm || 1/6400 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2408
18.0 mm || 1/5000 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2405
18.0 mm || 1/6400 || f/4.0 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy

Dateline: Rome, Day 2 – The Vatican

Rome, Italy
7 July 2009

DSC_2198
18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2202
18.0 mm || 1/40 || f/3.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2205
18.0 mm || 1/30 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2207
18.0 mm || 1/160 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2222
18.0 mm || 1/100 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2237
18.0 mm || 1/5 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2243
18.0 mm || 1/4000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2247
18.0 mm || 1/4000 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2273
18.0 mm || 1/800 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2275
29.0 mm || 1/15 || f/4.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2284
50.0 mm || 1/250 || f/1.8 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2290
50.0 mm || 1/80 || f/1.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2298
18.0 mm || 1/80 || f/22.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2302
18.0 mm || 1/20 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2329
18.0 mm || 1/25 || f/7.1 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2342
40.0 mm || 1/25 || f/4.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


Swiss Guard
70.0 mm || 1/160 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2354
18.0 mm || 1/6 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2372
18.0 mm || 1/400 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City


DSC_2374
46.0 mm || 1/50 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Vatican City, , Vatican City

Dateline: Rome, Day 1

Rome, Italy
6 July 2009

DSC_2135
18.0 mm || 1/400 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2138
22.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2148
55.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2149
18.0 mm || 1/40 || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2150
18.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2152
18.0 mm || 1/5000 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2159
18.0 mm || 0.4 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2174
18.0 mm || 0.6 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2175
18.0 mm || 1 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy


DSC_2193
18.0 mm || 1/10 || f/3.5 || ISO1000 || NIKON D70
Rome, Lazio, Italy

Dateline: Bari, Day 1 – The Floor

Bari, Italy
5 July 2009

(Trumpet solo, intro)

Saturday
In the park
I think it was the Forth of July

Saturday
In the park
I think it was the Forth of July

People dancing
People laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs

(Random Italian)

Can you dig it?
Yes I can!

And, I’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturday

Saturday in the Park by Chicago

We arrived in Bari, fresh off the boat from Greece. We made our way off the boat and managed to figure out how to get a bus to the train station. The plan was to catch a train to Naples and spend the day there.

Unfortunately, the train to Naples only runs in the mornings on Sunday. So we did the next best thing (after eating lunch) and grabbed our first of bite of many, many bites of gelato.

DSC_2128
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/4.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70

We decided the best bet would be to hop a train to Rome, which was our next stop, and just just get there a day early.

DSC_2131
18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70

We got to Rome, off the train, and, with some fumbling, found our hostel, Legends Hostel. Now, here is where the fun part starts. We had a reservation for three days, starting the next night. That left us with no reservation for this night (we were supposed to be in Naples, remember). It’s 11:30pm; I explained our situation to the receptionist lady, who was really helpful. There were two beds left and they could be all ours if…she looks at the screen showing closed-circuit security cameras…if the two people coming up the stairs aren’t the people who’s mom called in to hold the last two beds; the last two beds that could have been ours.

I plead with her to let us stay; anywhere; a rollout, a couch, anything. She offers the kitchen floor. We’ll take it.

And that’s how we spent our first night in Italy.

At least it was free.

Itinerary v0.4: Turkey, Greece, and Italy

I started writing this post with the idea that I’d meetup with Charlie in Turkey. We’d be in Turkey for about a week before going to Greece and then on to Italy before meeting up with Quinn in Switzerland on the 7th of July. Well, I got about half way through this post and realized: there’s no way we can do Turkey, Greece, and Italy in 14 days. I mean, we could, but we wouldn’t have any fun. I posted an update to my Twitter/Facebook page: “Andrew Ferguson is wondering about Turkey/Greece/Italy…I think I can only fit two of them in :-/ Thoughts?” Amazingly enough, I got 10 responses, two of which advocated Greece and Italy, five of which advocated Turkey and Greece, and two of which were rather admiment about Turkey. Since I’d already been to Italy before, I decided that Turkey and Greece would be two I would go to.

Then, I talked to Charlie today and he came up with this amazing plan that will not only allow us to see Turkey, Greece, and Italy, but it will also let Quinn spend a few days at the L’Abri.

This is Itinerary v0.4:

  • Day 1 (June 2nd):
    Seattle, Washington
    Dulles, Washington, DC
  • Day 2 (June 3rd): Moscow, Russia
  • Day 8 (June 9th): St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Day 13 (June 14th): Tallin, Estonia
  • Day 17: Ukraine
    Kiev
    Chernobyl
  • Day 21 (June 22nd): Turkey
    Istanbul
    Cappadocia
  • Day 28 (June 29rd): Greece 29th-4th / 6
  • Day 34 (July 5th): Italy
    Naples
    Rome
    Venice
    Cinque Terra
  • Day 40 (July 11th): Switzerland
  • Day 44 (July 15th):Austria
    Salzburg
    Vienna
    Innsbruck
  • Day 49 (July 20th): Hungary
    Budapest
  • Day 52 (July 23rd): Czech Republic
  • Day 55 (July 26th): Poland
  • Day 58 (July 29th): Germany

As you’ll notice, the entire key to this plan is slipping the start of Switzerland back four days to July 11th. As it turns out, this works out quite nicely.

To recap: after Ukraine, I’ll be joining Charlie in Turkey, who will travel with me for the remainder of my (now our) trip. Greece and Italy is currently the topic of hot debate for us. Basically, we need to meet Quinn (who will be joining both of us in Switzerland) around the 7th 11th of July. Thus, Charlie and I need to get through Turkey, Greece, and Italy between the 22nd of June to the 7th 11th of July…15 19 days. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume that we’ll be fine traveling in Turkey. Instead, I’m going to focus on plans for the Greece and Italy portion.

We’ve gone through several ideas including literally all modes of transportation, including planes, trains, renting a car, renting a motorcycle, renting a moped, ferries, and buses.

As much fun I think it would be to rent a car and drive through Italy, it would probably be cost prohibitive for just two people. Here’s why:

$361.04 for a 5 day rental of a Ford Fiesta (Manual Transmission) with unlimited kilometers through Hertz with pickup in Bari, Italy and drop off in Milan, Italy

Plus a $22.50/day young drive fee ($112.50 total)

Plus gas for driving from Bari to Agnone to Rome to Venice to Milano for a total of 1335 km. Assuming 12km/L1, that’s 111.25 Liters of fuel. Finding gas prices is hard, I’m going with $5.80/gal2 which is $1.54/L. So add another $170 for gas.
We’re already up to $643.50, and that doesn’t even include toll fees. So driving is out.

I tried looking for a place that would rent one-way motorcycles or mopeds, and I couldn’t find any. So that’s out too.

Charlie mentioned the Eurorail idea, so I looked at that. And I think it would actually be pretty feasible.

Initially, I looked at the Eurail Greece – Italy Pass, which costs $250/person for 5 days of travel in a 2 month period.

However, after looking at Charlie’s new itinerary, we decided that it would actually be more cost effective to purchase the Eurail Global 21 Day Pass for $589. It’s important to note that this is for 21 continuous days of travel, not 21 days of travel in 2 months. The idea is to use this for travel in Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, and Czech Republic. Poland isn’t part of the Eurail Global pass, so it actually works quite perfectly, especially considering we’ll be traveling about every other day…more or less.

One idea to get from Greece to Italy would be to take the Superfast Ferry from Igoumenitsa, Greece, departing daily at 23:59 to Bari, Italy, arriving at 08:30.


  1. http://www.mapsofworld.com/referrals/cars/small-cars/subcompact-cars/ford-fiesta.html 

  2. http://fabulously40.com/article/id/2171 

Updated Itinerary

Progess is being made! I’m calling this Itinerary v0.2. It appears that the only country that will need a visa is Russia. Thus, I’m going to going to start my travels there since it will have to be the most planned part of this trip. I talked with Jeff last night, as he had traveled to Russia several years ago, and got some good information on places to go. I’m hoping to have trip start and end dates locked down and reserved by the end of March, along with all the Russian parts locked down and reserved. 

I also talked with Quinn and Charlie, both of whom have indicated they would at least be interested in doing some traveling with me as well. I have calls in to Katelyn and Erin, both of whom have been and are currently in Turkey, respecitvely.

Below is a list of places that I think I would like to visit, in roughtly the order that I would visit them. I’ve also added notes (mostly to myself) about things I’d like to do there. I think this seems like a more managable list than previously. I’m also trying to setup a framework of things to do, however still allow the trip to progress organically.

  • Day 1: 
    Seattle, Washington 
    Dulles, Washington, DC
  • Airplane/10 hrs/UA964
  • Day 2: Moscow, Russia12
    • Red Square
    • The Kremlin
    • GUM
  • Airplane/1.25 hrs/$60 USD/Rossiya – Russian Airlines3
  • Day 6: St. Petersburg, Russia45
  • Bus/6 hrs/€30 ($40 USD)/EuroLines
  • Day 10: Tallin, Estonia6
  • France:
    • Paris, France (Paris Air Show – 15 to 21 June 2009)
    • Toulouse, France7
    • La Barre, France8
    • Vélizy, France9
    • Bidos, France ((787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty))
  • Italy:
    • Rome, Italy
    • Venice, Italy
    • Grottaglie, Italy10
    • Agnone, Italy11
  • Switzerland
    • Arbon, Switzerland
    • Interlaken, Switzerland12
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Ukraine
    • I’ve heard you can visit Chernobyl…could be cool.
  • Hungary
  • Turkey
  • Germany -> Seattle (UA8718)

Alternates:

  • Sweden13
  • Denmark->Seattle (UA9394)
  • Romania
  • Macedonia

  1. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/moscow.htm 

  2. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/moscow/sights 

  3. http://www.anywayanyday.ru/en/ 

  4. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/east/petersbu.htm 

  5. http://www.lonelyplanet.com/russia/st-petersburg/sights 

  6. http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/scan/tallinn.htm 

  7. 787 Production Stop: Groupe Latécoère 

  8. Birthplace of Jean-Luc Picard 

  9. 787 Production Stop: Messier-Dowty 

  10. 787 Production Stop: http://www.seattlepi.com/business/275606_italy28.html 

  11. We visited Agnone a couple of years, it’s where my maternal great-grandfather was born, and  I’ve wanted to return here to just spend a few days hanging out 

  12. I’ve heard this is a must 

  13. 787 Production Stop: Saab 

Greetings from Agnone

Dateline Rome, Italy.

A really long day today with lots of traveling.

Took a train from Florence to Rome (1.5 hours)

Rented a car and then drove to Agnone (3 hours)

Investigated Agnone, where my mothers, mothers, father was born.

Learned they make world famous bells in Agnone

Drove back to Rome (3 hours)

Found hotel (1 hour)

DSC_7536

We fly out to Switzerland tomorrow afternoon.

Random Notes on Italy

Dateline Florence, Italy.

On English
———-
Italy is the first country that I’ve been to on this trip where English was not the primary language. However, it is interesting to note how many people speak English, both the local Italians and many foreigners who don’t speak English as their first language.

In many ways, English seems to be the universal language of the world. I find this somewhat surprising as a majority of the world does not have English as their first language.

Words in Italian
—————-
Despite the fact that I really could get around without learning any Italian, I’ve tried to pick up some basic words and phrases:

Florence => Firenze
Hello (and Goodbye) => Ciao
Thank you => Grazie
You’re welcome => Prego
Print => Stampa
One => Uno
Two => Due [doo-eh]
How do you say…in Italian? => Come si dice… in Italiano?
Hello (on the telephone) => Pronto
Hour => Hora
Beautiful = > Bella
You often see the phrase “Ciao Bella” on shirts, which translates to “Goodbye Beautiful”.

I’m sure I could also have used most of what I remember from Spanish and that would have sufficed.

Cords
—–
All the restrooms have pull cord in them. In case you fall down, you’re supposed to pull it to call for help. Funny thing is, the cords are placed way up high so they’re out of the way and there’s no what you could pull them if you were to fall.
DSC_7471

Streets
——-
All the streets in the city center are made of stone.

Illegal street peddlers
———————–
There are lots and lots of people who have carts to sell their goods from (think of the Mexican side of the US-Mexican border in San Diego). However, there are also lots of people who just peddle goods in the street. They almost always peddle the same things: knock off purses (Louis Vuitton anyone?), knock off watches, and prints.

DSC_7460

When the police come, they have to quickly pick up their goods. However, it appears that the police turn a blind eye and will wait for the merchant to pick up his stuff before walking by them.

Vespas, cars, and parking lots
——————————
Vespas are every where. They really are, I almost was run down by one. Not many luxury cars can be seen on road, however a quick look into a garage reveals where they are.
DSC_7468

Internet Cafe Prices and Laws
—————————–
Rick Steves says that Internet Cafes can be found for €4/hour (€3/hour for students), we found the best Internet cafe (in terms of quality) for €1.50/hour for everyone. I also saw another one offering Internet for €0.99/hour.

Just walk around and you’ll find something. As I mentioned earlier {link that, please}, Italian law requires that owners collect user information before allowing them on the Internet. I did go to one cafe where all they took was your name, but everyone else seems to abide by the rules.
DSC_7465

I’m sure I’ll have more notes and thoughts on Italy later.