November 10, 2013
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Italy, the one European country that everyone seems to rave about. It’s time to see if it lives up to its image. 3+ years in Europe, and my first trip to Italy was a week ago. Absolutely overdue.
For this Italian adventure, Cinque Terre was the main destination for me. Ever since I saw the photo of Riomaggiore, I had wanted to step foot in this seemingly heavenly piece of land and hike between the villages. Of course, more on that leg of the trip will be posted in part 2.
First up was Bologna, simply because it was easy to fly in from Brussels Charleroi. It may not be as popular of a tourist destination as say, Rome, Venice, and Florence (and I will get to all three in December), but boy, what a surprise…! Let’s just say, it’s been a while since a city has wowed me, and unexpectedly, Bologna did it. City of arches, city of stairs…city of pure beauty.
Buon giorno, Bologna! I arrived at Bologna late at night and was due to catch the train to La Spezia in the afternoon on the following day, so I only had about 7 hours to spend in the city. My first impression of Bologna was one word: elegance. Amusingly it is the same word that I use to describe Bordeaux, over and over.
January 18, 2011
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Back in Bordeaux, we’re in our third work week of 2011. According to 680 News, yesterday (Monday) was the most depressing day of the year. I wasn’t all that depressed, but I certainly felt unusually tired for most of the day, to a point where I was almost sure that I’d fall asleep in the lab.
Work as a PhD student was starting to pick up slowly and surely before the winter holidays, but as soon as I returned to work from the break, stress and workload escalated exponentially. Before Christmas, I already felt the sense of impending doom as I planned the big experiments to perform in the new year. Then came two weeks of indulgence in festivities and now, that foreshadowed impending doom is manifesting. All of a sudden, I am not bored anymore. Tasks and responsibilities began to pour upon me like Niagara Falls, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’m being productive, if that is even possible in France.
Since being busy means that I haven’t had much time to go around and take new photos (and in turn, update on time), I will be putting up some previously acquired photos for the next few weeks. Today’s set of photos were taken throughout the winter holidays, and incidentally, these were all taken by my cell phone. You’ll notice that a few of them are related to a Christmas gathering that was held at the Bordeaux Church on December 24th, 2010, of which I was one of the organizers along with my Christian fellowship. Click here for photos of the actual event.
Here’s a guy cutting up cheese at Auchan, the local mega-supermarket. THOSE WERE GIGANTIC HUNKS OF CHEESE! Greatly amusing. This reminds me that maybe I should resume the wine and cheese tasting, the regularity of which has declined since December.