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I am honored that you choose to view, like or reblog any of the content you see in here. It’s the reason I do it — so that I can share my experiences with the world. I am immensely grateful for the followers that I have and for those that are to come (optimism!), but I would really appreciate that when reblogging my posts, you keep them whole.

If I post a photo with a text, or a simple shot with a caption, I ask that you don’t eliminate the written part (or the photo from the text). I usually make one for the other (the text to match the photo or the photo to illustrate the text) and they only make sense together, as a unity. Therefore I ask that you don’t separate them. 

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Day 2 — dorky pictures


Epic moment of a lifetime #2
I don’t like heights. When I go to a high place and realize how far up I am, my legs start shaking, my hands start sweating and I feel like crying. The problem is that I like adventure, so what usually happens is that I’m the first one to say ‘Let’s go up!’ and the first one to get there and ask ‘who the hell dragged me into this’. 
Yesterday it was a bit like that. I spent half the morning telling T I wanted to climb to the top of the Duomo, but since we weren’t sure we could and we figured the view would be pretty up in the Campanario (the bell tower), we decide to go up. The lady at the front desk warned us that it was about 400 steps we’d have to climb, but I put on my biggest smile and told T that it would be easy peasy. And it was, up until the point where I saw the height of the damn tower, from above. 
The first floor freaked me out, and the second made me officially start to tremble. But we climbed on — I refused to give in — and ended up on the top of the tower, the bells sitting right above us, some even in our sight. And that’s when it started.
Noon. 
I yelped like the girl that I am, grabbed T’s arm while she laughed at my panic. For a second, I didn’t know what was going on — all I knew was that I was almost 80 meters off the ground, that it was extremely windy, that snow was getting in the tower through the windows and that this monstrosity of a bell was starting to ring immediately above my head, making my entire body vibrate with the sound. 
I was terrified and I was in complete awe. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t leave, so I just leaned against the wall and closed my eyes, felt the sound run through me and through the walls, making the tower tremble softly along with the wind. At one point, I picked up my camera and filmed it — I wanted to capture the sound, the preciousness of that moment, of everything involved. I was scared, and I was excited and laughing and just thinking that it was one of those perfect moments you read about, or watch movies about. And I had two of those in just one day. 

Epic moment of a lifetime #2

I don’t like heights. When I go to a high place and realize how far up I am, my legs start shaking, my hands start sweating and I feel like crying. The problem is that I like adventure, so what usually happens is that I’m the first one to say ‘Let’s go up!’ and the first one to get there and ask ‘who the hell dragged me into this’. 

Yesterday it was a bit like that. I spent half the morning telling T I wanted to climb to the top of the Duomo, but since we weren’t sure we could and we figured the view would be pretty up in the Campanario (the bell tower), we decide to go up. The lady at the front desk warned us that it was about 400 steps we’d have to climb, but I put on my biggest smile and told T that it would be easy peasy. And it was, up until the point where I saw the height of the damn tower, from above. 

The first floor freaked me out, and the second made me officially start to tremble. But we climbed on — I refused to give in — and ended up on the top of the tower, the bells sitting right above us, some even in our sight. And that’s when it started.

Noon

I yelped like the girl that I am, grabbed T’s arm while she laughed at my panic. For a second, I didn’t know what was going on — all I knew was that I was almost 80 meters off the ground, that it was extremely windy, that snow was getting in the tower through the windows and that this monstrosity of a bell was starting to ring immediately above my head, making my entire body vibrate with the sound. 

I was terrified and I was in complete awe. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t leave, so I just leaned against the wall and closed my eyes, felt the sound run through me and through the walls, making the tower tremble softly along with the wind. At one point, I picked up my camera and filmed it — I wanted to capture the sound, the preciousness of that moment, of everything involved. I was scared, and I was excited and laughing and just thinking that it was one of those perfect moments you read about, or watch movies about. And I had two of those in just one day. 

February 7, 2012
Epic moment of a lifetime #1
I had been there the night before. We had passed by the Piazza del Duomo on our way to a coffee shop, but I hadn’t seen it properly. I did it on purpose — I wanted to be in complete awe when I saw it for the first time — so I was. Yesterday morning, when we got there, all I could do was stare. T has been unbelievably patient with all my giggling and squealing — I just can’t help myself and it’s not something she’s usually tolerant about, so it’s been nice.
I didn’t squeal when I saw it. I fell silent and looked at every single detail, every small piece of sculpture, of painting. And then it came to my mind, slowly but steadily. The lyrics to The Light in the Piazza started to fall out of my mouth and I sang it, low, inaudible to the people around me unless they were paying attention. That’s how it happened, one of my lifetime traveling fantasies — to sing this song in front of that church. And when I did, the sun started shining through the thick clouds, illuminating bits and pieces of the church front and making me smile like I hadn’t in a long time. It was such an absolutely perfect moment. 

February 7, 2012

Epic moment of a lifetime #1

I had been there the night before. We had passed by the Piazza del Duomo on our way to a coffee shop, but I hadn’t seen it properly. I did it on purpose — I wanted to be in complete awe when I saw it for the first time — so I was. Yesterday morning, when we got there, all I could do was stare. T has been unbelievably patient with all my giggling and squealing — I just can’t help myself and it’s not something she’s usually tolerant about, so it’s been nice.

I didn’t squeal when I saw it. I fell silent and looked at every single detail, every small piece of sculpture, of painting. And then it came to my mind, slowly but steadily. The lyrics to The Light in the Piazza started to fall out of my mouth and I sang it, low, inaudible to the people around me unless they were paying attention. That’s how it happened, one of my lifetime traveling fantasies — to sing this song in front of that church. And when I did, the sun started shining through the thick clouds, illuminating bits and pieces of the church front and making me smile like I hadn’t in a long time. It was such an absolutely perfect moment. 

// February 6, 2012 — train journey from Rome to Florence//

I like trains. I like the way they move, soft and steady. I like the rumble underneath my feet — the same rumble I hate on airplanes. I like the order, the chairs against the windows and the quiet sway as it moves on the rails. I like the sense of freedom, that cold in the pit of my stomach that goes all the way to my neck and my arms and makes my fingertips tingle. I like the feeling of adventure — it’s almost like a road trip, but you can be distracted, your feet thrown over your friend’s, your hands on the glass or on a book or a camera. You can enjoy the cradle that the speed provides, the zum-zum of the wheels against the rails, the tender curves and soft angles of the line. 

I like trips like these. I say I don’t, I say that I like to have everything planned to the last second, but then I get here and this is the only way I get the thrill, the joy of the odyssey, of the marvelous trip I am about to take into a world that is still foreign. Of the wonders I’ll see. It makes me feel free — freer than I feel at home, more independent than when I’m there, being held back by consequences and family obligations, constant accusations of being useless. Here, I can just be. I can just lean my head against the glass and breathe, try to absorb all the beauty around me. 

(Source: Flickr / luminous-lu)

Flight from Porto to Rome. 

(Source: Flickr / luminous-lu)

// February 6, 2012 — Rome //

It’s been six years, almost to the date, since I set foot in this city. Caput mundi, he would say, and we’d all smile thinking he was trying to find a somewhat dirty meaning to it. 

I missed it, and the worst part is that I never realized how much, but it does feel like home. I missed the insane traffic, the smell of pastries and the smoke from the cars and the people going around. I missed the rumble of the streets, the constant flow of people from one side to the other, the yells from across the street and the old man walking slowly along the sidewalk. I missed Rome with its scent and its quirks, with the dirty streets and the sense of history that weighs on it. I missed the memories, the happy tiredness from that insane week.

My heart leapt when we passed by some ruins we had visited under the pouring rain, that January. I can’t even remember the name of the site, but I remember buying a pink umbrella from an old lady and sharing it with Sofia, giggling over the boys and the mean girls from freshman year. I remember not paying much attention to the architecture itself — the Roman times never interested me that much, I’m a Baroque kind of girl — but more in the people, in the way they behaved. 

I don’t have photos from the trip — my camera broke on the first day. The ones I have were taken by other people and I dare not touch them — they are not mine to tamper with. But this time, as the bus took us through the crowded streets and I saw the sunlight and the movement and the joy of lunchtime, all I could do was draw out my companion and photograph everything in sight. 

(Source: Flickr / luminous-lu)

travel notes from a wide eyed wanderer