ROME – Revisiting the Land of Romans/Anneklien’sSoloTravels&Adventure

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It was one sunny Sunday morning, eventhough its sunny the temperature is 2 degrees.  Getting up early and feeling cold is not quite my ordinary routine. Although I’m not a morning person I’m excited because I’m headed to Birmingham Airport, to catch my flight going to Rome. This is my third time visit in Rome Italy. The first time was with an organised tour group with my friend, Lourdes. We didn’t have much time there we just went to the Vatican City, entered the Sistine Chapel, roamed around to see the Trevi Fountain and throwing away coins to make our wishes. The second time was visiting my cousin Darrell John who’s currently live and work there. I had a fantastic time and the opportunity to roam around and taking in the views, the architectural building structures are so wonderful.
This time I’m incorporating a family visit and then going to Venice to attend the Carnevale di Venezia. It’s been awhile I had this fascination about the masquerade festival and the timing is pretty good. I had a week off from work, so took the chance and eagerly booked my flight. I was so excited and also applied for a press pass for the event. It is my second time visit in Venice. The first time we were a typical tourist going to the touristy places to see St. Marks square, Rialto Bridge and ofcourse we did the gondola ride.  This time I’m so ecstatic just thinking about the freedom to roam around San Marco capturing the most popular event of Venice, it is truly a photographers dream come true. I will be writing a separate blog for Venice Festival.

I was flying with Monarch Airline the check-in was so stressful, my luggage was 2 kilograms over. So I went away to sort out my bag then when I got back to the other counter I was offered for a free checked-in luggage- Wow, that was a bonus! Soon enough I was going through the passport control. My amazing journey started with a glass of Kirk Royal champagne cocktail. Enjoyingly sipping the bubbly while waiting for boarding.

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After an hour I was headed towards my boarding gate. The 2 hour flight swiftly passedby, we smoothly landed in Fiumicino Airport. I collected my luggage, then purchased my train ticket for Leonardo Express-a fast train to Termini ( Rome Terminal). It was a quick 30 minutes train journey.  My cousin Darrell John met me up at the Termini.

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Its feels so good to be back again in Rome. I was eager to explore the following day, with no concrete itinerary. It was a wonderful day exploring the place on foot and used the Metro train.  My first stopped was in Piazza del Popolo, the famous plaza with twin church and beautiful oblique in the middle adorned with sculptured tiger fountains.

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I then headed off towards the Spanish Steps. Admiring the intricate designed of a boat shaped fountain in the piazza. After fighting my way around with the gazillion tourist to capture beautiful photos. I continued my stroll along the cobbled alleyways and did my usual church visits along the way. And then stumbled upon the famous landmarks The Vatican City, Colosseum, Constantine Arch, St. Angelo Castle.

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On the following day the weather was lovely and sunny. Its a good time to go outside and enjoy the beautiful Rome. The thought of yesterday about mass tourism around the city, made me cringe. So when my cousin suggested a day out, I immediately grabbed the opportunity. My cousin Darrell John and I headed to Castel Gandolfo. A beautiful countryside setting atop of a hill. Offering a splendid view of the landscape and with a magnificent scenic view of a lake, the Lago Albano.
It is regarded as the Pope’s Summer residence, only 40 minutes away from Rome. It’s  a small and charming cobbled village, a quick getaway place when you want to explore the unbeaten path. The place is so peaceful and only a few tourist wandering around. It was utterly a good day out!

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After our exploration we decided to hopped on the train and headed to Frascati.  Another village on top of a hill. We arrived in Frascati about 5pm. We’ve been told that this is residential place of the Royalty, an evidence of the grandeur of a palace, sat on the highest point of the hill overlooking the city. The view was breathtakingly magnificent! It was a right time to watch the sun setting in the background, it’s perfect!
While strolling around the shop don’t forget to try the Frascati Wine. There are shops offers free wine tasting too!

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Four days in Rome wasn’t enough to explore the place. I will come back again but for now im headed to Venice to capture the flamboyant festival. Come and tag along with me on my next journey.

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Rome Italy: The City of Fountains and Piazza

Let me take you to the wonderful fountains and piazza around Rome, through my photographic stroll.

Rome wasnt built in just one day! I can honestly say I agree with that. The Roman empire and its city was planned so perfectly. Up to this moment the city is hidding a hundred years of history. The archaeological artefacts says it all. One thing that I’am fascinated every time I visit Rome. The beautiful and grandeur of fountains in every piazza. In every hundred steps there’s fountain. The water coming from the fountain is drinkable. There’s no reason to be dehydrated when exploring the area!

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Continue your stroll in shadows of the ancient, winding cobbled streets. As it welcomes you suddenly to its breathtakingly magnificence of every Piazza. The architectural masterpieces in perfect harmony with the old buildings in the heart of the Eternal City.

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Italy has the most diverse architectural buildings designs from Romanesque, Byzantine style, Rocco Baroque style, Renaissance and Neoclassical styles. I considered its the most picture perfect destination of photographer enthusiasts like me. I wouldn’t ever get tired wandering around and capturing every corner of this place.

Have you ever been to Rome or any part of Italy? Did you like it? Leave your comments and experience below.

Wintry Walk in the Forest

It has been suggested by a local that there’s a nice walking trail around Forest of Dean. With eagerness and full of excitement I decided to go for a drive and for a long walk in the Forest. The weather forecast on that day was intermittent rain and sunshine, but it didn’t stopped me for my wanderings.

From Cheltenham it was 30- minute drive through scenic route passing the narrow countryside lane. The green fields, and rolling hills complete the beautiful landscapes. Soon I was heading towards the forest I continued my drive untill I saw a lake. Then I immediately saw a parking area just across the road which was handy. I put my rain coat on and with camera at hand. I was ready and eager for my nature photography stroll. As I walked through the muddy footpaths trail, there were puddles everywhere. It’s good I was geared up with my wellington boots, That reminded me of my childhood days running under the pouring rain. The only difference was on that trail I walked slowly avoiding to be ending up swimming on the muddy puddles. Not that I don’t like mud, I love facial mud therapy but that’s different story.

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Right, let’s get back to the nature. I continued my walk till I reached the lake. The weather was gloomy and dark, the beautiful view of the lake made it up. There were ducks and swans afloat around the water. Its so picturesque that I cant help to capture the cute creatures.

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I continued my wandering till I stumble upon a nice wooden arch bridge. Under the bridge there were two ledges resembling mini waterfalls. On the other side of the bridge leads to a picnic area. A good place to spend time with friends and families during Summer time.

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After an hour walk I decided to go back to my car and drove to the nearest village. The weather was cold. It was raining that I ended up the Ostrich Pub in Newland Village is nice place to hang around. It seemed that it was the only one pub standing in the village. The charming old interiors , the exposed beams and the big wooden fireplace added to the coziness of the place. A cottagee feel and very homely.

I craved and ordered hot chocote which unfortunately, run out. Instead I had green tea and also ordered homemade wild mushroom soup. The soup was lovely and well seasoned. After the mouth watering soup, the dessert menu choices were tempting so when the waiter asked me if I wanted dessert I quickly ordered sticky toffee pudding with custard. The sponge was soft with calorie-filled sticky caramel sauce, but well earned after a  long walk. Oh well thats my excuse anyway.

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The quirkiness of the place and friendly staff completes the whole dining experienced.  A good spent wintry day out, I must say. Next in line is to have my Spingtime photo walk.