16 August 2012

Mini Eurotrip: Seeing More of Stromboli

After last night’s trek up the volcano, we rewarded ourselves by sleeping in little.Waking up at Casa Del Sole always felt calm and relaxed. I loved waking up there! I loved opening the door to our room only to be greeted by what seemed like GUARANTEED SUNSHINE on the island, the clear blue sky, the sight of the old orange hammock, and also the big laundry sink.

We had the dreaded task of walking uphill to the church/town square to return our rented hiking boots, however. What was most dreadful about it was me having to stuff my poor feet back INTO those heavy things that morning (my sandals were left at the shop in exchange for the boots). Could almost hear my feet screaming ‘NOooooo!!!’. Well, I survived.. so never mind enough complaining.

Took a few photos along the way:

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Look! It’s Francesca driving the Casa Del Sole taxi.. 😀

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“Aperto” means “open” in Italian.

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Joyce and I kept going on about how all the flowers on the island were just so PERFECT and VIBRANT. Many a time we had to touch and feel them just to be absolutely sure that they were real. Yup, all real flora there!

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Couldn’t help but wander into one of the many souvenir/craft shops near the church square. The souvenirs on the island were tasteful and largely handmade by artists, unlike in big cities like Rome or Paris or Barcelona etc etc, where the souvenirs are tacky, plasticky, and overpriced.

I got myself a volcano magnet and a wall hook with a sailboat on it.

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When I was in Rovinj, Croatia (oops, I haven’t written anything about this.. yet) two weeks prior to this trip, there were a few shops that sold handmade wooden boats too! I had gotten one there so I stopped myself from adding to the collection.. wasn’t too hard, as the prices here were much higher than in Croatia.

Lunch was at a place called Luciano’s – a tip from a local woman we asked.

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We sat on a big balcony with a great view of the sea (of course). Joyce decided to do a photoshoot with our mice, her other toys, my ring, and.. half-eaten bread??!

The plan after lunch was to take the loooooonggg walk back to the beach that we were on the day before.

This proved to be quite challenging..because of how HOT it was that day. I think we distracted ourselves by taking lots of pictures.

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This, by the way, is not Joyce simply taking a close-up photograph of a cactus. It’s her taking a picture of her PET GOLFBALL, WILSON, carefully placed in a little nook in the cactus plant.

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Apparently, I was touching leaves and flowers a lot…. see, I had to check that they were real! Or maybe not.. cos these were quite obviously not plastic….

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Joyce captured me in one of my ‘zones’.. (crazy zone, that is). I was somehow so fascinated by this man painting a little red star on his boat. He was delicately peeling off the tape he used as a stencil.. one by one..slowly. I watched for so long that by the time he finished, I clapped for him. I might have even said ‘yay!’.

This gave me the opportunity to get to know my new friend, so we started talking and guess what! He had one of those little buggies and so gave us a lift to the beach that we were MELTING towards. His name was Stefano and he had previously lived in Melbourne, too. I was like, “OH I miss that gelato shop on Lygon Street!”, to which he replied, Yes Lygon Street… IL DOLCE FREDDO!. Hehe.

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Bikini – Topshop
Sandals – Saltwater
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We buried Maurice (Joyce’s mouse) and Goliath (my mouse) in the sand for fun.

Joyce tried to find Wilson a girlfriend.. also known as the most symmetrically round black pebble you could find on the beach = IMPOSSIBLE! So poor Wilson remained a bachelor throughout the trip.. oh well!

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Strolling back to find food, we met a man called Frank who runs a small tour company from one of the colourful booths seen near the pier. As you can see, it was called ‘Frank International’. They were doing boat tours  for €15 that evening, at sunset, where you’d go round the other side of the island and watch the volcano hopefully erupt.

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Having two hours to kill, we planted ourselves at what we thought was the most lively bar/cafe on the strip – Fronte Del Porto.

They played a really diverse range of music.. so sometimes I’d be happily bopping to something.. and then the next moment I’d be silently wishing my ears didn’t work (like when they played that super, super annoying Gotye song that I’d always hated from the beginning).

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As the sun went down the sky turned a magnificent lilac shade and the water was so still it was GLIMMERING. Like a big flat mirror in the shade of lilac. At one point it was difficult to tell where the line between the sea and the sky was. Seemed like both were melting into each other.. like a painting!

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Thought this photo was funny because of the family so obviously staring at me getting my photo taken next to a tiny yellow taxi with its nonchalant driver in it.

Boat Trip

I was super excited about the boat trip because it meant getting closer to that MIRROR-WATER. Just look!

By ‘look’ I mean look many times.. (lots of pics to follow). It’s just one of those things you repeatedly take pictures of because you keep trying to capture the beauty on camera even though you know you.. can’t. Anyhow I think these are some great shots.. ha ha

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It was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Just so beautifully calm.

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We got permission from Frank to go for a quick swim.. the other passengers thought we were mad. But it was so much fun!

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We’d already seen the volcanic eruptions during the hike the day before so didn’t pay much attention to the volcano this time. Well I didn’t anyway.

Once back on shore I treated myself to more pasta.. and peach juice! One my favourite things about Europe is the fruit juices. I’m not confined to apple/orange and can instead have pear, peach, or strawberry (my top 3 in random order).

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