Tuesday 23 June 2015

Up! Up! And away! The Write Way to Travel

Hello there!

Tomorrow I'm off to New Caledonia in the South Pacific! I wrote about it here. So excited! Another research trip from which I should glean several travel articles. It'll be fun living and learning about a new country/culture for 11 days while my trusty critique partners review the novel I have been editing forever.

Seeing as I have no time to maintain several blogs, including my dedicated travel blog, I need to include more travel on this blog. I hope you enjoy that focus, as don't we all like to visit new places, even vicariously.

I've been practising using my iPad Air 2 for everything and today was the first time I've tried adding a blog post. As the iPad is my travel notebook--I take photos of everything rather than writing down details--I needed to know if I can leave the laptop at home. Great success with this blog post. Adding photos was a breeze.

I got into travel writing via a competition. Having just returned from a European trip, I wrote about something unfortunate that happened to us--my laptop, which included all our photos of our trip so far, our CD downloads of photos, and jewellery I'd stuffed into the case at the last minute, idiot!--was stolen. You certainly live and learn.


I love the medieval heart of European cities, and Genoa (Genova), capital of Liguria in Italy, has the biggest--an immense centre of stunning palazzo, theatres, museums, cathedrals and art galleries. Yet Genoa, painted with such bold brush strokes, has a dark side.

I was enchanted by her superb setting--hemmed in between sea and hills covered with terraced pastel villas, but found that in Genoa many buildings are rough around the edges like some of her less savoury characters.

I headed for the Strade Nuove, and marvelled at the Unesco Heritage buildings. I fearlessly wandered the labyrinth of dark alleys (caruggi) with buildings so close you could reach out and touch both sides. I was awed by the beauty of her sun-touched squares where faded noble buildings stand side by side with poor crumbling houses.Fresh food markets overflow with cheeses the size of Fiats, and the memory of earthy Genovese pesto drizzled on silky pasta still has me swooning.

‘You like, si?’

Si, I like!”

After a week discovering this city of Christopher Columbus, culture, colour and caruggi, I was jolted back to reality. My laptop was snatched inside the historical and ornate P. Principe Railway Station, where illegal immigrants lurk.

‘It’s always Australians and New Zealanders,’ sniffed the irritated Polizia, who obviously would have preferred to be sipping a cappuccino to dealing with me. Frantic form filling followed…

I collapsed into my carriage, determined to enjoy the trip to Milan, then focusing on snow falling in Lake Como, our next overnighter.

The evening passeggiata ("little walk") between 5 and 7pm.
Take the funicular up the hill to watch the sunset from the
best vantage point.
Goodbye Genoa! Goodbye laptop! I’d lost hundreds of photos, but felt smug about my favourites I’d loaded onto Facebook! And I still had all those I’d taken of beautiful Genoa!

Look on the bright side of life wherever you are, whatever happens! I just hope whoever stole my belongings needed it more than I did.

© Denise Covey 2008

I hope you enjoyed my travel article. I didn't win the competition, but it opened up a whole new world for me.

  • Do you like to travel? 
  • Do you have a favourite destination?
  • Have you ever been robbed? (Funny how I learned the Italian word for 'I've been robbed!' (mi hanno derubato!)  before I left Paris where I was warned...

Travelling with Denise


Yolanda Renée said...

What a horrible thing to happen. Glad you were able to salvage a good time despite it. Travel writing is lucrative, especially when invitations start pouring in with free accommodations. Another friend and travel writer is always getting such invitations, amazing! Have a wonderful time, I'll watch FB for photos!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Denise - gosh that's a dreadful thing to happen - and such a nuisance ... but you've got over it seemingly and are ready to go with your ipad air2 .. looks like it works wonderfully well ...

New Caledonia .. sounds amazing ... do you know you can see plants that are not only highly metal-tolerant, but also exhibit metal uptake through the whole plant – these are known as hyperaccumulators.

The most impressive of these is the Sebertia Acuminate, known locally as ‘Blue Sap’ of New Caledonia (Serpentine rich islands off north east Australia), as it bleeds, when slashed, a bright blue latex containing up to 25% nickel.

I wrote about this six years ago! But thought you'd enjoy some 'out of the world fact' to confound everyone on your arrival?!

I've hit you with my wisdom and that captcha thing - gets ignored ... !!

Have a wonderful time ... it'll be amazing to see ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will gladly take more travel stuff here.
Really crappy about your laptop and those photos. The thief couldn't steal your memories though.
Glad you can blog and post pictures just fine with your iPad. It's so much lighter than a laptop.
Enjoy your travels!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Ouch. I would've hated losing the photos even more so than the laptop.

Trisha said...

I love reading travel posts, though they do often make me wish I was there seeing the things I'm reading about, too!

I hope you have a wonderful trip. :)

D.G. Hudson said...

Great article, Denise! I like writing travel posts and articles too. Genoa does indeed have a dark side if you read a lot of its history. It was previously a transit point for a lot of spying and medieval intelligence hawking, according to what I've read. . .BTW, will email you something today. Hope your trip is a great one, I'm envious!

Chrys Fey said...

I don't get to travel, so I will definitely enjoy reading about travel here on this blog.

If my laptop was snatched it would've ruined my whole trip. Ugh! I'm sorry that happened to you.

Enjoy your trip to New Caledonia!

H. R. Sinclair said...

That was a great article. It brought out that tingle ya get when seeing a new place. Gack! Sorry about the theft. Totally sucks. Have a great trip to New Caledonia. I can't wait to hear about it.

Denise Covey said...

It was tough at the time, 2 months into a 6-month trip, but glad we got over it and enjoyed ourselves. Yes, travel writing can be very lucrative, but mostly gives you a great excuse to keep that bag packed. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Thanks for the inside info Hilary. You are always a mine of information. I might use that! Hope your break is going well. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Ah, well, what can you do? Yep the iPad's light, but so is my Vaio laptop. Supposed to be one of the lightest made. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Yes, that was tough. Still think about them. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Me too, Trish. I love reading yours too. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Yes it's still pretty dark that's for sure. Had some strange experiences there, but nothing permanently damaging, lol! :-)

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Chrys. You'll be getting a few more posts on travel, that's for sure. :-)

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Southpaw! You'll hear about it for sure. :-)

Nilanjana Bose said...

What a ghastly thing to happen on a holiday! Kudos to you for being so positive.

Love actual and armchair travel both, so will enjoy your travel posts here. Looking forward to reading about your NC trip. Bon voyage!

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Nila. Leave tomorrow. You'll be hearing about it. :-)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Being robbed definitely added local color to your visit, unfortunately not in a good way.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. Definitely wise, time-wise, to incorporate travel into this blog. Have a wonderful trip.

Denise Covey said...

Local colour. I like that!

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Ann! I will. Not long to go now.

klahanie said...

Hi Denise,

That's bloody awful that you had your laptop snatched! Thank goodness you somehow are philosophical about it.

Happy travels and happy adventures! Strewth! :)


Denise Covey said...

Being philosophical is the only way to fly, Gary. No use being bitter and twisted when bad things happen to us.

Thanks for the good travel wishes! :-)

Anonymous said...

I hope you're having a great time.

I'm sorry about your laptop. That a big inconvenience.

I love traveling to New York City. I know it's not a foreign place to me, but it's a short trip and there's always something to do there.

Denise Covey said...

On my bucket list Medeia. NYC sounds foreign to most of us who've never been there. It is the centre of the universe after all! :-)

Michelle Wallace said...

Travel + writing? Perfect combination, Denise.
Maybe you'll even get to my neck of the woods one day...
Sorry about your laptop. It's annoying!
What about the inconvenience...? Grrrrr.
Happy travels! Your pics are always wonderful!

Denise Covey said...

Thanks Michelle! I think it's perfect! Occasionally bad things happen, but losing a laptop was the worst thing ever, especially as we had another 4 months to go on our tour. :-)

Kittie Howard said...

Very happy you're including travel posts as I love reading about your experiences (save for the stolen laptop, yipes!) and your insight and beautiful photos. Looking forward to learning about New Caledonia, an area about which I know little beyond the basics. Hope your trip is fun-filled, with lots of interesting experiences!!! (Looks like you've recovered nicely from the stolen laptop episode, but what a jolt that must have been. Sorry!)

Thanks for your comment! If one went along local roads, about 20 miles from us is unspeakable poverty, mostly white, actually, but also with large pockets of black poverty. The Confederate flag is commonly displayed by whites. These people are on every possible form of Federal government assistance possible but don't like "the Feds" and have dug in about the flag and guns. What's going on here is insane!

Off to Europe Friday afternoon . . . can't wait!

Pat Hatt said...

Hope you are having a great time. I like to travel, but that takes $$$ lol that sucks about the laptop indeed.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello, very interesting travel writing with lovely photos. Yes, I would like to travel and my favorite destination is Goa, India.

Best wishes

Denise Covey said...

Yes Joseph Goa is on my list!

Denise Covey said...

Yes if not for the Bucks I'd be on the road full time!

Denise Covey said...

Amazing isn't it. Just watching CNN interview hotel room and seeing that flag fly while the funerals take place is :-(.

Enjoy Europe!

Denise :-)

Deniz Bevan said...

Hope you have a great trip! I'd like to see Genoa someday...note to self, hold on tightly to laptop!
Travel writing is fun, isn't it? I used to do some for a Turkish/English newspaper I'd love it if you carried over travel articles to this blog too!

Nas said...

Loved reading your travelogue. And would love to visit all these places you are posting about! Sad about the laptop, though.

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