It’s hard to believe that this was taken only a few short months ago while taking @deemak23 on his surprise trip to #Venice one sunny spring morning.
Currently I’m looking at this very same square on the news for the past few days,
flooded to the point of disbelief.
Italy has been fighting to keep Venice above water for the past few decades, but every winter same sad pictures travel around the world.
A lot has been promised to Venetians in order to control future floodings, but nothing ever worked.
Probably the biggest, most expensive flop of them all took center stage this very year- a 6.5billion dollar wall to keep water entering the city.
As this continues, Venice sinks not only physically, but culturally as well.
Thousands of homes become inhabited, hotels ruined, cobblestones damaged.
Venetians are used to these conditions, but it’s not a secret many have decided (and even more were financially forced) to sell their properties and transfer to the near by metropolitan area leaving Italian heritage in hands of foreigners, mostly not even Mediterraneans who’d be carrying the historical legacy, but those with very little sense for authentic preservation, but a big appetite for income during spring and summer.
The results of this damaging trend we’ve experienced this year on our own skin seeing
how many Murano shops were replaced by Asian made magnets,
many hotels had barely basic amenities for the price of what, just a few years ago, would give you ‘a room with a view,
restaurants served hamburgers and advertised Vegan food (believe me, proud traditional Italians can’t even imagine a Vegan meal, let alone cook one).
What will become of Venice in the next 10 years?
But I’m glad I had a chance to see it 30yrs ago...and 20yrs ago... when it still stood tall for what it once was-a magnificent reminder of wealth, power and importance.
Spring started here in Australia.
Days are longer, temperatures are higher and the sun ☀️ is finally visiting us more often.
We’re enjoying every #moment of it as we sip our coffees in the morning on our warm cozy terrace while the cats 🐈🐈 are sunbaking on the sunniest pach of it.
All is good in the hood. 😎
Yet my thoughts always drift home.. 🏡
To that small tiny piece on Earth where I feel I breathe differently, I move differently, I experience things differently...
We’re less than 8months away from embarking on yet another Croatian adventure as we get to pick which island to explore, which city to pin on the map, which neighboring countries to play tourists in.
I’ve boarded many planes in my life, but the one taking me home is always my favorite!
The first rays of light timidly touching the edges of
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬 this morning as our little ‘roo ✈️ flies high above Port Moresby on its way back to Australia.
Wakey-wakey, world! ⏰
A long, long time ago,
Walt #Disney said that laughter is America’s most #important export.
And for millions of people, my #generation and even much older, Mickey Mouse was the epicenter of that export.
We grew up watching this tiny little mouse whistling his way in and out of funny mischiefs and daring escapades... What Tom and Jerry were as a duo, Mickey was on his own.
Of course we loved his loyal gang, but no one came close to those two recognizable black ears and red shorts.
This year, I was told, Mickey Mouse celebrates 90 years in business-alive and still kicking like there’s no tomorrow!
It was only reasonable that on my daytrip to the
#Hollywood Walk Of Fame,
I find my #childhood#buddy and ask him for a photo!
⭐️ When in L.A, look for the stars! ⭐️
And within a blink of an eye,
we were back in Oz.
We left #summer behind and waived #goodbye to Europe.
I felt so heavy taking off knowing what a long #journey awaits ahead, but most importantly, what a long mental journey is ahead of me personally, counting days till I’ll go back home. 🏡
Landing into a cold dark Adelaide, after failing to get on a flight to Sydney, spending a night in an airport hotel, made it more than clear our #vacation is over and my #travels will continue on a roster based schedule. 🕐🕗🕑
My mum’s cooking was thousands of miles away, my language was all of a sudden unspoken, my friends became numbers on Facebook and my clothes were swiftly changed from summery light to wintery heavy as one of the coldest mornings in NSW was about to hit us.
Up untill now, our mornings were like on this picture-easy and serene as if they were a postcard.
I travel a lot and I #travel far.
But only a traveler with so many miles up their sleeves will tell you that the most important of all trips is the one that takes you home.
I was blessed to have the chance to live and work in three different continents, all #beautiful in its own way.
But, somehow, as I grow older, I know I can settle in only one of those. Probably also the only one I can see my kids living in one day-one where Venice is across the street, Vienna is a weekend trip, Spain is an Easter bunny hop away... Greece, Finland, Portugal, France... All there, together, small, proud, different, unique...
You can take a European out of Europe, but you can’t take Europe out of a European.
And Zagreb, you little rough unpolished #old beauty, thank you for staying so historical and true, for filling my heart with your parks, books and festivals, for the culture and for the smiles.
Untill next year!
What a beautiful intro to our last few days here in Europe...
Literally brings tears to my eyes.
Annual classical music concert under the stars performed by Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra as a gift to its city and all of our guests.
Hundreds of people just sitting on the grass enjoying what Europe does best-culture.
Blessed to the moon to be here and call this fabulous little place a home 🏡
Has mountains, has lakes.
Has history and the old tale says it even had dragons 🐉.
It’s tiny, but beautiful with only 2 million people and, most importantly,
it’s THE ONLY country in the world with #LOVE in its name...
Yep, we saw nothing but love in its beautiful little #capital#Ljubljana and we’re happy to come back for more!
Thank you for having us!
When someone says ‘Venice’, the first thing you think of are gondolas,
but as super expensive as they are nowadays compared to a few years ago, that’s not what Italians call ‘traveling in style’.
So, what is?
A private taxi boat! 💡👨🏻✈️
Reaching up to 600€ per ride, these luxurious shiny little boats will do for you everything gondola would, but with an added ‘jet set’ label to suit your ego.💅🏻
And as with everything trendy, yes, people are falling for it like flies!🤦🏻♀️
What once was reserved for George Clooney and Amal, is now a transport of choice for all middle class show-offs.
We’ve happily decided to pass on this and allowed ourselves to get lost between the streets of Venice the old fashioned way-by foot! 👞🚶🏻♂️👠🚶🏼♀️
Call me crazy, but no cabin crew has ever spent 600€ on a ticket...
any ticket! (long live staff travel!😅)
And so we waved 👋🏼 to George and Amal and moved on...
I’ve been #blessed my entire #life to have this #beautiful piece of #history just a short drive away from my hometown. 😌
Venice and I have been #friends ever since I was 9 and my mum decided that this will be her ‘soul city’. It’s an absolute understatement to say we were here often.
I later inherited that #love and continued visiting this neighboring #beauty as I grew older.
Sometimes I think we’re aging #together and even though she’s over a thousand years older than me, she’s doing it much classier.
My wrinkles are not charming, her cracks and marks are.
I’ve been here so many times, yet it never ceases to amaze me.
Today I got to share it with someone who wasn’t born few hours away from it, but rather a few days away... 😅
And he loved it!
I guess I’m passing on the legacy too...
‘No stress on Cres’
was the last thing I’ve heard before boarding a ferry that’ll take us from #island of Krk to 👉🏼
Cres- Croatia’s biggest island!
We’ve parked our car on a ferry, bumper to bumper leaving it looking like a sardine🐟 in a can and climbed to the top to soak up the #view#sailing between two islands.
It’s not a #secret I’m not a typical #local here and I’ll be the first one to admit that, as many Europeans do, I took every available #chance to spend summers #exploring every other country, but my own.
We all believe that grass is greener on the other side of the fence and while our neighbors were spending their hard earned money to enjoy their #vacation over here, I was ready to pay even more to enjoy mine over there.
Cres, however, I did manage to conquer...
with my mum...
age 12 😅 (so, theoretically doesn’t count!)
22 years later, I’m finally here again and I don’t recognize a single thing.
But it was short before we were completely smittened by the #old#architecture and cobblestone streets.
This picturesque island is without a doubt, #Mediterranean as it once was.
After missing out on Vivid last year, we were determined we’ll make up for it and go see it the proper way:
by booking a Sydney Vivid boat tour!
‘Cause there couldn’t possibly be a better way of seeing it than paying to see it, right?
It, being amazing by foot for free, can only be better by boat for 40$...
Oh, the excitement! 🤗✨
Still not being acclimatized to having winters, I took out all my winter clothes, dressed in layers like my mum would have wanted me to, even packed my gloves 🧤 and put on a beanie! ☃️
I was dead serious about not feeling #cold on a boat and #enjoy every single moment!
And so we started our #sail from Darling #Harbour to what we thought would be the #epicenter of this year’s Vivid.
And...failed miserably!!! 🙄😫
An hour and a half on a boat that didn’t even go into Circular Quay and the only thing we’ve seen was the Harbour Bridge changing #colors approximately twice in 20min.
So, for all you out there, if you’re in Sydney and heading to Vivid (ends 16th June), forget the boat, forget the cruise and see it the only proper way-by foot! (...and avoid weekend!)
Surprisingly, sometimes paying for a ‘better experience’ is a hoax!
All you really need for this event is a camera 📷 ✨ and your own two feet! 🐾
Lights will guide you!