This is a blog post from Word…
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Just a quick (internet access is expensive here!!) note to say that I'm still here. I've been in Boston since Monday 12 and will be leaving to go back to New York this coming Monday. I've been having a great time in Boston, it really is a fantastic city. The hostel I'm staying in has (partially) restored my faith in HI hostels too. Been going out every night and meeting lots of interesting people.
I've uploaded 50 new photos to the Flickr site, so go and check them out!
Wow, I can't believe that it's been almost 2 weeks since I managed to write a decent entry on what I've been doing. Anyway, I'm in London now, at the Apple Store on Regent Street where they have free internet access, so let's see how long I can go before I get politely booted off!
Here's what I've been up to in a nutshell: after Parga we took an overnight ferry from Igoumenitsa to Brindisi. Getting there around 6 in the morning, we made our way to Lecce on the train. Lecce has a beatiful walled old town, with lots of baroque buildings. On my first day there I managed to gatecrash a wedding in the duomo! They were allowing tourists to enter while the wedding was in progress so I just went in with everyone else... The next day a few of us headed off for a day in Otranto, a very old port town which reminded me a bit of Fremantle. Explored the castle, had some gelati and went for a swim. Well, I tried to swim but the water was freezing! There were some locals in the water but they seemed to be content wading around--I suspect that this is the seaside eqivalent of promenading. Made a new friend on the bus over and had dinner with her that night, which was fun!
After Lecce we had 3 days in Alberobello, which is famous for its Trulli houses, which fill much of the town and the surrounding countryside. They are conical in shape and are built from stone. They were originally built entirely from dry stone so that they could be hastily knocked to the ground (the local duke didn't like having to pay land taxes). Some of them predate the arrival of Christianity in the area and still have pagan symbols painted on their roofs. We all stayed in Trulli while we were there. There isn't a lot to do in Alberobello but I did go for a few bike rides around the area, making it to some of the neigbouring towns, sampling lots of the local cherries along the way.
Went to Naples for a very short afternoon and evening. Naples is crazy and I really want to go back again. It has a much harder edge to it than the other cities I visited in Italy. The people look different too; less showy and tougher-looking. That evening we stumbled on a political rally, which was quite amusing. It started off with some guy wearing a white suit, black tie, and no shirt, lip synching to some Italian hip-hop music while getting down and dirty with some pretty ordinary dancers (we speculated that they might have been his cousins or something like that, it looked pretty amateur...). That was followed by a bunch of old guys getting up on stage to gee up the crowd with some rousing speeches. As we were leaving, they started setting off fireworks, from within the audience. My travelling companions thought they were gunshots!
Spent another brief day in Rome, seeing some of the sights. We had a farewell dinner at the Piazza Navona, followed by a fun journey back to the hotel after we discovered that the Rome Metro system closed at 9pm.
Really wish I stayed in Rome for longer. Was definitely thinking this when I arrived at my dingy hostel in cold, smelly, expensive London!