Two days in Rome

At the end of our holiday we had two days in Rome. It was a chance to visit some favourite places of ours as well as some new places. We stayed at Hotel Barocco in one of their junior suites – which meant we had an outdoor patio to relax on – four floors above Piazza Barberini. It was a real luxury.

As always we were looked after superbly with nothing being too much trouble. Which made it even harder to say goodbye and start the long trip home. The good thing is that we threw a coin into the Trevi fountain (well sort of as you can see from the photo) so we’ll be back.

Journey’s end

After 3 days travelling by plane, train and automobile we have arrived in Positano. Along the way we spent 3 hours in Auckland, 4 hours in Hong Kong, 25 hours in the air and a day and a night in Rome.

New Zealand farewelled us with chilling rain on a grey day and Positano welcomed us with sun, warmth and gentle breezes. The delights of jet lag haven’t quite left us yet so currently a late night is 8pm and a “sleep in” is 5am. We know that will change as the wonderfully pedestrian pace of life in Positano takes over.

As always everyone has looked after us superbly – from the welcome sight of the hotel driver at Rome airport to our room being ready for us at 8am when we arrived at Hotel Barocco. The ability to drop our bags and freshen up was a lifesaver – and no mean feat for the hotel as they were fully booked the previous night but still they managed to get our room ready in record time.

The trip south by train was blissfully uneventful and relaxing with none of the hassles that accompany air travel – although recent events in France and Belgium may change that.

The welcome at Eden Roc was as warm as ever with time spent catching up on events of the last year – had the changes to the hotel that were talked about last been made? No, too much beaurcracy and too little time  – maybe next year. Were all the staff well, who had left and who was new? All the usual characters were still part of the team – plus some new faces – it has been a good year. Were we in for good weather or was the recent rain going to dampen our holiday? No, the weather had settled and we could expect hot, dry days.

The afternoon was spent enjoying a late lunch/early dinner on the hotel terrace looking out over Positano and the bay beyond. Let the relaxing begin.

Some randomness

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This gallery contains 8 photos.

I have had a collection of random photos building up on my desktop for a while. Shots that I liked but which had no real story attached to them – other than they might be useful for a blog sometime in the future. Today … Continue reading

Piazza San Pietro in Roma

Piazza San Pietro RomaFor no particular reason I was looking through our photo archives and came across a half dozen shots we took of the piazza outside St Peters a few years ago. I’ve never stitched them together before. But now I have, they actually make a half decent panorama despite being from a camera quite low on megapixels.

As a matter of interest the Pope often gives blessing to the crowds in the piazza on Sunday from the window of the building in the centre of the shot. Top floor, second window from the right.

2014 – the year that was

It was a fun old year at our place. As always there seemed to be a lot happening but when I look back at the photos we’ve taken, our trip in August and those puppies – well Bella mainly – seem to dominate.

Beware of Via dei Condotti

Louis 4One thing Jean was set on buying, even before leaving home, was some form of sleeve or holder for her MacBook Air. She was waiting until we reached Rome so she could visit Via dei Condotti and the Louis Vuitton shop.

Via die Condotti runs from the base of the Spanish Steps to Via del Corso – 4 blocks of premium shopping. Every European luxury brand is on the street. Gucci is on the corner at the base of the Spanish Steps. Valentino is next. Then it’s Prada and Dior. A little further down is Louis Vuitton. It just keeps going.

We headed into Louis Vuitton’s three storey shop and were greeted warmly (well Jean was as she had one of the shops fine products over her shoulder) and asked what we were looking for. Yes, of course they have laptop sleeves and bags. Yes we’d be delighted to follow the staff member to look at some options.

The shelves are full of product all perfectly displayed. The staff (who seem to out number customers by three to one) are immaculately groomed and dressed, and the store is spotless with none of the usual retail clutter you see elsewhere.

None of the bags on the shelves are used as samples. If you are interested in a bag, a sample is available from drawers below the shelves, each bag in a special holder to protect it. The staff also wear gloves to handle the merchandise.

Of course if you purchase an item, it arrives already wrapped from somewhere else in the store.

Our modest “laptop sleeve” rapidly turned into a messenger bag. But which size – there were three –  and which pattern – modern or traditional?  The price started to climb.

In the end a selection was made, aided somewhat by a glass of champagne, and was charged to Jean’s account. Yes, scaringly, ever since she bought her first bag 6 years ago, Jean has an account.

God help us all.

 

Dinner at La Pergola

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This gallery contains 6 photos.

It’s not often that we make a restaurant reservation 4 months in advance. And it’s even less often that they come back and advise that, even with that much advance notice, they cannot confirm a table on the terrace – we … Continue reading