I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now… After all the talk about Italy and the intensity of its sights, sea and food, I almost forgot that I made a pit stop on my way to Rome. With a six-hour layover in Zurich, I followed the advice of all the braver travelers before me and took the 15 minute train ride into the city. Not surprisingly for Switzerland, the trains are frequent and punctual. I didn’t have a plan for my layover (big surprise), but discovered a few things this pristine, almost-too-clean city has to offer other than chocolate and duty-free.
Sometimes imagining what a place is like, miles away, with only illusions, photographs and stories to guide you, makes for the best kind of daydreaming. And dreaming about magical places comes most naturally when your city turns sad and pessimistic; Jack Frost teasing from the horizon. We watch our skin go from golden-brown to pale, as we picture a place with 360 days of sunshine, where row boats in primary colors lie washed up on a white, smooth beach. We daydream about rhythmic music and drums and fresh fish markets that are brimming with people. We daydream about a place like Cape Verde.
It’s hard to compress eternity into just two days… It is Roma Aeterna, after all. But I’ve discovered that if you’re savvy at crowd-dodging, willing to wake up at sunrise and generally a good power-walker, then you can actually squeeze a lot into 48 hours. There are many itineraries out there on what to see and where to eat when in Rome, yet I find that the best itineraries are our own – the ones that come from wandering. So, an espresso in my veins and a map in my hand, I braved this chaotic city without a minute to waste. Because while Rome may be eternal, nobody should wait forever to see it.
Pop up stores seem to be, well, popping up everywhere in Madrid. A trend that had its moment in the U.S a few years ago, is now catching on in the Spanish capital. And at a time when it is virtually impossible to open a small business and survive; artisans, boutique owners, and even cinemas are opting for the more pocket-friendly and mass-drawing option of the pop-up store. As temperatures rise, there are a few ephemeral spots that will only be around this summer…
It’s been a while since I’ve posted some tunes on here. And I know we’re over half way through summer, but it’s never too late to share music for easy listening in the car, on the road, by the pool, at the beach, in the city, at your cubicle… Because there’s more than one acceptable way to beat the heat.
Moving to three different cities in three years means I’ve experienced three challenging (some more than others) quests for the perfect apartment. And while it might have helped to be the kind of traveler who goes with everything set up and ready for arrival, I prefer to figure things out along the way. When I first moved to Paris (a tough city for finding a decent apartment on a budget) I went with a single bag and an overly-optimistic 4-night booking at a youth hostel. Daunting as it was, had I not done this, I would’ve never found the best apartment gig I could have asked for… And, if I were to do it all over again, here are a few things I would have liked to know before arriving in each place: