I like looking up to see windows and balconies when I’m in Italy, and this last trip was no exception. Where there are windows there are usually shutters, which I find interesting because they might be open, closed or partially raised. Balconies often have colorful flower arrangements as well as laundry cheerfully hanging from the railings or attached clotheslines. In other words, there is a lot to see when you look at windows and balconies!
Many levels of windows
Balcony with laundry
Many shutters to see
Laundry and flowers
This picture has many of my favorite elements: windows, balconies, shutters, flowers and laundry. Adding to the scene that afternoon was the bright blue sky.
Some of my favorite memories are of the flowers and gardens that I see when I travel. When I was in Italy a few months ago I couldn’t help but notice the bright and colorful flowers. Here are some that I especially liked.
Flowers for sale
Bright and colorful
I began Meg Travels in August and this month is my fourth anniversary! It has been so much fun sharing travel adventures from near and far. When I look for themes over the years I can see that flowers and gardens are some of my favorites, along with doors, sunsets and signs. I tend to travel in the spring and that is an ideal time to see fresh and colorful flowers. Autumn is another beautiful season for watching the leaves change color, and it is still warm and sunny.
I will continue to travel so there will be plenty more adventures (with pictures) to share over the next year. Here are some of the flowers, doorways and other souvenir pictures that I’ve taken over the past four years.
Try new flavors
Autumn in Williamsburg
Doorway in Avignon
an important sign!
St. Petersburg, Florida
Door to Monet’s house
Prince Edward Island
On my final morning in Italy last May I stepped out on my hotel balcony in Baveno to see this sunrise. I took many pictures of what I saw but I’ll always remember this scene until I return to Italy, and the sooner the better!
It is always exciting to see famous landmarks when I’m traveling. But I also like to notice other things in addition to the places I either read about or saw pictures of in books and magazines. The more I travel the more I remember details of a place such as doors, signs, some flowers or even a simple bench. As I walked around Milan I saw so many details and they have become part of the experience of being there. When I look at these pictures I know that although they are less recognizable they are just as meaningful as I look back at my time in Milan. Here are some examples of what I mean.
Along a path
Door from a castle
Reflections in a sign
A simple bench
This looked like a fun way to get around in Milan, and there was even a bicycle traffic light.
When I was in Italy in May one of my favorite experiences was taking a train from La Spezia to see the villages of the Cinque Terre. The first stop was the village of Riomaggiore. It had been raining when I boarded the train in La Spezia but as the train pulled into the station at Riomaggiore the storm had ended and the clouds were transitioning to blue sky. It was late morning and an ideal time for a walk, although it was challenging because the sidewalks were so steep.
Many levels of buildings
Follow this sign!
A door to…
While walking I couldn’t decide whether to look at the buildings, some with laundry hanging from terraces, or do a little souvenir shopping. Another thought was to look for a gelato shop and keep walking. Since they were such interesting possibilities I decided to do all of them!
A little shopping
Non-gelato food choices
Lemon scented soap
Although this chair looked inviting for a little rest, I had a train schedule to follow to get to the other villages so eventually I had to walk back to the station to catch a train to Manarola, another village in the Cinque Terre. I’ll tell you about that soon.
The morning of July 4 I drove to Washington D.C. to see the fireworks. I arrived around noon and my first stop was the Library of Congress for a walking tour. I admired the impressive walls, floors and ceilings.
Stained glass window
Look up and see this…
Next I walked to the Botanic Garden for a visit. The outdoor gardens were in full bloom and there were a number of displays inside. There was a thunderstorm late in the afternoon and it rained for more than an hour. I started to wonder if the rain would affect the evening’s fireworks, but when I checked the weather map on my phone I saw that after the storm went through there wouldn’t be any more rain.
Flowers in bloom
After the Botanic Garden closed for the day the next stop was the Air and Space Museum. There were a lot of people walking around and probably waiting for the weather to improve. Later when the museum closed it was time to look for a place to sit somewhere on the Mall for a good view of the fireworks. The evening went slowly…7:30…7:45…8:34. Then suddenly it was dark and the program began! There was lots of cheering for the impressive display of fireworks. While it was happening I didn’t want to miss anything but I managed to get this picture.
When it was over there was applause and cheering, and now I have these souvenir pictures along with my happy memories of July 4.
A drive to the mountains near where I live seemed like a good adventure over the weekend. After an hour of driving I started to see hills that soon turned into mountains. When I got off the highway there was an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The morning was getting more and more interesting! I decided to drive on it for a while and every couple of miles there was a lookout point. I stopped, got out of the car and took a good look at the mountains. It became breezy as the road ascended and I needed to wear a sweater as I looked out to see these panoramic views.
From a lookout spot
Since I also enjoy flowers I thought that these wildflowers were a charming part of the landscape. The events of this day produced some wonderful memories.
Over the past three years I’ve written so much about gelato that I had to check my previous posts to make sure I was using an original title! Gelato is a treat I look forward to when I go to Italy and I found a new flavor in Parma called Parmigianino that was light and fluffy. When I get gelato I usually choose two flavors so I can sample something different as well as picking one of my favorites. It is fun to walk and enjoy the scenery with a refreshing gelato. I’m not the only one who does that either – I saw lots of people walking with their gelato cones and cups!
I decided to continue with this theme so here are some of the signs I saw as well as actual gelato. These pictures make me want to go back to Italy as soon as possible.
Try new flavors
Must stop here
A welcome sign
Gelato in Como
Wherever I went in Italy I saw flowers. There were flowers on terraces, flowers in wall planters, on sidewalks and in gardens. When I looked up I could see flower boxes full of red and pink geraniums as well as petunias. The colors were so cheerful that they transformed many terraces into bright and eye-catching spaces. It was exciting to see so many flowers in bloom and one garden I visited in Milan was full of people having their pictures taken among the flowers.
Colorful terrace flowers
Spring is a perfect time to see the new flowers and simply enjoy their fresh beauty.