More about Souvenirs

I’ve been thinking about souvenirs and how to stop bringing so many back from trips. I have decided that the following are even better than souvenirs because they don’t last (at least for me) and therefore won’t require packing!

Chocolate:

Fruit from markets:

And of course gelato!

Decluttering Travel Souvenirs

For me the fun of travel begins with research and the library is a great place to find travel books as well as history books about cities and countries.  I also like using apps to listen and practice words and phrases in the language I’m learning.  I know I’ve made progress when I can read signs and billboards while on my travels.  But then I’ll hear children speaking to their parents and realize that they already know more words than I ever will in their language. 

I also like to leave extra room in my suitcase for the souvenirs I want to bring home, although I’m trying to limit my souvenir buying.  This is especially true since I have brought back some purchases that I haven’t used and have no place to keep them. 

Luckily there are things you can’t take with you (like gelato), so you have to eat them right away!

gelato

So now I have more than one drawer stuffed with travel souvenirs like key chains, postcards, ticket stubs and refrigerator magnets. Are they valuable memories or just clutter? I did find a use for some of my key chains by displaying them on an earring holder:

Souvenir tree

Sometime soon I will look at these souvenirs and decide whether or not to keep them. At least in the future I can focus on enjoying the experience of travel through photos and memories and let them replace the clutter. I will really try to do this!

Italy

Lunch Choices

When I was in Genoa I walked in an area with lots of fruit and vegetable shops.  It was just about time for lunch and I thought it might be fun to buy an orange or some strawberries that I saw displayed to have as a snack.  There were also places where you could walk in and buy something more substantial that could be warmed up.  Since I didn’t see anywhere to sit I also considered other options such as buying a gelato and continuing to walk.  After a while I realized I wasn’t even hungry so I decided to wait and simply enjoy the day!

This faithful friend waited patiently outside.

Italy

A Lake Maggiore Walk

During my visit to Italy last May I took an afternoon walk one day in Baveno along Lake Maggiore.  When I look at these pictures now I can see that it wasn’t a sunny day, but I didn’t notice it at the time.  This is probably because the views of the lake and mountains were so compelling the cloudy skies didn’t matter.  There weren’t too many people around that day so I could focus on the scenery.  I also remember seeing the flowers beginning to bloom on the hydrangeas.  Just as I thought it would be nice to have a treat I found a gelato shop.  This was an important part of the walk too.

Lake Maggiore

What I saw along the way.

It was a charming walk.

Lake Maggiore

The Search for Souvenirs

Part of the fun of travel is bringing back souvenirs that have memories of where and when they were purchased.  I have lots of postcards and refrigerator magnets but some of my favorite souvenirs are things I can look at such as art prints and calendars.  I also like things I can wear like scarves and bracelets.  When I was in Italy I wanted to find some unique souvenirs, but where should I start?  Wherever I went there were so many choices it was difficult to decide.  As I looked around I saw possibilities like these:

It’s a good idea to stop for some refreshments along the way.

Souvenirs

But instead of fruit I decided to stop for a gelato and this photograph is a great souvenir!

gelato

A Walk in the Cinque Terre

When I got off the local train that stopped at the villages of the Cinque Terre I carried a copy of the train schedule.  That way I’d know when to be back at the station to go to the next stop.  Once I knew how much time I had for my walk I decided to take in all the charming sights I could.  It had rained earlier so I had a slightly soggy umbrellas in my bag.  Although there were lots of visitors that day I managed to get away from the crowd and enjoy my walk.  These are some of my impressions.

It’s a good idea is to have boats available…

Cinque Terre

And wherever you are, there is the sight of water:

Cinque Terre

 

Check out Jo’s Monday walk here.

Windows and Balconies

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!

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.

Windows