Monthly Archives: May 2013

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How to get to Antarctica by sea

If you’ve ever wondered how it is to reach Antarctica by the sea, here’s a story about it.

Giant flat iceberg and sea pack in Antarctica

If you are so lucky to have the possibility to visit Antarctica, the journey from your residence place to your Antarctic destination will be typically made of two distinct parts.
First you will reach a country in the southern hemisphere–like Argentina, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand–by commercial transportation.
Then you will fly or sail to Antarctica.

This article tells a story of how Antarctica is reached by the sea in the form of a navigation log. The source is first-hand, since I’ve written it myself during my first trip to Antarctica not long time ago.

This journey has started in Christchurch, New Zealand and has ended at Dumont D’Urville, Adelie Land, Antarctica.
Going from a civilized, temperate-climate region, to Antarctica is like traveling to another planet, especially if you don’t have any previous experience in a polar environment.
You see the world you are familiar with transforming into something else, something really, really different. That happens in the span of a few days.

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Cliffs of Moher Facts and photos

The Cliffs of Moher, IrelandThe Cliffs of Moher are a natural attraction on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.

This spectacular 5 mile-long chain of cliffs made of sedimentary rock sharply diving into the Atlantic is 700 ft high at its highest point.

The Cliffs are located in the opposite side of Ireland in respect to Dublin, in County Clare, on the western coast, right on North Atlantic ocean. They are reached by a million people every year.

The area of the Cliffs of Moher is home to a variety of birds as it is the largest seabird nesting colony in mainland Ireland.

The formation of the Cliffs started 320 million years ago. A river flew into the sea there during the Upper Carboniferous. In a warm environment, today’s sedimentary rocks were slowly formed by mud brought by the river that was dumped in layers during millennia and eventually dryed to turn into rock.

Reaching the Cliffs of Moher from Dublin

During our last holiday in Dublin we rented a car and crossed Ireland in order to visit the Cliffs.

Road to the Cliffs of Moher

Road to the Cliffs

Covering the 120 mi from Dublin to the west coast can be done quite rapidly, thanks to a freeway that doesn’t experience high volumes of traffic. Then there is an additional 40 mi route made of narrow roads flanked by dry stone walls that traverse a charming countryside.

The access to the cliffs isn’t free. You can access the site by paying €6. Parking is included in the ticket.

Carved in a hill just on the back of the central part of the cliffs is the Visitor Center, home to expositions and shops. Actually, it’s “centre”. We ignored it and went straight to the cliffs.

The place is spectacular, especially on a sunny day like the one of our visit.

To me, seeing the cost going down so abruptly into the ocean was like being on the very edge of Europe before the Atlantic. I couldn’t help thinking that this was the last sight for so many migrants looking for a new life in America (actually their ships mostly sailed a little bit more south, but allow me the picture, ok?)

Here is a series of our photos of the Cliffs. Only the last one is from Wikipedia.

The view from our very hotel room. The northern part of the Cliffs is visible

The view from our very hotel room. The northern part of the Cliffs is visible

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Canadian police cars are not easy to spot: how to avoid a traffic ticket in Canada

If you want to avoid getting a ticket from Canadian police, just don’t do what I did.

As it is true for any expat or travel-abroad experience, you should be very careful in interpreting reality from behind the glasses of your own country way of doing things.

Canadian Policeman

My mistake was basically thinking as I was driving in my country, which it is: “if you’re driving on a freeway and you don’t see any car with written ‘POLICE’ on it, then there are no police cars around.”

Simply – and tragically – wrong.

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Let me introduce the new Blogroll

From now on, Any Latitude has its own blogroll. It is a collection of blogs / websites I frequently read or I find particularly interesting.

This page will be always reachable by following the link above: “LINKS”.

Here are the four initial entries. More to be added in the future.

 

Earthdrifter’s
earthdrifterI have to be honest, although Mike’s articles about places and cultures are extremely interesting, my favorite are the ones focused on food. This guy can really whet your appetite for exotic food to the point that after reading you wonder if there is a restaurant around the corner that serves the same dish.
Apart from that, I think he has a talent for seeing people’s lives and feelings and for bringing them to the reader.
Too bad that he doesn’t write often.

“I try to pick up positive pieces of the different cultures I come across, making each of these specific cultural attributes a part of my own unique subculture.”

Expatlog
Aisha2Expatlog is the blog of Aisha Ashraf, a writer, an expat, a mother. I like it because of her writing style and of the topics she writes about. The author focuses on personal life, expat life, and menthal illness. On her website you will find valuable information and reflections on these topics. Recommended for those who are interested in life challenges, expat life with kids, mixed-culture family.

 

Italian Notes
italiannotesItalian Notes is a large, ever-growing collection of valuable information about Italy on many aspects: places, culture, food. All of this is brought to you from the perspective of a Dane who lives part of her life in Italy and knwows the country better than most Italians.
I’m constantly surprised by how much information about Italy it is possible to find on her website, including lesser-known facts that I personally, as an Italian, ignored.

 

The Culture Map
TheCultureMapA culture lover, Shing not only tells the story of her experience in the places she’s been to, but also the story of the places themselves.
I know that as a former expat, she knows what I know: that such an experience can be highly mind-opening and makes your future much better.
Beware: her website can contain penises from time to time.

“I believe this wide and wonderful world is for us to explore, not through secondhand narration but by delving in for ourselves!”

 

Food in St. Petersburg, or how I ate as a real Russian (did I?)

DranikiDuring my short trip to Saint Petersburg, the most charming city in Russia, in ate only once in a restaurant.

As a result of that trip, I published a photo essay of Saint Petersburg historical center and a tip-post on a good budget hotel.

In the comments of the latter post, I was asked by Victor of Victor Travel Blog, a Russian travel blogger, to post something on Russian food.

Okay Victor, here’s the story around the only Russian meal I ever had.

I wanted that single shot to be totally Russian. It is my habit to eat local as much as I can, especially on short trips, in the belief that food, as much as language, tells a lot about a country’s culture. However, to be completely honest, I’m a total glutton.

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