Saturday, October 6, 2007


To whom it may into work
Hopefully someone attached to my work will read this before I return....if so can you please pass on to the boss (unless you're reading this for yourself Keith) that I arrive back on Tuesday afternoon, so will be in at work on Wednesday (with toothpicks holding my eyelids open). Cheers Jess

One last night

Yesterday I caught up with Amanda (old primary school buddy) and her husband Luke. We spent the evening wandering around the Tate Gallery, which was full of weird and wonderful artworks by Picasso, Miro, Monet and Matisse. As Amanda is a member of the Tate we were able to enjoy a drink in the members bar and enjoy the evening view over the Thames . Then we wandered the back streets of London (thought they were going to lead me astray and leave me stranded in some tunnel or other!), then we emerged back out in the open to dine at a lovely restuarant called Baltic. I had seared scallops followed by Pork and roasted veges. A wonderful night with fabulous company.

Last night in London tonight. I hope to catch the NZ vs. France Rugby match then stumble blindly to the airport tomorrow. Looking forward to catching up with you all back home and boring you to death with my pics. (So Kiri and Jim - kick out anyone who's been sleeping in my bed and Roy & Rochelle - pour me a's gonna be a looooooooong night).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Visiting the Queen

Went to visit the Queen today but she'd just popped out to the shops. Never mind. However I saw Tom Parker-Bowles and he said Charlie and his mum were fine. Went for a long and lovely walk with Mum and Greg around lots of sights. Went to Covent Gardens Markets which had great street performers.

Last night we had dinner with Finn and Jane (who send their regards to you Nick and Dad).

Tomorrow I'm meeting Amanda for lunch then we're off to a Tapas bar in the evening.


Visited this amazing mansion and gardens with my Uncle Alan. It's the house of the Duke of Devonshire. There is currently a huge sculpture exhibition in the grounds. Beautiful weather to look around and explore.

Catching up with Family

Monday, October 1, 2007


Hey people
Ive arrived in London, it's raining but not cold. Had a tour around the city with Greg this afternoon.
Yesterday we had a family meal with Tony, Chris, Ian (and girlfriend Mel), Tracey, Alan, Anne, Claire and her friend Steve. Great to catch up with everyone. Had to be up early to catch the bus, which took 4 hours.
Am looking forward to some more shopping tomorrow...however my bag is bursting at the seams.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Newsflash - Credit card thrashed to death in Sheffield!

Hey everyone
I arrived in the UK a few days back but have been unable to get anywhere near the internet. Internet cafes were on every corner in Italy but have had to visit the library here. Unfortunately Im not allowed to download my photos onto my blog from fact when I asked if I could download my photos onto the internet I got raised eyebrows from the library staff. Ha ha.
Catching up with family here has been great. Yesterday we went into the city and my credit card got a total thrashing at one particular shop. Poor visa is starting to lose its shine. Last night we went to a local pub 'Bridge Inn' for a drink and dinner I had really delicious lamb shanks.
Dad - you'll be please to know I caught up with Barry and Mary too. Mary was her usual bubbly self. Barry hasn't been well but I think he's on the mend now. They are really looking forward to moving closer to Kevin and have their house advertised on the internet. I've got Finn's phone number and I'm going to catch up with him when I get to London.
Jane - I know your bloke's from England but I must say I don't know how you lived in the Uk all those years. The weather is so bleak. You were right about Italy's sights though. I recalled lots of the ancient sights from your photos and travels.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Last night in Italy

Last night tonight in Italy but I know Ill be back someday. There is too much to see in this country and you cant do it justice in 2 weeks. Im in Rome and our group is off to dinner and drinks shortly. Fly from Rome to Manchester tomorrow so hopefully will be there without any delays by lunchtime.
Mum the lemoncello here is a killer...two drinks the other night and I couldnt walk!
The mosquitos in Venice were the lowlight of my trip. have about 20 bites, 15 of which are on my face! The UK customs maynot let me in!!! Its like the chickenpox scare all over again.
Ciao Italy...I know you will miss me.

Welcome home Battys

Hi Kiri, Jim, Jaedyn and Cody
Hope your holiday in Oz went well. Now you can rest at home..but remember no parties without me! Hope the cats arent acting too pathetic without me. Chat soon. Love Jess

Monday, September 24, 2007


Wow, what a city! Casino Royale felt all so familiar but no Bond appeared. Took a Gondala ride around the waterways, then a walk around San Marco piazza. Did some shopping of course and had a delicious Ham and mozarella melt for lunch. Then half of the group caught the ferry to nearby islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello.

Murano is famous for its handblown glass and we watched a demostration of ornaments being made.

Then off to the fishing village of Burano where lace is made. The houses here are painted a wonderful arrayof colours.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Winery for wine tasting and Al Fresco dinner

This is me with another kiwi called Sarah. Weve been rooming together for most of the trip.

Lake Garda and Verona

Today we drove two hours to Lake Garda, the biggest Lake in Italy. Then our bus drove onto the ferry and we rode to the other side. Had a delicious seafood lunch in Garda then drove another two hours to Verona ...the cityof Romeo and Juliette. We had 2 hours freetime there to wander, which was great timing because there was a huge street festival on. There seemed to be millions of people there all crowding the streets. In such hot weather I had to stop for a gelatto *icecream*. The clothes here are amazing and there are some bargains mixed in with the Dolce & Gabana type couture. The down side is that all the clothes here are in prep for winter, so I havent found anything I want.

We saw Juliettes balcony and the piazza, which was difficult to fully appreciate crowded with so many people.

Then back on the bus to head to Venice.

Travel details for Ma

Hey mum, hope your trip is going well too. My Jet2 flight is LS792 arriving Manchester Terminal 1 Ground level at 13.15 on Wed 26 Sept

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cinque Terre - The five lands

Currently staying in La Spezia. Had free time today so I chose to take on a challenge! I walked an old pilgrim path between the "Five Lands", five fishing villages on the coast. It took five hours and I got the train there at 8am so got lots of it complete before the heat of the sun killed me. Boy was it hard though, very steep terrain but rewarding to complete it. My feet and legs were very sore; a lot of it was like scaling Mt Everest...except in 29°! The last village was Monterosso and it had a lovely beach. So I threw on my togs and had a very refreshing swim. Beautiful clear ocean and deep. After some lunch I caught the train back to La Spezia and am now in the internet cafe whilst my clothes are in a machine at the laundrette over the road.
My money is lasting well and the visa has only had 2 outings so far. There are lots of pick pockets here but all of our group is security conscious.
Mum I know you want my travel details but I havent got them with Ill put them on my blog at the next stop.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Ciao from Lucca, a small but very interesting city. The city is completely enclosed by a wall, inside which lives very wealthy citizens. The streets are full of lots of shops and yes I have done some jewellery shopping! We all knew it was inevitable. I slept during the bus journey from Florence this morning as three of us got in at 2am. We stumbled upon a tango club last night which was beautiful entertainment.
At this point Id like to thank the boss for allowing me to have the time off. Thanks Keith Im having an incredible experience and am tempted to stay here! Though I know you may try to harm some of my family members back home if I do.
Ive made some awesome new friendships on this tour, but wish my mates back home were here to experience this with me too. You would all love the atmosphere; needless to say Ill be back one day.
The time away, where you know nobody, provides lots of reflection time and my place in the universe seems so much clearer I havent taken any weird drugs...just getting high on life!
Madi thanks again for feeding my cats whilst Im away...I bought you some cool earrings today which I hope you like.
Arrivederci from Lucca. xxx
PS no photos because I keep leaving my connecting cord on the bus.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Florence

Sorry Ive been unable to get near a computer in days, our schedule here is so packed. Have visited Assisi, Siena and now in Florence. Lots of shops, markets and jewellery. Had my first major splurge today and bought a lovely leather bag. The people here are friendly and appreciate it when you try to speak the language. Cant believe how much Im actually able to say now. Weve just been out for dinner and now heading out for drinks. Chat soon

Monday, September 17, 2007


This is where I am today. Very hot weather. Im waiting for the ferry to take me back to Sorrento, which will take one hour. From there Ill need to buy a ticket and find the right bus to catch back to my hotel.
AS you can probably gather from the bus photo, the roads here are very narrow!


Sorrento is a large settlement on the beautiful Almafi Coast.

Most beaches here are stony but the water is beautiful.


Gladiator training stadium. Where the man is walking in the background is the cells where gladiators were locked in at night.

A petrified person! One of many they have found.

Large mansion uncovered and still retains many mosaics and wall frescoes inside.


The buried village of Pompeii.

Pompeii, Sorrento and Postiano

Ciao my friends
Yesterday we took a 4 hour bus ride south, from Rome to Pompeii. The site of Pompeii, the buried village, was mind blowing. The technology the romans had and their obsession with sexually explicit art was educational! Our group pitched in and hired a Pompeii guide, so we were able to make the most of our time there. Then after lunch we travelled another hour south to Sorrento (where we are staying for two nights).
The views in Sorrento are beautiful, in fact the whole of the Amalfi Coast is stunnning. All the houses, hotels and roads cling to the side of cliffs. The roads are incredibly narrow and traffic jams and rock falls are common.
Today we had free time to explore so I caught a bus to Postiano...45 minutes on winding cliffside roads and a stomach full of vodka from the night before was not wise. However I did make it in one piece, but will be catching the ferry back! The sun is blasting down outside so I am trying not to get burnt.
Now I have time Ive downloaded some photos so check them out!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Buona Sera Amigo

MY FEET WANT TO COME HOME FOR A HOLIDAY! Today we did a 4 hour walking tour of Rome, which actually turned out to be more like 7 hours!! Thank God we are on a 5 hour bus trip to Pompei tomorrow, my feet hate me. Today started in a long queue for the Vatican City. Lined up for an hour and a half for the gates to open at 10am. Once the gates opened it took us 30minutes to get to the gate and inside. The queue was so credibly long, that only half the people waiting would get inside before closing time. The queue was about a km long and 8 people wide. We even got to use one of the Pope's toilets! Amazingly enough you were allowed to video and take photos inside most parts, except Sistine chapel. Spent a lot of time there praying for all my wayward know who you are! The opulence of the entire place was amazing but also a concern.
Then we walked to the Forum, Colleseum and Pantheon.
Ended the day at a great pizzeria in Flaminio. Going back to my hotel very jaded.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flying solo

Hi all
Just caught a cab to my new place Hotel Giotto near the Vatican city. Tonight at dinner Ill meet up with the tour co and fellow venturers. Let's hope i'm not the most normal!! Earlier today Mum and Greg and I caught a bus to see the Trevi fountain. What an amazing thing to find tucked away in a dead end street. Then we walked in the 30 degrees heat to the Spanish Steps. Mum showed me the convent at the top where her twin sister lived for a year. Then we wandered the streets, mostly window shopping. The prices were fair to expensive. Looked in the window of Armani and dolce and gabana. I think I have laringitis! ...and I haven't really been living it up yet. This internet cafe is opposite my hotel so maybe tomorrow I'll try to download some photos.
Bro ...your video camera's a dream machine. Thank you so much
Kiri, Jim, Cody and Jaedyn...enjoy your flight to Oz tomorrow. Travel safe and have a ball. Miss you crazy cats...and the real cats!
Katy my beautiful god daughter...I bought you the cutest toy for your collection. I hope I can part with it when the time comes!
Ciao everyone

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I,ve arrived!

After travelling 24 hours to get here we were glad to have our feet on the ground again. Once at Rome airport we wished we could go back home as our prepaid shuttle was nowhere to been found. We spent the next four hours trying to track down the associated company and in the process spoke to many unfriendly natives. We were beginning to feel like we were in the Tom Hanks movie THE TERMINAL. Anyway we did finally make it to our hotel, which is very chic. The weather is about 28 degrees and dry. Last night we ventured to a bar (where the vodka and lemonade drinks only contain a teaspoon of lemonade!), then onto a restuarant Pagaroma. Today we walked to The National museum of modern art (where we were told off 3 times for getting too close to things), then on through the park to Villa Borghese. There is so much to take in and the driving is something else! Off on my tour tomorrow. chat soon Jess

Friday, September 7, 2007

No Chicken Pox

Phew...a close call..thought I had caught chicken pox from Cody. Over the phone the nurse said not to fly but on inspection the doctor diagnosed hives. Eating too many kiwifruit apparently.

While I'm on here thought you might like to see the painting I did Nick for his birthday. Sorry you'll have to look sideways to view it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Flying out

Add Image
Flying out to Rome on Tuesday afternoon, so looking forward to spending the day with my bro beforehand. Once in Rome I'll have 5 nights in Rome, 2 in Sorrento, 1 in Assisi, 2 In Florence, 2 in Cinque Terre, 2 in Venice and finally back to Rome for a night. Then it's off to the North of England for a week, followed by a week in London. Then back home for a big surprise party thrown by friends (before they realise I've brought them no gifts!).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Counting down

The countdown to my trip is now into single digits. With Europe on the horizon and my bag already packed I should be probably more excited than I am...I'm sure that time will come. My Italian is minimal but I've ensured I know the basics. I can ask where the shops are, where the bank is, how much things costs and can our a drink. I can tell people I'm single and have also practised how to tell them where to go! Just in case.
I think everyone I've spoken to know's that there not going to get postcards (except maybe for my dad as he's not managed to master the wizardry of the net). I just hope now that I'll be able to find internet cafes to be able to blog...or I'll have a lot less friends when I return.
Chat soon Jess

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hard at work..dreaming of Italy

Trip on the Horizon

Hi Everyone,
I counting down the days to my trip now so thought I'd figure out how to create a blog page in anticipation. Whilst I'm away I'll post photos and notes of my experiences here rather than send postcards. Hopefully I'll have lots of exciting things to tell. Bye for now Jess