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111op's Trip Vignettes (Sept. 1-9) (Engadin(e) Region in Switzerland, Lake Como, Milan, Venice, London)

111op's Trip Vignettes (Sept. 1-9) (Engadin(e) Region in Switzerland, Lake Como, Milan, Venice, London)

Sep 13th, 2007, 04:06 AM
  #21  
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Thanks for the encouragement folks. I think that some forums are more heavily visited than others. If you post a report on Asia, say, and get few responses, that's to be expected. Since I tend to travel to Europe I stick to the Europe forum. And this forum seems to have pretty wide readership.

Anyway I think some of the stuff I write about is of limited interest (I mean -- Bosch in Venice or a Giorgione in San Rocco -- who really cares about this? ). And I know that some people read without leaving a comment. Still it's always nice to see comments so that it doesn't seem like I'm writing for myself as an ego trip, though I must admit that must be one of the reasons why people write, whether one admits it.

I'm really a city person, so a place like Lake Como really doesn't have much to hold my interest even though the scenery is quite wonderful. So two days are enough for me, and I felt that I saw most of the highlights -- I mean, it was enough time to go to six villas. But most will probably want more time to lounge around, but that's just not my really my style.

I can see that the weather in Switzerland can be terribly unpredictable. We were very lucky with weather this time. When we were in the Bernese Oberland in 2000, the weather wasn't great, though we went to Jungfraujoch and Schilthorn anyway. I always felt that that trip was a bit of a waste, but I'm glad that we made up for that this time.

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Sep 13th, 2007, 04:16 AM
  #22  
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Mathieu, thanks for the note. You're right that I've not posted on Fodor's much lately. There're several reasons for this, and I won't get into it. You can probably guess why anyway. I also had to stop my first blog for similar reasons.

Another reason was that at one point Fodor's temporarily banned me, which I thought was silly. So I became less enamored of the forum.

So various reasons conspired to have me stay away from posting, but I still checked it fairly regularly. And obviously I was still traveling a lot. I think that this year I've been abroad five or six times already.

I decided to post a report this time because I asked a lot of questions about Engadine and Lake Como, and I felt that I should post a report as a consequence.

I started a second blog (had to use a completely different URL). Initially it was publicly accessible, but a few months ago, because of a few changes that were happening, I decided to password protect it. Now only a few select friends get access. I've thought about opening it up again, but I think that it may be better to let it remain private for now.

I do take a lot of comfort in my own writing and blogging, even though I think that much of the stuff is not really that good. But then I tell myself that I don't write professionally, and this is purely recreational.

One thing I should say is that I don't actually take many notes when I travel. Everything is done mostly via memory. As you can see I'm a pretty obsessive-compulsive person, but fortunately this doesn't extend to taking a lot of notes when I travel. But since I've spent a lot of time learning about classical music (not technically, but recreationally) I can usually remember a lot of things from my exposure to it. Likewise in the past few years, I adopted a similar approach to art, and so again I've gained a lot of pleasure from picking up something completely different. This sort of knowledge is largely static anyway, unless you deal with contemporary art or music.


111op is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 04:22 AM
  #23  
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Oh, by the way, I was somewhat aware of the number of visitors to my blog -- and I can tell you that even when it was public, I don't think that more than 15 or 20 ever really read it regularly.

But by making it private, I've also turned off RSS feeds. I think that the effect is that none of my posts since is publicly searchable, and even if you have the URL, you need my permission to read its contents. I did this because I didn't want something I wrote to be "floating out there."

This probably makes me sound mysterious, but no, I'm not Brendan Fraser (in light of yk's trip report).
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Sep 13th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #24  
 
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Since I'm one of the people Mathieu was talking about...I'll mention that I also enjoy reading your trip reports and appreciate the bonus of a little art education on the side. I consider your reports as one of my resources, and am waiting for you to reveal your secret of weekend travel with no jet lag!
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Sep 13th, 2007, 06:23 AM
  #25  
 
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Thats interesting to know that your knowledge of (and interest in) Music and Art is recreational and self motivated. I too find myself exploring further into these fields purely out of self interest. It also helps to have two budding artists in the family, including a nephew who just completed a one year post Masters apprenticeship with the Whitney (he had Yoko Ono as a part-time one-on-one advisor there, if I may politely name drop !) and is now doing another year's residency program with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council - (besides familial pride, I only mention these names because you'd probably recognise them more than I do). I don't think he plans to return to Toronto too soon (!), even though he was here for an opening and talk of his works last week.

So I can understand from my own experiences with him and my artist niece, how one can be exposed to new and different views of appreciation of Art and Music, as I think you've experienced too. So the Bosch and Giogione may not be too foreign to some of your readers as you might think. Just last week I was introduced to the works of Ron Mueck and I'm an instant fan.
I am also starting to find myself now considering vacations destinations specifically to view certain artworks or hear orchestras, music or singers which may not otherwise have been on the top of my list, such as a visit to to St. Petersberg (though I always wanted to go there) to view Rembrandt's Prodigal Son. Such motivational travel isn't too kind on the pocket book I'll tell you.

Thanks for the detailed response. Looking forward to reading more of your travels.

M
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Sep 13th, 2007, 06:27 AM
  #26  
 
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Hey Michel !

I must have been writing while you posted ! It was geat meeting and chatting to you yesterday. Keep in touch.

M.
Mathieu is offline  
Sep 13th, 2007, 07:01 AM
  #27  
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Thanks again. Well there's really no secret to travel without jet lag. I think that I've the advantage that my job requires me to be up early, so adjusting to European time isn't so hard. I always take the redeye and try to sleep on the plane. Since the trips are usually so short I can't really afford any jet lag. Also usually in a European city I sleep late because I try to wander around at night to the extent possible. I feel like I need to maximize my time there in all ways possible.

Definitely my interest in art & music is also motivated by knowing people involved in those fields. I know a few people who are amateur pianists. With art, I don't know too many people who're involved with it. I guess it's much more common for people to learn an instrument than to paint or something like that.

Interesting you mentioned Ron Mueck. I saw that show in Brooklyn a few months ago. That was very interesting. I think that the first time I saw one of his works was in a show in Paris. Has the show in Brooklyn traveled to Canada?

In a way it's interesting how much of art is "continous" as well. There're others who work(ed?) in a very similar manner. Duane Hanson, for one -- for very lifelike sculptures -- and also Robert Gober (at least with those ubiquitous legs displayed in galleries).

Russia is on my list too, by the way. I don't know when I'll be able to make it though. It seems like it'd require a fair amount of caution and planning, but I'm sure some will disagree.

Thanks again!


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Sep 14th, 2007, 12:54 PM
  #28  
yk
 
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You know I'm reading this thread, right?

Well, to make you feel better, I think I got a total of three comments on my Trip Report to Fredericksburg, TX.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 01:06 PM
  #29  
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Well, but your sighting of Brendan Fraser has set this forum afire!

I think that six people (including you (yk)) have commented so far. I hope that I didn't miscount. But it's not 60.

Maybe I need to start signing off as "the thin and powerful 111op"?
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Sep 14th, 2007, 01:06 PM
  #30  
 
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I'm reading too. I know there must be people who read and don't comment. My own two trip reports that are being posted now have many more responses from myself than from anyone else. It is gratifying to hear from the people who read them, though, and I try to remember that when I read other people's reports.

I do start to worry that the writing process is a huge exercise in self indulgence, but then I hear from people who say that they are using my recommendations, which is reassuring.

I find your art-based trips very interesting, and you do it in a much more focused way than I do. Necessitated, of course, by the usual short nature of your trips.

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Sep 14th, 2007, 01:20 PM
  #31  
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Thanks.

As I wrote earlier, I do admit that this whole affair is, to a certain extent, self-indulgent -- I mean, there's got to be some element to that.

Of course ultimately I think that I'm writing something for my enjoyment (even if there's a certain show-off quality to it), and I guess that's what matters.

And I also realize that I just won't ever have that sort of pop appeal that some posters on this forum seem to have. But you know what, that's a-ok!


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Sep 14th, 2007, 02:42 PM
  #32  
 
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111op!! How did I miss this??
I love your reports ! This is a good un too!
You are a super Fodorite to take so much time and care to post such enjoyable reports for the rest of us to enjoy...muchas gracias Scarlett
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Sep 14th, 2007, 04:29 PM
  #33  
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Thanks Scarlett! Are you in Buenos Aires now? I sort of lost touch of the whole move.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 04:47 PM
  #34  
 
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Oh goodie, a gold mine, first I find yk's report and now yours! Two of my all time favorite posters and you were together. What a great read.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 05:14 PM
  #35  
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Wow, thanks. Maybe I've more fans than I thought I did.

(Note to self: Try to play the sympathy card again the next time. )
111op is offline  
Sep 14th, 2007, 05:56 PM
  #36  
 
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lol...sympathy always works, heh?

Yeah, we moved at the end of April..we have been renting temp apts and now as of today, the contractor says we can move into our own new apartment in 2 weeks.
I hope you decide to visit Buenos Aires one day
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Sep 14th, 2007, 08:59 PM
  #37  
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Wow. Congratulations!

Buenos Aires is on the list. I'll make it some day. I was in Sao Paulo for two days in April -- first ever S. America trip. I wanted to go to Buenos Aires, but I had too little time and Sao Paulo was cheaper as well. Also I booked my ticket very late (like a few days before departure) and the only place where I can fly direct reasonably at that stage was Sao Paulo.

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Sep 14th, 2007, 10:18 PM
  #38  
 
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I'm always interested in the art. I have gone back to the same show more than once to think about the paintings, absorb them a little more. Sort of a Ferris Beuhler thing, but without the wrecked car.

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