Friday, 31 July 2009

Great Experience At Sycamore Lodge RV Resort

Very interesting place to visit for everybody who loves to camp is rv park nc, Sycamore Lodge, a private RV campground. It owes it's name to sycamore trees planted near the campgrounds to shade them. And there is great variety of trees in the park populated with many birds. Among them the rare red-cockaded woodpecker. The campgrounds are big enough for big RV-s too. And you can enjoy this park even if you do not have a RV. There are eccelent accomodations for everybody here. You will find many beautiful features in the rooms and in the kitchen. All this and many other characteristics make so that Sycamora Lodge is one of the best luxury resorts in NC.

Sycamore Lodge is unique among the nc rv parks not only for the beauty of the place where it is situated. There is great number of amenities for everybody here. You will surely appreciate beautiful lake and beach, the possibilities to practice water sports, a swimming pool and jacuzzi complex and playgrounds for your children. Not the least in the modern society is the possibility to use wireless internet.

This rv park north Carolina is situated not far from the nation's legendary and historic golf communities. You need only some minutes to reach Pinehurst Golf Courses.Other interesting offer of this family are event weekends, about 40 all year round, when the visitors can celebrate different feasts in this unforgettable form.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Life In The Paradise

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Looking on this photo you probably think I'll tell you now many words in superlative about the beauty of these places? You are wrong. Contrary, I want to say: dear friends, can you imagne the terrible and solitary life that have the persons living in this paradise? Even with the modern vehicles is difficult to reach the next village -I don't say you about the next city. Seems, it is so near -if you are able to fly maybe. But if you have to use the very narrow one-car roads and these roads have nothing other as turns...

?????????????? ????????? sit in your paradise looking on the other side of the valley one day...
you sit there second day, third day...
Than, in the evening, you turn on your TV and watch the LIFE somewhere there...

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And now think a moment that you have to make all that road EVERY day -with rain or sun- to reach the next city (Salerno or Naples) where you found job...

What is the difference between the Paradise and the Hell?

Importance Of Heraldry

In some texts I read about Robert Guiscard, Norman conqueror of Italy, were mentioned his heraldric signs. So, was said, the lion was one of them.(Arms of Hautville family)
Than they told about the band used by the knights to put their swords on it. It was said, all the Normans have this band in their arms. All the Normans.

In Ravello I've seen arms with a lion and a band over him. I thought, it is of the family of Robert Guiscard. Asked the guides and they could not say anything about it. They said it's of Pope. But it's not true. I found a site with many arms of different Popes. All they have a mitre like this (Wikipedia):


The only sure Norman family I know lived in this zone, was the family of Princes of Salerno Sanseverino and here I found their arms in Wikipedia.
As you see, there is really a band on these arms. Nothing except it.

Where are other heraldryc signs? Like that lion of Robert Guiscard -I don't know.

Unfortunatelly I know nothing about this interesting science, Heraldry, but as it's possible to see, it is important to know it sometimes to understand ways of history.

Tell Intarsia About Arabs?

On these 2 photos you see the 2 sides of the portico of the cathedral of Salerno.

If you listen to a guide or to anybody who can tell you some words about this building you will surely hear this sentence that I copied from Wikipedia:
"The entrance has a portico with 28 antique columns whose pointed arches, with lava rock intarsia, show influence of Arab art,"

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I was sure it's the truth and told it to the persons too. Till I visited Pompei a month ago. There I made this photo:

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The cathedral of Salerno was built in about 1080-1084 by Norman conqueror of the town Robert Guiscard. Normans could be perfectly influenced by Arabs called Saracens in Italy because those had the use to plundert coasts of Italy at least from V-VI centuries.

The Romans could not avoid contacts with Arabs in all their history, it's clear. Even if the first documented contacts go back to the II-III centuries. Pompei was burried in 79, I century.

Now I think about it: could it be really Arabic influence?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


This must be what they learn in those Women's Studies courses...

Women's Lib, 80s Style, I guess. Enjoy!

Members Party - this Friday

Look forward to seeing our dear members and their guests on Friday (details in your bulletin). Lesley is kindly offering another Morris dancing funshop after our lunch - please bring your own bells! Hoping for bright sunshine......

Monday, 27 July 2009

Thanks, Grandma, For Teaching Me That Hot Dogs Can Be Boiled

It�s been about a week since I checked in, but a busy week it was. I got through the rest of Ana Karenina (it was great), and on Saturday Angela and I also went to Monteverde on a field trip with the English class that I teach on the weekend. If you didn�t know, Monteverde means �Green Mount,� more or less, and that�s a pretty apt description of the area. It�s to the northwest of here, and it�s got a lot of nature reserves and stuff like that. I�d never been there before, and it was pretty nice. All in all, though, when it comes to Costa Rican attractions, I have to admit that I�m more into the beaches and the hot springs than I am into the jungles. I think it must have something to do with the imminent possibility of encountering big-ass snakes in those verdant green areas. Call me a conservationist, but I�d say they�re better left to the beasts.

Another butterfly in Monteverde, with camoflague to make it look like an owl!

So, I liked Monteverde well enough, although with students in tow, it�s harder to have a good time if you�re worrying about teenagers doing dumb shit or getting attacked by tigers or pizotes. So we�ll probably have to go back on our own sometime to enjoy a quiet excursion and visit the Quaker-run dairy (yep, it exists).

It was also a big week in the sense that Angela ate her first hot dog ever! (The picture is one that I took at Chicago�s O�Hare airport about 5 years ago, and is for illustrative purposes only.) She had had hot dogs in rice before (sounds weird, I know), but never in a hot dog bun. When I heard that, we prepared hot dogs one evening, and we each promptly ate three of them. The purists would surely scoff, since they were chicken hot dogs, but at least we put on ketchup, mustard, mayo, sauerkraut, and jalape�os. Sort of an American- Latin- German fusion�on a sesame-seed bun. And, as the title of this post indicates, we�re indebted to my grandma for the boiled cooking process, since we have yet to get a grill (soon, though, dammit!).

I�ve also been watching all the episodes of Yacht Rock and methodically downloading the music featured in the show. Seriously, if you�ve not checked it out, you�re missing a lot. It�s pretty hilarious, and it�s like a having a syringe full of Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins injected straight into your heart. Thanks for rigging my boat to sail on the seas of smooth music, Chris!

Other than that, things are pretty calm at the hacienda. I�ve been watering the yard grass every night, moving the hose and our lame little sprinkler every 20 minutes. Two weeks after we put in the grass, sections of the lawn are barely hanging on due to our crappy luck with the rain. One would think that in the �rainy season,� there�d be at least a little drizzle now and then, but it�s been nothing but warm, dry weather and only about 5 minutes of rain in the last two weeks. But I guess we should be happy that the seasonal downpours haven�t begun to wash our new grass down the side of the mountain, either.

So that�s what�s new. I�ll try to do a few more updates through the week, and hope that everyone�s well!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Cheap International Flights

Finally the period of the vacations began and many of us look for cheap international flights to visit all the points on the Earth that we dream all the year round. I have friends that think about the vacations from the moment they turn home. They are travel-fans. My husband begins to look for the ticket to visit his mother in Argentine about 8 months befor the date of vacation to find best offers. If you visit, you can find not only "regular" one way and return offers, there are even "round the world" and "multistop" possibilities. Interesting, no? presents different destinations and airfares. One of them is qantas that is Australias largest airline and offers flights to any part of the world. And -imagine!- it's the second oldest in the world. I'm sure you did not know about it. This company offers so many and excellent services that it is one of the best in the world in this sense too. And if you are frequent flyer you can earn free flights or other benefits including deals with hotels and car hire.

An other reliable air service offers singapore airlines. Among other interesting proposals this company has two longest non-stop flights. All the classes of tickets are comfortable and the entertaining system during the flights includes more than 450 options. Your flight even if very long will never be boring. The company offers discounts for frequent flyers and special holiday packages for those who loves adventures.

Boking your flight with as you see can help you to discover infinite possibilities to have a special vacation.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Plants Growing In The Crater Of Solfatara

Left the zone of hot air and soil (Healing Qualities Of Volcano Solfatara ) I crossed the cratere using special paths.


This area is similar to a botanic garden because there are inscriptions near every plant (wekll, not "every"...) and big tables with explanations here.


I just wrote about the trees growing in that zone of Solfatara in my post How Some Trees Can Grow. Those were eucalipts and here is Myrthus. It is not far from that place. The plants can grow really in any condition. Look here: this is not "normal" soil where you would plant something, true?


Some meters later -and we can see great explosion of life...



By the way, I don't know what are these "weeds".
Other 10-15 metrrs and you can see many campers and persons that live there.

Therapeutic Mud And Steam In Solfatara

We continue our walk in the cratere of Solfatara, the sleeping volcano in Pozzuoli. Here are the previous posts about it:
How Some Trees Can Grow
Two Volcanoes Of Campania/ Italy
Healing Qualities Of Volcano Solfatara
Plants Growing In The Crater Of Solfatara

Now we will visit central part of cratere, the mud "pool" and the steam sauna.

As I said you before, there were much more places with mud and steam when I was here 13 years ago. And the soil was not so solid as today. Probably, the sysmic activity become not so dangerous. This place is made for pleasant walks today.

The central part is a not very big pool of boiling mud. There is the not very pleasant taste of sulphur in the mouth, the air is full of it. I began to have headaches.

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After it you can go to the only place where the steam goes out today. It's temperature is very high, about 160�C. The place is situated near the bord of the crater. All the soil and air are too hot from here till the sauna. But you don't feel the taste of sulphur in the mouth more.



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Sauna was built in the Roman times. They thought, these are the entrances in the Hell. But you have not to believe them. Those Romans had many entrances in the Hell in this zone. Virgilius wrote about the lake of Averna that is not too far from there. Do you believe that there are so many entrances in one hell? I think, it's not possible. The entrance has to be only one, I think.


Healing Qualities Of Volcano Solfatara

In my precedent posts I began to tell you ab out Solfatara, a sleeping volcano in Pozzuoli, not far from Naples.Read and watch Two Volcanoes Of Campania/ Italy. In that post we began our walk in the cratere and could look at it from a high point called Belvedere, "beautiful view".

Solfatara is famous from the first times humans found it. I meen, from Greeks and before them. There is therapeutic mud, steam and water here. Today I want to show you, how healing water was extracted in Middle Ages.

From the place where we were last time we could see a little tower on the right side, near the corner of the map. And it's the black point ON the map too, right side in the bottom.


There are little windows and it's possible to look inside to understand the process.





There were infinite places where it was possible to cure different parts of the body in the old times. And I read about it in the historical texts. Many springs were public and free. I wanted to know if there ar free places today. I asked about them my friends that live in that zone. But they have never heard about them. They know that there are 2-3 terms with healing bathes etc but they are all paid.

I remembered the termal springs in Caucasus where I lived some years. They were public. Everybody could drink that water. I thought, it has to be similar here too... But...

Read more:
How Some Trees Can Grow
Two Volcanoes Of Campania/ Italy
Therapeutic Mud And Steam In Solfatara

Cheap Calls Service

Call2Abroad is a cheap calls service from landlines and mobiles with prices that can rival Skype and similar programs because it has lower tariffes. You can not only make cheap calls from Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the USA to anywhere in the world with the rates that are from euro 0,04/min. If you look the page of special offers you will find different possibilities to make free international calls. There are new offers from time to time and this meens you can benefit them in time if you sign up the mailing list.

The other possibility to earn free international calls and credits is to write a review in your blog about your experience with Call2Abroad. It's a new service and the company is happy to have many testimonials. And the service is really easy to use. Purchase your credit online. There is a possibility to begin with the little amounts like euro 5 and pay with Paypal too. After you receive the confirm mail, you can make the access number (or FREE access number if you have free international calls) and than the number you call. It is possible to memorize your access number so you have not to enter it every time you call.

The other interesting peculiarity of Call2Abroad is that you can sign-up for their affiliate program. You can earn money promoting these cheap calls. When affiliate software will register that the user comes from your site or blog or mail etc you will receive you will receive a commission for sales made. Certainly, you can control all the sales and traffic your banners earned for you.

Lupanaro -The Way Through The Underworld


We did not find the map to buy when we were in the excavations in Pompei, so we walked through the streets trusted in my memory. I remembered more or less the most frequented places but was not very sure because I did not visit these excavations from '96.

In one of the sidestreets, we noticed great quantity of persons that were intended to enter one of the houses. When we came nearer we saw, it was lupanaro, one of the places that attract more attention of all who wants to visit Pompei.

We had to wait to enter inside this very little house.


And it's role was clearly explained on the pictures just making the first steps in the house.


The word "Lupanaro" is build from "lupo", wolf. Wolves represented creatures of the darkness, hell, underworld for antique persons. So, visit of this house and "lupe", it's "employees", was a sort of initiation, the capacity of a young man to pass through the underworld and to go out from it.

If you look how were the rooms and conditions there, you will surely agree with this theory (it's not MY interpretation). This is one of the rooms and there were about 10 on 2 levels in this house.
By the way, the beds and the pillows are stones.


;0))) They really needed all the pictures to understand how is possible to do something in such a place. Poor "lupe" that had to stay their working life there!



The only light room that was there was this:



Sincerely, I felt very happy when I went out of this house on the street.


Friday, 24 July 2009

Roman Roads And Sidewalks

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When you visit Roman towns and roads you surely notice the geat tear and wear of the stones of the roadway covering. First you think, there was so great movement of the cars in that period. Than, Pompei was not so much time Roman colony to ruin these stones so... But than you notice some interesting peculiarities. Look at these next photos.

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Years ago the guide said me, the big stones are to cross the way when it rains. But if you see attentively, the ruts are in "special" places. And the stones are placed so that the car HAD to pass VERY slowly and ONLY this rut! :0)))

Finally, it wants to meen that all the cars had to have equal sizes! Distance between the wheels, height till the case...

And this meens that the high sidewalks were useful not only to avoid high water when rains but to protect persons from the road

Read more:
Pictures On The Walls In Herculaneum/ Ercolano
How Is Changed The Life From Antiquity Till Today
Decorate Your House With B�s-Reliefs And Sculpture...
Floors If The Roman Houses

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Keltik Association Walk at Lannilis - Sunday 26th

There is a walk guided in English this Sunday, starting from Lannilis Tourist Office at 2pm. This is a reglar annual event in Abers country, with Guy explaining the history and legends of this coastal area in north Finistere. The cost is 3� and further information can be found on 02 98 04 55 50 or 02 98 04 05 43. Reservations:

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Wet Tuesday prevents view of America

18 mad people enjoyed a very wet day in Pays Bigouden, and insisted on completing the full programme, plus an unscheduled lighthouse - despite the weather (admittedly it was either that or eat lettuce). We had a delicious lunch - al fresco pluvioso - thanks to everyone bringing along such nice things to eat. Even the dogs were thoughtfully provided with cheese sandwiches of home-made bread, courtesy of Barbara. We had a drink in a bar - scorning the wimpy indoor area and sitting outside (OK, under cover). And a drive-in cake and juice service was provided later in the afternoon - memorable contributions from Jean. All this, plus a good walk by the estuary, a famous historic spot, the oldest calvaire in Brittany, the Finistere archaeology museum, a lovely (saturated) beach, the Black Rocks at St-Guenol� with surging Atlantic ocean and the Phare Eckmuhl. Who cares about a bit of rain?

Two Volcanoes Of Campania/ Italy

Well, this year I write much about volcanoes of this zone. There are 2 of them here: Vesuvius and Solfatara.
These posts are about Vesuvius
And this is the first posts about Solfatara How Some Trees Can Grow and ? ??????? ???????

In this post I want to show you the way to this volacano. It's interesting, you can even not imagine you can find a crater of a "half-asleep" volcano here. You can not see it from the way like Vesuvius for example, but the residents feel it. Not only the sulfure that it breathes out sometimes in big enough quantities but mostly because it moves it's "breast" -all the soil of the zone- when it breathes. They go up-down, up-down. The Greek town is under the sea today and you can see it if you take a boot.

Follows in the next posts.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Better Polish Up My Polish!

"Could I get a cup of coffee and one of those little rolls... what are they, cinnamon?" I asked as I sat down at the local cafe one recent afternoon.

"Sure," the girl at the counter said. "Hey, you're from some place like Poland, right?"

Good: Apparently, I'm starting to lose my American accent.
Not as good: I'm gaining a Polish one in its place.

Na zdrowie, and have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The "Yardwork" I Keep Talking About

If I�ve talked to you recently, I�ve probably mentioned that since I quit my last job and started my new one, I�ve had quite a bit of free time to work in the yard. I probably also mentioned that we�ve been working on fixing up the Crappy Casita. And I probably also mentioned that I�d put up some pictures on the blog eventually. Well, here are a few sort-of recent pics that you can check out:

Angela's face in this picture reflects our general approach to the Crappy Casita when we moved into our new house. In other words, we thought, "Oh my God, do we really have to do something with this shitty little shack in the back of the lot that blocks our view of the Pacific?" In the end, we've decided to try to fix it up some, but there's nary a day that goes by in which we don't dream of just bulldozing it.

Here's a slab of concrete to the side of the Crappy Casita. It was covered in mud, so I scraped it up into piles and then dumped it in other parts of the lot. In true Ryan Sitzman fashion, this was the first of my many yardwork projects that were rendered pointless by future work.

This is what I mean by "rendering pointless." The septic tank in the casita had to be replaced (the area to the right of the window is the casita's bathroom), so some of Angela's sister-in-law's brothers came by to replace it.

The new septic tank and tubing.

Next project: Cover the concrete area with some sort of roof. We're hoping to keep it as a sort of patio for drying clothes in sun or rain, so it'll be open on the sides. We may also have to eventually put in a water tank and pump for the dry months (or the months when the Berlin water service is particularly incompetent and cuts off the water around 10 AM).

A few of the metal pillars and trusses going up. The work was done by Nelson, Angela's sister-in-law Ligia's brother, and the welding was done by Ronald, Angela's brother.

(At least Dustin and Sam understand this.)

Ronald and Nelson working. The roof panels go up quickly! These guys are real troopers, and we're grateful to know them!

Keeping on keeping on.

Some of the transparent panels in the back, to allow us to hang clothes even when it's rainy or windy (and so our neighbors don't have to see our clothes hanging in the yard).

To break up these pictures, here's our cat Cucho being adorable and arm-wrestling with Angela.

Next project: cut down the remains of a tree that halfway blew down. Tools needed: Machete and saw, preferably at the same time.

This is still a work in progress, but we had some left over cinder blocks, so I made a path from the Crappy Casita to the main house. Obviously, some of the blocks were shittier than others (hence the broken one in front, which I'll have to replace).

Finally, I gathered hundreds or maybe of thousands of rocks throughout the lot and put made them into a sort of border around the driveway and the perimeter of the house. That really sucked, cause I had no idea how much of a toll it'd take on my knees. But it looked nice, and it also paved the way for GRASS! The guy in the picture is Juan Manuel, our grass dealer.

We bought a couple hundred square meters of grass to go around the house in a little strip, as well as to fill in the whole front, and halfway fill in one side yard.

Here's the side yard. On the left, you can see my rockwall and (sorta) see the chiflera sticks I planted, which are starting to send out buds.

Another view, with the chiflera sticks.

The front yard.

What else to say but "HIGH FIVE!!"??