Another good day in Jandia

Beaches of Barcelona Spain

Platja Barcelona

The urban beaches of Barcelona

total more then 4km.  Starting with the older beaches near the W hotel they proceed along the coast. Backed by a promenade that allows you to walk the entire length of beaches. At times the beaches seem to meld into each other. Flowing in a seamless way.

Urban beaches aren't remote isolated deserted beaches by their very nature. Don't expect to be alone. Don't be surprised to have people near you . Or to have people playing volleyball. Enjoy the company and the related chaos.  If on the other hand you demand solitude then reconsider going to a city beach.

Before heading out to the beach remember to pack a few things. A beach towel , water and sunscreen being obvious .  The beaches do tend to have bars selling food and drink. You'll also face the occasional illegal seller who are easy enough to ignore. In some areas loungers can be rented for the day but you don't need to.

If you've forgotten to pack a towel has a large store in the city centre. They sell everything from towels to swimsuits and anything else you might want for a day at the beach. The price range starts at the cheap end and goes up with quality. But if you only need something for the day the cheapest are usually more then good enough


Sant Sebastià starts the list of beaches. The stretch from Sant Sebastia to Barceloneta is closests to the touristy parts of the city.  Early in the morning the beaches are still mostly locals without huge crowds. Later in the day the crowds increase. If you want an a more relaxed experience best to arrive early

There are a couple of websites from official Barcelona providing information on the beaches

Is the tourist website. Providing information on far more then just the beaches.


Is the city website. Also providing a range of information but geared less to tourists and more to locals.

Both websites are offered in English .


St. Peter’s Basilica Vatican city

St. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest church. Likely the most famous. The church most people think of when they see the Pope. A work of art by any definition.  In spite of all this it isn't even the cathedral of Rome.  Papal Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran being the oldest papal basilica is also the most important.

Saint Peter's Basilica

Visiting the square is fairly simple. You cross an imaginary line and leave Italy to enter the Vatican state. Early in the morning the security line to enter the basilica are fairly short.  Your bag will be subjected to a xray screening. The usual security guidelines apply . Don't bring a large backpack or worse a suitcase. By mid morning the security line will stretch to fill large parts of the square. Not only will you face a lengthy wait to enter but when you do enter you'll face greater crowds potentially limiting your enjoyment of the basilica

In addition to the usual security rules (no knives ) you'll face the normal dress code. The rules basically mean no bare knees or shoulders. Men must have bare heads. Expect the rules to be enforced even if they aren't always. It makes no sense to stand in line to only find out you fail the dress code. Please turn off your phone or least silence it.


In addition to the basilica you can climb the dome.

Entrance to the basilica is free but the dome climb has a cost. The cost depends on which option you pick. You can choose to walk all the way up paying a little less. Or take an elevator for part of the way for a higher cost. Neither climb is extremely difficult but don't underestimate the climb. It will take some effort. You'll see the interior of the dome unfortunately there is a mesh grill that you will have to look through. Once you've reached the top there is a circular viewing platform giving you views including not just the square but the gardens. 

There are two other sites in the area of St. Peter's. The Vatican museums and Castel Sant'Angelo.

For the museum you really should prebook your tickets. Lines can be extremely long. 


For Castel Sant'Angelo the lines are rarely a problem.


Majorera donkeys of Fuerteventura,Spain. An endangered breed

Majorera donkey in Fuerteventura spain
Majorera donkey wandering Morro Jable

The Majorera donkey is an endangered breed of donkey. Originally from Africa They were first brought to the Canary islands five hundred years ago. Used for the usual domestic jobs by the islanders for centuries the modern world has left them behind. The current number has dropped to extremely low numbers . They can be seen wandering the nature reserve in Morro Jable,Fuerteventura.

Lets go to Rome Italy! andiamo a Roma!

Lets go to Rome!

Are you ready to go to Rome yet? Flights booked? Prebooked sites? Decided on the sights to see? Hotel?

Or are you just looking for inspiration? Trying to decide your next trip?


Getting to and from the airports in Rome

Getting to Fiumicino aka FCO

Like most things in life traveling to or from the airport comes with choices. Without a doubt the easiest and in this case the most expensive is to take a cab or private transfer. With in the old walls of Rome a fixed rate of €48 applies. For a single person or a couple the cost may be higher then you want to pay. For a larger group it can make quite a bit of sense.
If on the other hand you want something more economical you have two very good options. From Termini station various bus lines go to Fiumicino for €6 per person. The obvious problem is if you aren’t staying near Termini is you’ll need to get from the station to your lodging.
One of the bus lines has multiple stops. You may find one of them more convenient then heading all the way to Termini.
The other choice is the regional train. The regional train heads to Tiburtina train station. The cost is €8. Tiburtina is a smaller and less hectic station then Termini. It’s also across the street from the Tiburtina bus station. If you intend to take the bus out of Rome this may make your decision easier. But Tiburtina is further from the touristy parts of the city. Finally the regional train stops at various points along the route. Any of those stops may be closer to your lodging.
There is a third choice .  The Leonardo Express for €14 will also take you to Termini. Obviously it’s more then twice the price of the bus that takes you to the same station. It does have the advantage of free tickets for children under four years of age. Children under the age of twelve are also free if an adult buys a ticket. That means a couple with two children under the age of twelve could take the express train for a total of €28.

Getting to Ciampino

Ciampino is simpler . At least when it comes to choices.
The taxi rate from Ciampino is only €30 . A group of four should almost always make this choice if the lodging is with in the walls.
The bus choice is €5.
Unfortunately there is no train station at Ciampino airport. That means taking the train requires a transfer. It’s not the greatest hardship but taking the bus is so simple that it’s hard to suggest this choice.


Trevi fountain in the centre of Rome
Trevi fountain in Rome


The beaches of Faliraki. Including Mitsis and mandomata starting at sunrise

The beaches of Faliraki. Including Mitsis and mandomata starting at sunrise