To My Nieces #1

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 in Me | 0 comments

Dear Caitlyn, Isabella, Elise, Giselle and Scarlett,

Today I saw a man wheeling a big flat piece of wood on wheels across a harbor. The wood had someone’s luggage on it and he was using his voice as a horn! Bleeeeeeh, bleh, bleh, bleh, BLLLLLeeeeeeHHHHH, bleh, bleh, bleh! I thought it was something you would all find funny – if ever you need a horn and you don’t have one, you could just use your voice :D. You might need some practice at home first before you do it in public though. It made me want to write to you and tell you a bit about my adventures overseas so you know how much I miss you all.

I started my trip in Venice, which is in Italy. Can you find it on a map somewhere? See if you can draw a line on a map and follow my adventures as I tell you where I’ve been. Venice is a town made completely on water; all the buildings sit directly into the canals.

A house right on the water. The driveway is a jetty!

There are no cars or bikes and people get everywhere by a boat or by walking. They don’t have garbage trucks; they have garbage boats! The most famous boats are called Gondolas and men in funny hats push them around very slowly with a big long pole. Sometimes they even sing!! I got one to have a photo with me.

A Dump Boat!

Gondola Man with Funny Hat

Venice is famous for masks; The people who used to live in Venice years ago (Venetians) would have big parties where everyone covered their face with a mask so you couldn’t

tell who they were. Take a look at all the masks in the pictures below! Someone made them by hand… do you think they’re scary?

A shop of Venetian Masks

I thought most of them were scary – really big noses and white skin. Some of them were beautiful though like this gold one I found. You guys could probably make your own masks like these Venetian ones. Maybe you could all wear them at dinner like a party and send me a photo!?

This one was my favourite


After Venice we went to Bologna. Can you find it on the map? Guess what Bologna is famous for? Go on… try – it’s something that sounds a lot like ‘bologna’ and it’s a food. It has pasta… spaghetti actually usually. And meat… and a sauce made of tomatoes… Spaghetti Bolognese! Who was the first one to guess right!? I ate some yummy Spaghetti Bolognese and then saw this tower. Can you tell what’s wrong with the tower?

The leaning tower of… Bologna

500 years ago they began building two towers. It took a long time to build towers in those days and so they were only halfway through when they noticed that one of the towers was beginning to lean and fall into the ground! Oopsie! Instead of taking it down and starting again they just left it there for everyone to laugh at for the next few hundred years.

Next on our trip was Ancona. The reason we stayed in Ancona is because that’s where we got a ferry across the water to Split in Croatia. This ferry was very fast but it still took 5 hours! Places look very close on a map but when you get here they are very far away. They speak quite a difficult language in Croatia. To say ‘Thank You’, you say ‘Hfala’. Can you say it? It took me a couple of days to remember cos I kept getting the letters the wrong way around. Once or twice I accidentally said “Hlafa” which would be like someone saying “Yank Thou” instead of Thank You. Everyone who lives here is very nice though and doesn’t mind when you make a mistake. It’s good to try new things every now and again even if you don’t always get it right. We stayed in a hostel which had the beds built into the walls like little cells! Would you want your bedroom to look like this?

In Croatia we went on a yacht, which was absolutely beautiful. I had a really fun time with 10 of my friends and went to lots of parties with all the other people who were sailing yachts around the islands. This is an especially difficult challenge; can you find the cities of Hvar and Vis on a map? They are on islands in Croatia and were some of my favourite places to visit. The best party was a dress up party; we all dressed up like life-savers and I took a blow up dolphin! Everyone thought my blow up dolphin was very funny and gave it lots of kisses on the nose.

Me, Michael and the Dolphin

The final thing I want to tell you about is a peacock. Do you know what makes the peacock a special bird? It has big, colourful feathers on its tail and spreads them out like a fan behind its head. One morning, we all went for breakfast at a cute café with bright reddy-pink walls and big flowers everywhere. As we were walking under a tree, our guide told us to look up. There, sitting in the tree, was a HUGE peacock and it gave a low, eery cry to say hello. Can you spot the peacock in the picture below?? Turns out the peacock lives at the restaurant and has a huge nest up in the tree. I didn’t even know peacocks could fly!

The bright pink restaurant

Can you spot the peacock?

Right now I am on a train to Rome, where I am catching a plane to Athens in Greece. I bet you can’t tell me what Athens is famous for. If you guess right, I will send you a little present.

I love you all very much and miss you lots.


Aunty Clair

Bit of light reading over your coffee?