Family Reunion in Europe

30 December 2017. Just finished an hour of cycling on my home Tacx Home Trainer. The floor was splattered with drops of my perspiration as I pushed myself to finish the series of intervals.

Recovery on Tacx

Recovery from injury

The trainer was my exercise staple for the last month of my 3.5 months of non-running period (end August to end November). I started running again the beginning of December, about 2 short runs per week until the third week of December when my whole family descended on me from the far east – Singapore and Australia. Indeed, the whole family. My parents, my siblings, their own families, a cousin and his family, all in all 19 people.

Family reunion in Europe

They chartered a tourbus, accompanied by 2 tour guides from Singapore and spent two weeks visiting Paris and several cities in Italy. Silviu and I joined them in some of their Parisian jaunts, before meeting them in Rome, and then continued to Perugia, and Florence, before leaving them on their last leg of the tour – Venice and Milan.

Paris Tour

Family Reunion. Mum's Birthday at Buddha Bar.
Mum’s birthday celebration at Buddha-Bar Hotel, Paris. We were given a private room, with nice cosy ambiance. Menu was pricey. Service was good, but the food was not really to our taste.

 

Family Reunion. Paris Tour
With my family in Paris, Silviu and I decided to profit the opportunity to be a tourist in Paris. Voila, the Louvre: The last time I was in Louvre was about 17 years ago. The 30-tonne, upside-down Pyramid of the Louvre (La Pyramide Inversée)

 

Statues in the Louvre. Left: Venus de Milo / Aphrodite of Milos. Greek goddess of love and beauty. Named after the Greek island of Milos, where it was discovered. Right: Winged Victory of Samothrace / Nike of Samothrace, is a marble Hellenistic sculpture of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

 

Family Reunion. Arc de Triomphe du Carrouse at the Louvre
Selfie is a must underneath the rare blue winter sky in Paris. In front of Arc de Triomphe du Carrouse at the Louvre.

 

In front of the Louvre.

 

Family Reunion. Montmartre.
Montmartre, the 2 brothers-in-law.

 

Family Reunion. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the stops on the scenic walk from the Louvre to our lunch at Place des Victoires

Italy Tour – Rome, Florence and Perugia

Digestive system working overtime

Totalling 7 days in Italy, where my digestive system was put in full gear.  My 5 senses, especially my sight, palate and smell, were seriously pampered in this short period: endless daily 3 full meals of pasta, prosciutto, fish, the Italian cheeses (Stracciatella di bufala, parmigiano, pecorino etc), the different styles of tiramisu, the continuous rounds of chin-chin of Italian wines. 

Uphill fight against festive weight gain

Consequently, all the calorie intake without the equivalent or exceeding output mean that I returned 4 days ago with an additional 1kg luggage around my waist. Since then, I have been running 3 days in row, despite the relentless rain and wind in this part of the world, plus the above mentioned one-hour indoor interval training on the bike on my recovery day. 

Family Reunion. Rome
Trevi Fountain. Late night walk in Rome, capital of Italy. First night of the Italian Tour.

 

Family Reunion. Rome at night.
Late night walk in Rome continues. Spanish Steps.

 

Family reunion. Perugia.
First time staying in a real castle, Castello di Monterone, Perugia. No draculas, no vampires, just my prince and my family.

 

Family reunion. Perugia
Stroll in Perugia

 

Family reunion. Florence.
Food picture (I). One of my faves! First lunch in Florence. Coccoii, proscuitto, stracchino cheese, basically fried dough, ham and creamy, stringy buffalo cheese

 

Food picture (II). First meal in Rome. Top: tripes (rubbery, strong odour!!). Bottom: (left) charcoal bread!!! (right) bruschetta

 

Family Reunion. Florence
Top left (clockwise): Christmas dinner in Florence. With four of the five nieces and nephews. Bottom right: Sisters & In-laws. Siblings and spouses.

 

Family reunion. Florence
Various sights in Florence

 

Family Reunion. Pisa.
The tower is fallllling….Leaning Tower in Pisa.