Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Last Saturday I visited the Kew Gardens in west London, south of the river. What a special place!

The park is beautiful and extremely well kept. It is big and has a lot of variety of trees and plants, greenhouses and conservation areas. It is extremely clean and neat. We also went when apparently there were very few people, so we enjoyed the park even more and we were by ourselves in certain moments.

We booked online and we saved few pounds. There is the metro stop and the neighborhood is really really nice!

I like the fact that there were many different trees but there were may of the different species grouped together creating little nooks and areas different from one another, yet organically flowing from one to the other.

There are ponds and little bodies of water, few different buildings, paths, endless grass, birds, flowers, a rose garden, greenhouses, tropical plants and more!

It's absolutely a destination to go alone, with your partner or spouse, with your family, with your children, to have a walk, run, stroll, read.

I think the colors were beautiful because Autumn started yet wasn't everywhere, so the colors ranged from dark green to light yellow and anything in between!

I can just imagine what it looks like in full Autumn or in full Spring!

It is beautiful, magical destination and I highly recommend it.

Kew Gardens London England UK

Perception of the Natural Environment - II

As I wrote, last week I came back from solo backpacking in Alaska. Backpacking for four nights put me in a new perspective on my life's rhythm as well as on the surrounding environment and, importantly, how I related to it.

Whoever goes tent-camping, hike-camping or backpacking realizes, on different levels, how little is needed to live and have a perfectly entertaining day. Especially for backpacking, you go down to the barely minimum.

Talking to people, I realized how many misinterpret barely minimum with nothing to do. And that's not true! First of all, I love the necessary tasks for camping, from setting camp up by pitching the tent, for example, wood gathering and chopping (I like this one especially), preparing meals and appropriately cleaning afterwards, to name a few. Second, they take time, they fill the day. Third, I still always have my journal, books with me, everywhere I go, and might still work out with a run or a swim. Fourth, I have a whole forest/mountain/beach to explore!

The important factor is that even simple camp chores put me in relation with the surrounding landscape. I need to know where I am in order to find my optimal tent spot. I need to asses what's around me in order to find wood -0 or food, if I'm fishing or hunting (I haven't done these so far). I need to observe the sky and how it changes to have a fair idea of the weather.

I relate with the environment with all my senses and I respect Nature in every aspect, enjoying how it changes and savoring every moment.

The entire Alaska is bear country. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they are not around. I am particularly proud of my hanging of the food.

The entire Alaska is bear country. I haven't seen any, but that doesn't mean they are not around. I am particularly proud of my hanging of the food.

In My Mind - Solo Backpacking in Alaska's Resurrection Bay

I went backpacking by myself in Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska. On my way south from Anchorage I took the train. The ride is spectacular! And cheap (89$). The bus is cheaper (40$) but the scenery is nothing close (I took the bus on the way back). The train mostly rides away from towns and highways and the views are beautiful. I didn't see any animals but the landscape changes from untouched valleys, to lush green mountains, to deep gorges and calm bays. The rails are literally on the edge. Beautiful.

Resurrection Bay is easy to explore since water taxis can go virtually anywhere, or you can kayak or hike. Hiking is the most restrictive way, because there aren't many trails and the distances are big, but that's what I did.

Backpacking by myself was an experience I wanted to have for some time. I love being in my head and backpacking for four nights/four days game me plenty of time for it. For long periods of time I was just observing my surroundings. I have way more complicated thoughts on a normal day, but there, alone for hours, time was paced only by the rhythm of my walking. I let Nature filter through my senses. It's a delicate but filling sensation. The landscape is pristine, wild and majestic, but mostly silent.

In this order but in few days, I hiked from Seward to Tonsina to North Beach to Fort Gilvray to South Beach and back again. The longest hike was 11 miles between 7:45am to 3:30pm, with an hour break in the middle. I loved it! My 66 pounds backpack didn't feel heavy. Once I accepted the weight at the beginning of the trip, it bothered my shoulders for the pressure at the end of the day but my legs were totally fine. The view of the bay from Fort McGilvray, an abandoned WWII fort, was one of my favorites of this trip. I am not used to see WWII ruins outside of Europe. It was an interesting sight, almost out of place. It was also a great point for reflections and again absorbing my surroundings with the breeze, without thoughts or distractions.

This trip was fairly quick. I want to go back to travel around new areas. I want to backpack in Denali next time.

[photos of the trip to come soon!]

 

Kayaker in Resurrection Bay Seward Alaska USA

Perception of the Natural Environment

Last Friday I came back from a week of camping. We stayed at Lake Crescent in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State (USA) and in French Beach in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

The second day after we arrived on the Island, the sky was completely covered in sooth and smoke from wildfires raging in the center of the Island. The smoke had a pink tint early in the morning and a yellow one later in the evening in the direction of the sun (see photo below).

I realized one more time how the perception of the natural environment changes from city life to outdoors life in nature.

I've spent outdoors all my life, either in the yard (not really outdoors, but at least among trees), or camping or hiking on the Alps. And I've also lived all of my life in the city. When people are in the city, they are too disconnected to what happens in the natural environment. Drought 8such as the effects on Detroit Lake in Oregon), or wildfires, or unusual weather - realizing the real impact on changing patterns in nature is possible only if people physically feel the changes.

Feeling Nature is the best way to understand and respect it. So we can learn how to preserve it.

Wildfire French Beach Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada


Un Passo Indietro, Poi Sempre Avanti

I found appropriate starting my blog with a post about my birthday, June 13th. I have never had a blog so I am excited to start one!

I was already working on this website around my birthday, but it was just at the beginnings. I am proud and excited of the result. It will grow and get more and more interesting. It's my travel journalism portfolio.

I celebrated my birthday by camping in Frog Lake, OR with my girlfriend Stephanie, among other things savoring a nice bottle of port wine that my brother David bought me.

The day before I gave my office, C2K Architecture, my notice that I would be leaving at the end of the month, because I am moving back to the Old Continent! I will be living and working in London.

A lot of things lay ahead of me, many are planned, some are still not. Everything is exciting and I can't wait for all those adventures.

Always look and remember what you left behind, but then face, head up high and dreaming, what you want to have ahead.

I am an early morning person. The first morning of camping I woke up at 6am and went for a walk by the lake. The steam from the lake in the shades was creating such an eerie view! In the silence of the morning, this man came walking his dogs and you can see two fishermen's boats among the fog. It was the only morning when it happened, I didn't have my nice camera with me (mistake!) but I managed to snap a photo.

I am an early morning person. The first morning of camping I woke up at 6am and went for a walk by the lake. The steam from the lake in the shades was creating such an eerie view! In the silence of the morning, this man came walking his dogs and you can see two fishermen's boats among the fog. It was the only morning when it happened, I didn't have my nice camera with me (mistake!) but I managed to snap a photo.