Travelling to New York in April you notice that it’s still much colder there than in Europe. There was a major blizzard right before we arrived in 2018 (the last one in the season), and the mood in the city was rather grim. Though it’s not a bad time to visit the city as it was not as packed as I usually imagine it to be. There were some quiet moments to have, even in busy Manhattan. Time to look around and observe the last moments of winter right before the dawn of spring.
Being in Washington D.C. in 2018 you feel the turmoil on the streets. There are lively discussions between strangers about the country and it’s future. Very often between tourists from within America, many of them from conservative states, and mostly liberal and black locals. It’s a political town and one that tries to encapsulate the rich American history within walking distance. It feels like an open air museum sometimes, but there are different parts of the city of course. Like the American society itself DC is hard to grapple and can mean different things to different people. The city is interesting for sure and worth a visit.
In 2015 I put up a series about Portuguese tile art on this website. The article is still one of the most clicked on here. A couple of years later I want to start the year with coming back to the topic and showing more of these magnificent Azulejos, as they are called. This time around though they are not as clean and shiny, they are more washed out, sprayed, beaten and even rusty. They tell stories of everyday life in Portugal, how nature blends in with them and how street artists use them as canvas.
Capri in the Bay of Naples is also known for being the island of the sun. Because of its natural beauty and the favourable weather conditions already Roman emperors used to come to Capri to spend their summers on the island. But even the most sunny island in the world can have a bad weather day of course and that’s what happened when I visited the place in 2018. You don’t see Capri very often in myst and even in poor weather conditions the island proved to be immensely beautiful.
Third just to Sicily and Sardegna Elba is one of the largest islands belonging to Italy. Historically it was important for its iron production and mining. Today it is a hotspot for tourists, but not as run over as other parts of Italy. Luckily the islanders were able to succesfully maintain the authenticity and quietness of Elba.