Last Sunday was a wonderful day with clean blue sky. A sunny day in winter is rare and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy the old town and take some pictures. After almost four years living in this place I’m still impressed, expecially by some of the buildings from the middle age. This palace, Palazzo Vecchio, was built seven centuries ago. Can you believe it?
Oh yes, I do remember those days at the end of last millennium when WAP was the latest innovation in mobile technology and the first phones equipped with a browser were hitting the market: Siemens S35, Nokia 7110, Ericsson R380, Motorola Timeport… I had an S35i and I loved it. Black and orange straight monochromatic display, just 3 lines by 14 chars worth of text, almost no graphics.
GPRS was yet to come, we had just CSD at 9600bps and we had to pay by air time, just like a normal phone call. It basically felt like going back to BBS age and use a modem over analogic PSTN, but with a textual browser that you could carry with you anywhere.
Phones didn’t come pre-configured and setting up one was tricky. For each carrier you had to enter a different dial-up number, user and password, gateway IP address and port, plus strange settings like connectionless. Of course people would never remember those parameters by heart and would look them up on the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »
While talking with a friend this morning, at some point he mentioned he saw a statue of Guglielmo Oberdan in Venezia. I recalled streets and squares named after him in several Italian cities but didn’t know who he was, so I decided to look it up on the Internet and I was impressed by what I found.
Guglielmo Oberdan was born in Trieste in 1858. Back then, the Italian nation struggled to reunite under a single kingdom and Guglielmo lived his youth during Garibaldi‘s legendary fights. Garibaldi couldn’t conquer Trieste, so that remained domain of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. People from Trieste strongly felt they had to fight to become part of Italy. The revolting movement was know as irredentism. Read the rest of this entry »
Four thousands kilometers in thirteen days, across Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands. It’s been a long and amazing trip, visiting wonderful cities, looking at breathtaking landscapes, having great meals and unfortunately a lot of rain showers. We mostly followed the path of two major central European rivers: Rhine and Meuse. Rhine (Rijn in NL) springs up in Switzerland and flows in the North Sea, traversing Germany and forming a large delta in The Netherlands after a long path of 1320 kilometers. Meuse (Maas in NL) springs up in France and runs 925 kilometers across Luxembourg and Belgium before finally draining in the same delta.
A great deal of history happened along these two rivers and in particular they have big symbolic value for Europe: they delimit the field where France and Germany fought for centuries (including two world wars) but they also merge in The Netherlands thus keeping Europe together. No wonder most of the European and international institutions are in this valley: Strasbourg, Brussels, The Hague. This is also the place where bishops used to be rulers and the Protestant Reformation developed, and the place where many renowned beers are produced.
To complete our tour we visited Geneva (again on a river, this time the Rhone) and the United Nations palace!
I’m posting more pictures and details, stay tuned!
UPDATE: here is the photoalbum