JohnnySnelgrove's Travel Journals


What is the most interesting thing you learned in another culture?

This is a hard question to put into words.

  • 28 years old
  • From Washington, United States
  • Currently in Washington, United States

Firenze, Italy 2012

Living the life of an Italian journalist.

Selinute and Minecraft

Italy Selinute, Italy  |  Nov 26, 2012
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 If only my pen crossed the page quicker than the sun crosses the sky... 

          My journey’s rough outline descended into day-to-day living with no particular direction or plan due to Italy’s unreliable ferries. As a consequence, I don’t think I will ever make it to Sardinia. I think the Italian government is conspiring to keep me away from that island. I’ll just have to take the island by storm once I am captaining my own vessel.

          Another byproduct of this derailed jaunt has been a much larger portion of my time devoted to finding out where I’m going to sleep rather than blogging. At this point, I’ve traversed a sizable amount of Sicily, been marooned on Malta for four days, and hitchhiked around the tiny island of Gozo. Now, where to, I don’t know. I guess I’ll just start walking.

Here is an older entry from last week that I never got the chance to publish before all plans hit the fan. I’ll have to write a summarized version of Sicily and Malta separately, as they are both very distinct and different places. If only my pen crossed the page quicker than the sun crosses the sky...

November 15th 2012:

          Took a train from Palermo to a small town called Selinute. It was around 2:00pm when I arrived, and absolutely everything was closed. A lone open cafe broke the silence. I'm almost positive the patrons were mafia. They looked tough and didn't pay for anything. 

          The ruins of an ancient village lay several miles away up a steep rocky hill. After hiking for twenty minutes, I decided to hitchhike and got a ride from an Italian couple driving up to see the ruins as well. 

         The ancient village fascinated me. There were layers upon layers of history starting with prehistoric settlers, then continuing on through the Phoenicians, then the Greeks, the Romans, and so forth. I sat on an Ancient Greek bench overlooking the sea as a thunderhead came in. Probably the worst place someone could be during a thunderstorm.

          I started hiking back down as a massive black cloud moved in from the Mediterranean, but luckily hitched a ride with a local guy on his way to work at the pizzeria. He played in a blues band. He dropped me off near the station, where I sat for half an hour singing songs until the giant cloud broke and started dumping rain. Every time the lightning struck, the lights in the station would go dark for a few minutes. 

          Ancient civilizations fascinate me for some odd reason. Sure, it's just a bunch of old rocks and junk, but it helps one imagine what it must have been like to live back then. There's also a sense of freedom and adventure associated with ancient ruins. The thought of traveling to somewhere completely new and sparsely populated, then starting from scratch and constructing a village, (which in turn might grow into a city of historic proportions) really gets my imagination churning. There were no building permits, codes, or rigamarole to go through—you just did it yourself, stone by stone. This kind of adventure and creativity seems impossible today. Every inch of land is "owned" and if you need construction materials, you need money. Not much can be done by hand anymore. It's a romantic ideal, but I would love to go back in time and build an island village. Sigh. I guess that's what Minecraft is for...

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