Tuesday, April 18, 2023

In Anno Itinerantur - O is for Old

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter O

In the past year since travel opened up for Australians Robert and I have taken several journeys at home and overseas. While I posted many photos of these adventures on Facebook I want to leave a more permanent record of some of our adventures. This challenge provides me with opportunities to share my photos and stories while recording some personal history. 

I plan to share photos and stories from our travels between April 2022 and March 2023.  My theme this year is In Anno Itinerantur. 

Travel offers many opportunities to visit old cities, villages and sites that give us an insight into the lives of our ancestors and other peoples at home and abroad. In my post I for Indigenous I shared some sites related to my indigenous ancestry. In this post I will highlight a few of the old and ancient places we visited this year.

Wandering down Old Street in London we came across LSO St Lukes, the home of the London Symphony Orchestra, which is surrounded by a garden with seats. As I was footsore we stopped in to give my legs some R&R. I thought St Lukes, Old Street sounded familiar and then a penny dropped. It was the parish in which my Phipps ancestors resided in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. Some 4x great relations were even baptised in the now deconsecrated Church. 

On that same week in London we visited several other old things. I blogged about one of these in Golden Glory. 

In an earlier post in this challenge I discussed some of the ancient Indigenous sites we have recently visited in Australia. I was also thrilled to visit the old convict settlement in Norfolk Island where my 3x Great Uncle, Michael Harrington Ryan, was a chaplain to the convicts. I discussed some of my findings in a post on my GeniAus blog entitled Still chasing Rev. Ryan.

In Tahiti in the Pacific we came across an ancient site, Arahurahu Marae,  when we did our circumnavigation of the island by car. This temple or meeting place in a peaceful setting on the west coast of the island has been restored. 

Although I have schoolgirl French I appreciated the English text on this sign

Altar area reconstructed from stone

Replica tikis guard the site

I must admit I wasn't paying attention when the guide told us about therock carving (below) we saw along the road around Bora Bora. I am not sure if this is one of Bora Bora's ancient petroglyphs or a more recent carving by an enterprising tour operator.

Carving of turtle, Bora Bora.

Our  mini-coach tour of northern Italy took us to several old cities including Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Siena, Trento and Verona where we saw many cathedrals, monasteries and convents. We even stayed in some beautiful old hotels including Villia Pitiana in Tuscany, The Grand Hotel Majestic on Lake Maggiore and the Hotel Somaschi, a converted monastery in Cherasco. 

After we boarded our cruise ship in Trieste, Italy we were served a menu of ancient delights to visit during our three weeks at sea. It did not bother us that we had visited some of these sites previously as there is always something new to see.

Among the "new to us" sites was the buried city of Akrotiri on Santorini, Greece. While touristy Santorini leaves me cold this huge site was a splendid surprise. 

A huge structure and many elevated walkways protect the Akrotiri site. 

A selection of pots found at Akrotiri
In Israel we made our first visit to the old city of Jaffa. We first went on a walking tour where we could view the Old Port and then were let loose for lunch and a wander in the old town. 

The Old Jaffa Port

Old Jaffa Port, October 2022

Our lunch at the old Abouelafia Bakery in Jaffa was quite an experience. Due to language difficulties we didn't get the snack we thought we had ordered but a huge meal. 

Crowds outside the bakery in Jaffa, Israel

First we were served this selection

and after a while the above was followed by a plate each of huge kebabs with chips. There was no way we could take a doggie bag back to the ship

For this old girl who has a few mobility issues visiting Philippi, Greece was quite a challenge but it was so worth it. 

Nearly there. It was a long drive from the port in Kavala

The magnificent ancient theatre at Phillipi

We walked and walked on a hot dusty day. No pain, no gain!

These beautiful mosaics were under cover, we appreciated the stop in the shade

Another first for us was Side (seeDay) in Turkey. The good news for this footsore traveller was that a tourist train took us from the bus park right up to the entrance of the site which was another stunner. 

The tram was a lifesaver

The Theatre at Side

There was so much to see at this site and our time was limited. I was rather taken with the collection of sarcophagi in the small museum at Side.

The above is just a selection of the old things we saw last year and there is so much more to see. 

Finally I must give a shout out to the people who shared our journeys. Most of these folk who added to our enjoyment are retirees or old people like us. We love the camaraderie that is a part of travel with other oldies who are spending their $$$ to explore the world. 

Wine tasting with the Oldies in Tuscany

Lunching with the oldies in Lake Maggiore 


  1. So many great 'old' things here Jill. That must have been a surprise to come across St. Lukes in Old Street, which had a family connection.

  2. Your travel pics are stupendous and I am drowning in envy over them. So happy that you could travel and enjoy these gorgeous spots around the world.

    All the best for the challenge and shall try and drop by more often.


    1. Thanks for stopping by. We have been fortunate to go to so many wonderful places.

  3. An excellent blog about the old sites you've visited. I can see why you liked the Akrotiri site in Greece -- it's almost like Pompeii to have so many artifacts revealing a snapshot of the culture.

    1. Although it was busy the crowds were better regulated than in Pompeii

  4. Wow finding your history in old buildings is an amazing find. I don' t think I have ever given this a thought during my travels Jill.


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