Chaplog tries hard In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Christmas shopping in Siena

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 3:46 pm


Florence or Siena? We were told by that those who know if you only have a few days Siena could be the better option. We booked a B&B on-line. When we arrived we went around the city a couple of times trying to find the address we had been given. It is a walled city and it eventually dawned on us that our address was inside the walls and entry was expensive and difficult. We parked outside and carried our cases in.

The photographs



An empty Pompei

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 11:17 am


I last went to Pompei fifty years ago. I remember it being crowded and hot. I also remember not being allowed into the brothel. This time it was cold and empty we were nearly the only people there. We were there nearly from dawn to dusk. With no people there we got the real feel for the place and it was easy to take photographs.

I kept thinking as we walked around how high the quality of life was if Pompei was only an ordinary town. When did the quality of life get as good as this again?

The Photographs


Mount Etna

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 5:29 pm


There are hardly any trees on Gozo and we had heard that Etna had chestnut trees that looked fantastic in the Autumn. We drove up as high as we dared with the ice and snow on the road. Standing in the road was a woman in high heels, an evening dress and a fur coat. There was a fashion photo shoot. The model was asked to lie in the slush with a glass of champagne. She was not happy!

We walked around the old lava flows and enjoyed the Chestnut trees.

The Photographs


Roman Villa Casale

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 3:48 pm

Villa Casale-13

We had heard from other members of the family that this was a special site and we arranged to stay in a B&B close by. We made the mistake of going looking for food in the local town after dark when we had never been there before, we struggled.

It was a cold rainy day but the Villa was sensational I did not know you could produce so much detail in a mosaic. It was interesting to find out that the craftsmen had been African.

The Photographs


The Baroque town of Noto

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 9:31 am

Noto Sicilly-3

On the way to Syracuse we passed this fantastic old town that we could see on a hillside. We had already booked a B and B in Syracuse so we did not stop. We returned on our way to the Roman Villa at Casale.

The photographs


Pollazo and Syracuse

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 4:04 pm
To see on is good but a pair fishing is special

To see one Kingfisher is good but a pair fishing is special

Driving back to England was going to be a holiday. I had been working for six days a week for a few months and was looking forward to the drive. The last dives I did were to complete my Trimix course the last of which was the skills session and was challenging! It had been a very busy season, the problems in Egypt had caused extra divers to come to Gozo.

We caught the ferry on the 20th of November. We enjoyed the sun set looking over Valletta and watching the starlings making shapes before roosting. We stayed in Pozallo for the night at a B and B. The next day we travelled to Syracuse finding a nature reserve and watched flamingos, storks and kingfishers.

The Photographs

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