Tuscany wild Hot springs & Saturina SPA/Hotel pool

So while we were staying in Tuscany for our 10 days Holiday we decided to visit the hot springs or ‘Terme’ as they are called as after all we were staying in Saturina which were famous for them.

We had two options either pay and go to the spa/hotel with modern swimming pools and facilities or go native and visit the free local cascade/river/waterfall which the locals used where you then go home to have a shower instead and is free.

Having Peanut with us we decided on the spa/hotel experience for her as we wanted her to enjoy her first time in a swimming pool in a safe enviroment.

But I did get to go first with friends one evening without Alex and Peanut to the local terme which is a natural waterfall where the hotsprings cascade down a waterpool into different size pools. My friends have been going for 12 years so they were full of advice about where i should start for my first time.

You can go higher up before the waterfall in the river which is a bit tame but its nothing compared to actually spending time in these pools!

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They explained things like the water in the top pools flowed faster and the middle pools were calmer and each one was a different depth but never deep. Also that it could be slippery so to move slowly and if i felt i might slip to bend down and use my hands to.

When we got there it wasnt so busy so there was plenty of room for everyone in the different pools. Moving slowly over the rocks i watched the children climbing over them like mountain goats as they were so used to coming and going!

There were even babies with parents enjoying the shallow pools happily splashing about so i realised next time i could probably bring Peanut without any trouble.

The water was wonderous and warm as i slipped into one of the pools where i could kneel comfortably and sit and begin to enjoy this unique experience.

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There was the smell of sulphur but you got used to it quite quickly once you were in the water and moving about and it wasnt so bad.
Strangely there was not so many people after 6pm as everyone seemed to come during the day when its hot which to me was a bit strange. My friends told me that it also got very busy over the weekends both in the day and evening as people travelled to use the springs.

It was glorious with not many people in the pool i was laying in and quite relaxing to float and chat while the minerals did there work on my skin. The hot spring waters are infused with sulphur and other minerals which are good for skin conditions and other ailments and also leaves your skin feeling soft.

It’s no wonder the ancient Roman’s used to travel all the way there to use the springs and go crazy for the Terme!

And apparently there is a legend about how the place was created by the Roman god Saturn who was tired of mankind fighting so he used a thunderbolt to make the hotsprings to pacify mankind. The village Saturnia takes its name from this Roman god as well.

Also in the middle ages it was said to be the meeting place of witches and wizards and that the water was bewitched because it smelt of sulphur.

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I  watched in awe as my friends son then scaled the high waterfall then her husband followed after him to have their own adventure. Their daughter then made me aware of the fact that there were little red worms in the water.

My friend explained these little worms were harmless but they only lived in this type of spring water and died anywhere else. And that yes you would find some on you when you got out but they would be dead and easily washed away in the shower so i wasnt worried after that.

The stones on the bottom of the pool were round, smooth and soft under foot which were lovely for my feet and i enjoyed curling my toes into them. They had been shaped round and smooth by the waterfall over time so there was nothing sharp in the pools.

We stayed for about 2 hours enjoying the place and water before we had to head home for some dinner.

When we got out i noticed we smelt alot like rotten eggs which was from the effects of the minerals and sulphur in the water. So when we got back to the flat after a 5 minute drive it was shower time. (I did notice the next day even with a shower there was still a slight lingering smell lol)

Some people go into the spring higher up where it flows as a river but if you want the best and most amazing experience then you really need to brave the waterfall and pools as it is awe inspiring!

Also there is a free carpark a 3 minute walk away where you can leave your car and a bar about 1 minute from the waterfall where you can buy a drink, gelato or even a plate of pasta if you get hungry!

Im so happy i have finally managed to have this amazing experience and i would do it again in a hearbeat i enjoyed it so much!

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The next day in the late afternoon we decided to take Peanut to the hotspring swimming pool at the Spa/Hotel which is also about a 5 minute drive. Here you have to pay for parking and also pay for use of the pool and their facilities. Under 2 year old children are free to enter but Adults are 22 euro each or after 2pm it drops to 17 euros.

Unlike the natural cassade here you get the use of a changing room, locker for your things, shower, hairdryer and all the normal things you would find at a swimming pool. Which is worth the money if you prefer to shower and change when you get straight out of the swimming pools.

Our friends were already there enjoying the water when we arrived and had rented a umbrella and 2 deck chairs.

Peanut seemed to be quite excited and baffled at the same time at this new adventure and wasn’t sure of the water when we first went into the pool as this was her first time ever in a swimming pool. But within minutes she was kicking, splashing and trying to swim in the 37c water.

As the hotel is right above the spring the water in these pools are much hotter than the warmth of the natural cascade but still just as enjoyable.

There are several different pools to enjoy all different depths and even a hot and cold pool side by side you can walk in and out of to get used to the different temperatures.

We had to stay in a waist high pool as Peanut was only allowed to use the ones with this depth but it was easy enough to kneel and be completely immersed and enjoy the water while she played happily.

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There were a few trees and umbrella’s providing some shade from the heat of the sun which was very welcome as it was still quite hot at 5pm.

As we moved into another little pool my friend splashed away a bug and explained it was a ‘Tafano’ a nasty thing which would sting you. Having a google they seem similar to the horse fly but they give you a nasty sting which swells up much more than a mosquito bite.

They don’t numb their victim like a mosquito and it feels like a little needle prick as i soon discovered as one got me on the leg!  My friend though had some gel you could put on the sting to stop it swelling which worked wonders.

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These ‘Tafani’ seemed to like to hang around certain pools and sting who ever they could find out of the water. Luckily they didn’t seem interested in Peanut who was still enjoying herself and even protested when we got out of the pool for a while.

When we did go back to the pool we decided to use the first pool we had gone into as they didnt seem to hang around it. Peanut even decided to try and launch herself off the little ledge i had sat her on into the water as she was obsessed with trying to swim (the child is a fish!)

We did go again later on in the week when it was cooler and over cast which made it a nicer experience without the heat of the sun on us.

We encountered no ‘tafano’ this time at all and even saw a pest van outside the hotel so it looked like they had got ridden of them some how which made the whole pool experience alot nicer.

Peanut went nuts the moment she saw the pool again kicking her legs as she was so excited to get back into the water a second time that week!

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We did enjoy our swimming pool experience and would go again even for the sake of Peanut as she loved it so much:) It was also nice to have the use of the changing rooms afterwards.

But in my heart the natural casscade was still the best and most amazing experience on this holiday i have had and would happily venture there again if i got the chance which hopefully i will when we next visit Tuscany hopefully before Christmas.

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Cilento expats tweet meet & an English tea room

I always love a good meet up with other expats so i was very excited to have a meet up on friday evening after we got back to Rome from our Tuscany holiday. (which i will be blogging about over the next few weeks)

It was even more exciting that it was with Alison and John who are english expats who live in Cilento near Naples! We met through twitter while i was pregnant and since then talked almost everyday. They were coming down for a concert on the saturday evening but had decided to come for a long weekend from thursday afternoon until sunday morning when they would head home again.

We had made plans for them to get the metro to my zone of Rome where i would meet them at the metro station and then we would go for a pizza at our local place. There was a little mix up over timing as i had thought they were staying near the Vatican but it actually turned out they were staying near Termini so for a while i was baffled how it had taken them 15 minutes to our meeting point instead of 45 minutes!

It was such a pleasure to finally meet them and we got along straight away as they were exactly how they were when talking over twitter and facebook 🙂 So i knew it was going to be a good evening.

Peanut was very curious at our new visitors when i bought them home and she even had fun sitting on Ali’s lap for a while as we chatted about life, italy and being an expat.

Eventually we did get around to getting out to the pizza place and chatted and joked some more which was alot of fun! Even Alex enjoyed the evening and happy he was finally able to meet the expats i had been talking about for months on end!  1912524_10152628391463594_4295951458883384369_n

Peanut did manage to fall asleep although she kept opening her eyes every so often when we laughed to loudly to give us a grumpy look before she fell asleep again.

The evening seemed to go so quick but i was happy that we made plans to meet up the next day at Termini in the morning so i could show them the spanish steps and the shops there.

Saturday morning it was a little manic as the metro took forever to get me to the right station and then we had a mix up as to which metro exit to meet at.

Eventually i did manage to find them and Ali ran over to give me a big hug which was really nice 🙂

After buying metro tickets we headed back onto the metro and stopped at the Spagna metro stop to get off and have a wander about. It was raining but luckily we had bought our umbrella’s so it didnt both us much.

We did the tourist taking photo’s bit before deciding to window shop on the most expensive streets in Rome and stare in at the Gucci and Prada windows.

Ali was busy taking photos of anything which caught her eye as we walked up one side of the Street and then the other as shes a fellow blogger so it was nice it wasn’t just me for a change.

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After a while we decided to have lunch at the Babington’s Tea room which is located right next to the spanish steps. I have been wanting to try this place for a long time and as Ali suggested it we all agreed.

It was quite a nice little place a little expensive but nice as a treat and as John treated me to lunch it was quite special.

Apart from a menu you also were given a tea menu where you could choose from hot and cold teas with many different choices. Alison went for a mango tea, John a cold mint tea and i decided on a hot peach tea.

As we waited for our food and drinks to arrive we did what expat/boggers usually do and posted photos of where we were on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook as we checked for internet connection which kept coming and going. But eventually we did manage to post some photos and tag ourselves and post where we were 🙂

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When the tea’s arrived the smell was amazing and i had to be careful as the tea pot was very hot but i was eager to try my mango tea which was lovely. But i did have to sip it slowly as it was very hot and i did add milk which sounds a little strange but was actually really nice.

You could buy boxes of the tea’s you liked from the counters and they also did an afternoon tea menu where you could have a tea and an assortment of little cakes.

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For lunch i ordered the ham and cheese muffin which did not disappoint and was divine to munch on as i sipped my tea as John ate his chicken and bacon muffin (which looked really nice)and Ali her salmon and egg sandwich.

There was more chatting about the concert they were seeing that evening and how they had enjoyed their trip to Rome so far 🙂

I was a little sad when it came time for me to head home and leave them to their sight seeing as i knew they would be going home the next day and i probably wouldn’t get to see them again for quite a while.

But of course there would be plenty of chatting over facebook and twitter like usual which made me smile 🙂 (which started as soon as i got home lol)

It was also nice to see all there photos being posted of the concert and also some videos the same evening so i knew they were having fun.

Im so happy i finally got to meet my Cilento Expat friends and its made the friendship even more special now we have finally got a chance to meet face to face. And perhaps in the future there could be a trip to visit Cilento on the cards for us so we can see the beautfiul place they have chosen to live in for ourselves.

 

Alison’s blog if your interested in following her Cilento adventures is: http://cilentofairytales.blogspot.it/

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A Claire Lens – Photo Blog is Born

I have really been getting into taking my photo’s on my Canon Supershot and really have a passion now for taking photo’s. 10404321_10152607380378594_2778772933618400429_n

I have noticed its been creeping more and more into my Blog RunBritChickRun. I don’t want to flood to many blog posts with hundreds of photos of everything which i am enjoying taking.

And so i decided to start a new Blog dedicated to just my photos so this blog can be a bit photo obsessed free (there will still be photos on this blog so dont worry lol) and i can run the two blogs togeather 🙂

There was alot of brain storming with my friends Jess, John and Alison about a good name for a photo blog. But after a good think Jess was the one to come up with ‘A Claire Lens’ which is a play on words with ‘A Clear Lens’.

And so ‘A Claire Lens’ Photograph Blog was born where i can post as many photos as i like of life, nature, places and anything else which catches my eye.

I hope you will folow that blog to and enjoy my life through a lens.

http://aclairelens.wordpress.com/

It also has a Facebook page of its own 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/aClairelens?ref_type=bookmark

Tuscan Adventure begins…

We are off on our family holidays Tomorrow and this year instead of the mountains we have decided to head off to Tuscany for 10 days. It’s only a 2 and half hour drive away from Rome which will be better for Peanut rather than a 9 hour drive to the mountains. So we decided this year tuscany and next year our beloved mountains when she’s a little bigger. keep-calm-its-vacation-time-8

I doubt i will have any internet while there to blog properly so im planning to blog when we get back from the trip. I want to focus on giving Peanut a really enjoyable first family holiday which i think she will love.

Swimming, walks, adventures, friends old and new! She will have a wonderful big adventure and we are all really looking forwards to it.

I also intend to try and take some amazing photo’s of Tuscany while we are there and when we visit places.

And so let the Adventure begin! 🙂

Moon & Supermoon – Photo blog Rome

As i have mentioned in a previous post i have a new camera 🙂 Its a Canon Power Shot SX510 HS and already im taking some pretty amazing photos with it. I really think im growing more and more as a photographer since starting my photo blog posts 🙂

So a week ago sunday evening i thought i would try my hand at taking some photos of the moon from our balcony and this is how they turned out:)

Sunday 6th July

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Monday 7th July

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Tuesday 8th July

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Wednesday 9th July

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Thursday 10th July

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Friday 11th July

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Saturday 12th July – This full moon is what they call a supermoon. A supermoon occurs when the moon is closer to Earth in its normal orbit than average. It is most notable when it takes place at the same time as a full moon.

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I was very lucky to catch this one as we had a bit of a rain storm that evening and alot of cloud cover but the moon did manage to sneak out for 10 minutes so i could get some shots 🙂

Here are the cloudy shots which i think are lovely with the play of light, shadow and darkness:

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There will also be supermoon’s on 10th August which will be the closest supermoon of the year when it comes within 356,896km (221,764 miles) of Earth.

And there will also be a supermoon on the 9th September and i intend to catch a photo of all these supermoons (fingerscrossed). You should be able to see them anywhere in Europe not just Italy as long as its a clear night so its something not to miss out on.

I would love to take a pic of all the complete phases of the moon which i might do at some point and should make an interesting photo blog 🙂

My 13 minute Mile

Last week i didnt have the time or energy to go running in the evening but i did still manage to go for my powerwalks in the morning with Peanut. Being a Mummy i personally have found it hard sometimes to go out and exercise in the evenings. I know that sounds like an excuse but its not as i look after Peanut almost 24/7 and even wake several times in the night to see to her. So sometimes im just to tired by 6pm that all i want to do is lay on the sofa while Alex feed’s her dinner before i have to cook for us.

However i do manage to motivate myself most of the time to get outside and run as its important to me and nothing is going to stop me from running again.

So Yesterday evening i dusted off my trainers and decided it was time to get back outside and run. Especially as we have been having a mild rainy summer so far which makes the temp perfect for running.

It was a lovely breezy 24c out so i knew i wouldn’t get dehydrated and infact its been perfect like that for more than a week or more now.

I have been finding my powerwalks have really helped build my stamina back up. But i wasn’t sure i was going to do well after not running for a week.

Strangely though as i began i felt fine, strong and the cooler weather helped alot as i wasn’t over heating.

To my suprise at the end of the first mile i realised i had done a 13 minute mile!! Which i haven’t done since when i was back running properly in 2012! I cannot describe how happy i was when i saw it on my Garmin! 10436088_10152596519928594_3565718123836948962_n

I did want to do the second mile in that timing to but stitch from not drinking enough settled in so i powerwalked it mostly.

My average speed was pretty good as well and even powerwalking i felt strong and fast 🙂

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So im very happy with those results and intend to try harder to go in the week now as im doing really well. I should be back to 5k and 10k before Christmas and hopefully back to racing as well.

My new Camera!

The Italian summer sales are here again starting from July 5th which is of course today. It can get pretty crazy when the sales start but we were brave enough to head to the shopping mall Porta di Roma for a few hours this morning.

We did notice the carpark filling up alot quicker than normal and as we reached the shopping area there were signs everywhere screaming the words ‘Saldi’ (Sale).

Even the little bar we always go to was packed with people so we couldnt get our usual snack and Alex his little coffee.

I was determined to get into Media world and check out the camera’s and the one i had my eye on as i wanted a better camera. I had spent the week discussing camera’s at length with my expat friend John who knows his thing when it comes to camera’s.

Heading to the counter we found a display of cameras you could actually pick up and hold which is where i stumbled across the one i had been looking for the Canon Powershot SX510 HS digital camera! Picking it up and examining it i was instantly in love with it and even Alex had to agree it was a cool looking camera.

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The zoom was much better than my Samsung S3 phone and my little Sony Cybershot and it was perfect for taking close up and far away photos and much more proffesional looking.

The original price had been 249 euros but in the Sales it was now 199 euros and i had the right amount to make this camera mine. Of course then it was a matter of buying an SD memory card and i had to get the 32GB and also a camera bag to carry my new little treasure in.

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It will be fantastic for when we go on holiday and i can take some lovely shots with it! So now here i sit impatiently waiting for the battery to charge up so i can finally get to see my new camera in action. It can drive you a little crazy checking to see if the orange light has finally turned green letting you know its finally charged!

Im so happy to finally have a better camera especially as i have been really enjoying taking my photos and would like to carry on taking them and express myself through photos.

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Previous Older Entries

Sicily Inside & Out

A Sicilian obsession

21097m

Training for my first half marathon

The Scribbler

The life and times of a writer, runner and triathlete