Egonga / Member

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Jacques Van Staden is a maniac

Seriously, the guy stuffs bananas into chickens! :o

Hello six people who read my blog! ^_^

I haven't posted for a month now. This is partly due to my 2011 holiday. It's partly due to my brand new 32gpx Caanoo handheld. It's mostly due to laziness, however.

So yes, holiday! I went on a cruise of the Med with my family. The ship was Celebrity Eclipse, and it was... okay. We've travelled with Royal Carribean in the past, which we're told is the best company to cruise with, so Celebrity was a bit of a step down. It was still enjoyable, of course, just not as much as it could have been.

This was mostly due to my new nemesis, Jacques Van Staden! *thunderstrike*

Seriously, the guy is a nutjob. He was the head chef on our ship, and I swear he was playing headgames with some of the guests. A banana-stuffed chicken breast is about as disgusting as it sounds, the spicy tomato and watermelon gazpacho was just confusing, and why, God, why did he put a layer of molten-hot cheese onto his onion soup? Have you ever tried to eat stretchy, melted cheese with a spoon? It's especially demoralising once you realise your only reward for doing this is onions in water.

The cruise took in Florence and Rome, so I'm going to sign off with some real life Assassin's Creed locations. Enjoy!


Duomo Cathedral

It's difficult to tell from this angle, but this is the tallest buildingin Assassin Creed 2'sFlorence. It's a huge church that was home to one of the Assassin's Tombs (where you had to travel across scaffolding in a renevated church interior) and ended with you standing atop the massive dome atop the church. The tower on the right IS seperate from the main building, and in-game acts as one of the viewpoints. The dome is also very impressive - just as big as the game says it is. Unfortunately I never made it inside as the queue was massive.

The only problem was that Leonardo's workshop should have been just opposite the main entrance, just through an archway, but in real life there was no archway, and a series of shops / cafes stood where the Workshop should have been.

Sante Croce Church

This church isn't featured much in AC2. There's a glyph on the left hand side, just behind the facade.

Clocktower of Palazzo Vecchio

In-game, Ezio's father was imprisoned here, and you also began the assassination of Francesco De Pazzi by leaping after from from atop the crellanations.

In real life the square outside the tower is a lot more compact, with a collection of statues just to the right of where this picture was taken dominating most people's attention. One of the statues, of Perseus holding aloft Medusa's head, was a warning from the Medici family to the Pazzi after one of their plots failed. I think. Sorry, the tour guide didn't speak very good English ^_^;

You can actually go inside the tower for free. The building inside is very impressive- it's got all sorts of murals and paintings on the wall, and there is a lot of gold.

Ponte Vecchio Bridge

This is where Assassin's Creed 2 begins proper. Ezio and his friends get into a fist-fight with some Pazzi thugs upon this bridge. Although they win, Ezio receives a cut on his lip and has to go find a doctor.

It seems that I was the only person taking an interest in the bridge itself, however. The views from either side were breathtaking, with a crystal clear river down the middle and a stunning array of architecture on either side. You can see some shops on the right hand side, just underneath the flags. These shops run on either side of the bridge, and all of them are gold shops. Expensive ones, too. A plain-looking watch was in one of their windows for 500 euros! Crivens...

The Pantheon (Rome)

In-game, the Pantheon doesn't feature much. You can buy and rennovate it, and I think there's a collectable there somewhere - a flag or a feather. I can't recall. Anyway, one mission that does take place here sees you climbing in through the open roof, taking out a guard and stealing his clothing. Then you have to carry a box full of money to their hideout while the guards give you clues ("Where is he going?" "We're on the right track now."). Very frustrating mission, that.

In real life it doesn't look impressive on the outside, but inside it's spectacular. The sunlight shines through the hole in the top and moves along the wall like a big disc, acting as a clock. In-game the roof has an almost waffle-like shape full of tiny squares, and it's true to real life.

Castel Santangelo

A mere stone's throw away from the Vatican district, the Castel acted as the Borgia's stronghold. In AC2 you were required to enter this citadel during your penetration of the Vatican, while in Brotherhood it played a more significant role. You had to break Caterina Sforza out of the fortress while she struggled with a foot injury, and you also got to see Cesareand Rodrigo Borgiathrough one of the Castel's windows.

In real life we didn't stop long - the heat was in the high 90's, and we had to be at the Vatican by a certain time so our tour guide was brief.

I tried to upload some pictures of the Vatican itself, but for some reason my computer hates my camera - it took me several tries just to upload what I have here.