Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Firenze Chapter

pisa wasn't very welcoming what with the rains adding burden to my lugging around 20kg worth of luggage around just to catch a glimpse of Torre Pedente around Campo Dei Mircoli. you guessed it, what else is there in Pisa more eponymous than the leaning tower of Pisa? but the rain was hinting i should pack and go, and that I did, or try to, only to find out that trenitalia's on strike that day so i can't use my pre-booked ticket, and have to buy a new bus ticket to Firenze (Florence) altogether. irks.

but firenze has been kind. no rain. people were generally helpful with an abundance of sign language (italians really should consider learning a wee bit more English to blend in- Gucci and Prada is only gonna get them so far). the florentine republic and medici family has left behind much for a tourish to go a-gawking quite oftenly, mostly where art's concerned. i saw botticelli's birth of venus, michaelangelo's david and a few obscure da vincis. it's quite something really. the uffizi is a little of a let-down but the general historical-renaissance vibe to the city makes up for that nicely. it's also small enough so easy to commute. that's why i'm not looking forward to venice with its literal backwaters that will swoosh your directions all awry.

well i'll check back in here soon. i'm lucky to have internet connection here. rome might be a different story. so catch you guys back soon.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Mediterranean Axis

from barcelona, spain, i embark onto another peninsular-that of the Italian one, in the shape rightly that of a boot. barcelona was a quirky town sprinkled by Gaudi's genius and his contemporaries trying to outdo him just upped the quirk-factor. pictures will tell everything, go check them out.

oh yes, talking about jet-setting, i had a norweigan advent dinner last night with the norweigan girls here. and i had a small surprise gift because my porridge had the almond nut in it (small game/tradition they do). you start off with glugg, a sorta boiled red wine and other spirits and you add crushed almonds in the drink with optional raisins to go. it's nothing like the norm and quite delightful as a winter beverage. the porridge was the secondi and a red soda drink to go, funny thing it was. oh the porridge was salty and sweet at the same time. it was basically milk and rice and on top of everything u add a small slab of butter, sugar and cinnamon powder to finish. special eh? it was quite a treat.

so now on i go to italy, looking forward to the land, not so excited about the people. have dealt with some of them in the UK, and they are the most capricious, emotionally-unsettled people you can ever meet. it met be a stereotype, let's just pray it is. i'll write more when i return. take care all.