An early morning breakfast at Obica Cafe on the Campo , we meet some other Australians from Picton but have to leave them to bring our bags down and get ready for the taxi. The Campo is cool, there is an autumn chill in the air, the stall holders are slowly setting up, in their puffer jackets and gloves to keep warm, barrows bringing vegetables, fruit, clothes and lots of other stuff that they set up and pull down every day. Hard work, and some of the older guys do look worn out. The taxi arrives on time after we wrestle the bags done the tiny lift from the 3rd floor. It’s all nearly over, at least until the next trip.
I’m writing this as the Cathay Pacific jet has just crossed the Black seas, the map of the area we’re travelling over on the screen showing magical places that I’d like to see like Isfahan (in Iran and fantastic history to it ), Tashkent on the old Silk Road ( I think?), still 6 hours to go before we land in Hong Kong and Billy Idol, Annie Lennox, and other 70s and 80s music is playing through the beautiful Bose noise cancelling headphones I got for my birthday a few years ago. They shit out the roaring jet noise and make the long haul stuff almost bearable. A good investment, but if you can’t afford them it’s only a first world problem you have.
Time to reflect on a few things before I start to get tired.
Some things I’ve learned;
– Italy is great, and anywhere in Italy is fun but in different ways. We love Rome but for different reasons to what we like about time in a Tuscan hill town. The people are busy, friendly mostly, food is simple, fresh and good. A bad coffee is rare. At one stage, for a long time, the Romans ruled the known world, they were smart, cultured, cruel and gave the modern world many things. Italy was a nation born from lots of small areas ruled by different people’s but only really united into the democracy of Italy relatively recently.
– A week in a Tuscan hill town with a group of friends is fantastic, as with any group some small challenges arise but what a way to share an experience with friends in a beautiful part of the world.
– Football ( soccer) is almost as big as the Catholic Church and makes nearly as much money as the church.
– Italian, in particular Tuscan wine has much lower levels of preservative and thus is less likely to give an allergic reaction to the preservative – yet to be proved I reckon.
– Berlin is a great city, but different to lots of other European cities, it’s spread out and is more a series of connected communities linked by good transport systems. The Berlin Wall is a memory of most people over 40 and still has an impact on this place.
– Prague is a beautiful city, crowded with tourists but we could have done with a day less there.
– Travelling by air in Europe is cheap but a pain in the bum, if you can travel by train, you leave and arrive really close to the centre of the city, you only need to be at the station 15 minutes before the train leaves. In Britain, France and Italy they are really fast,up to 300+ km/ hour but Eastern European trains are good as well.
– Vienna, interesting history, beautiful city but not sure I really need to visit there again.
More to come when I get some sanity back