20.01.2013 - 28.01.2013 -2 °C
On the 20th of January we hit the road again, this time back to our original baggage allowance. We worked this out to be about 100kg’s between us. 2 packs on the back, 2 day packs on the front and a snowboard bag with a dead body inside… what? Oh I mean 2 snowboards and gear. It makes my shoulders hurt just thinking about it; not the dead body - that would be a weird response to have.
Its funny when you haven’t been travelling for a while you become less accustomed to packing. We had a cupboard, and shelves for a whole month. It was pretty exciting, but it meant packing the bag was a little more tricky, suddenly things didn’t seem to fit where they originally did, the zip becomes a little more problematic to do up, and the fabric is stretched a little tighter… and I’m not just talking about me in my jeans, but that can be described by all those definitions too. Spending a month with Eric and Caroline in France was fantastic; it was like hanging out with a couple of friends who are running a business. However a free supply of delicious Dutch and French food and a severe lack of PT, now means I am into the ‘stretchy pants’ stage of travelling. And our next destination of Italy is not going to help.
So we said ‘see you later’ to Eric and Caroline (as there is never any ‘goodbyes’ while travelling), it will be sad to not see them each morning, but there are more adventures afoot.
We boarded a bus from Tauves in Central France, which took us to a train, which took us to Lyon. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and mostly made up of one big giant UNESCO heritage site. There is some great exploring in the city, as it has a whole bunch of secret traboules dotted around the place. These are little narrow passageways that pass through buildings and link the streets on either side. The earliest known one was thought to be built in the 4th century, however being a Monday and ‘siesta/eating time’ we couldn’t go into all of them. Some of the photos of the dark caverns with the lit up doorway at the end turned out very cool though, even if I do say myself. In modern times Lyon has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France. We definitely tested this out, and went out for a lovely date night of a dinner and movie (Django – good movie, stop what you are doing and go see it, oh wait on. Finish the blog first.)
Although I enjoyed coming back to the city in France, I have found it overall quite a distancing culture. French culture is so exported to the word, I thought that the aloof, cold personality might have just been a farce, displayed to the world to display elitism. But it is not, it’s here too. It’s evident everywhere in France. I have enjoyed my time here don’t get me wrong, the country itself is beautiful and the culture is incredible but I didn’t really feel connected with it. I felt like travelling around France is a bit like walking through the long corridors of the Lourve. Everything is hung up on the wall for you to see, but don’t try and touch it. Otherwise the guards may spear tackle you.
Italy on the other hand is a complete other kettle of fish. From Lyon we boarded a train to Milan. Milan can be described as a place where whatever clothes you have in your bag, you will still feel like a hobo. This place is exactly as I imagined it. Glossy shops with people in suits guarding the door, beautiful people trying on amazingly elaborate outfits. I’m pretty sure that an odd sock on sale would still max out my credit card. During my time there I came to a conclusion about models from Milan. It is public knowledge that Milan models are some of the best models in the world. It is my theory that this reputation is deserved not because they are more pretty or more talented, but because they have to be more disciplined to avoid the awesome free Italian aperitifs and food on offer. Who could be skinny in a place that offers free Italian carbs with cocktails?
After Milan we headed to Torino – the 2 options to the airport were 1. A 120 Euro (each) shuttle from the hotel or 2. A two block walk to the metro (2 stops for 2 Euro), and then a block walk to a 5 Euro bus. I don’t care how rich you are there is no reason to part with a ridiculous amount of money to get to your destination. If you have this much money to part with, I think you need a 3 block walk to think about your life. We had 100kg’s of luggage between us, and we managed it.
Torino was a cool place, home of the winter olympics in 2006, it definitely shows its beauty. The Alps all around, beautiful scenery from any high point and a city of culture in the middle. We spent a day in the city, a day triping around the wine area and then another heading up to Sacra di Saint Michelle. This is an amazing church come castle on the top of a mountain. Amazing place, words don't describe it. And my photos certainly won't do it justice. Have a look on google.
From the airport we picked up our rental car and headed towards Tignes for a week worth of snowboarding. I imagine those of you working won’t want to hear about this… so I’ll just post pictures instead…. Enjoy work!