Friday, August 15, 2008

Venice and Milan, This Trip is At its End

So my trip is almost over and these past two days have been pretty mellow.

Venice, or Veneza, was pretty great. If it weren't for the heat and the tourists I would say it was almost a little magical. The trained pulled into Venice through beautiful and fertile (huge plump peaches growing on the side of the tracks) Italian countryside and across a sudden and long expanse of water dotted with cruise ships and other ocean going vessels. .First and foremost the city is built on a salt swamp so its water everywhere, no cars, only boats and your feet - water taxis, water metro lines with boats, and bridges. If you have a thing for masks, this is the place. I wanted to get one sooo bad, but alas it would have been too much to bring it back in my suitcase, not to mention my funds running short and my mother cutting of the cash flow saying "what are you going to use a mask for?" in a scrunched up face. Ah well. I did get a mask keychain. :D Venice is one city I am determined to go back to, just to explore it properly for a day or two. I did go on a gondola ride and that was a lot of fun. It was very peaceful and relaxing floating through the water. My mom tried to get her Gondola "driver" to sing, to which he replied he only sing when drunk. My mom then pulls out a bottle of wine and tells him, "will this do?" Yea, good times. I even got to sample a sweet - this ice treat almost like a icee flavoured with almond syrup. It was decadently delish, but its sugar content had me a little sore and puffy later on. I had to spoil myself a t least once.

In a few hours we left and trained our way to Milan. The sky opened up and poured rain on the train - the first we've seen in almost two weeks - back in Paris was the last time it rained. Milan proved to be a very wet city, well in comparison to what we were sued to. So in we go to Milan, another fashion central, and to my utter dismay the whole city was pretty much shut down. Most shops were closed as thier owners were away on month long vacations. Yea, Europeans have a month off to vacation. Pretty sweet. Our first day we did the hop on hop off tour bus. Not much I found interesting in Milan after all the beautiful sights from other cities (especially Veneza and Firenza). I liked the graffiti here - very bold lines, robotic, quirky. Each city has its own flavour of graffiti and here it was very fresh and artistic - as if the artists were trying to do something different. Unfortunately I was low of shots on my cam and did not get as much as I would like. Barcelona and Madrid are still my favs for graffiti though.

Today my mom took us to a church and we got to see Leonardo DaVincci's Last Super. Did you know that it's huge and painted on the side of a wall that was suppose to be a masoleum to some Rennaisance guy who died in prison and thus the place didn't become a masoleum. Bleh. And what you see, what you see with a lot of the art, is merely modern interpretation of the original works as they need restoration. The colors, the shapes, even objects can be removed or added and what you get is something slightly skewed from what the original artist had intended. Masterpiece? Or just our attempt to hold onto something and yet brand it as original? These pieces of art are long gone and all that's left are copies called originals. Tsk.

But today was a holiday and hardly any stores were opened. I had planned to do a lot of lastminute shopping today, but alas ... So I bought myself some treats - sesame, pistachio, and walnuts chopped and fused together by honey into tasty tasy bars. I must make some when I get back home. There was one store open so I got myself a nice new umbrella. WHat holiday was today? I 'unno, but the Pope was in town in this great Gothic Cathedral (kinda of scary looking with all its spikes and stark grey color) called the Duomo (lots of places called that in Italy). That would explain the military presence I saw all throughout Milan. I thought it was a little overboard. My sister was like "it's because the Italian Mafia is based here." No, it's just the Pope needs protection from the radicals amoung his flock. :P

So early tomorrow morning I leave back to London and then fly out to Bermuda on Sunday. I probably won't be able to update again until I and back on my native island soil. Until then ...

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