Sunday, May 10, 2009

Out of Luxury and into Poverty!

Luxury holiday is over and it is back to basics. Thankfully, both of us are quite looking forward to going back to camping even though it is definitely far less comfortable and luxurious. I think that the thing I am going to miss most is having electricity and an internet connection 24/7 but other than that, we're pretty comfortable camping.

The Naude's packed and we helped them down with their baggage and I am sure happy that we aren't travelling with two children, I think that they need more than their body weight in clothes and accessories. We said our fond farewells to the Naude's and we'll see them in a couple of months in Johannesburg.

Heading down to Milan we were once again amazed at the pollution and I have a suspicion that this is the cause of both of us not been feeling well for the last week. It seems that the entire northern italy is heavily polluted so much so that on occasions one is positively nauseous. When we were in Venice I saw Japanese tourists with face masks on which I thought was a little over the top but maybe I should reconsider. It might be psychosomatic but I would pay money for a breath of fresh air it's that bad.

Milan is one of those cities with one way streets and trams which just gives me the heebies because one doesn't know where to go if a tram comes along and as you can see, there isn't much space.

Uncharacteristically, we found where the 'Last Supper' by Leonardo was quite easily, found parking quite easily only to find that one absolutely has to book one's tickets in advance and at the moment, the first available tickets are in a weeks time. Bummer, I really would like to have seen it but that is the way it goes so instead we went off to the Pinacoteca which had a Raphaello on display as well as a Caravaggio. The Raphaello was very good but the Caravaggio was awesome, I really like the Caravaggio so anyone that has one and would like to give it to me, I would be a most grateful recipient. The rest of the gallery was pretty so, so but we had a very nice lunch in one of the bars quite close to the entrance of the gallery.

On the way down to Levanto we had to cross a mountain range leaving the plains of northern Italy behind and what a difference the fresh air at higher altitude made. I don't think we are out of the pollution but it certainly seems to be much less.

The way that the Italians drive, South Africans should be happy with the way taxis drive. At least you can identify taxis, here everyone seems to drive like a taxi. Ok, I may be exaggerating a bit but to say that Italians are good drivers would be an outright lie. They drift all over the road, overtake on solid white lines, cut people off, park where people really oughtn't park. The list goes on.

Arriving in Levanto, I took a walk into town in search of information which I didn't really find but what I did find is that Levanto is like a small holiday seaside resort and it has a great feel to it. I also didn't find any bread but I did manage to get some pasta for supper which went down a treat with the pesto and parmesan cheese, not to mention the obligatory glass of wine.

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