Yeah... i think the title is getting old. Had to log out to top up my internet time. They have a flaw here. If i start up the computer and click on the internet explorer etc. i bypass their charging program. They realised this the day after i got my free internet period. I guess they can monitor from their computer the traffic that goes on their network of computers. I don't know why they didn't come up to me that day an make me log in and use my minutes... I actually feel bad for using that free time. They are after all just trying to make a life. It simply isn't right cheating them when they are giving ou good service. I feel no remorse cheating the XXX system in Italy though, its my little revenge for their unfriendly tourist industry. Although sometimes i think the tourists are to blame: there are so many of us and from what i've seen of other tourist (and probably sometimes myself) we are an irritating lot. Nevertheless, i think the italy economy is financed quite a bit by the tourism and irritating as we are, we still deserve a right to a decent experience...
Boy i do crap a lot. So, at cinque terra i did that hike everyone does, the only hiking path denoted by a fat blue line. It was a pretty alright hike along the coastline. As all who did the hike can tell you, the hike takes you through all the five villages of the cinque terra region. That is actually the lifesaver in my opinion. There really is no shelter from the sun all along the hike. I like the sun but not quite that much! By the time i reached the third village i felt like my head was fried. In my humble opinion, I really could've done without the hike, the view wasn't all that spectacular really... All five villages are quite alike in the sense that they are built right on cliffs along the coast. One can fantasize or dream about a time long ago when Ulysses returned to his cliffy island (was his palace on a cliffy island? I can't remember that well... My point is that time you know... yeah that), there's the magic.
Of course, i liked the waters of that sea too! I liked it so much that i actually jumped into it! I did not even do that in Nice! I also rented snorkelling gear! A tip for you guys who might want to do the same thing, you can get the mask for the same price of renting a mask and fin. If you don't usually use fins then don't, although personally i appreciate them since i scuba dive & i don't know how you would stay afloat easily without. It really was a nice snorkel until i decided to be foolish. I'll show you the scars and tell you the story if you ask!
I lived with a whole bunch a canadians plus an irish the whole time i was there. I liked their company quite a bit, even though i did not speak much throughout the stay. Canada was the subject quite a bit and also about how they actually knew people from each other's lives... I didn't mind that actually, some might consider it impolite; for some reason i didn't feel too talkative those days. I think i was missing France... I definitely like these Northern Americans more. Enough said. Forgive the generalization, in light of the other nice and interesting northern americans i've met and lived with.
After Cinque Terra i headed up to Bologna. Midway, i stopped at Modena and to my disgust found that the luggage containers at the train station were not functional. They were sitting there looking perfectly safe and all but it was permanently shut down and the only place i could have my luggage stored safely away, according to the officials, were at the Bologna train station. What sort of logic was this? Some sort of scam yeah? I tried asking to store my luggage at hotels but, according to a nice old italian gentleman, italian laws forbade such practice. I understand the logic of such a law i guess but taking away the baggage service at the train station... Maybe there was some underground politics going on yeah?
Modena was not that impressive, but still worth the visit: those few hours i trudged along under the sun with my very light backpack. I have always been a balsamic fan and of course i looked up the famous local concoction. I ended up leaving the shop with a small bottle of balsamic worth 82 euros. I figure its worth a dollar a ml... I couldnt resist buying it. The liquid is heavenly. & that is probably quite an understatement. Look i up if you desire: the modena balsamic is very hard to come by and i really do believe it after tasting it. I tried all three versions: the young, the middle and the very very lovely old. Guess which one i bought?
Bologna was quite different from Modena, although it wasn't all the far away at all. The buildings in bologna were all plus size. The city, perhaps, was trying to make a statement. In its olden days it must have been quite something really. I do not think downtown has changed much since the old days: that says something i suppose... It is a shame the city is not very well preserved. The few buildings that were helps one's imagination. I suppose being sick in Bologna also didn't help the matter very much. I am not sure what brought it on... was it the balsamic? (heck its over a century old...) or was it all the weird bacteria you can get from corals? Again, i have to say: i was in the main piazza and was fully prepared to pay to go into what is supposed to be the 5th largest cathedrals in the world only to be met with a couple of fat, trying to be macho looking pauchy italian guys that forbade my entry because i had a backpack. That is fine, there wasn't a line and there was a signboard saying so too (right beside those guys) but upon asking if they had a place where i could store my backpack, they said Bologna train station. The lid just blew of my head i think. I think it was then i had a grudge against the italian tourism sector & all things connected to it. The train station was a very well 20 minutes walk away!
All that being said, I must say other cathedrals in Italy, the ones i visited after Bologna do provide the service. One wonders if they did that with foresight or because millions of tourists filed complaints that the government had to do something. I have no more time left... so its goodbye for now! My next stops were the cities that started with V : Verona and Venice! Cheers!