Thursday, September 22, 2005

Top 5 highlights

1. Getting engaged.
I won't go into details (because its mushy and rooooomantic) but it was nice. It will be a big surprise to most people but it did not involve a 2 minute wait and the appearance of two blue stripes.

2. Watching the Eiffel Tower light up.
We were riding up to the top when the lights came on so it caught us by surprise. During the day the tower, is a bit meh, but when you add electricity it becomes cool. On following nights we would walk over (we were staying 500m from the tower) and watch the pretty lights twinkle, sipping from a bottle of red and eating a fresh hot crepes.

3. Cooking school in Sorrento
My birthday gift from Emma. I was able to cook in a proper kitchen, with assistants for 4 hours with the tutelage of a professional chef. It was awesome. They also sang me happy birthday in Italian. Bellisimo!

4. Venice Film festival and the rain.
For the most part Venice sucked. But after a crappy (but relatively cheap) meal I walked past Orlando Bloom. I know it was Orlando because he walked hunched and had a posse of hanger ons. He also had that crappy beard thing he tries to grow. Having seen Kingdom of Heaven on the plane i did not try and chat because it was clear we had nothing in common.
From there, emma and i meandered through the little streets until we came to a large piazza which had a big outdoor screen set up showing Brokeback Mountain in English. We bought tickets and sat down. As soon as the movie started we could see lightning flash to the East, at first as tiny little light pops. Soon it got more intense and the volume of the thunder slowly got turned up. Then the odd drop of rain was felt. It was kind of intense just waiting for the downpour, hoping it would wait till we finished watching the movie. but it didn't.
Due to only being dressed in tshirts and Emma already feeling sick from exhaustion we decided to bail early.
But not early enough - the night ended with us running through the narrow and craggy venetian alleyways trying to find our hotel. I had thought it would be a good idea to buy an ice cream (i stand by the idea that its always a good idea to buy ice cream) which was slowly melting in my hand as it got drenched.
We thankfully found refuge under a bridge, which gave us a chance to figure out where we were using the shitty map on our hotel pamphlet and my lonely planet guide.
Getting orientated and memorising "3rd left, 2nd right, 5th right, to the end and left, bridge, 3rd right", I ripped some gig posters off the wall to use as an umbrella and off we went.

Running like loons in the rain is cool.

The film itself was really good, probably the gayest western since "All the pretty horses" but hauntingly sweet, its a shame we only saw half.

4. Gettin' my family on in Slovenia
Besides my parents and a cousin all my family is in Europe, so i rarely get to see them (this was my fourth time). So the visit involved drinking cheap beer ($2 for half a litre!!!), tasting lots of wine (everyone it seems has their own vineyard - usually about 100m of vine on a hill so they only produce a couple hundred bottles), eating a lot of meat (apparently vegetables is too much of a reminder of the socialist days) and me speaking really bad slovenian (which got better with alcohol). Catching up with everyone was a blast and though in practice they barely know me they made me and emma feel like we had always been there.

5. Watching the sun set in Sorrento.
Perched high on a cliff face, in a small village outside of Sorrento, our hostel (a former monastery) had a very nice little restuarnt around the corner. We'd sit on the terrace and watch the sun set; to our left and in the distance the town of Naples and to our right Sorrento and other smaller towns on the Amalfi Coast. The sun would set over the distant isle of Capri, such that the sun would be cradled one moment and gone the other leaving behind a crack of light that would rest on horizon.
Probably the most relaxed I've ever been.

I can't wait to go back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


That sounds frickin' awsome