Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cultural awareness...

I had a layover in Paris on the way over but didn't get a chance to see anything. It is kind of like landing in Denver, minus the Front Range. I looked for the Eifel Tower when we took off but didn't see it. It didn't really help that the airplane windows weren't real clean. I did however feel pretty at home as we flew over the Alps, they look allot like home.

Last month when I was here I didn't get to see much but what I did amazed me, so yesterday afternoon we went for a walk and I was in awe of the architecture and level of detail in things as simple as a water fountain on a street corner the whole time. With the exception of the cars and scooters I'd say Florence is one of those timeless cities that probably haven’t really changed a lot over the years. This is the real thing. I worked in an Italian Restaurant for a year and a half while I was in tech school and didn't have a clue what "real Italian food was.

I knew the Italians (i.e. Romans) were a brutal people but I didn't realize how naked they were when they were doing it. At least that is what all of the sculptures and paintings would have you believe. I had to laugh, they have actually covered the statues of some of the women with a fig leaf due to complaints from westerners that they were offensive. My history is somewhat lacking (ok seriously lacking) when it comes to European history and art history. If it weren't for the Discovery and History channels I probably wouldn't know much about it at all. I guess I can thank the US public school system as well as my own resistance to education while in high school. If I could do it over again I'd come out allot smarter than I did the first time! Thane is only five but off to a much better start when it comes to education. Having a mother that is a doctor and an aunt that has a Masters Degree in writing, I'd dare to say that at age five; he is smarter than I was at fourteen.

Right around the corner from the hotel is a huge chapel called Duomo; it took something like 300 years to complete, and after seeing the level of detail in every little piece you can understand why. I'm just afraid that the completion of my house and barn are on the same timeline without the level of detail!
There are several street markets that line both sides of the street with vendors as well as guys selling watches and paintings everywhere. It is wild; guys will just lay out a bunch of prints right on the street and try to sell them to people passing by. I'm surprised people don't step all over them as crowded as the streets are. Like the pubs in the back streets in London, I'm amazed at the little restraints and coffee shops in what seem like nothing more than a narrow little alley.
My sisters refer to me as a coffee and beer snob because I would rather do without either than have to drink cheap stuff that tastes bad, so I love it here. Not so much on the beer side of things but I feel the same about wine so between the coffee and red wine, combined with the amazing food I am having a good time. I'm thinking that this trip isn't going to help much with me losing weight. I brought the only pair of dress pants I could find and when I tried them on they were pretty hard to get buttoned, and I don't think four days of eating and drinking is going to help much. Hopefully my button doesn't blow out and kill someone in our meeting today! I need to start working on slimming down enough for my pants to fit again but it is going to have to wait until next week because I'm not going to miss out on any of this food!

I doubt I'll get much time to go to any museums due to our meeting schedule as well as the really long lines at each one that we walked by, but I will continue to take pictures as we wander about the city.

I'm out of time this morning but will put some captions with thes pictures later.

1 comment:

Nanc said...

Oh, the Duomo! Great pictures! I was lucky enough to spend a week in Florence a few years ago. Amazing city, but overwhelming... with so much to see! I'm still working on getting Warren there! Maybe the possibility of touring the wine country will get him interested! Have a great trip...and enjoy that great food and wine!