Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Milano chillin

Finally, a computer that does not crash when I try to post a blog.

Last week my mom came to town and we rented a car, which means I got to drive in Italy.

HOLY SHIT! These people are crazy! That center line that seperates oncoming traffic? Forgettaboutit! Turn signals? Unnessicary! Pedestrians? Invisible! Speed limits? Whatever. Parking? Middle of the street will do just fine, and the sidewalk is also an exceptable option.

AND! . . . The traffic in Milano is actually worse than Los Angeles. I did not think it was possible, but you did it Milan. At 10:00pm the freeways surrounding Milan were jam packed, not just a few spots like L.A. but everywhere.

We went to Torino, which was really great, all the Olympic sites we're closed. Good one Torino, way to think ahead. So I didn't get to skate on any Olympic Ice. Then we drove up and into the Italian Alps which was amazing. I blasted some Rachmaninov and we wound our way around tiny one lane roads that gripped the side of steep hills and cliffs. Guard rails? Eh. The trees will stop you eventually.

Torino, which few people consider a top destination. (Our Italian hosts mocked us for coming to Europe and not visiting Paris, but TORINO, yes one must see Torino?) It was actually a really beautiful city with the white capped mountains peaking out between tiny little streets lined with neo-classical balconies.

After that we returned to Milan to pick up Lieta, countess Lieta we will call her to distinguish from my sister and she actually is a countess. She is very modest though and would get upset if we called her that to her face, but since she does not use the internet . . .

Countess Lieta, my mom, Joanna and me packed into the car and I drove us to Switzerland. The mountains were huge and the sun was shining and snow was everywhere except on the road which was beautifully manicured. In fact Switzerland is the utmost in modern sensibilities, with great care for the environment and super fancy new technology everywhere. We parked the car at the base of the mountains and took a train up to the village of Zermatt. No cars are allowed in Zermatt, you can only walk or be transported by electric taxis and busses. The Countess was in charge of booking us a room in Zermatt and as one can imagine, she did not go for the bargain basement place Joanna and I would have searched for on our own.

The room was amazing, with a huge deck overlooking the river and a view of the coolest looking mountain on earth. The Matterhorn. The mountains in Switzerland have forever changed my perception of just how beautiful mountains can be. I love the Pacific Northwest, and we do have them beat on the Mountain, forest, island, water combo, but the Swiss peaks are another level altogether.

That night we feasted on a huge fondue masterpiece in the cutest little restaurant. I overstuffed myself on Guyere and bread and wine and snails and potatoes and uchghgh.

Cheese, too much cheese. I think I finally hit two hundred pounds that night for sure. I'm afraid to check the scale and then convert from the metric system.

Later that week after returning from Switzerland we went to Sirmione, which is a quaint little ancient Roman Peninsula that juts out into Lake Guarda in northern Italy. It too was a fantastic place to visit, with an old perfect castle, just like the ones you picture as a kid with a moat and a draw bridge, and at the end of the penisula is the ruins of a Roman villa overlooking the lake perched high atop a hill at the end of the penisula.

The next day my mom flew back home to return to her job, and Joanna and I are chilling back at Angelo's ridiculously cool apartment in Milano.

I'm sorry not to blog more and the pics are not flowing yet and the calendar is way, way behind and may never show up until I figure out all this weird Italian tech. But I'll write as much as I possibly can. Thanks for reading.

Ciao per adesso
Ciao for now


Anonymous said...

Sounds super fantastic. These updates are a perfect break from a boring work day. Wish I could soiree with you both in Venice. Ciao, Emmy

Rydo said...

Nice pictures!

Go for the Deuce! You're supposed to be fat on vacation.

I'm glad you guys are having fun, please relay my greetings to The Countess.

Any Bocce ball sightings?

Be safe-

Ryan Dobosh
(For Senate)

Jeff said...

Don't tell me what kind of castles I envisioned as a child. You don't know me, you're not the boss of me.

Jeff Schell
(For America)