Monday, October 02, 2006

Travel Chronicles VIII - Winter - From Ferrara back to Rome

Sunday 13th - Ferrara - Water, water everywhere...

Sunday the bad weather reached its highest level of the whole week. We woke up with an intense rain that accompanied us all along while we were preparing our backpacks (which we left in our room during the day), paused briefly during the search for the breakfast and then came back in full force during the whole day.

Maybe it was the 2 days of rain, maybe the tiredness of the whole week, fact is that the morning of Ferrara was characterized by a major disagreement between Susanne and me. It happened that, as we got out of the hotel, we bumped, right in front of the cathedral (right), in music and a crowd cheering. As it turned out, was the Bersaglieri's (the second oldest corp of the italian army) day. Now, it happens that I tend to be slightly nationalistic (in the "I love my country" not aggressive form) with, among others, a penchant for the italian military elite forces and navy. Susanne, on the other hand, was raised in the classic "any form of nationalism is bad, the armed forces are bad and everything related to them is bad as well" german way, which is even understandable, but still...

At some point, Susann'e had a line sounding like "Those people cheering and applauding for something there's nothing to be proud of get on my nerves" which I took as a personal attack (which it was, even if just indirectly and it was not meant to, obviously). That brought an exchange of definitely unpleasant comments on both sides which had as consequence a bad feeling cloud adding to the already thick rain ones and hovering over us for the whole breakfast, our visit to the cathedral and the beginning of the visit to the castle (left), until a strange kind of "peace-talks" along the various rooms of the castle's first floor brought an end to the incident.

Anyway, Ferrara's cathedral was briefly (there was a service going on) visited and I must admit I remembered it differently and more magnificent. Then we moved to the castle where I had never been and that has been arranged in a way to explain, along the various room, the history of the city, of the Este family, rulers of Ferrara during the end middle age and the whole renaissance and of the life of the period. A very nicely done work, I think. Also interesting was the use of mirrors in the main rooms allowing the visitors to admire the roofs' frescoes without having to stress their necks (not to mention, at some point they multiplied my girlfriend for three...). We were also sort of fascinated by the castle's dungeons (where, among others, a member of the Este family had been kept for 52 years straight).

As we went out, the rain had turned in a real tropical storm. We simply ran to the closer arcade that happened to host a MacDonald and there we had lunch. At the end of it, Susanne had the unwise idea of picking up a leaflet which listed the calories of the various MacDonald's entries. It turned out, I had consumed over 1600 calories in a single meal and Susanne's "salad and nothing" else had already a worrying amount of them as well. The ending line is: NEVER get a MacTasty menu, ever.

So bad was the rain that I called home for them to get on the net and looked for an alternative train for us to return home earlier, but that turned out to be impossible. As we got out of the Mac, we tried to wandered around a bit walking under the arcades, but eventually we were so soaking wet that it made no difference and we started playing around with the water. As the hour came, we got back to the hotel, took our stuff and marched to the station, again under the rain. It turned out, the large backpack I was carrying wasn't so much waterproof and the travelling guides got wet and partially ruined.

Sunday 13th - Rome - The end of the journey

The travel back home was, luckily unadventurous and the arrival more or less on time. At the Termini station we even found my brother waiting for us which, considering the general exhaustion level we had reached, was indeed a very good thing. As we got home (and found my whole family there) we didn't even try to unpack before crashing to bed. The journey was over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

''Susanne, on the other hand, was raised in the classic "any form of nationalism is bad, the armed forces are bad and everything related to them is bad as well" german way, which is even understandable, but still...''

Thats just not true!