Steep climb day
Trip Start Feb 05, 2010
90Trip End Feb 17, 2010
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A rainy first half of the day was a blessing as it meant not feeling so guilty about having a sleep in this morning. Then updated travel blog until it was time to leave for lunch, via a supermarket first.
Graham had a real thirst for a beer and I needed to get some bubble wrap. Hoped that the supermarket would have it as it would be simpler just to grab it from a shelf rather than have to try to work out what it is called in Italian and then ask for it. I ended up buying lots of packets of baking stuff like (I think) icing sugar, cedro, baking powder or yeast, lemon and orange essence just because the packets were so attractive
Next we decided to look for lunch downtown instead of going into Cortona. It was nearly 2pm and 'all the stores were closed and shuttered’ giving the place that closed look. Thankfully the cafes didn’t observe the siesta rule, and we ate well. I window-shopped in a cashmere jumper boutique and then we checked out the railway station for our trip into Rome on Thursday. Bought ticket, checked place to park and then dropped by the post office for the … bubble wrap. The post office looked more like one of our RTA offices, with people who had taken a ticket hours or days ago wilting in a queue.
Now I know why Italians need such long lunch breaks- to post letters. But the PO didn’t have bubble wrap- this one didn’t look anything like the average Australia Post branch with everything from DIY wills to birthday cards and…bubble wrap for sale, so we pushed on to Cortona for a history and sightseeing day.
In case you haven’t checked it out on Google earth, let me tell you that Cortona is on a hill
Looking even further up (this place is on more of a mountain than a hill) we could see some sort of watchtower. Although it was unlikely that the views could be any better from up above, we set to and with great respect to the pilgrims who crawled up these cobbled paths on their knees, finally arrived at the foot of the Fortezza Medicea. We suspected that the lad at the desk was going to ask for an iniquitous entrance fee and therefore give us an excuse to head back down. But it was free to enter and it would have seemed rude to decline his advice to take the self guided tour which meant following the staircases, up , up , up , up and up again. Eventually we came out to the rampart that topped a defense wall. Now we had finally reached the top of the top, the view was even more spectacular, thus meaning if Ilze and Mark come to Cortona, they should make the effort to follow in our footsteps
At least the return trip was all downhill.
On our way home Graham offered to stop at the cashmere shop so I could check out the jumpers. Nice. And expensive.
Then seeing a newsagent, I asked in slow and deliberate English if he had wrapping paper, since my question of bubble wrap didn’t seem to make any sense whatsoever. He directed me to a nearby toy and gift shop that looked most unlikely, but who was I to argue? One half of the shop did have all those sorts of paper things that we see at newsagents, plus sticky tape etc, but no bubble wrap. Amongst the stacks of envelopes I spotted ones that had the bubble interior.
This was a good starting point for asking the assistant for the dreaded…bubble wrap. She spoke no English and I no Italian, but yes, she seemed to know exactly what I wanted. On a shelf behind the counter she pulled out… an envelope with no padding.
The look of disappointment on my face must have said it all. Well nearly all.
I persevered, using the sound effect of bubbles popping and then she really did know what I needed. Out to the store room, digging about in piles of boxes she found it. A roll of bubble wrap…but a whole 10 meters of it!?
No, I didn’t ask if she had anything smaller, although the thought did cross my mind.