Cremona, mostly a good experience

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
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Trip End Feb 02, 2011


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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Friday, May 28, 2010

Cremona, we arrived and everything seemed to be going along nicely in this lovely little city. By the time we found the dealer, Autoespert, they were well closed. So we wandered around a little then went into the massive shopping complex across the road from Autoespert and collected a few things for a picnic dinner in the park, some bread, cheese, meat and salad.

We went to a park and ate our picnic, listened to Radio National podcasts, played cards, knitted and watched the people go past. We had a long night of waiting for the shop to open in the morning. Cremona seemed like a fairly alright, peaceful place.

As we were sitting there waiting, lying there looking up at the trees in the growing dark, from somewhere we could hear singing, chanting and talking amplified but far away. Confused we sat up and look around. Across the street coming straight towards us was a procession of people lead by a singing, very religiously high up looking man, all holding differently coloured pretend candles. Who knows what they were going on about but the singing was quite nice. There were hundreds of people, a few were carrying portable amplifiers so everyone could here the leaders singing and chanting. What had we eaten! The strangest thing ever! A hundred or so people with fake candles, following a religious leader had just appeared from behind a scrappy looking apartment building, walked past us and were disappearing into a building behind us. So naturally we jumped up and at a distance followed them. After that the novelty wore off pretty quickly as they just went into the courtyard and obviously were having some service for something or other and as we didn't know what on earth they were saying it wasn’t very entertaining anymore.

We moved on to sit nearby the soccer pitch behind the park where a game was in progress so we sat and watched that for a while and I knitted some more. Soon the game was over so next came the problem of where to sleep. It was getting quite coolish, not cold but not warm either. Naturally one would go to a hotel or something similar when in a strange city with no warm clothes or bedding. Not us. Felix offered again and again we could go to one if I wanted. Again and again he insisted it was okay if we did but I thought it would be fine not to. I mean, on my own I’d have been straight into a hotel but with two of us I felt it was fine to just sleep somewhere. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.

I was going to give up, despite how much I wanted to be tough and sleep outside, I was getting cold and still feeling a little under my normal health. As we were walking into the city centre were navi said there were a few hotels close together, we came across a tree that looked very nice. It was some kind of conifer with branches right down to the ground with a warm dry spot underneath that was well hidden. It had an Elderflower tree growing entwined so it looked very pretty too. We climbed under and apart from a few prickles it was pretty good.

We managed to get a few hours sleep under our tree but it was a very long, cold and uncomfortable night. At four in the morning, when there was no more sleep to be had because we were too cold we got up and brushed ourselves off. We decided to go to the train station, which would hopefully open in an hour and be warmer inside. On the way we found a vent with slightly warm air coming out of so we sat on that for a while.

In the station we sat in the waiting room for several hours. I slept most of the time, Felix didn’t though. He sat there observing all the odd looks we were getting until he thought we better move on before we were asked too, we must have looked pretty bummy with our plastic shopping bag, plastic water bottles, a chunk a bread, one bag and both looking a bit grubby from sitting in the dirt when we were trying to fix the bike. We bought some breakfast and wondered back to our park to maybe sleep some more and wait for Autoespert to open.

Finally it did open, we met Illaria who was an absolutely wonderfully lovely lady, such a big kind heart and so excited about travel and the spirit of it. With her translations we bought the part and after a long wait at the station were soon on our way on another series of train rides back to Candia Lonellina. (Which by the way is in the region of Pavia, which produces eighty per-cent of Italy’s rice.)

Our train left the station at twelve thirty; sometime after six we made it back to Candia Lonellina. A funny thing happened at Milano Rogoredo station. Felix was helping me with a sock by picking up my stiches after I had let them all go to undo some of what I had done when a elderly lady walk right up to him, took the knitting out of his hand and took over. I was struggling not to laugh but also very bemused. We tried to talk to each other and managed to understand a few thing she was saying and maybe she a few things we were saying. So while we waited for the train she did some knitting for me. When the train came she gave it back and cheerily waved us off.

By a bit after six we were back with Nina and it was maybe eight by the time Felix had fixed her (and thank goodness the we had the right part to fix the problem, Felix’s diagnosis was correct) and we were back on the road again to Cremona to get the tyres we were going there for in the first place. The tuning was out though so we had to keep stopping to make adjustments.

Now it is dark and we have stopped in among some cornfields and rice paddies next to a pump house and canal who-knows-where fifty kilometres from Cremona. Every truck in Italy seems to be driving past tonight and the dew and mozzies are coming down thick but we have made a warm bed and the air is not too cold. Nina is still a bit sick but hopefully tomorrow we will be with people who know her kind, fingers crossed.
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Comments

Daz on

"Respect " Felix, working-out nina"s issue"s on the road, well done !!
And I hate being cold at night as well Floss, give Felix a slap for making you sleep under the tree (no no, it was his fault :-)

Hibi inc. on

what an adventure (Michi), mmm.... great tree really impressed, oh and where is the photo of the knitting nana (MAria) ... trainspotting/take pictures of trains (edwin). Jelly: its good to chop the green bits off.

Ilaria on

Hi guys....how are you?? Hope everything is going well with your trip? Where are you?
Ilaria from Cremona

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