Monday, October 3, 2011

Modena, Italy

I'm trying to catch up on my blog because I know I am already forgetting important things. This morning we didn't get up until about 8:30. It was nice sleeping in because for the last month I've had to get up early for school and then to catch buses on the weekend. I decided to go to the train station to see where trains were headed. I had a few names of towns on my list so I was hoping at least one train was headed that way. I also got my train ticket for Ravenna for Tuesday.

So, there was a train going to Modena in an hour so that's where I decided to go. On a side note, a little old man with no teeth started following me. He was in the train station and sat beside me - who knows what he said. I decided to take a walk with Seymour to get rid of him - and he came with me. This is what old ladies get to experience in Italy! I finally told him "no" and he went away - until I came back the train station - and there he was. I found a seat between 2 women so he couldn't sit beside me, One woman 2 seats down from me got up so he sat down and kept looking at me. Soon a man walked by and gave him a euro! So now I felt sorry for him, but still didn't want him following me. Maybe I should have given him some money but I don't understand why he latched on to me when there were all kinds of people at the train station. It must be my magnetic personality - or crazy hair!

Seymour and I got on the train without that man and things went pretty smoothly - except for that pesky directional problem. When I got into town, I had read in the tour book that you had to get through the industrial area before you "find the lively medieval centre, thick with market stalls,vibrant piazzas and impressive palazzi. The highlight of the visit is the stunning Unesco World Heritage-listed cathedral" - which was lovely and happened to be under construction.

I definitely walked through the industrial area a few times and finally found the city center - during the "pausa" - all shops closed. The "thick" market stalls must have ended in September because I didn't see one. But I am not complaining because what I did find was my new love!!! This town is known for their famous vinegar - aged anywhere from 3 to 100 years. It is delicious! I almost bought some but I just can't carry another thing. I stopped for lunch and got an insalada mista (mixed salad with cheese, tomatoes and tuna fish) and just about dumped the vinegar and Italian olive oil on it. It was one of the best things I have eaten since I've been to Italy. The vinegar is thicker and a little sweeter even though it is balsamic vinegar. If they have it in the States, I recommend it, but it is expensive.

I ended up really liking this town. There are lots of beautiful buildings and statues.

This was a merry-go-round in the children's park I passed.

I was going to take a picture of the cobble-stone streets on the square and noticed mine and Seymour's shadows:

This is the scene at each train station. It is only about1/10 of the number of bikes that were there.

As with just about every town I've been in this week, everyone here also rides bikes. At home you worry about people on bikes being hit by cars; here you worry about pedestrians being hit by bikes. You see people on bikes in suits, little old ladies in dresses, and families with their kids on their bikes. There are bike lanes everywhere. It sounds healthy until you see how many people are smoking while they ride their bikes - and most are also talking on the phone! But it still would be fun to be able to live that way.

I took a picture of one of the store windows to show you the latest looks. It's not as impressive with the reflections. I'll try again in another big city.

I thought this was funny - Bimbo Stock. Of course it's a baby store.

This was a garden/park I passed trying to find the train station - again. I asked about 6 people and finally got there. I need to see if my GPS will help because my feet are starting to complain as much as my mouth!!

I'm sure I forgot some stories but at least I'm caught up on my blog. Oh, for my gambling friends, I found 2 slot machines in the market right across the street from where I'm staying. I decided to try to play one and the lady at the other machine showed me how. It is just a match the pictures type of machine. I played 2 euro - won up to 14 euro and gave it back to the machine :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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