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EUR07: All Roads

This time, bad news first.

The Quest is beset with peril; the Black Breath of Neuschwanstein seems not only to affect Men, but their cameras as well. On my last day in Padua, I was trying out a spritz, a drink which my American friend was saying is fairly popular in those parts (which I liken to rubbing alcohol, burnt rubber, and a twist of orange). As I was leaving the trattoria (in Piazza del Duomo, if you must know), smoke started to come out of the area of the flash of my camera, and the chassis buckled from heat. Now, I can still use the camera (even the flash). However, my theory is thus (and I’m no electrician): naturally, I couldn’t completely prevent rain from falling on my camera whilst visiting Mad Ludwig’s castle. It did, and I’m thinking it may have now caused some sort of short in the circuitry (the flash’s capacitor?), out of which some electricity is leaking, heating up the surrounding area, and causing the camera to smoke. Now, I can avoid this by just taking the batteries out and stopping the leak (for a time), and popping them back in to take pictures. This way, not much juice leaks, the batteries aren’t drained, and the camera doesn’t burn up. But I hardly need tell you, this makes taking spontaneous pictures rather un-spontaneous. I’ve also switched out memory cards lest some further devilry damage the one with all the pics up to this point.

So I don’t know whether I should henceforth refer to Neuschwanstein as Moria, in which I “lost” the Grey Wanderer (my beautiful camera, sniff); or Minas Morgul, which would be more fitting to a castle; or just “oh my God I hate you Neuschwanstein.” Still, beautiful place. Cursed, but beautiful.

Now, good news.

I have to admit, I’m getting better (I’m getting better all the time, and won’t get any worse). Cold is passing on, I’ve only got a bit of a cough from time to time (horkin’ up some major loog-wads, lemme tell ya). This morning, I said “to Hell with it, I’m going to Venice.” As I wrote in my journal, when you step out of the ferrovia, Venice hits you right in the face with its Veniceness. Beautiful, unique, hot, and overcrowded. I’m so glad I stayed in Padua… there are probably more tourists per square inch in Venice than there are in Ponoka, Alberta. No wonder the city is sinking.

Still, amazing place. Of course, the vaporetti were “sciopero,” or on strike, except for a quick little boat ride to Rialto. Not bad, I figured. Managed to lose myself, wander around, find San Marco, stay there for about 5 minutes (pity… I wanted to stay longer), lose myself again, get back to Rialto, eat under the bridge, and leg my way back to the train station. Long ride to Roma, but I’m here in the end (see title of post). Just finished a dinner of Caprese salad, risotto alla Milanese (with saffron), and a small bottle of wine (something something San Gimignano). Oddly, the risotto arrived first, and the salad halfway through that, but when in Rome…

Finished off with a caffé. I really don’t know how I’m going to go back to huge North American style coffees after all these espressos.

Oh, and I finished reading Return of the King yesterday, when I was convalescing. So I may stop using Lordo metaphors. Or I may not.


PS: The beacon! The beacon of Amon Din is lit!