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Kel&Cez’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 16 Feb 2006

Location: Bologna, Italy

MapBuona Sera (Good evening)!

The beautiful architecture and more importantly, culinary delights on offer in this, the home of Bolognese, more than made up for the overcast and quite chilly conditions which threatened to throw a minor storm cloud on our great adventure.

Upon arrival we thought we would walk from the train station to our accommodation (just near the university) as it didn't look too far on the map. What the two of us should have realised by now was that none of our maps were to scale! Anyway, a good while later (well and truly dark by this stage) we stumbled up to our hotel which was a pleasant enough lodging and decided to go for a bite to eat. We had read up on a few restaurants and one in particular sounded fantastic (great food reviews plus live jazz music after 9:30 and a reportedly unparalleled wine cellar)! When the maitre d' finally got the gist of my very rough attempt at Italian and realised we didn't have a booking, he just laughed at us and pointed to the door, telling us to come back the following night. This happened at three more nice looking restaurants (which were packed to the rafters) before Kelly finally clicked - it was Valentine's Day! Well, we wandered the streets for a good while after that, having no change in our luck before we decided to get a pizza fom a dodgy little corner store and haven't I copped an earful for that bluder (deservedly so I guess)!

I am glad to say that we recovered very well from this first night and had great food for the remainder of our stay in Bologna (including a fantastic night at the jazz restaurant/club the following night). One of our favourites (especially Kel's) were the food markets. We spent most of our time just wandering through them and marvelling at the various goods on display. Kelly was like a pig in mud (see photos)!

It was in one of these markets that I was cornered with no escape whatsoever. A young fella, obviously newly arrived himself, very covertly asked me if I was interested in buying some goods. I tried to say no and move on but before I could he started giving me a big sob story and so feeling sorry for the poor lad, I said I'd take a look. When he showed me his wares, it was quite difficult not to laugh - he was trying to hoc tissues! Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel! Poor bloke. I gave him a few euros anyway but told him he could keep the tissues.

Although the weather was quite average, both Kel and I had a very enjoyable time in Bologna. Ignorantly, I had no idea about the architecture the city is famed for and was pleasantly surprised once there but I did not enjoy the countless porticos nearly as much as Kelly! She just couldn't get enough of them and as we turned each corner, "Carey, wow! Check out the porticos! Aren't they fantastic?! Do you love them?..." and so on.

Some other memorable moments from Bolgna included:

- climbing La Torre degli Asinelli which is approximately 100 metres high and has a lean of about 1.5 metres. Some of the stairs and general stairways within this tower leave much to be desired in terms of comfort for you and loved ones' safety! It was a bit like an Indiana Jones adventure at times - two lost souls climbing up rickety timber stairs bolted haphazardly into a crumbling stone wall, in search for....a view of the city? Kel freaked out a little and wasn't sure if she was going to make it but like the trooper she is, showed her true strength when it mattered and made it right to the top! The view was quite good but I imagine it would be fantastic on a clear day. This tower looks over the La Torre della Garisenda (48.16 meters, having a lean of over 3 metres). Both towers were built in the 12th century.

- Walking into a beautiful homewares store and spending about 2 hours in the basement chatting with their resident DJ before finally purchasing a few awesome CDs.

Looking forward to receiving a few messages (a trick to see who is still reading) from you,

Love Carey & Kelly xoxo.