From Our Easy Hikes
Outtakes 2013 Hikes
One way in which you travel differently when you have a blog is that you do take a lot of pictures. So many pictures that, as a matter of fact, you can never publish them all: when you select a dozen or so photos to go with your post, you will always choose the ones that illustrate the text rather than the ones that digress.
In other words: anything that is not on the straight and narrow of the general narrative tends to fall by the wayside. Sometimes this is a blessing – lest we forget: digressions can be tedious, too – but sometimes it is a pity.
So today, let’s show some pity and give these pictures a second chance.
We have been to Italy a lot over the past year. Italy is a country that everybody is familiar with: we all know what Italy looks and feels like even if we have never been there, but Italy in the flesh still has the power to amaze. It never fails to surprise me, for example, how often a country so famous for its good taste and artful design can get it so wrong …
… in so many ways …
… not least, of course, linguistically.
Still, we can learn from the Italians in many ways: their labour conflicts, no matter how bitter, always generate an element of carnival.
The Italian economy may be in a state of permanent crisis, but I am pleased to report that the tennis ball harvest at least was excellent this year.
Italian flea markets are also booming – not least because you can buy stuff over there that you would not be able to purchase anywhere else.
We cannot be really angry at Italians, can we? Everybody loves them and their beautiful country.
Sadly, we cannot say the same about their next door neighbours in Monaco. I don’t know whether pictures can ever be worth a thousand words, but these two certainly tell you a couple of things about the Principauté that would otherwise be difficult to express.
First, this is the “lawn” in front of the Grand Casino.
And this is from a jewelry shop one block further down the road.
It does make you wonder: was the late 19th century, the “Golden Age” of Monaco, really so different from today? Personally, I suspect that the tastes of the Belle Epoque kleptocrats were as offensive at the time as those of their 21st century peers are today and that we only see them differently because time has covered them with a certain layer of patina.
Well, that’s it for today. Be sure to come for more Outtakes 2013 Hikes in the next post! Follow us on Facebook or susbcribe via email for our free updates.