Outtakes from Our Hikes in 2013

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 …

"Outtakes 2013 hikes: A frogpond in an Italian town"

… in so many ways …

"Outtakes 2013 hikes: Hot spicy Italian sauce Bomba Sibarita in a 100ml jar"

… not least, of course, linguistically.

"Outtakes 2013 hikes: Small Fiasco sign in an Italian market"

Still, we can learn from the Italians in many ways: their labour conflicts, no matter how bitter, always generate an element of carnival.

"Italians on strike in a carnival way"

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.

"Outtakes 2013 hikes: Fruits of a tree found in Italy looking like tennis balls"

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.

"Outtakes 2013 hikes: busts of Hitler and Lenin

Hitler and Lenin side by side in an Italian flea market

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.

Plastic grass on the lawn in front of the Monaco Casino

Everything seems to be plastic in Monaco. Even part of its lawn is.

And this is from a jewelry shop one block further down the road.

"gold and silver bracelets and accessories in the form of guns and bullets"

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.

 

6 comments to Outtakes from Our Hikes in 2013

  • Love the outtakes and always happy to hear that I’m not the only one who takes scores of photos that are never used. My teenager regularly mocks me for the number that I take! Happy New Year to both of you and all the best for 2014!!

  • Fun post! Nice to read about the “behind the scenes” side of things.

  • Enjoyed this alternative view of Italy and Monaco. I have fallen in love with Italy this past year and can excuse occasional bad taste. Happy New Year to Mr. and Mrs. Easy Hiker!

  • I’m with you on having so many photos that don’t get used. At some point I need to run a post similar to this just for the fun of it.

    Just noticed a lot of fake lawn in Scottsdale Arizona. At least you don’t have to water it.

  • These are wonderful shots and so happy they finally saw the light of day!

  • I really enjoyed your outtakes on Italy and glad you reserved a special post for it. Love the picture of the tennis ball harvest. Wishing both of you the very best in 2014! Happy New Year and safe travels!

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