Sorry, Folks! Once again, I was too cheap to replace my crummy tablet with something more useful so I’m having to rely on hotel wi-fi, which is sometimes excellent (last week in Zurich… gotta love that Swiss precision and efficiency!) or else really not deserving of the advert (London!)
Other than that, my time away has been very enjoyable, though I’m becoming acutely aware that I’m not in the kind of shape I used to be in for all this walking. Not to mention climbing around the top of Mt Pilatus – which is not the Herculean task one might think. Two gondola rides to the top and then a walk ’round the summit before climbing, I don’t know, a couple hundred steps to the tippy top? And in dense fog, too. Even if you’re not in the Alps, Switzerland is verrrry steep. I swear the cows need to have two legs shorter than the others to navigate the vertiginous hillsides. They were just starting to come out of the mountain pastures for the winter when I was there on one of the day trips provided by Best of Switzerland.
London visits bookending time in Zurich have been different from other trips, too. TWO (count ’em, two) Rugby World Cup matches, each outside London so I bought tickets which included round-trip bus, else getting there and back – once to Newcastle and once to Cardiff would have been a pain. The second, yesterday, was in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium, arguably one of the great rugby temples in the world. Attendance in excess of 72,000. Yikes! The hard surfaces of the structure made the raucous crowd sound even more like a rock concert. On each occasion, I found out just how waterproof (actually… beerproof) my shoulder bag/s were.
Also met an old friend for a visit to the Royal Academy and the current Ai WeiWei exhibition. Phenomenal, thought-provoking stuff. I’m still thinking about how he has physicalized his thoughts and feelings about political topics, not least of which is his six cubes of shadow boxes. Inside each is the same space – his room when he was detained by Chinese authorities for (I’ll say it) no good reason. Each diorama shows him in a different part of the space, whether eating, sleeping or in the toilet and always accompanied by two silent guards standing within arm’s reach. Absolutely bizarre conditions, making his personal resolve all the more amazing.
Now I’m headed for Berlin and their annual sound and light show, with colorful projections and matching music and other audio to accompany it, all being projected onto the public buildings. Looking forward to it. After that, headed to Prague where they will be doing the same sort of thing later in the week. With luck and a continued modest level of strength, the plan is to spend a few days in Milan, seeing the Expo, the Duomo, maybe the Last Supper if I can get a ticket (buffet style?) before returning to London for several days.
The budget hasn’t gotten completely wrecked yet, so I’m hopeful I won’t have to whip out the credit card/s except for hotels.
I’d like to promise more soon, but I can’t be sure.