Hospitality of Florence

Sometimes my posts do come in non-specific order - it's just because some experiences are brighter and some need more time to process. So, there is a huge gap to cover - from Friday to Sunday.
After milongain Bologna followed a milonga in Florence which was in less cosy place, and the gap between dancing experiences was wider too. But first things first - before going out to dance our feet off, we experienced a real italian hospitality. It was my first couchsurfing experience as a guest too. I guess staying with a person you already know helps a bit. After exploring a Callenzano town (which if not for the cars parked there could fool you into thinking that you experienced time travel and ended up in medieval times), we visited a park with freely roaming rabbits, lots of hungry ducks and one turtle. Then followed a park with a giants statue, an overlook to Florence from a far and a dinner. Which had to be somewhere in a restaurant,  but ended up at hosts home. It had tobe a pasta bought from a shop, but turned out to be a specialy for us homemade pasta with a bottle of fine wine. So, our host is an excellent cook.
The next challenge we had to face - finding a parkingplace next to milonga. It took nearly 10 minutes - not bad for a first timer. And then dancing dancing dancing with live music and some acrobatic moves.

Hello and Good bye Bologna

At this specific moment - my feet are screaming and hurting like they had walked the whole day. Because they did - half day in cersaie fair, half day in Bologna. One thing for sure that half day in city center wasn't even barely close to enough - so, when there isn't enough time, you just walk without looking at the map, finding street musicians, street arcs and buildings older than the previous ones, ordering dinner in my poor italian without asking "parla inglese?".
One thing i know for sure - I must come back to it sooner or later. Of course, better sooner than later.

And yet to make this end of vacation more painful - an early flight with 1 stop awaits me.

One question which bugs me - how italians can sleep with just thin sheet-like blanket?


Milonga a la Bolognese and other stuff

Transition from Milano to Bologna went smoothly. Transitioning from Bologna to Monzuno - was more interesting. So, me and my friend rented a car - which turned out to have a 1.2l engine! And climbing mountains with it isn't very fun - but I guess I never drove into so steep hills and it's just a matter of time to accustom to a different horizon level.
As I say - our home now is in a deep deep village high in the mountains. With a beautiful view over Apenines and an incredibly starry night, if there are no clouds. So, I guess a little pain with a car is worth it.
But when there are low clouds in the sky - in the mountains you end up in the cloud. It feels like a fog, but you know it's a cloud. It may rain down below, but not in the cloud itself. And it's not very fun to climb a hill or mountain. There is zero visibility - there is no perspective for your goal. It gives you a creepy and mysterious atmosphere. And maybe to experience it for once - is quite ok.
But the other day turned out to be the opposite of the foggy one. The sun was burning as much as 27 degrees. We rode to Rocchetta Matei, which was closed, and then to Pistoia - we took the scenic road, but it allowed us to ride as fast as 60km per hour. Pistoia turns out to be a lovely city, with the population as much as in Kaunas. A compact old town, not too many tourists (or they were hidden somewhere), a bit an army of beggars considering the amount of tourists.

And on our way home - I forgot to check "avoid toll roads" in my google maps and we came home earlier than we would have the other way. I wanted to ride a highway in Italy, but all those toll booths were a bit frustrating. But they say - the best way to learn to swim is to be thrown into a water. The more you are preparing, the harder it gets to find the courage. But it turned out to have some other positive side effect - the plans we had for tonight went more smoothly. We did came home late, but we spent less time on driving and more on dancing in a fresh air.



So, it's my fourth(and last) day in Milano. Me and my friend, we are already sitting in a Lampugno coach station caffe and waiting for our bus in Bologna. I can't say we've seen the city a lot, but that wasn't our goal. However the experience was more that amazing. By some lucky coincidence we ended up at tango nuevo milonga. For both of us it was a biggest milonga ever, but that wasn't the most amazing thing. The Tdj playedbotg old and new music, that was well fitted for the environment and created the unforgettable atmosphere. This amazing atmosphere was created by Tdj Fabrizio Ferranti Auslaender. Although with milonga itself the evening would have been perfect, it was even better. Before milonga we went to a classical music concert in a church Certosa di Garegnano, where we listened to Brahms and Arvo Pärt pieces, performed by Voce degli Archi with Mario Brunello itself. And we had a company of a classical music lover(he told us so much about the piece, musicians), which showed us both the concert and the milonga place.


Credit to the rain

There aren't many people that could admit they like rain(except for the farmers during the drought). But when it rains so hard that half of your power sockets are not working, internet is down and manholes on the streets has turned jnto little whirlpools, you have to give some credit to it. And driving is full of adrenalin again - you don't know where the potholes are hidden, whether there is a manhole without cover just under your tire. Driving feels like surfing or driving a speed boat, it's just you don't need to save half of your lifetjme for that toy and you can streets instead of rivers. You may hate rain for being wet, cold, but you must love it for turning your boring life into phantasy world.


Comeback to Nida v.2

I'm sitting in a car on my way home to Kaunas. There is a mild pain in my legs reminding me of 108 kilometers i biked today together with other 4 crazy people. It's not thecraziest distance for me i covered in one day. But it's crazy enough to do so without proper warmup. And my bike was resting this season. But hey - challenges are fun!
So, 56 kilometers from Smiltynė to Nida (through Juodkrantė) and 52 in the opposite direction. We made small stops to rest our backs and a little bit of siteseeing. The highlight of the trip - Naglis Dune - of incredible beauty. Modest and yet stunning th- plastic lines of different shades of sand, grass and flowers framed by Curanian See and Baltic Sea. Yet, it's hard to describe.
The whole Curanian Spit is my favorite part of Lithuania - sure, it lacks greenery, but there are a lot more sunny shades of sand. And there is calmness, sometimes silence. Not the deaf one, but filled with sounds of sea, pines and wind which compared to the sound of cars and other industrial noise is really like a silence.


Most delicious cloud ever

Clouds can be small and big, scary, frightening or they can look delicious - like a huge ball of cotton candy. Though I've never seen a funny cloud. If you think that I have a thing for clouds - you are right, I do. This is so much like watching a landscape of a sky - fluffy continents and islands floating in a blue ocean of sky. But you never happen to see the same place twice.