Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Modena and more

Well I guess I'll start with what I did over the past weekend as my weeks themselves are not very exciting. I have starting going to the gym to do some training to prepare for my trip to Mount Everest in October since I really won't have the altitude advantage from living in Colorado for majority of the time before I leave. Plus the gym is a good way for me to relieve some frustration/stress.

Anyways, this past weekend I went to Modena to meet up with KC again (as her cousins live just outside of Modena) and to get some balsamic vinegar since that is what Modena is popular for. It's a nice town that is slightly under a 30min train ride from Bologna. There are usually trains that head there about every half hour....that is when there isn't a strike going on the day you are wanting to travel. At least i'm assuming that is the reason why the train i wanted to take was over 35min late, and that the next train that was going to Modena ended up being over 10min late as well. So basically I spent more time at the train station waiting for a train to show up that was heading to where i wanted to go than the length of time i spent on the train :-P it was all good tho as i didn't need to get there in a hurry anyways.

I've digressed a bit :-P So didn't do too much Friday night other than just walk around a little to see where some of the things were that i would want to go on Saturday. Ended up finally getting some dinner around 11pm (i think). Just got some pizza and had some wine (2 euros for 1/4 of a litre). I forget what kind of pizza i had....i think it was something unique or different than my typical "salami piccante" but can't really remember. I know i added "olio piccante" (spicy oil, which is olive oil with crushed red peppers in it) to the pizza.

On Saturday KC and I went to the Duomo, which was rather plain, but i think i liked it because it wasn't as extravagant as some of the other duomos throughout Italy (and probably Europe). We also walked through a market area that had everything from wine, to cheese, to meat/fish, to veggies, to a place that actually had beer from Left Hand Brewery for sale (it was the milk stout, or whichever one has the cow on it). We also went to the Galleria Estense for a little. It was alright, but i figured i can manage to do one museum per city :-P

Also on Saturday, i tried several different kinds of balsamic vinegar. The first one i tried was homemade and was a 15yrs old. I ended up buying a bottle of it. Other ones i tried at a couple of other places were a 6yr, 8yr, 10yr, 12yr, and 15yr old balsamico. It tends to be sweeter the younger it is and then starts getting thicker the older it is. Saw a bottle that was 100yrs old which was quite spendy. I need to go back and get a couple different years so i have a variety.

The 2nd to last thing i did on Saturday was go to see Toy Story 3, after not being given very good directions and then finally getting to the theatre only to find out that it didn't open for over an hour and that the times we were given by the concierge weren't for Saturday :-P Anyways, I highly recommend seeing it. I plan on seeing it a 2nd time because it was that good and i want to know what was actually said during the movie since i watched it in Italian :-P There were definitely some very good parts and some rather intense parts. So intense in fact that despite there being many children in the theatre, i don't recall hearing them talk. One thing that was a bit different about seeing a movie here was that when you buy tickets to the movie you have an assigned seat. I'm kinda curious if the computer sales what are considered the "best" seats first or how it works exactly.

hmmm...the last thing KC and I did Saturday (not counting getting dinner/pizza at midnight) was seeing the finale of the Festival Internazionale Bande Militari. There were 6 different military/marching bands that played. Two were from Italy, one from Romania, one from Sweden, one from Great Britain, and one from the US (University of Washington to be exact). It was entertaining...altho couldn't figure out why the University of Washington brought some of their cheerleaders. The Romanians also had a few cheerleaders, but in addition they also had people on stilts and a couple of guys that were playing with fire. Not quite sure how the stilts and fire really went with a military band, but it was rather entertaining to watch the people playing with fire.

On Sunday, I just made my way back to Bologna relaxed for a little and then went to the outdoor pool for most of the day. Around 8pm, went out to an Irish pub with several coworkers to watch the World Cup game. It wasn't very crazy in the pub, but it was fun watching the game with a crowd of Italians (or at least mostly Italians).

So that was my weekend. Don't really have anything planned for this weekend. I'm thinking about maybe doing a day trip to Venice, Florence, back to Milan (to catch the sales), or back to Modena (to get some other kinds of balsamico). I may also just relax and stay in Bologna. Whatever I end up doing will end up on here though :-P


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