InterRail 2010 – Part 15: Pisa

Later the same evening that I had left Brig, I arrived in Milan, Italy.

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I did not get to see much of that city, as I was soon on a train to Florence, where I took in on a hotel near the station, and left on the first train in the morning, so I did not get to see much of that city either.

I was headed toward Rome, but decided to take a detour through Pisa while I was in the neghbourhood.

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As soon as I arrived, I headed straight for the Leaning Tower.

I knew the general direction, and I figured it would stick out enough for me to spot it easily.

I ended up wandering for quite some time before I saw the Leaning Tower jutting out at the end of a street.

I arrived just before they were closing, so I just barely managed to buy a ticket.

I had not dared going up the Eiffel Tower on this trip, but I was determined that I would not let my fear of heights stop me again, particularly because this tower was much smaller, and did not look that crooked to me.

As soon as I started ascending the stairs, the tower started to seem much more crooked.

I just about managed to get to the top before I had hurry down to ground level again.

As I strolled back to the train station along the Arno River, I was happy that I had made myself go up there.

I took a room when I arrived in Rome, and readied myself for another day of new experiences.

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InterRail 2010 – Part 14: Brig

After having a quick stop in Nancy, I left France for the mountainous vistas of Switzerland.

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I had a quick change of trains in Bern, but it was in the middle of the night, so I did not get to see anything there.

I was now in the latter half of the month, and wanted to get quickly down to Italy so that I would have time to explore before having to head back home.

When I arrived in the small alpine town of Brig even later that night, it turned out that the next train to Italy would not get there before evening the next day, so I had no choice but to stay.

And I am glad I got that opportunity, because Brig is beautiful!

I spent my day there relaxing, something that probably served me well before arriving in Italy.

After doing a bit of exploring and photography, I found a nice café where I sat down to eat and read for a while.

As I was traveling with just a small backpack, I also had to find a place that could wash my dirty laundry.

I was given directions to some older women who ran a washery out of a cellar, and they took care of it for me.

This would be the last of three times I had to take care of that on my trip, having previously taken advantage of a laundromat in Amsterdam and hotel services in Newcastle.

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While I was there, I discovered where Santa spends his days during the off-season.

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I also found it a bit amusing the this workout studio’s mascot was a weird red-spotted cow.

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When my time there was drawing closer, I picked up my backpack from the hotel I had stayed at, picked up my washed and dried clothes, and got a last good look at the amazing view.

Then I hopped on a train headed to Italy.

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InterRail 2010 – Part 13: Nancy

After visiting Paris, I started heading south, toward Italy.

I was going to take the train through Switzerland to get there, so I had to change trains in the French town of Nancy.

I had some time to kill before my train departed, so I decided to have a look around.

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A thing I saw that really caught my attention is a sculpture I think I have identified as a World War I Moselle memorial, but I could not find anything concrete online to be sure, and I failed to get the plaque in the picture.

I like the symbolism of a golden heart atop a mass of blackened hearts, even if I fail to draw the connection to World War I.

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I did not have enough time to see very much of the town, but what I saw seemed peaceful and beautiful, and I am glad I got to see a different side to France than just Paris before I left the country.

But just as soon as I had arrived, I was on my way to Switzerland!

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Vegan Vampire Soup

We are quickly closing in on the month of Halloween, and I wanted to reflect that in this month’s geeky recipe.

The result is a beety bloodbath of a dish, a feast fit for any vegetarian vampire, werewolf or cannibal.

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The Recipe

(Serves 2 monsters)

1. Boil two large beets for 15 minutes, or just buy boiled beets.

2. Cut a small piece off each beet, so that they are flat on the underside, and can stand still on a surface.

3. Use a knife and a spoon to scoop out each beet into a bowl.

4. Take the pieces you cut off from the undersides and insides of beetbowls, and slice them into pieces. They should look like gory meat chunks.

5. Set aside two tablespoons of diced beets, and put the rest in a small pot.

6. Add 1,5 deciliters of water and a half tablespoon of vegetable bouillon powder.

7. Bring it to a boil, then mix it all together with a hand-held blender.

8. Adjust the taste with salt, pepper and a small squeeze of lime.

9. Serve the soup in the beety bowls, and decorate with the diced beet chunks you put aside earlier.

10. Watch out for vampires!

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