As I am flying home tomorrow, one could ask if it's even worth sitting down to write this Log, though the journey would distinctly lack closure and completion for me if I didn't wrap up this phenomenal ride for (and with) you all... Particularly those of you who have inquired lately into the freakin' status of things!
Okay. So, I wish I could say it's hard to believe it's been so long since I last wrote, but the truth of the matter is that Venice feels eons ago.... Luckily, my memory (and nothing else, thank you very much) is like an elephant's.
Though the remainder of our time in Venice wasn't as dramatic as the first 24 hours, it still wasn't lacking in Venetian ambiance- despite the fact that we did not have the city's most quintessential and cliché experience, a gondola ride. Marlon especially was disappointed by this, though the compulsive rebel in me was actually quite impressed that we made it through the city without falling prey to its biggest tourist trap. What we did do was come across a down-to-earth jazz club pizzeria, where a couple of ladies took pity on our meager beverage budget and insisted we have the rest of their very nice bottle of cabernet (definitely an instance where the glass- or shall we say bottle- was half full). It turned out these ladies were crew members on the cruise ship "Princess", and we all mutually regaled one another (including the waiter, who had no other patrons) with travel tales for a good portion of the evening. From them we learned "cheers" in Turkish (which I'm sure you'll all be hearing from us in the future), as well as what to expect in our next destination of Turin, which were "hippies, but with morals". Hm.
Regardless, Turin made a wonderful impression right away, because everything of interest to visitors was actually in the same vicinity as the train station (almost like they actually thought about it or something). While I'm not sure about "hippies with morals", the residents appeared well-learned, down-to-earth, and quirky to be sure, very like the city itself, which came off like a bohemian intellectual who has long since stopped concerning themself with society (Turin was the capital of Italy until 1945). Obviously, my kind of place, which was fortunate as our actual reason for coming there didn't pan out (we had been anticipating visiting the controversial New Age community of Damanhur). In my opinion, anyway, the real reason the universe had guided us there was the first consistently good food of the entire trip, particularly salads, for which the waitress almost received a hug every time she presented one. (Marlon and I have joked extensively about this trip seemingly being "The Search for the Perfect Salad", though just a decent or good one would have been an accomplishment too.)
With that, our time in Italy was over. (Those of you who have seen the movie Spaceballswill appreciate that we consider our pace through Italy to have been comparable to "Ludicrous Speed!" though we probably did more there than anywhere else.) We caught a train (or three, or something- anyway) from Turin into France, specifically Nice. Our first day in a country is always the hardest, so that along with some other factors made Nice not very nice. We'd been consecutively in big cities for the past two weeks (along with Everybody Else, etc.), so unfortunately, returning to the city where I'd spent my seventh birthday just felt like another obligatory stop in another congested maze rather than a charming stroll down memory lane.
Anyhow, another one of my psycho- I mean, psychic- moments got us to the small inland city of Narbonne, where we were able to comfortably acclimate to France (horribly offending only a few French citizens in the process, by the accidental and automatic use of the Italian "grazie" instead of "merci").
Finally, then, we were able to set our bags down for an entire week, with the generous accommodation of Marlon's cousins in the Cote d' Landes. Having access for the first time in over a month to amenities like a kitchen, a DVD player, and an affectionate canine companion (not to mention one of the world's most famous surfing beaches a stone's throw away), we were very content in the little town of Seignosse. Marlon's cousins were enthusiastic hosts and when we weren't sleeping all morning or spending all afternoon on the beach, made sure to show us a good time. (Most memorable of all, perhaps, being our tour of the Basque country, where we sampled dangerously delicious traditional Basque pastries and a polar bear-sized dog almost ran our car over.)
After a stop-over in Blois (pronounced "blwah", yes really) to check out a castle, we arrived in Paris. I had officially had a case of homesickness since Nice and was experiencing a state of exhaustion I'd never known before, so despite several memorable childhood trips to Paris I wasn't expecting great things from it. Thus, I was really impressed with how relaxed and in-my-element I immediately felt there- though our exhaustion still kept our 7 month anniversary and Marlon's 24th birthday on a far mellower keel than we had anticipated.
Now here we are in Amsterdam, where it has been pouring rain for the past two days, somehow a fitting end to our epic and transformational "tempesteuros" adventure. I wish I had some wonderfully wise and deep metaphors or perceptions to close it with, but really, truly, my brain... yeah, see, I don't know where that though went. Anyway.
All of our love,
Arielle & Marlon
Vibrational alchemist, writer, artistic mystic, pack mama and spiritual adventurer living in The Goodland - Goleta, CA. Creator of Lioness Energetics.
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