I've been thinking of some of the more unusual highlights of our recent trip through Europe.
Here are some of them...
* I saw my friends' cat Cleo wandering into the loo one afternoon. I asked whether she liked it in there and was told that she goes to the toilet on the toilet. I had to pop my head in to check it out, and there she was! Cleo, sitting on the toilet, taking a peaceful tinkle!
* I joined my friend on his Vespa for two short trips through the back streets of Turin. It was a fairly small Vespa, so it went very very slowly. Nevertheless I was scared like a girl at first.
* In Turin's museum of Egyptology, they have Nefertiti's knees on show. They may or may not actually be her knees. The tomb they were found in was in a bit of disaray due to previous grave-robberies. But their best guess is that the knees belong to her.
* Also in that museum they have some explicitly rude papyrus pictures, of Egyptians behaving in base and beastly ways. I'd never seen rude ancient Egyptian drawings before. Rude greek vases, yes. Rude Egyptian papyrus, no.
* One night I joined some friends who went to take polka dancing lessons at the local school hall. Polka dancing is a very active activity. Lots of jumping about. Not that most elegant way to dance around a room, but good to work up a sweat.
* In Venice we visited an exhibition of some of Dali's work. A number of his works made reference to a painting by Millet of a man & a woman in a field. In the original they have stopped to pray. But Dali has reimagined them involved in lustful poses.
It was quite exciting two weeks later to be wandering through the Musee D'Orsay in Paris and suddenly see Millet's original on the wall.
* Another happy occurance... While in Paris I wanted to get a photo of a statue of a rhinoceros that I had once seen in a photo, with the Eiffel Tower in the distance. I was told this might be in the Trocadero Gardens. So we went there, and we found some statues, but none of a rhino, or any other animals. I gave up on my quest.
But two days later, at that same Musee D'Orsay, there was the rhino at the entrance! It had been moved for some unknown reason from the Trocadero to the museum. How happy I was to see it!
* Nutella gelato. This is great stuff. I only managed to get it in Turin (the home of nutella). Beautiful soft gelato, with big gobs of nutella spread through it :-)
* Possibly the best salad I ever had was in Paris, at a cafe with a view of Notre Dame. I remember it involved diced potato and a dressing like I've never had before. If you're interested in the recipe, please buy me a ticket to Paris and I can walk you to the restaurant.
* Why do so many people have to stand in front of famous paintings to have their photos taken in the museums of Rome & Paris? And it really annoyed me when they used flashes, which are bad for the paintings and distracting for anyone trying to actually look at the things. I was mighty p*ssed off when I saw one woman brush with her hand one of the frail DaVinci's at the Louvre. But I got to have some joy when I saw a fellow thrown out of the Sistine Chapel for taking a photo with his mobile phone. Those Sistine Chapel bouncers mean business!!!
* The cowbells in Switzerland. They sound great. Every town should have cows walking around with the deep clanking sound of their cowbells following them around.