Today I woke at 8.30am after a good nights sleep… feeling a little more revived but still I have a general feeling of mild exhaustion..probably too strong a word here..so please don’t feel alarmed : ) but I think the weeks on the road are wreaking slight havoc with my body. Maybe it’s all a psychological state, where with such a short distance to go now before we reach our goal, the mind weakens and lets down its guard a little, allowing itself to wallow in a little self absorption, or maybe it’s the heat and the ease of which our bodies become dehydrated..making us constantly vigilant to the necessity of high fluid and nutrition uptake. Or maybe it’s just a combination of both these factors…
Anyway..today, as every day has been..was good: ) Easy, relaxed and incredibly interesting!
Jo and I had breakfast at a nearby cafe overlooking the Piazza del Campo..which is really the centre of Siena. This piazza is where the famous horse race Il Palio, is held each year in June, next weekend to be exact. Actually we miss it thankfully, as It sounds to me quite cruel…from a horses point of view. They race around the square in the Piazza del Campo and to my mind there must be serious injuries incurred for both riders and horses. The course has some tight corners and although the stone surface is lined with sawdust and sand, these conditions would have to be debilitating on the horses delicate tendons. The riders have the choice whether they want to put their precious lives in danger of survival….but the horses have no option. I find this all very disturbing : (
The lead up to this event however, is entertaining! Since we have been here in Siena we have witnessed a regular passing parade of italianos marching through the narrow streets, dressed in strange costumes and simultaneously beating drums loudly and waving flags ceremoniously. They were out in full force last night and then again…passed my bedroom window this morning early..very early in fact….grrrrrr, then they continued on and off through the day finally finishing with a grand finale in the piazza at about 8 pm. This ever passing possession seems to consist of a hierarchy of males. There are the small boys who proudly march,albeit a little subconsciously, some already with the enormous responsibility of wielding the drum sticks ..then there is a gradual spread of age groups but interestingly there appeared to be very few over the age of 30. Not sure about the significance of this but I’ll endeavour to find out. Then following this pageantry are the women and children and the older men..all very interesting!
A few photos of our experiences starting with the Piazza del Campo, where the race will be held next weekend.
This morning I spent a little time exploring Siena..and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I visited the imposing Basilica San Dominico. Some photos of my walk to San Dominica. : )
A lovely ceramic shop where I did a little damage..: ( Oh well, my first little shopping experience and a wonderful reminder of Siena and indeed Italy..luckily I don’t have to carry it but it will greet me in Melbourne when I arrive : )
Time for me to go to bed now! We have a longish day tomorrow…to Monteroni d’Arbia. Jo I think plans to leave at about 5am…way to early for me : ( I hope to be on the road by about 6.30 – 7am but its now 10.30pm here..so anything can happen!
Buona notte from a very tired Netia : )
Love and hugs.. XX