The pleasures of travel

by | Jul 8, 2009

After a hideous and turbulent flight, during which my daughter and I took turns vomiting into (or attempting to vomit into) whatever vaguely bag-shaped item was to hand, I am pleased to announce that we have taken to the Continent with much enthusiasm, in large part due to the amazing array of food that is available.  In Rome, there is pizza, which does not resemble Australian pizza in the least: Italian pizza is subtle and unburdened by globs of cheese, and usually has two toppings and a crisp base.  There is also pasta of many and varied types, robust local wine, refreshing gelati, glorious espresso, drunk standing up in bars, and cool water running from spouts mounted in what look like small fire hydrants, from which you can refill your water bottle, helping you recover from food overload, and to help you cope with the amount of walking necessary to take in the magnificent, mind-boggling number of sights Rome casually hosts.

In the south of Germany, there is cheese of every imaginable origin, flavour and texture, plus a few more besides, as well as pretzels (big bready knots, not the meagre cracker-y things we have in Australia), cold meats (see cheese), potato salad, mustards and jams, but not, so far, a single serve of sauerkraut.  And I keep thinking that the houses are made of gingerbread, so like an illustration from the Brothers Grimm are they.  And yesterday, I almost – almost – got lost in a real forest, dark and gloomy and glorious-smelling.

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