I spent the afternoon downtown today with my sister and some friends of hers who followed her here from Italy. It was neat, wandering around and taking so many pictures. Very hot, though. 37 degrees (C)! We walked and walked and walked. We went around downtown city area Bratislava, played in the Presidential Palace gardens, and climbed up into the Bratislava Castle. We snacked on a Botel (hotel that is a boat) on the Danube and later (though before a lovely evening meal on one of the Squares), my sister and I grocery shopped.
It is absurd how happy shopping here again makes me. Everything is in the proper aisle, making sense. I used to wander lost in US stores, unable to find flour or paper products or the slightest thing, because the stores are organised differently; a different pattern of logic and association.
Tomorrow we run away to the mountains. I haven't climbed the mountains in 10 years; far too long. The sea, I think, runs more strongly in me than the mountains, but I can hardly bear flat lands for very long. I need the mountains--at least rolling hills--around me, visible somewhere on the periphery. And tomorrow we train out and climb up and stay over and our bags of chocolate and smoked cheese and apples and crackers are packed, waiting for us. My train ticket whispers to me from my pocket, eager to go.
I won't be online again for that until Tuesday, but I'm sure I shall have lots of stories to tell then!