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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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December 04, 2017

A very satisfactory day, Part II

It's probably just as well last night's web service was awful and I quit after the first museum because I have to confess, I have done very little today but I'll post this second half so there won't be a break in dates.

So after the wonders of paleontology, I set off for the wonders of anthropology.  The first wonder was what I think is the longest staircase I've seen (well, not counting some of the escalator ones I've seen in airports and such).  And it doesn't have any pretty ceilings or gilt trim or anything to help take your mind off the climb.  I said a silent "you can do it, girl" and up I went.  They were terribly high stairs and that helped.  There were about 10 more after you got to the top and turned the corner.
The first room had a lot of men in it in various forms of dress from the minimalist style as seen on these two gentlemen...
(Actually this guy is at the top of the second short flight of stairs and is a wood carving of a 10-foot tall Patagonian man that a Captain Bryon met, sketched and measured on his trip around Cape Horn in 1767.
 to the "wear everything you own" style as seen below.
 And my favorite (and the one I wished I could rip off him and wear myself on such a cold and blustery day)...
But life is not just about what to wear... it's also about collecting fabulous tiny ivory carvings

 and little trinkets from (if I remember correctly) the ancient Incans.
And, finally, one must make the final decision - what to do with one after one is gone.  I personally don't find the idea used by the Incans long ago all that appealing.
I wish I could have read something about this because I got the impression that this was how they dealt with their dead but the poor guy on top doesn't look like he wanted to be dealt with in this way so I'm not sure.  And having just written that I decided to google and see if I could find out about them.  I found a very scientific study of six mummies that explorers brought back to the school/museum in the 1800's and found one vital fact out of a lot of scientific talk.  They look like they do because during the Inca period, it was the practice to bury the dead in baskets.  So now I know.

 This was such an attractive cabinet - loaded with handiwork using beads, feathers, fabrics, etc.  The colors were so vibrant it was difficult to believe the items were old, but they are.
This pictures I took for the info and it came right after the cabinet so if it applies to this cabinet, then it really IS unbelievable how vibrant the colors are.  Some of the items would date back to the 10th century BC.  But with my organizational skills, I can swear that this paragraph applies to the cabinet contents.
 Here's a nice fat turtle that made me think of mama who ended up with a turtle collection because everyone thought (after she bought a turtle or two that she liked) "oh, I'll get her a turtle!"
 And the little sign explains that a these knotted strings acted as a calculator somehow.  The knots seem so random and in some places kind of iffy but it must have worked for them.
 With my camera making all indoor shots orange it really makes it difficult to show the brightness of these colors.  The red above and below was pretty much screaming red and looked like the bird had just been plucked the day before.  Just luscious colors in the breastplate above and the headdress below.
And looking at the museum's listing I see that all these gorgeous feathers are from the Amazon.
Oh, I remember why I took these - it's because they were made by children in Bolivia in the Franciscan mission.  They're so cute and quite nice-looking I think.
 And again trying to capture the feathers' colors - pretty hopeless.
The piece below was so beautiful - all bead work, expertly done and lovely colors.  The second picture is a close-up, of course.  It looks like some kind of shoulder bag.


 This was neat - the two coats (one for ceremonial use, the other for hunting/fishing) are wardrobe items for the Arctic male.  The two coats are made out of sealskin so that they are very lightweight but windproof and heat retaining.  There is also, of course, a fur jockstrap and then I guess the fur underwear double protection.

Close up you could see that this was a very deep midnight blue-type color.  The bottom decoration was very nice.
 I'm pretty sure this cabinet of carvings had Maori on it.
 and this headgear was in the same room.
 I'm not sure what the horse had to do with anything but ain't he purty?

 This tickled me because it was on the way out and when I passed it at the end that is away from me in this picture, there was debris on the floor and the whole thing just looked kind of haphazard.  Then when I came around I saw a sign saying basically "pardon our mess, we're renovation this display".  I think they're all drums.
Just gorgeous and look at the close-up of the needlework...
I can't remember why this would have been the last thing to see when it's so fantastic...

So that was the Anthropology Museum and I'm really glad I went.  It made me wonder what it must have been like to be these intrepid souls who went sailing around the world stopping at every piece of land they saw (it seems like).  In a lot of cases they could have been the first white man the natives had ever seen.  There was so much undiscovered world back in the 1700's and even into the 1800's.

And walking back, what to my wondering eyes should appear but this beautiful shot of the cathedral.  This is another picture I'm pleased with.  Also stopped at the Scuderi chocolate shop for a cup of tea and a couple of chocolates after all my labors.  The chocolates were wonderful and I think only 1euro each but the cup of tea was 7euros!!  And it was a teabag, although it was a silk teabag with a fancy string.

There's one or two more museums I will try and get to - particularly the Archeology one and then there's a scientific one that has a lot about Galileo.  It's only Monday (a day I've wasted but felt like I needed to) so I've got three more full days.

I didn't sleep well at all here my first two nights and finally this morning could not drag myself out of bed so at some point I decided to switch to the other side and see if it felt better.  It felt better enough that I slept for about 2 hours and woke up at 10!  So tonight I expect to sleep like a babe.

I did go to Mercato Centrale for a bit today and it was so cold in there.  Colder than outside I think.  Outside the sun was bright and the sky was gorgeous blue.  I picked the wrong place to have lunch but survived that although I feel like I should do a TA review and say "this place doesn't really want tourists to eat at their restaurant".  And that's certainly their prerogative but either put up a sign saying so or treat them a little better.  Harrumph!

And tomorrow is my evening cooking class so I'm curious how that will work out.

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