Saturday, 6 October 2007

STEPH Pescara to Ancona 05/10/07

If you were to ask me where the mists of time might be, I would tell you Adriatica. Out there on the eastern horizon, where blue meets blue and, as you turn towards the light, fades to white. If you erase all sign of human habitation, forget for a moment the lights and the umbrella stalks and the evenly spaced rocks, there is only a flat blue canvas. No hills or bumps, no greens. Just blue and the white-gold sands of the shoreline.

This morning I roamed around Pescara filling time until my computer arrived. Ben went microphone hunting, to improve the sound quality of our filming. I walked through the city streets; Pescara is an ugly city. It’s narrow streets are lined with the square concrete buildings of hurried reconstruction. They are functional, I’m sure; yet they are not pretty, or even interesting. I wound my way down to the broken end of town, past the old cobbler tap tap tapping on a leather sole, the old tailor bent over his cloth, stitching time. Young men in grubby clothes hang in doorways eyeing my camera, though not so hungrily I feel the need to turn back the way I’ve come. As is the way with such places, the developers have already arrived. There is a new park; .a new cement building with curvy lines.

My darling new Apple is ready. We take her home . . . wherever that might be. We are hungry. Ben’s need to follow one more longshot to a microphone wins out. Against my better judgement. I follow him. We jump on a bus. We jump off the bus in nowheresville. I look at the long brown tunnel of road to nowhere and I tell Ben I’ll meet him back in town. He stands at a bus stop on one side of the road, me on the other. His bus pulls in. I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. There in nowheresville, on the side of the road, hungry and tired and weighed down by the new Mac. The bus comes. I think I hear my name. I think I hear my name in Australian. Somewhere back there in my mind I decide I am delusional. Ben jumps up from a seat at the front. He has been chasing shadows; the bus brought him full circle. We laugh. We go get lunch. We discover a wonderful lunch! Best meal yet in Italy . . . roast vege stack, barley with chopped tomato and white cheese and wonderful round cheese-stuffed raviolis . . . I take my husband’s advice and, with an eye to nutrition, drown it all in olive oil . . . there was nothing more I could have asked for before getting on the train to Ancona.

We rattle our way north, through more functional ugliness tormented by an occasional audacious relic on a hill. For long stretches the Adriatic keeps us company. From the train I look into people’s backyards. I see their junk and their washing and what in the world they don’t care for. Out the front is their public face, the inside of the home their soft underbelly. Out the back are the parts they prefer not to show. The train window is a cocoon for the voyeur with the legitimacy of a paid ticket. It’s a bit like surprising a woman who’s still in her nightie in the middle of the day . . . when we meet her later, we pretend we didn’t notice.

Ancona is gorgeous! We knew the ferry to Zadar probably wouldn’t leave till tomorrow night, but we caught the bus straight down there to check anyway. The old city is still standing, high on the hill overlooking the port. I was stopped in my tracks by the blue of the sky above, dazzlingly bright-dark for a cluster of moments before dark. This is the blue of heavenly domes . . . I can only imagine the lengths to which the ancients must have gone to reproduce it.

We found a hostel at the cheap end of town, back down near the station. It’s clean. It’s warm. Ben’s out on the town. I’m home tucked up between clean white sheets, looking forward to exploring Ancona with our cameras tomorrow.

Our Journey GoogleMaps
Our Videos on Youtube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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