0576 The End of a Very Long Journey (Ita 077—new)

Alzano Lombardo Travel Blog

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My next town down the road is Alsano Lombardo  It has an interesting shopping area in  old city, a couple of beautiful cathedrals… a beautiful view of the last of the Alpine foothills...

 

I rest on the steps of the old church next to a couple of Moroccan housewives out with their children.  Soaking in the moment and creating just a few more memories…

 

And then I continue on.  At a bus stop I look over a map of the region and realize that if I’m really going to walk all the way to the airport, I’m going to need to quicken my pace. 

 

So it’s time to make a decision.  I still have two more towns before reaching Bergamo.

  Should I do a hurried 15 minute exploration of these towns so I can cram them into my collection?  Or do I skip them and leave them for another time?

 

There’s a tinge of sadness as it finally hits me:  it’s time to bring this Journey to a close.  It’s time to end the life of a wandering minstrel and switch to the life of a working family man…


There’s a part of my that wants to keep going.  After my stay in Cazzano Sant Andrea and the great encouragement I got there, I feel rested and invigorated.  I could do another 200 towns…


But I know I need time, LOTS of time to absorb all that I’ve learned and experienced.  Time to write.  Time to work on my songs.  Time to reconnect with people. Time to get ready for the next trip.

 

And so, the Very Long Journey comes to an end…

 

I just walk right through the next two towns… I don’t make any effort to discover or explore them… Then I reach Bergamo--  here I do head up a picturesque side street of chic little shops… I only saw the walled city and the area around the stadium--  so it won’t hurt to explore Bergamo a little more…

 

I reach the government district down near the train station with some impressive buildings and a beautiful plaza… then on south, to the other side of the tracks, past ethnic shops and a neighbourhood with a small town feel…

 

Finally, Bergamo comes to an end, and I’m walking along the highway through the countryside… It looks like I might just be able to walk all the way to the airport… Sure enough, there’s a little paved path that leads me right to the main parking area…

 

Bergamo’s airport is fairly small, so I figured I’d be about the only person using it for a campsite.

  But it’s also a hub for super cheap airline, Ryanair.  And I guess folks who pay 30 Euros for a plane ticket, aren’t going to pay 100 Euros for a hotel and taxi to the airport—so the terminal is crammed with folks camping out… sprawled out on the benches, across the floors, even between the ticket counters… It feels more like a refugee camp or a New York City Greyhound station than an international airport! 

 

It’s actually kind of reassuring to realize there are a lot of people just like me who go to extreme measures to save a buck…

 

 And just like the Greyhound station, periodically the cops come through to tell everybody to wake up because the floor cleaners are coming through…

 

And so, huddled among the “refugees”, I relive the amazing journey I’ve just lived:

 

65 days of adventure and discovery.

  201 concerts in 201 cities and town in 17 countries… From Paris to Vienna to Warsaw to Barcelona to Venice to Copenhagen to Dublin to Rome… At least 20 of Europe’s best known cities, plus scores of little towns that no one has ever heard of…

 

I met a lot of people and learned a lot about the history and the culture of these countries… From Hungarians, Italians, Poles and Frenchmen, I had the privilege of hearing their viewpoints on the world and on the history of their nations…

I enjoying stunning natural beauty and some of the world’s greatest monuments—as well as some really cool “unknown” monuments…

 

So was this trip a success?  As a journey of discovery, definitely.  But as a “Music Tour”, my feelings are a bit mixed… I can only count a handful of cities where I had a really attentive audience.  I played in scores of cities with no audience at all…

 

So where do I go from here?  Do I stick to the same pattern I’ve set over the last 27 months?  Do I need to make any adjustment?

Two things are sure:  First, I still have a lot more territory to cover before I’ll be able to say I’ve played music all over the globe… Second, this trip was a very big step in that direction…

 

And now I’ve got a couple of months to let it all sink in, to reevealuate, and to think over what I want to do next…

 

And so I get on the plane, fly across the Mediterranean to Tanger, get myself the a huge feast of a breakfast for 2 Euros… Catch the cheap bus to Casablanca with people fighting over whether or not to open the windows… Grab a collective taxi to downtown… Sit down for a refreshing fruit juice…

 

…And I’m home…

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20,253 km (12,585 miles) traveled
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Alzano Lombardo
photo by: nathanphil