Europe | Italy | North East | Padua – Old age gets you in the end
Mum’s a teacher and 30 years of standing on her feet have taken a heavy toll. Basically, they hurt. They hurt all through England, but got worse and worse once we hit Austria and now here in Italy where we have no choice but to walk. We limited ourselves to tramping through one museum a day before spending a couple of hours in a coffee shop before heading back to the pension early. I find it pretty grim, to be honest.
It’s too cold to enjoy sitting in some of the lovely parks I have seen in Vienna and Salzburg and there’s also so much more I would like to see. I know that mum feels bad that she can’t do more so I’m reassuring her that I don’t really mind.
We’re staying in Padua at the moment, the better to see Venice, and this morning we headed to an internet cafe to catch up some emailing. Crunch time came on the bus on the way back to the Pension – we missed our stop and my poor mother’s feet were so sore she was nearly in tears at the thought of having to walk an extra 100m.
Back at the pension mum lay on the bed and I said that we needed to decide whether to continue our grand tour, or whether to return to the UK and use our rail passes to see Scotland, hiring cars to help us get around so mum isoff her feet as much as possible. I went off to do some washing while she decided.
I spent an interesting hour or so at the Laundromat talking to the Nigerian immigrant who managed the laundry as well as a German law student who had come to do his washing as well. It’s funny how some people are truly lovely and some people really aren’t that nice, and they come in bunches! The Nigerian was nice enough, but was a born again Christian who made bigoted comments about Muslims (it’s a reflection on how Sept 11 has affected the world that the subject even came up at all!). While the German student, on the other hand, was reading a copy of the Koran (his mother gave it to him!) but was breathtakingly arrogant in his attitude to the rest of the world, including the Nigerian manager!
I returned to the pension to receive the verdict – did we continue our travels, or return to the UK??
We’re going back to the UK. I’m a little dissapointed, particularly as I really want to see more of Italy, but on the other hand I have felt quite limited by mum’s inability to walk very far and I also dion’t want her to suffer more than she has to. We’re now booking flights back to the UK, and will head to Venice tomorrow for a day trip before flying out the day after that.