Ya Mule! Backpacking in Siena, Italy

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Ah, the glamour of backpacking through Europe. Naturally, the glamour features a rate as I found in Siena, Italy.


Siena is located an hour or so beyond Florence, Italy. My convenient dandy guidebook recommended it was a side trip that simply had to be made. A medieval structure situated behind protective walls on the top of a hill. The main location was typically shut off to vehicles and it was a taste of true Italy. Who was I to argue?

As I rested on the train, I check my backpack for any excess weight. I had actually already discarded or sent house unnecessary items and was feeling quite light on my feet. Next thing I knew, the train had stopped and I was basing on flat road next to a rolling hill covered in trees and houses. Siena proper was at the top.

The important things about rolling hills with lots of foliage is they are simply evil. You can never ever get a grasp on how far it is to the top. You keep believing the top appears to be a few hundred feet in front of you until you reach it. Then you discover it is just a dip prior to another upward section. The hill up to Siena is simply such a rolling hill. Include a roadway that twists all over the hill like a drunken sailor on leave, and you’ll never discount a moped again.

Contacting my inner mule, I began to climb up and tame the excellent beast. As I trudged along, I thought of all the terrific individuals that should of walked up the same hill throughout history. As I stood in the shade panting, I believed all those great people most likely hitched a ride rather of walking like me.

After thirty-five minutes or two, I was seriously starting to consider riding. Of course, this would mean admitting defeat. The battle between my genetic male stubbornness and “this draws” mindset was extreme. Like a mule, I kept going. Five bends, 3 dips that I might have sworn were the top.

Just as I was giving up … a wall. An actually big wall. I passed it and suddenly remained in a big car park location with traveler buses. Hands on knees, t-shirt soaking, I tried to keep my self-respect as the tourist took a look at me like I was ridiculous. Did that idiot walk up here? One even took a picture!

After composing myself … err, getting my breath back, I booked a room in a little hotel. The girl working the desk seemed reluctant, but I made some comment about it being a long way up from the valley. She began laughing and I had the room.

I showered and went looking for difficulty. Well, problem that was on a flat surface. In the town centre, I came across a little café selling Mexican beer. Being from San Diego, this was nirvana. My inner mule was rapidly appeased and the hill of death forgotten.

Assessing my climb from a historic point of view, I found out a great lesson. It is far much better to be behind the wall than trying to attack it!

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