Wednesday 31 January 2024

Summer in Terni

There's no better time to remember the summer than in the heart of winter. So, on this, the coldest day of the winter I am writing about the week I spent in Terni as a guest in my friend's house after we had seen Bruce live in Monza. That particular concert was such a tiring and exhausting experience, what with all the kilometres we had to walk, that we needed to spend a week doing absolutely nothing. And that's exactly what we did.

So, the day after the concert we left Milano and took the train down to Rome. From Rome, Terni is only about an hour away. You have to be careful, though. Trains for Terni leave from the very last platform of Rome's Stazione Termini, which is a fair distance away from the entrance, So there was a lot more walking to do, what with carrying our luggage and all. Terni is on the same line as Ancona, so I had passed through it in 2015 on my way to the Belle And Sebastian concert that year and I knew about that particular platform.




When we arrived there I noticed a strange monument just opposite the station.


The plaque at its base informed us that it was a hydraulic press from the Terni Steel Works, in use until 1993.

The next thing to do was find the house. While doing that we noticed the trademark of the city. A very tall fountain dominating a big square. When we arrived we had to rest and then find something to eat. This is not an easy thing to do in Italy since most restaurants close early. Luckily, there was a McDonald's near the house. So, no healthy food on the first night.

The following day was spent resting (again). We had stocked up on food, but decided not to cook as we discovered that there was a lovely pizzeria opposite the house.

 

The third day was spent with trips to the local supermarkets for food and a sports store for clothes. All these were opposite the house. So no sightseeing again on that day as well.



We then decided to go out. But where? Again, we noticed that there was a bar near the house so we went there where I finally had the chance to try out an Aperol Spritz the drink everyone was drinking that summer even at the Bruce concerts!



And as it turned out, that night was a Karaoke night!

On the following day, we finally went into town. To get to the center we had to walk through a park. The nature is amazing there. If you look towards the horizon you'll see mountains full of trees in any direction.





 







On one of the cafes, I ate the best Tiramisu I have ever tasted, with coffee to pour over it. (Apparently, this is the proper way it is served in Italy).


All in all, a very productive day!

Terni looks even better at night as I discovered on the following day.



Unfortunately, the Tiramisu served at night was much smaller!





These are not ice cream cones, they are stools in an ice cream bar:



On the last day of July, it was time to go...


From the train station, back to Rome (not forgetting that long walk along the platform), and from then on to the airport to catch flights to our respective countries.




Friday 29 December 2023

The Beatles and The Stones - What year are we in again?

  

This was supposed to be 2023, but the fact that my favourite single of the year was by The Beatles and my favourite album was by The Rolling Stones is a bit confusing...

Happy New Year everyone!



Wednesday 20 December 2023

UEFA Super Cup 2023



My blog consists mainly of concert posts, but I've only written a sports post once and that had to do with the London 2012 Olympic Games. I do attend sports events every once in a while, though, most notably Basketball European and World Championships (with a Final Four thrown in the mix) and a Euro 2008 match in Salzburg. But the football match I attended in August was definitely an important one, worth writing a blog post about: The 2023 UEFA Super Cup final. This is a match between the Champions League winner and the Europa League winner. Every year I go into a lot of trouble in order to find a TV channel or a web site to see it. This year, as I was searching for the channel that would show it, I realized that I didn't need one. It would be held here in Greece. So, I applied for a ticket, didn't get one, but when some of the successful applicants did not pick up theirs, I finally got one. I was supporting Manchester City that night, because even though I am an Arsenal fan, I usually support the English teams (apart from Tot****am) on international games. I had actually been to the Manchester City store on my last visit to Manchester back in 2016 when I went to see The Stone Roses at Manchester City's stadium! And since I had already been to matches where Arsenal and Manchester United had played, City was one team that I had never seen "live".

As with every major international sports tournament, this was a celebration and a chance to meet people from other countries in one's city. My first stop on that day was Thissio where a big replica of the cup was on display.

My next stop was Piraeus, close to Karaiskaki Stadium where the final was taking place in order to visit the Fan Festival. This was an area where fans from both teams and local people as well could get together, eat and drink, play 5-a-side football and listen to music.



 




 
On top of that, across the street from the Fan Festival, the Champions League, Europa League and Super Cup trophies were on display (along with Manchester City's domestic trophies).



Then it was on to the stadium where we watched a football match with both teams scoring one goal each. 
















 



 


 


 


 

 

 

As it ended in a 1-1 draw, the winner was to be decided on penalties, but without extra time played beforehand, which means that the match never had the chance to go into "boring" status. I recorded the penalty shoot-out on video.

 
One thing that hasn't changed since the 90's is that Gala's "Freed From Desire" is played in all major sporting events
 

 
 
After the match and the award ceremony we set off on our way home where the local organizers had told us the metro would be running extra services to all destinations. However, in typical Greek fashion, mine stopped halfway through and we found ourselves stranded somewhere in Athens in the early hours of the morning until we were saved by a night bus.