26 September 2009

By the numbers (part IV)

Days on the road: 36
Days left: 4 (sniff)
Cities visited: 10, including current and final city
Current city: Madrid
Miles walked each day: approx. 6-8
Miles walked total: approx. 250
Number of Old World canals fallen into: 0
Rank of overnight train from Vienna to Venice among most restless, uncomfortable nights of my life (bouts of serious illness excepted): top 5
Thought upon seeing sun rise over Italian hillsides: Okay, well, maybe that was worth it.
Time of day Arthur says you should arrive in Venice: night
Time of day I say you should arrive: morning or later afternoon, when the long shadows make the city feel that much more dramatic and atmospheric.
Gondola rides taken: 0
Photos taken of gondolas: roughly 20
Photos I am probably in, taken by others from gondolas: probably a hundred (really)
Location of best pizza consumed so far: Amsterdam
Location of best meal so far: Madrid, last night
Total cost of said meal, including beer and appetizer: 10.35 euros (that's cheap by European standards)
Pastries consumed: Oh, you know. A lot.
Pastries consumed in Rome: 0 (that's right)
Gelato consumed in Rome: Well, are we talking flavors or times I went to gelaterias?
Uh ... let's start with gelaterias patronized: at least 6
Flavors consumed: let's say 14. That sounds about right.
Favorite flavors: lemon torta and chocolate wine, ordered together, at Gelateria del Teatro (as discussed in an earlier post)
Price of the gelato Arthur says you should eat as your final act in Rome: 9 euros
My opinion of said gelato: low
Price of small-ish serving of aforementioned two flavors at Gelateria del Teatro, which I ate immediately after the inferior gelato, in hopes of rebooting my palate and giving Rome a more appropriate final act: 2.50 euros
Price of a typical medium gelato at a good stand in Rome: 3 euros
Rank of Victor Emmanuel statue in Rome among equestrian statues in the world: first (according to my tour guide)
Size of Signore Emmanuel's moustache on said statue: 1.3 meters long
Primary web site for online ticket sales for Madrid bullfights: Ticketmaster subsidiary (but of course)
Maximum price of a ticket to this evening's bullfight: 63.40 euros
Minimum price: 2.90 euros (!)
Location of cheapest seats: in the nosebleeds, in the sun
Price of my ticket: 8.50 euros
My response to what you just thought: Yes, I went. Arthur insisted. Long story to be told later.
General impression of bullfight: Really? People find this entertaining? It's just not a fair fight. The outcome is never in doubt. It's just ... not very interesting, even with the pageantry and funny costumes.
Times when the Prado Museum in Madrid is free, according to Arthur (i.e. in 1963): Saturday afternoons
Times when it's free now: the hour and a half prior to closing every day; longer on Sundays

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