It was three degrees this morning, and I couldn't help think back to the summer of last month and some of the unsung heroes that made it what it was.
After a day of juggling water refills in the four small bottles we accumulated on the flights over, we bought this bottle in Rome and proceeded to refill it countless times from the free and often constantly running water taps in Italy, Switzerland and Paris. The bottle finally went dry at the security checkpoint for the final flight back into Australia due to the Australian government's policy to keep incoming passengers dehydrated. As if we needed another reason to think Europe was better than Australia. It was recycled in South Australia (hopefully).
Bottle in Lucerne in front of one of the million free, delicious water fountains of Europe.
What started as a pair in Rome for the cost of one gelato (I fished them out of a bowl of spoons sneakily). Despite being compostable they proved extremely durable and honestly I do not feel confident to put them in a green bin. Extremely handy for consumption of high protein yogurt and pudding tubs directly from the supermarket, and sturdy enough to stir a Tupperware tub of oats and yogurt on a walk, where other spoons failed and crumbled. Half of the duo went MIA in Milan, the other is still going strong four weeks later.
Yes, we did bring the Tupperware from home for this purpose.
Probably the only positive out of the takeaway lasagne I bought in Florence was the serrated, plastic knife which then went on a killing spree, including slicing several baguettes, cutting up a cucumber during a picnic in Paris, and spreading a lot of knock-off hazelnut spread on croissants and crepes.
One last crepe for the road, Charles de Gaulle Airport. Also featuring the backup hazelnut spreader, a Gelato scoop from Rome.
Drafted in Rome on our first weekend, started life in a takeaway pasta and went on to scoop a variety of savoury snacks and home-assembled meals. Also pitched in as a spoon after the attrition of our original set of two. The back of each prong was hollow and tapered in at the point, making them quite annoying to clean.
A tin of tuna in Montmartre. In Europe, tins of flavoured tuna are actually large enough to nourish a standard sized human.
The good thing about merino socks is, like Marino shirts, as long as you don't soil them you can just hang them somewhere to air out for a day and then rewear them. (I will die on this hill). This makes them ideal for vacation as you only need to pack a few shirts and socks to get you through a long holiday. This is okay for a month, but the Smart Wool socks I bought in 2013 have unfortunately reached the end of the road. Bought in New York due to me not packing enough socks, I had no idea that I would fall in love with the best, most comfortable and temperature regulating socks I'd ever wear. I remember being disappointed when I realised what I'd bought wasn't a 2 pack, unaware that I'd get more wears out of these socks than any other pair so far in my life.
Alas, you can't wear socks every second day of winter for ten years without them eventually succumbing to wear and tear, and though there are only a few holes among the thin parts unfortunately hanging them outside for a night won't fix that. The time was right to say goodbye, and - like Jim Morrison - lay these socks to rest in Paris.
Skin on my Toes
It was a long and painful death, but it died for a good cause - the sights of Ischia and the Amalfi Coast, and from the tops of the landmarks in Florence.
Low resolution for your viewing pleasure.
My belt did not die in Europe, but it earned a medal of honour for being able to pop the lids of multiple cheap as heck beers in Milan and Paris when I lacked a bottle opener.
Lasted until Naples, then taken by the trains into the unknown because I was in a rush to get the suitcase and forgot I'd been sitting on it.