Back from Milan. A cool city but maybe my least favorite I've been in Europe so far. Although I did lose my key on the trip so that flustered me a bit. But one thing that was incredibly cool is pictured on the right--a church called the Duormo. It is the second largest cathedral in the world (the picture is only a small part of it--it seats 40,000 comfortably), and the windows on the back side are touted as the largest in the world. Indeed some that I looked at had at least 50 small, and by small I mean normal size, windows within a frame that each depict a different Biblical scene. It was really quite amazing. We were also able to climb up to the top and walk on the roof! Further pictures are on facebook, and I've started an image host for photos from the trip: http://s89.photobucket.com/albums/k208/keep7925/ (if any of you know of a better image host, let me know--i'm just trying this out).
I spent most of the day in two places: the Duormo and the Prada store. I was walking around looking at the ridiculous clothes, shoes, bags, and such just overwhelmed. Nothing had a price tag on it, and I don't think that I would have wanted to know. Some girls dragged me in there of course (why else would I be there?), and so while they were looking around I took a seat in a chair and started looking around. What is the purpose of a store like that? I admit I totally am not into and don't really understand fashion, but really. These purses sitting in front of me were well over several hundred dollars I'm sure, and the boots across the way were into 4 digits. How is it that we decided that we could excuse vanity by calling it fashion? Not all fashion is vanity, and I don't mean to knock it too bad if your into that sort of thing. I just really don't understand the why. I sat there pondering these thoughts and then I started looking around again. And I realized my group was gone. Can't a man have a minute to sit down and think! Not when there's shopping to be done. I rose from my chair and rushed back up the stairs.
The Duormo was something utterly different. All that had flustered me about losing my key and the loneliness of travel disappeared as I went into that church. It's very crazy how walking into a large cathedral can put some things into perspective. It was good to see people worshiping again. There was such a contrast between the tourists and those that were praying. I went in with only one other person, because her and I were the only ones wearing long enough shorts and closed toed shoes. As we passed by the confessionals, I remarked at how they were still operational. She said she would be terrified to go to confession now because her penance would be so much. She proclaimed herself an atheist, but was telling me about her limited experience in the catholic church as a child. I asked her how being in a church like that made her feel. I wondered what a place that brought to me awe and worship might feel to someone who has that kind of history with the church. Her answer really surprised me. She said that anything that leads people to the kind of devotion and faith that it takes to invest so much into creating something that beautiful must be worth at least looking into and not just dismissing. I thought that was so cool--God still working through old relics of cathedrals that seem to most to have value only in the tourist industry. It was a good conversation.
Well that's it for today. I wanted to give you all my address. You can send me packages and letters--that would be really awesome and I would definitely appreciate it. Anything you want to send me: pictures, american food (no perishables--especially you ben moore), money (haha), letters, or my favorite--succulent surprises!
via Ponte Tresa 29
oh and by the way, i'm a bit insulted at those of you hating on my score in the game. you don't think i could be at that number. shame on you all.