Surprisingly easy tbh. Got off at a smaller station before the main one in Salzburg on the advice of a local who'd been to visit their parents in Germany. No one around at the station. Snuck through some mountain vineyards into Slovenia. Walked through the check point into Italy. The Slovenian police asked me what I was going there for, said it was to visit a gf. The Italian police didn't ask. Coming back was even easier. The news always makes everything so dramatic.
Oh man, Italy was down in the dumps. World's apart from the last time I'd been there over 10 years ago. But I didn't speak to that many people on the whole trip tbh. Was a bit of an introspective one. The ones I did were all clearly not feeling bright about the future and the collective look on the faces was really quite sad. I mean, there were also plenty of people just getting on with it. And that Italian spirit is hard to break. But I'd be walking through what would normally be bustling streets full of restaurants and cute little shops in Florence and they were all shut. Ponte Veccio looked like something of of an old western. Not too many people around. Don't get me wrong though. Florence is always gorgeous. The architecture took my attention away from what was going on with the people. In some of the bigger cities you'd get a few clumps of kids in the piazzas at night. But yeah, they really got it bad. Easily the worst hit out of all the other countries. Austria seemed to be handling things much better. It felt like a summer holiday. I think I felt that even more because the contrast between the Austrians and the Germans really struck me. They're actually pretty lively! Salzburg is def worth a visit
This sounds like the most productive lockdown adventure ive heard about. A friend of mine who has been long distance train travelling in the uk to check on elderly parent has said the same to me, its nice to travel cos there no ticket checks and its really empty..
I ended up watching a bunch of climbing documentaries recently, a couple of them in the mountains: Touching the Void, Free Solo, Meru and The Dawn Wall. I'm not too bad with heights, but fucking hell... Free Solo in particular...
The scan of his amygdala wasn't a surprise. If your fear register centre is effectively impaired, you'll participate in behaviour like this.
Mountains are among the last gods. I don't 'mountaineer', but i love to get out with a couple of mates and conquer minor peaks both for their stress busting properties and the views. Really, really good for the head and ideal reminders of how small you really are.
i'm reading a book at the moment, its a record of a 3500 mile walk, trying to 'bag' every 'county top' ie highest mountain/hill of every historic county on the UK mainland. not really the sort of thing i would normally read, but its quite interesting. basically john o groats to lands end, but with the additional criss-cross of the country to visit all the high points.. crazy aim really, as she acknowledges herself. but in the section i've just read, she talks about it being necessary for her as a way of orienting herself in the world, like aboriginal songlines. and cos its an 8 month project, it suitably tells her the state of the country: mainly very wet and difficult to get dry, and curious/rude people she encounters along the way.