I’ve travelled a lot over the past six years, so you think I’d be well prepared in terms of footwear choices for long days of walking around big cities.
Not this time.
Six days in (two of which were confined to the inside of airports and plane interiors) and my feet are letting me down. More to the point, my choice of footwear is letting me down. Rome and Florence, you’ve made a mess of me, and it’s just the start of a month of travel through Europe and London.
I’d post a picture of my feet, but quite honestly, I don’t want to scare you. There are abrasions and potential blisters forming in multiple locations. Yesterday, in a moment of sheer desperation in Pisa, I purchased a pair of sandals similar to Birkenstocks but obviously nowhere near their quality because they’ve just added to the pain. Not only that, they are what I’d classify as beyond ugly.
Did I pack my tried and tested walking shoes that have stood the test of the Great Wall of China and a previous trip to Italy?
No, of course I didn’t. More. fool. me.
Am I taking notice of the gorgeous sights as I limp through the streets of Florence?
No. My eyes gravitate down, looking enviously at the feet of travellers who seem to be gliding through the streets, propelled forward on the soles of shoes that cushion heels and don’t issue shards of pain with every footfall.
Heading to Venice tomorrow. Wish me luck. No doubt I’ll be looking for the perfect shoe, not the Murano glass. Unless of course, some glassblower on the island of Murano has perfected a glass slipper that can guarantee blister free travel through Europe. Then I’d be interested.