That night, as always before starting a journey, I couldn't fall asleep. I tossed and turned, looking for what would be the right position, the perfect one to sink into the desired deep sleep (essential for facing 8 hours by car). The hours never passed, I could not wait to get up now, when, unexpectedly, I fell asleep, yes, I had done it!
I felt dizzy from the few hours of sleep, but how could I be upset about it now? We were about to take the car and drive to discover something new: flavors, colors, behaviors… I couldn't help but be happy.
What? we started driving, willing and tenacious, constant 130km / h with the aim of arriving as soon as possible. Too bad it didn't last long .. serious accident in Modena, 1 hour and a half in the queue.
But? it was the crossing of Switzerland that exhausted us the most, despite the beauty of the snow-covered contours. The border with France seemed never to arrive and as if that were not enough we found another block at the Gotthard pass, this time of about forty minutes, maybe an hour, but I don't know, by now the minutes weighed on us like boulders .
When we finally arrived it was 19.30pm and it was our legs that begged us to leave immediately. What? we found ourselves among the markets of Eguisheim, denying mental fatigue. Here already? it was easy to define Alsatian colors and smells; the houses cos? characteristics to look like marzipan. Did we go for a walk? in a weary rain while the mulled wine? warmed our hands between one photo and another and we wanted nothing more than to be there? in that moment.
Wake up early in the morning, we wanted to see Colmar. It did not rain that day but the sky never wanted to leave its intimidating aspect.
The air was fresh and there was a pleasant smell of fresh bread confused by one more? strong butter biscuit.
We were immediately struck by the orderly beauty of the half-timbered buildings, colored and with sloping roofs, which gave it a Teutonic and decidedly Nordic aspect. Some of these houses overlooked the Rhine River in a very picturesque way, a key reason why Colmar? called? la Petite Venise ?. I have personally seen little of the indisputable beauty of Venice but I admit that during the Christmas period the atmosphere? truly magical, we were almost like transported into a fairy tale. The streets were lined with views of neat inner courtyards and traditional shops, whose signs featured names in Gothic characters.
In the evening, that of New Year, we were forced to dine early, in the only restaurant open that allowed us not to spend an exorbitant sum, but which unfortunately dismissed us? just as early, 21pm.
Was it so? that, after a short digestive walk, we spent the next 4 hours in the only pub we found open in the small and silent Colmar that evening. It smelled of old wood, alcohol, and sweaty; the ceiling was lined with underwear, especially women's underwear; the bartender was a quirky gray-haired character who hid a joyful smile under his careless mustache, the classic kind of person who conveys serenity.
Obviously it was overflowing with people, before finding a seat we had time to finish the first beer. This was followed by another 3 each and not only .. but better not to deepen these details.
Finch? it was midnight. We celebrated together with everyone, whoever was present that night, toasted and wished each other Happy New Year in all languages.
? in moments like these that we are all inexorably linked by the same purposes and expectations, despite our stories being so different, distinct and alien. Unconsciously each of us, for example, imagined the future minutely and (inevitably) magnified the positive expectations, compared to the negative ones, on the outcome of the evening: an undoubted advantage over the other animals, from an evolutionary point of view, but a good rip-off, if then all those wishes had not materialized.
Maybe something will? not having gone into the fantasized ideal but I loved every moment of those circumstances: the stench of alcohol and the suffocating heat of that pub; that country cos? fairytale and orderly; the people and that language that I always took too long to translate; the din of firecrackers echoing in my ears a little? tipsy; the songs we sang out of tune in the street; the cigarette that never seemed to end. I loved his beer-tasting kisses, his enveloping hugs, his sweet smell and holding him tightly to me that night.