Saturday, April 23, 2011 | On the train from Madrid to Sevilla
A COLLEAGUE suggested, after reading a recent post in which I complained how much my feet hurt after a day of walking, suggested that I get new shoes. New shoes is not what I need. What I need is a thinner body. The best shoes in the world will not make carrying around 500 pounds any easier.
The truth is that my feet hurt only the first day or two, and once I get used to being on my feet all day, the pain disappears. And an even greater truth is that I am wearing the world’s best walking shoes. They are a pair of Timberland shoes I bought many years ago with inch-thick soles. They fit comfortably, and I they have been my faithful companions in Paris, Florence, Venice, in the Swiss Alps and elsewhere.
The shoes came in handy when I was in Venice a number of years ago. On the morning I was supposed to take a train to Milan to catch my flight back home, the city was experiencing one of its frequent floods. There was high water everywhere, rising even above the planks that are set up to allow people to walk over the flooded streets. And for a while it appeared that I might not be able to make my train, for no matter which route I took, high water blocked my way.
Finally, as the hour of my departure neared, I found a location where the water appeared to be no more than an inch deep, and I decided I had no choice. I tip-toed across and, to my relief, did not get my feet wet at all, and I made my train. They are good shoes, these traveling companions, and I hope they will accompany on many more trips