Beautiful ancient carved doors on the Battistero in Parma.
The next day began with a walk around the city of Ferrara. The core of the city is medieval, and contains some beautiful architecture. One of the things that is initially most striking about Ferrara is the number of bicycles, and the diversity of the people riding bicycles. Ferrara is famous for the levels of cycling. This is aided by the fact that it is a very flat city, but as Pierre told me, also by the fact that cyclists are treated, as he put it, “like sacred cows are in India”, that is, drivers expect them to go anywhere, and do anything, at any time, and so afford them to necessary space on the road. There are no formal cycle lanes so far as I could see, but somehow it all works.
This month’s round up covers two months, because this time last month half of the team that lovingly create these round ups was away when they should have been producing this. As a result it’s a bit of a whopper. The latest Transition Bristol newsletter begins “In this issue…. The Bristol Pound is coming, the Bristol Pound is coming, oh, and lots of other stuff too! Read on”. That seemed like a good way for us to start too. The Bristol Pound, the vastly exciting imminent launch of a city-wide currency that is creating a frenzy of media interest, is nearly here. Here is a short film about it:
One of the workshops on Saturday afternoon is called ‘Turning local food initiatives into social enterprises’ and will be presented by Julie Brown of Growing Communities in Hackney, Josiah Meldrum of Farmshare CSA in Norwich and Jon Walker from the Green Valley Grocer in Slaithwaite. We asked Jon about the workshop, what people could expect from it, and what it is that he loves about Transition Network conferences.
In response to that last question he replied:
“It’s always inspirational. It’s always wonderful meeting all the people who are involved in these things and seeing what new is happening and catching up with old friends and getting up to date with what’s going on … they’re always a delight and really entertaining, and you learn a lot and meet a lot of nice people. It’s a good way to recharge your batteries”.
I was recently in Santander, a major port city on the northern Spanish coast. While my kids were waking up in the hotel, my wife and youngest son went out in search of breakfast. Bereft of a map, we wandered in search of some fruit, and some pastries perhaps? Eventually, glancing round a street corner, I spotted what looked like it might be the corner of a market stall. On closer inspection, it turned out we had stumbled across one of the most remarkable food markets I have ever had the pleasure to wander around, El Mercado de la Esperanza, or ‘The Market of Hope’.