After a week spent catching up (watching Kit Harington interviews, reading excerpts from Winds of Winter, refreshing my knowledge of the R+L=J theory), my soft, lumpy flesh was ready to move. Or rather, my mind told my soft, lumpy flesh it was ready to move.
Having lain in bed a few too many days reading and watching Game of Thrones, I decided the city I was staying in was indeed Braavos, not Brașov, Romania. Though nothing alike (one exists, one doesn’t), large monuments watch over both cities. In the case of Braavos, it’s a titan through whose legs you enter the city by ship (picture the Colossus of Rhodes). In Brașov –the real city– a Hollywoodesque sign of ten meter white block letters stands in the Carpathian Mountains above. After meeting some lovely Estonians who climbed up to the sign, I decided I would do it too.
Again, I had been lazing away the last six days in bed, fantasizing about dragons and snow-zombies. So my last day in Romania seemed a good time to finally get off my butt and let it feel some air.
My directions made sense (walk towards the sign, then up, towards the sign). For the day-trip, I wore a backpack with a few things inside: water, scarf, jacket, tablet computer. But as I started walking, I realized how heavy my backpack felt. The straps tugging at my shoulders, I strained my lungs trudging up the hill. When I took off my backpack to catch my breath, a dark sweat stain spread across the back of its forest green canvas. The Estonians said it took about forty-five minutes to get to the sign. Fat chance, I thought.
Though your body be soft and lumpy, finishing something physical often requires more mental mettle than brute strength. Each time I stopped to sip some water, I didn’t think of quitting, but instead how useless my body had been the preceding week. And that I would make sure to improve its usefulness during the following six months.
Cursing and wiping my sweat-salted eyes on my sweat-wicking dress, I wondered how much longer than the Estonians’ forty-five minutes it would take me to get to the top. But as I stepped from a forest-shaded trail to an expanse of sunny glade, I no longer cared. A friendly wind cooled my neck and brow as I shut my eyes and smiled. Even in Westeros, such a view would be precious.
When I finally reached the Brașov sign, I sat for a bit. Then I took some pictures, no small feat since I was forced to take them with no viewfinder or screen. As I turned off my tablet, the computer’s clock showed the time. How long had it taken my soft, lumpy flesh to reach the top? About forty-five minutes 🙂