This is the old part of town, which has parts the date back to, like, 1400 or something. If you’re an American, your experience with buildings that look like this comes out of animated Disney films, which means that when you see them in real life you have a hard time grasping that they are authentic, and possibly older than your country. And the bottom floors of these buildings are filled with cell phone shops and hair salons, which feels incongruous, but isn’t, because after all, humans actually live in these places, and they live in the 21st century.
Yeah, you can tell I don’t get out of the US much, and when I do, I go to places like Canada and Australia, where, as nation-states, they have the same thing going that America does, i.e., not a whole lot of free-standing structures more than a couple hundred years old on the outside. I remember going to Boston and thinking, wow, there’s a lot of old stuff here. Brother, I’m an idiot.