Sunday, April 09, 2006
Cinque Terre, Italy
This was one of the highlights of my trip to Italy last March. It rained on and off and it was freezing cold. I love this kind of weather. It makes for more comfortable traveling. Southern Europe at this time is already warming up and it is as spectacular. The vistas were beautiful, the food fresh and excellent, the people were wardm and friendly. We stayed at hostels and at hotels, if possible we shared a common bathroom, toilet and shower. I'm not a young person but it didn't bother me to share accomodations with very young people. The US dollar is not worth much in Europe and airfares are high. So the only way to travel is as cheaply as possible, staying near train stations and taking the trains and going second class. This is so that I bring home pictures like this, quaint little Italian fishing villages, ancient ruins and Baroque churches. An american sitting next to us said the last time he was in Europe was 10 years ago. I couldn't make it through 10 months without being in Europe. I like Let's Go guide books. I use the internet all the time to make reservations and I take with me intructions on how to get to the hotel/hostels. I've always found them, after asking many questions. French rails have preprinted schedules which is very handy. You can find out when your stop is. Italian rail is different, if you haven't found out beforehand the name of the stop before yours, you'll be at a lost. Each time the train slows down I have to get up to ask a local the name of the stop, I do this till I find my stop. Sometimes there is an English speaking passenger on board who cold tell me how many stops more before mine. Traveling independently means one has to be outgoing, not afraid to make a fool of oneself. After 10 trips to Europe the past 6 years I have developed a very thick skin. As a whole having lived this long, I have developed a relatively thick skin. I'm loving it.