Friday, October 21, 2005


or: Romeo and Juliet are alive and well and living in Verona, despite what that bloke Wm Shakestick might have written. I can visit Juliet's house with balcony and even her tomb (which kind of obviates the alive and well and living part but you understand...) A Euro has to be made and it doesn't matter that the tour buses roll up, the tourists roll off and take pictures AS LONG as they also BUY something. Post cards will be forthcoming. How can I resist?????


The weather has started its proper ottobre behaviour of rain, mist, general damp and a good reminder to NOT send the hiking boots home but maybe the Tevas and the tank tops. We woke up in Siena yesterday to a driving rain (class 4 rapids down the cobbled and flagstoned streets and alleys - maybe this is where the Italian Olympic team practices??) AND thunder and lightning! A bit of a change from the previous day's lovely sunshine and Tuesday's heat. Ah well, I'm really from The Island, eh? so this is actually comfortable for me. The hot pink (no fashion polizia comments, thank you) bumbershoot was a blessing and marked me as fair game for the beggars. Hmmmm.... I thought it was the umbrella but on reflection, I saw some rather wild ones carried by the locals, maybe it was the backpack and the general festooning that occurs when I move from place to place???

The Wenatchee Adventuress and I couldn't raise a taxi between our rapidly dwindling phone cards so we slogged up to the bus station where, for the delightful sum of .90 each, we got a bus directly to the ferro stazione and had time for a little more retail therapy (post cards and newspaper) before the train. The original plan was for both to go to Firenze but the train went to Empoli first and that made the TWA already half-way to Pisa and her last night so we said buon viaggio e arrivederci at Empoli and headed off on our separate ways. It was good to have another person for these past two weeks. We travelled very differently from the journeying with E ( several days in one place, making bookings by phone or by 'meeting', seeing one another in the morning and then maybe not until bedtime) and found some places that we would like to return to. All it takes is time and $$$$$!!!!!

So, it was on to Verona via Firenze and Bologna through Modena which (car types take note) is the home of Maserati and (for you foodies) aceto balsamico which is NOTHING like what we get in the local stores (except perhaps at Valoroso or the Med Mkt). If it hadn't been raining, I might have stopped (the Maserati factory is right beside the train line and near the station but the camera was buried) but I know how to get back there!!!!

The hostel I am staying in is another former convent. It has RULES which the Stuffy Old Lady part of me likes but which, according to the Comments Book, are not appreciated by some of the younger crew. Alora, and too bad!! I figure I raised the average age in my dorm (6 beds) by about 24 years! Curfew is at 2400 and lockout from 0900 to 1700 so I have a lot of time to deal with today.

I am using the Italian with more confidence (grazie mille, Mirella) and have had a couple of interesting conversations including one with a nonna on the train y'day in which we compared children (all good) and where they live (hers still in Italy and in the area and mine you know about...) and husbands (hers dead and mine you know about!!!) I am carrying a few p/c from home and find them really helpful for showing people. The one that gets the most play is the one of downtown which shows the streets and trees and houses. There is not the privilege of using up valuable growing land with houses here!

OK, this box is making blinking at me so I am going to find some Veronese adventures.

Arrivederci per adesso.


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