Sunday, August 3, 2008

6/11/08 Wednesday ~ Travel Journal

Background on the first entry:  we got on the train but realized after looking around that we needed reservations.  We confirmed this with a conductor.  So I waited with our luggage while a guy named Richard went with Jere to make reservations.  I waited with Rob, Richard's friend.  We had about 10 minutes before the train was supposed to leave.  Richard came back after about five minutes because he forgot his passport.  While they are standing in line they talk to the girl in front of them named Lexie.  Her friend is standing in the next line over so that whatever line is shorter they can get up to the front as quickly as possible.  Her friend Charlie's line went down really fast because a big group in front of him left.  So Jere, Richard and Lexie join Charlie and were going jump in together to get a group ticket.  Two people behind them somehow realize what they are doing and ask to join in.  So they ask for EIGHT people on one ticket (remember we don't know each other) and everyone slaps down cash.  Somehow there was an exact amount and everyone paid up.  So Charlie has the ticket for everyone and him and Lexie are moving the slowest.  The train was about to leave any minute so Jere stayed behind to help them carry their luggage.  I see Richard coming up and running hard and him and his friend Rob get on the train.  I stay and wait to see if I can see Jere, the whistle starts blowing and I'm starting to freak out.  We were going to watch our train roll away.  I wasn't aware of everything that had happened at that point but when I saw Jere coming up the stairs yelling to jump on the train I did.  I had both of our packs.  After I'm on the train I was yelling to Jere to hurry because the whistle was blowing!  I hear someone else yelling to get on the train (found out later is was Charlie)  Charlie and Lexie were the last people to get on and they had the ticket!  It was an exhilarating experience!

We just got done playing a game that's basically presidents with a different name. I won the first game and lost the next two...It's so nice to hang out with Americans!

We got off the train in Genova.  Charlie and Lexie were headed to Milan and then on to Interlaken, Switzerland.  Richard and Rob were headed to Pisa.  The Finland couple was headed to Florence.  From Genova we went to Vernazza, which is where we're staying the night.  Right as we got off the train, a man asked us if we needed a room.  He didn't seem seedy and his wife (pregnant) was sitting, waiting for him.  He said we could see the room and decide.  We chatted with him all the way to the room.  He was SO nice.  His name is Egidio Verduschi.  His wife was very beautiful with dark/black hair and light blue eyes.  I love supporting families like this.  After getting all the information and figuring out the crazy door (he had special instructions for the main door) we went to our room and took a two and a half hour nap.  We were exhausted.  We woke up around 5:15pm and went down to the main Piazza, right by the water.  We walked up a ton of stairs to the Castella (main tower of a fortified area)  It.was.a.lot.of.stairs!  The view was awesome.  After we walked to a restaurant recommended by Edigio but they didn't open till 7pm.  We walked to look around at shops and found an artist set up in a little space.  We really like his work.  His name is Antonio Grecco.  he is local and did not seem at all like the artists in the square in Paris.  We bought a calendar from him.  It's awesome because the pictures can be torn out.  We'll frame them and put them up.  There was an internet shop that we used too and now we're headed to dinner.

We ate dinner at "Il Baretto".  We had the pesto pasta, as this is where pesto was first made.  It was delicious.  We also had anchovies and I had a glass of wine.  At the end they gave us a free drink called "Limoncino"  It was basically lemon liqueur.  

This was the view from a rock we sat on for a couple of hours.  The city meets the sea and there is an alcove protecting the main piazza from swells.  I love just enjoying the night air and watching the sky get darker.