I thought it would be interesting to do some blogs on what I wrote about AS I traveled, rather than writing now, looking back. So, I am going to randomly take selections from a journal that I kept back in 2004, during my five-month solo European journey. Without putting much research, thought or time into finding an excerpt, and with doing as little editing as possible, my blogs, in essence, shall be “real-time.”
If needed, I might start off each blog with a brief description of the background of the selection so that it makes sense. Note, though, that I might intersperse other blogs in between these “Excerpts from Europe” blogs.
Background: A friend (Kelly) of a friend (Susan) was living in a very tiny town in Italy, and Susan was staying with Kelly. After just traveling in Greece and Turkey, I was taking an overnight ferry to Italy, to visit both Kelly and Susan, and to eventually spend a lot of my five-months in Italy…
Tuesday May 25, 2004 – I’m In Italy!
At the moment, I’m looking outside the window of Susan’s friend’s house in Camponocecchio, Italy. Wow, I made it here! I am sitting on Kelly’s couch, and there is a town church directly across the street, with a brilliant stained glass window above the door all lit up. A peaceful sight. So, here is how I got to this point…
Last night on the cruise ship/ferry from Athens, I ended up watching a couple of movies. Then I slept on the couches of the ferry, as I did not pay for a cabin. I slept mostly right by the TV, but then I found a quieter spot later on.
In the morning, I still had several hours before we got to Ancona, so I basically lounged around. It was warm enough to actually try to get some sun on my legs, tummy and arms.
I also checked my email, and Susan said that she would meet me at the train station in Ancona. The ferry actually arrived an hour late, and I hadn’t realized it yet, but I had lost an hour going from Greece to Italy, as well. So now I am 9 hours ahead of Mom, instead of 10.
My first sight of Italy, while we were on the Adriatic Sea, was actually some snow-covered mountains. I will need to figure out what they were, because they seem too far south to be the Alps or Dolomites.
My second sight of Italy was the town of Ancona. Looked like a quaint nice town, with red-roofed houses, and several churches that I could see from the ferry. Of course, there was also the industrial side to Ancona, with the ports with ships and cargo stuff and huge cranes.
I got off the ferry, and needed to get to the train station. It was too far to walk, so I needed to take a bus, which was in the email from Susan. I asked the tourist info office how to do this. I used my first Italian words!!
I had to get a bus ticket at the “tobacco magazine” shop, and then walk just a bit to the square. Take bus #1 or #1/4. I got on #1/4, and I even had the bus driver tell me when to get off the bus at the train station.
I had about a half an hour before Susan’s train arrived, so I had to get my first gelato!! The signs were all in Italian of course, but I figured out the choices between cup or cone, 2 or 3 scoops, and that it came topped with cream. I got 2 scoops, 2 yummy flavors, chocolate and nutella!
Susan got off the train and we gave each other a hug. Nice to see a familiar face, and nice to talk to someone I know. We had a quick bite to eat, then we took a one hour train ride, and got off at Genga Station. We had to walk about 10 minutes through this tiny town of Genga to get to Camponocecchio to get to Kelly’s house. We had, of course, chatted the whole time.