Saturday, September 13, 2008
Planes and Train and a Train Strike
I've arrived in Italy safe and sound with very little sleep but with less confusion that I thought. I'll try to post as often as possible and maybe even post a picture or two...stolen from the internet right now...until I can figure out how to pull pictures from online and post them on the computer at the hotel or else download what Ive taken.
The last time I was in Italy, Florence, there was a strike and nothing was open. Yesterday, the trains in Italy went on strike leaving millions of people stranded and much of our workshop group scrambling to get to Cortona. I beat the strike by about 2 hours and arrived with out any hassle.
My biggest concern was negotiating the trains and the phone (and this computer with the Italilan keyboard) In Italy, phones do not use coins so you have to buy a carte telephonica, tear off the perforation and stick it in the phone the right way (8 possibilities), stick it in far enough to activate the phone, dial and push OK. Great as long as you do it right, a bit of a problem when you don't and the operator tells you what the problem is in Italian.
My big adventure last night, after getting a ride up the very steep hill, was a trip into Cortona proper. Beautiful as it is in pictures. Did a little grocery shopping, pizza and gelato eating and then headed home. Well, at least made the attempt to head home. It was thundering, it was lightening, it was raining,, I had what I thought were great directions for getting back but somewhere I got lost. So I retraced my steps to my first turn and went another way, another fork in the road and I thankfully made the right choice. I imagined tomorrows headlines American Tourist Hit By Lightening, Struck Dead in Cortona. A little overdramatic I suppose but in my mind it was a real possibility. So I'm headed up the hill today, a daunting task but every step up I will be repeating think how many calories you are burning. That of course if BIG with all the incredible food in Italy not to mention, amazingly enough, the amount of food I was served in transit.