Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week one

This blog is my attempt to document our little journey to Italy and Austria.
The hardest part so far was adjusting to not sleeping for 30 some hours.  Todd picked us up at 6 am on Wednesday and we did not sleep until Thursday evening in Genoa.  The Lufthansa flight from NY to Munich was very nice.  Good food, plenty of wine, and movies on demand. The A330 was very comfortable.  We also viewed a very good German movie call Honey on the Brain.  The story of an eleven year old taking her Opa, who was developing Alzheimer's, on a journey from northern Germany to Venice.  A feel good movie, btw it is in German, but was subtitled.  Best line in movie - when they get to Venice, Opa asks the clerk who is sporting a mustache why Italian men have mustaches.  "They want to look like their mother!" :)
Munich to Milan was interesting flying over the Alps. From Milan airport on is by train.  Italy is full of trains!  Ann is my lookout for pickpockets- she has a good eye for them :)  On the train from Milan to Genoa we talked to a very nice young Italian who works in the Netherlands and home for the weekend.  Also met a young lady from Crimea who spoke no English.  But we still communicated with the help of the young Italian.
Genoa was interesting. We stayed in a hotel about two hundred yards from the train station.  There was quite a variety of people there, from all over.  Our waitress in the Italian restaurant was from the Ukraine.  We ate early and went to bed and slept for 12 hours!  The hotel had breakfast included.  It was very good.  And the hotel kitty, Clarissa, would wander through the dining room.
The one thing I can say, these people take their dogs on vacation.  Most are well behaved, very used to traveling in strange places.  You can see dogs sitting under the dining tables on the terraces. Even the trains allow dogs with no issues.  Pretty cool, in my opinion.
We are now in Vernazza. A beautiful town of about one thousand permanent residents and probably two thousand visitors a day. This would be a crazy place to live!  This evening while we were having our evening wine and beer, who would be across the street from our B&B but Rick Steves. Ann got his autograph!  He is staying across the street from us!
We have walked a lot the last three days, mostly up and down.  This place is hilly!  Vineyards and lemon trees everywhere.  They have these cool trams that they use to go up and down these hills.  Pictures will follow!
Friday afternoon and yesterday we just hung around Vernazza and today we took the train to Corniglia and Manarola.  Had a great lunch in Corniglia with local caught sardines served 4 different ways.  It was awesome!
Tomorrow we head to Sorrento.  Our train leaves here at five AM!  Yes, I have to go to bed early, which we have been doing every night.  We have no TV here!  :). Had to google to see who won American Idle!