Sunday, September 26, 2010


We arrived in Siena yesterday on the train from Rome.  We spent two nights in our worst room so far.  AND the most expensive.  Most of our rooms have been about 60€ but the Rome room (say that fast a couple of times) was 125€.  The room itself was okay but the shower was for all intent broken.  All of our showers were small, one person showers.  Now being from Oregon, I like to have at least one other person in the shower to save water.  Not happening here.  You can not bend over without hitting your head.  You know, like should you drop the soap.  Shame on you for thinking anything else.  So, all showers small.  But this shower had no doors.  Instead, a too-long shower curtain which covered the drain and eventually allowed water all over the floor.  If the water didn't get out through or around the shower curtain, it came out under the broken shower stall wall.  Now Rick (of Rick Steves) is going to hear from me about this one !!

About Rick Steves.  While he has had some great suggestions over the years, he has ruined most of the places he writes about because he wasn't selective about who he told.  I think if he had just given his information to those of us in the Pacific NW, I would be a lot happier.  However, he would sell his info to anyone who was willing to pay. So if you follow his suggestions you end up going to places loaded with Rick Steves people.  Not bad people, just a lot of them.  So I think for our next trip we are just going to throw darts and show up at those locations without any reservations.  Unless they are Rick's suggested places.  Then we throw the dart again.

You may have noticed that I am not posting as much or as often as the last trip.  Mostly because you people with iPhones and the like have run the Internet Cafes out of business !  It is next to impossible to find an "internet point" anymore.  In Lecce we were fortunate to find two nice fellows who allowed us into the Univeristy computer lab after we told them we were "University employees".  College, university, what's the diff.  Anyway, nice guys.  The next day, I found a Bibliotech (look it up) and the man running the lab allowed me to use a computer there.  Now, I am in a convent in Siena!  They are more connected than anywhere else. (And probably in more ways than one, if you know what I mean.  You know, God).  Fast internet running Windows  XP Pro (is there any other) and 1€ per hour !!  Flat panel monitor, ball-less mouse (I just like saying that) and some USB ports.  But no SD card reader so still no pictures.  Sorreeey.

Today we walked around Siena (I do not know what Belinda's fascination is with hills) and decided we might try to rent a car tomorrow to go to Assisi.  Something about a pilgrimage.  I have heard of St. Francis of Assisi but not sure why.  I guess I'll have to look it up !  Oh, we had the best meal of the trip last night. We shared Wild Boar with pasta and Belinda had the absolute best, most tastiest, pork medallions.  I had chicken, which was pretty good too but her pork was soooo yummy.  She gave me one bite and that was all.  Then we shared the best Tiramisu ever.  I mean ever.  A little spendy (55€) but jeez it was good.  We may go back tonight and I'll order the pork.

I have so many stories and so little time.  Oops, Belinda just sat down next to me so maybe I should quit while I'm ahead.  She says I can go ahead but that's like asking her if she wants to do something I want to do and she says "fine"!

OK, she left after that.  Without Alice around, I have had to go shopping with her.  She did get some really cute --------.  Not saying in case she doesn't give it to you.  Oh, about our train ride yesterday.  We had to take a train from Rome to Chiusiu and change trains.  About 30 of us get off at Chiusiu and find we have to wait about 30 minutes.  So we are all sitting near the tracks and a three-car diesel train pulls in and drops off a bunch of kids about five minutes after we arrive.  It has no markings to indicate where it is going but it is so early that none of us think it is our train to Siena.  So most of us are sitting reading and after about 25 minutes I look up and there is only one other couple and us.  We see no other train and finally I see a conductor loading some bikes on this diesel train and I asked him if this was the train to Siena.  "Of course".  I yell at Belinda that this is our train.  I decided to also mention it to the Asian couple waiting even though he was one of those who ruined the internet experience for me because he was using an iPad.  We scramble on and away we go.  No announcement, nothing.  But I love the train system here.  I guess that's because there is a train system here.  You can get just about anywhere, except Assisi, by train.  You could probably get to Assisi but only back through Rome and then back.

Just a reminder here about my writing.  I tend to be sarcastic when I write about our travels.  It's my style of humor.  I've been told sarcasim is the lowest form of humor and that a pun is the highest.  So here's my pun.  "What did Mrs Frankenstein say to Mr. Frankenstein when she first met him?  'Hello tall, dark, and handsewn.'  (I stole that.)  OK, about my writing.  I love the places and people we see.  I love the things that get screwed up.  That's part of the adventure of travel.  Rather than just write another travel blog, I make fun of things.  If our ferry had sunk on the way to Italy, I would have made fun of that too, if we had survived.  Anyway, understand that we love it all, except maybe the rain.  But I did buy an umbrella in Slovenia.  Who else can say that?

ciao ciao