Sunday, January 14, 2007

Brief Notoriety and a 30 Hour Return

The place we were staying in Italy was an amazing villa on a precipitous mountain road, just outside of a little fishing village. It had private access to the sea, and I did manage to go for a swim. The water was chilly - cold enough that I got a false feeling of warmth after I had been in a while. A friend of mine jumped in too.

Apparently this became known in the village as "someone jumped into the sea." The fishermen prefer to be "on the sea" rather than "in the sea". Such was our brief notoriety in town.

We spent a lot of time traipsing around on the coastal road, which is way up high from the sea. The road affords stunning views - which can also be a bit scary if you have any acrophobia! There are some good pictures here from a couple who did a bike tour.

We spent 30 hours or so returning:

Van ride to Naples, train to Rome, another train to the Rome airport, flight to Amsterdam, arrive at 1 AM, train ride to downtown, seven of us in one hotel room in Amsterdam - I slept on the floor, train ride back to the airport, flight to Chicago, limousine ride to our neighborhood. All in time to see the Bears, somehow, continue in the playoffs with a 49 yard field goal in sudden death overtime.

Marsha and I went strolling around downtown Amsterdam at 2 to 3 in the morning. It reminded me of New York, except it was loaded with bicycles and marijuana smoke. Of course, New York was originally settled by the Dutch, so maybe there is a deep historical connection.

After that much travel,
My mental threads unravel.


Jerry said...

Wow! So cool. I'm so jealous of your travels.


Sounds like you had an AWESOME time!

That's great that you liked Amsterdam. And, you're right, it is a lot like New York -- a city originally name "Nieuw Amsterdam"

JohnJEnright said...

Jerry - well, I'm jealous of yours, so we're even!

Stolie, great link. I knew it was "New Amsterdam" but I hadn't realized it was really "Nieuw". Makes sense. Amsterdam Avenue, of course, survives in NYC as a marker of the Dutch influence.