Archive for August, 2008

Roma!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

I spent Sunday morning sleeping in a bit and then packing my stuff up for the trip to Rome.  I realized that this was the first and only Sunday I wouldn’t be able to make it to church, and I thought about how much I missed my small church back in Connecticut.  Well, I would be there soon enough.

Michelle, the lady who ran the hostel along with Chris, was heading back to Australia the next day so she, Chris, and Ross were taking the train to Rome as well.  I decided to tag along with them and save myself the leg work of figuring out bus and train schedules.  First we caught the bus into Amalfi where we waited about an hour for the next bus to Salerno.  In Salerno we got conflicting reports as I went to one ticket window and the rest went to another.  Because I have a Eurail pass, the man at the ticket window told me I didn’t need a ticket and that I should just get on the 3:42 train.  The others were told that (more…)

Endless Stairs, Pathway of the gods, & a “Light” Lunch

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008
Blue Blue Sea

Blue Blue Sea

Friday morning’s sunlight and some rather loud 50s-era Italian music from a neighboring house woke me up around 7:00.  I took in the fantastic Mediterranean views from my pitch under some lemon trees.  This was my day to relax, and I planned to do this on a beach.  So far my vacation has kept me fairly busy, bouncing from city to city and hostel to hostel.  By spending three nights in the same place, I could unpack a bit and not worry about gunning for the next destination.  The best way down to the beach was to simply take the stairs.  I found that the first 270 some steps down to the road were only a fraction of the total trip.  Another thousand or so eventually brought me to a dramatic bay surrounded by cliffs and backed by a giant (more…)

To Amalfi

Thursday, August 21st, 2008
Reflections in the Arno River in Florence

Reflections in the Arno River in Florence

Sunrise over Venice was a beautiful, if brief, experience for me.  The streets were still mostly deserted as I made the leisurely 15-minute walk to the train station.  The smaller canals reflected the ancient bricks in their stillness, and arched pontes were mirrored into symmetry.  A few street sweepers were out, using what I would call witch brooms with long, wickery broom heads.

I used the train ride to do some recording for my video journal and then read up on Firenze (Florence).  I had the luxury of an entire cabin to myself, so I didn’t have to worry much about bothering other passengers as I recorded.

By the time I arrived in Firenze, I knew exactly where to go to drop off my bag for a few hours before hitting the tourist office for a free city map.  I hopped on a city bus which took me up to the hilltop Piazzale Michelangelo, where a copper duplicate of the city’s famous David statue stands watch with a commanding view of the city.  From here I made my way down the long steps of the Al Monte and followed the Arno River to Ponte Vecchio where jewelry shops line the bridge on both sides.  Originally, the bridge was (more…)

Venezia!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
Ponte di Rialto is probably the... (click for full caption)

Ponte di Rialto is probably the... (click for full caption)

Venice! I have to say that this is a most remarkable city.  I almost skipped it on this trip, as it’s quite a bit out of the way, tucked up in the northeastern corner of the country.  That would have been a pity.  So, I already had a rough idea of what this city is all about: built on the water, famous for canals and gondolas.  What I guess I never quite realized is that this city is completely devoid of vehicles other than boats.  There are no cars, trucks, trains, delivery vehicles, horses, or even bicycles!  It is a completely pedestrian city.  Garbage collectors and delivery men have to carry their loads on push carts between boat and destination.  Still, they must operate mostly (more…)

Camp Arc-en-ciel

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
The Big Walk

The Big Walk

Well, camp is a little more than half over, and I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I did indeed meet up with Tim Knickerbocker and his brother Pierre (Peter) at the station in Boussens. Two other guys, Stephen and Jeremy, from up near Normandy arrived shortly after and we piled into a van for the 20-some minute ride to the camp. Stephen is actually from South Carolina but spent the summer up in Rouen working with a missionary. Jeremy is a young sports-jock type of guy from Rouen with a clear zeal for the Lord. The ride in to the camp gave me a preview of the countryside in this part of France. I was quite impressed, finding it even more beautiful than Provence. The area clearly gets a bit more rain, and everything is more verdant. In some ways it reminds me of (more…)