Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Casa Dolce Casa!

The Lausanne métro has a characteristic that the MTA should consider importing. Each stop on the line has its own tune associated with the neighborhood; drum trills at one; horse clop clops at another. The sound effects could prove very helpful should you doze off; you’ll be startled to wakefulness by the tone of your stop! (Let's see, a jingle from "42nd Street" when you hit Times Square, a "cha-ching" (or maybe not so much anymore) on Wall Street, bongo drumming at 7th Avenue in Park Slope... .)

If you include the metro, it took us SIX trains to return to Arenzano. Apparently all the Italians were travelling on January 5th since the 6th was another holiday, Epiphany (more on that soon). The train we desired to take from Lausanne to Milan was already sold out when we arrived at the ticket booth, so we camped out in the station for several hours, getting in a bunch of reading and shivering, since the Lausanne station is mostly exposed to the elements, save for some on-track waiting alcoves. We took the first train from Lausanne to Brig (a big transfer spot) and noted the French once again giving way to German and the passengers loading on their ski gear as mountains appeared in the background. From Brig we headed towards the Italian border town of Domodossola. The scenery along the way was spectacular.

We thought that comfy and not-so-crowded train would take us all the way to Milan, but unfortunately, we had to disembark and hop on an overcrowded regionale. We luckily found seats and a place for our luggage, but many travelers were stuck standing. Nevertheless, it was heartening to hear all of the passengers complaining in Italian. We finally arrived in Milan and transferred to a gorgeous, brand spanking new Genoa-bound train. Midway through the ride, the woman sitting next to us struck up a conversation; she’s an oncologist that had at one point considered moving to the States, but for the time being is practicing in Milan. She gave us lots of great pointers for traveling around Italy and recommended a great local swimming spot for when summer arrives. Arriving in Genoa, we had to wait a bit for our last train of the evening. But when we disembarked in Arenzano 35 minutes after finally boarding, we were delighted. Vacations (even from your year-long vacation) are wonderful and we were thrilled to take this one. But after a while, you miss your own bed. More than anything, our journey into and out of Svizzera made clear that our apartment in Arenzano has really started to become our home, and we were so glad to return to it!

Baci e gelato,

Martello e Trofie Wife

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