Monday, May 3, 2010

"Anchovies and Little Squids"

A quick breakfast at the hotel and then we will be off to the train station – or so we thought. Except on the one morning we want to leave quickly there are all kinds of friendly folks at breakfast who want to talk. And since we both like to talk Ian chatted up the couple who were scared of ghosts in the 600 year old convent- he was from Italy, she was from Brazil and they now live in Monte Carlo. I made friends with Coco, the Australian girl who is in between jobs and staying in Florence for a month while doing a lot of day trips. (Before I knew it Kitty was off showing Coco our room and Coco was showing Kitty her room and all the funky little nooks and crannies of the converted convent… lots of character. Coco and Kitty, they were destined to meet with names like that.) Needless to say, we missed our train. But no worries- there was another one an hour later and it worked out just fine.

PS- best part of Florence….Coco asking me if we were on our honeymoon. (Best? C’mon!)

Florence to Pisa- change trains- Pisa to La Spezia- change trains- La Spezia to Monterroso al Mare. (I can’t believe how many and how long the train tunnels are here. Italians don’t like to go around mountains, they go through them. Probably boring note, but we passed by Carrara, Italy, where the marble comes from. In one of the photos you can see (barely) that the whole mountain is marble and they are slowing chipping the whole thing away. It's been an active quarry for hundreds of years.)
Arrived in the beautiful beachside village on the Liguerian Sea. Because it was a national holiday and also a Saturday, the place was hopping (a continuing theme on our adventure.) We walked along the beach boardwalk admiring all of the sunburned tourists and the grey clouds rolling in. We easily found our hotel, but – once again- had a harder time finding the door to the hotel. Finally Albergo Pasqual came out and found us. (I knew where it was the whole time, but sometimes I have to let Kitty make a mistake or two to help balance things out a little more… usually it’s me.)

The hotel was literally built into the side of a cliff. Some of the rock cliff walls were left exposed on the different floors of the hotel.

Up in our room Chiara opened the large windows, green shutters, and tah-dah….the beautiful sea in front of us. (no screen or bars, just open air. I'd be nervous if Taitum, the climbing monkey was with us). But enough about the view, it was 4pm and we were hungry. Up to a little restaurant perched on a cliff over the sea for some focaccia sandwiches and water- no gas. (No-gas is the way they say non-carbonated, not that it was a special type of water to get rid of gas problems.) A little exploring in the tiny town – 2 small alley ways and a few passage ways in between and that was pretty much it. Charming, relaxing, quiet.

Quiet because there were no cars, no sirens, and NO scooters. It was such a nice break for our ears following our crazy days in Milan and Florence. (Especially compared to Blanca Notte the night before)

We slept through our 8pm reservations for dinner and showed up about nine to sit at the sidewalk table – just as the rain started. So we both sat on one side of the table so we didn’t get wet.

When you’re in a seaside town in Italy, you have to go with seafood for dinner, right? I had the something-something and calamari. A house specialty. About an hour and a half later (all the dinners are super long/slow here. I don’t think we’ve eaten a sit-down dinner in less than 2 hours on this trip. It’s not bad service or anything, just a more casual pace to eating) our waiter brought out a basket of "fried anchovies and little squids” as he called them. I couldn’t get Kitty to try any of the anchovies. The calamari was good, and the anchovies were ok, but I couldn’t eat them all. Especially with Kitty groaning and “eewwing every time I popped one down the hatch.

Back to our room to get a solid night’s sleep in preparation of our big hike in the morning.

Ciao Ciao

The Loader
The Washer


Bob said...

so good to see you again pretending to be on your honeymoon. why not? The food looks less than appetizing, sqid and calamari, forget it! guess it is in your genes, Kit. funny, my word verification to the blog is swa grope, you go guys!

Bob said...

I know, you are thinking, "Dad? I am using his computer.grope

Chris said...

All your adventures are bringing back memories, like not being able to find the entrance, and the menu choices. Dad and Molly understand Spanish really well, and we were still surprised with what the waiter served us, even after asking lots of questions - in Spanish (well, obviously, we were in Spain). sutton and I are off to the library now. We went yesterday, but, alas, they are closed on Mondays (so, we had to go to another plant nursery)