One other important news of note from today...Italy issued my "Permisso di Soggiorno" today, which, I guess, means they have decided to let me stay. It translates to "Permission to Stay" and overrides any visas, so even when my visa expires, I'm still good to go. Of course, the school doesn't trust their teachers enough to let you hold such an important document...nope. But, they paid for it, so, okay.
Anyways, onto the blog I've been considering for the past week. Within the first 30 minutes of being on the train leaving Milano Centrale, I knew what I had to write about. And, no, Alison Glover, it wasn't a post on whether Italian men are hot or not. Maybe someday. Soon.
So, or I should say "allora", which means "so" or "then" in Italian. Allora, we were leaving Centrale on our way to France and it was early enough that the sun was just coming up over the horizon. Even through the dirty windows of the train the colors of the sunrise were unbelievable. I haven't seen anything like it. Ever. Or at least in my memory. There were shades of plum and magenta woven through the blue sky, and as another ten minutes passed, and the sun rose higher, tangerine and lemon were added to the mix. It was really something.
We knew the train ride had plenty of potential by this point. A good bit later, we cruised through Genoa and were off to Ventimiglia. This is the last stop along the sea in Italy, and we headed onto French trains from here. The good news- that a train trip along the south of France is something to behold. I am confident that Crayola sends their color people to this part of the world to develop the next box of 64 colors. The Mediterranean Sea was a variety of colors, but cerulean, turquoise, and midnight blue all come to mind. And, yes, I referred to Wikipedia's list of Crayola's colors to find the words for the colors in my head. At some points, the turquoise waters had a sense of opacity to it, with this milky white sheen all around, which was very cool.
And while you're looking at the sea on one side, to the other side is the deepest burnt orange and sienna colored mountains around. The grass seems greener too. But, perhaps, by this point, I was just on a color high.
The train trip took Kate and I through Cannes, Montecarlo, Nice, and all those other major riviera highlights. For the most part though, I only saw the train station of those locations. We'd be gawking at the view ahead of us out the train window and try to guess what city we were coming upon, and then suddenly, we'd be in the blackest black of a mountain tunnel. And, the beautiful sight of the sea would be hidden and the gray of the train station would be the most exciting scenery around.
Saint Raphael, France was a beautiful location. Perhaps next time, the weather will be a bit more appropriate for beach going, but that didn't stop most people from busting out their Speedos in the cool October temperatures. We enjoyed plenty of Rose' wine from the Provence region of France, ate lots of cheese (and discovered one that I love) and baguettes, and took in the sites. It was a nice weekend getaway. I even bought some French goods to bring home at the holidays. And, then, of course, it was back to work on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, the school is providing a bus to a winery for a wine tasting and to a town called Alba, for the annual Truffle Festival. Should be a fun day!
So, when are you planning your trip to visit me?!?!?! : ) I have a bottle of French wine waiting.
Crayola picture from http://omgfacts.net/?p=886
Truffle festival picture from http://vintageholidays.co.uk/white-truffle-festival-italy-la-sagra-del-tartufo-bianco/