The Quest for Lerici

Trip Start Sep 17, 2006
Trip End Oct 17, 2007

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Where I stayed
Hotel Shelley

Flag of Italy  ,
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

After we arrived in Milan, we spent the rest of the day trying to get to Lerici, a little town on the Lingurian Sea. After the airport, we took a bus to the train station. We had a most interesting time trying to buy tickets to Lerici ("Ler-ee-chi? I have never heard of such a place . . . no, I am sure there is no such place . . . I can check again, but I do not think there is such a place . . . wait, do you mean Ler-chi? No, no trains go to there. You can go to La Spezia, and take a bus from there . . ."  Really, does the accent make that much difference? It didn't sound that different to me)

After a sleepy yet scenic train ride, we arrived in La Spezia. Unfortunately, we had no idea where to find a bus stop. We spent the rest of our afternoon walking over uneven cobblestone streets, down steep flights of stone stairs and on narrow, bumpy sidewalks bordering busy streets with our heavy and unsteady wheely suitcases. We finally found the bus stop just as it was starting to get dark. Although we couldn't quite understand the bus schedule (it was in tiny Italian that I had to read at an inch from my nose), we did find a couple of shopkeepers in a bright, friendly deli-type shop that knew enough English to tell us that the bus was coming in a few minutes.

We were soon safely aboard the crowded bus (made even more crowded by our luggage), but we had no idea where to get off. Fortunately, my mom befriended an English speaking Italian businessman who told us just what stop to get at as well as telling us all about how his son loved to play basketball and his opinions of the US (surprisingly, they were all quite good).

We got off a short distance from our hotel. It was somewhat small, especially compared to American hotels, but it was clean and comfortable, with just enough room for everything (not to mention a small deck overlooking the harbor) After a quick bite to eat and a long, long shower (Italian travel leaves one covered with fine dust and a sticky sort of feeling similar to the feeling of touching the vinyl seats at McDonald's), I changed into soft, comfortable PJ's and slipped between soft, comfortable sheets and slept like I had never slept before.
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