Train trip!

Trip Start Feb 23, 2009
Trip End Aug 22, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Saturday, March 28, 2009

Life in the hostel is becoming progressively more homey (obviously minus the 100 or so stairs to make it up to the top)

Jacki (My delightful American roommate) and I decided to take a train trip to Genoa (Genova in Italian) which is a large city about an hour north of La Spezia.  The train ticket cost us a whopping 16 Euro (going and return), much cheaper than our delightful rail network and Greyhound buses...

A bit about Genoa:  The main train station is right downtown in the center of Genoa and from there you can walk quite easily to the main sites of Genoa, which include Christopher Columbus's original home, the aquarium and a variety of museums and palaces.  Genoa has been a thriving port city since at least the 12th century and many of the buildings from that period can still be seen in the city.

In Genoa we went to the aquarium, which is the biggest in Europe...although no matter how big and nice they are, aquariums can be depressing.  On the plus side however, this aquarium features animals that have been injured or that were born in captivity and thus can not be rehabilitated into the wild.  An intriguing thing that I learned here is that old sharks develop humps...there was an old lemon shark with a massive camel hump on its back...intriguing.

We also visited a Palazzo (Palace) which was formerly the home of one of Genoa's wealthy powerful families.  It was stunning and massive...(I mean really who needs 10 bedrooms...) and we were also able to get in for free because we were students of 'lettere' (letters...which essentially means culture and language students)...

I also had a wonderful opportunity to practice my Arabic at a shop which netted Jacki and I a small discount on our purchases...

And then it was back to La Spezia for an evening of festing with my 'brothers'

On sunday morning, I met the new addition to the Ruffino family, a puppy who they named...(drumroll) Alisha (and no she is not named after the singer...)...who is adorable and pees whenever she's sees you due to excitement
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