Monday, August 16th, 2004
Must be a travel day; Jim was awake at dawn and by 7:30 am we’d paid the hotel bill and walked down the block to a Bar for coffee and a roll. Our first train didn’t leave the station until 8:35 am; we’d chosen that train because it loaded on track #1 and was going in the right direction. The train was in the station early so we loaded everything on and had to wait about half an hour for the start of the trip.
Heading west toward
Heading west toward
Actually other than having to help people open and close the door between the cars it was cool in the vestibule, we had easy access to a bathroom and we could be the first one off the train when we arrived at our next station. We only had a few minutes to make the next connection. Small station and the conductor actually came to help me with my luggage; yes we had to go down and back up again! One more station and we had a bit more time to make this connection but it did involve another down and up tunnel. Why you may ask were there so many different trains? Our goal today was
Being Monday we weren’t sure about the Museum being open and after our arrival we found out that it is closed today. But the home and workshop are located here and are open today and that’s what Jim really wanted to see. We’ve seen Stradivarius Violins before. Jim is off to see those and other sights while I enjoy the peace and quiet of my room. I went downstairs to use the Internet Point machine in the lobby; opps….not working I found out. But, the manager allowed me to use her computer to check emails. This was how we found out news from friends about Hurricane Charlie’s path in
Looks like I may be sending this from home on Thursday unless I can get online in
Note on expenses for those that travel; I averaged the cost of the car for thirty-seven days and it came out to about eighty euros per day. That included rental, gas, toll roads and parking fees. Second class on the train is working out to be about forty euros per day for eighteen days. That includes Eurorail pass, seat reservations, taxicabs and additional trains and buses to get around in the towns. But, as Jim would point out, that doesn’t put a price on the waiting for trains and struggling with luggage. Personally, second class has been a fun (for me only) experience but I would definitely go first class the next time. Also, fewer and smaller pieces of luggage are a must when traveling by train.
Jim returned and said I HAD to go see the Duomo (Cathedral)! So off we went to the center of the old town; this is actually quite a large city. The Duomo is one of the largest we’ve seen; comparable to St. Mark’s in
On Jim’s exploration trip he had obtained a list of violinmakers and was amazed to find that there were a hundred or more carrying on the tradition of Stradivarius; creating violins for orchestras of the world. He visited many of their workshops where they had glass windows so you could watch the workers and also see the wood aging, some of it hundreds of years old. Many of these workshops were also closed for the traditional August vacation.
On the way back to the hotel we again noticed how quiet everything is; streets are empty except for bicycle riders. I have figured out that the cities in Italy that have level terrain use bicycles for basic transportation and the ones with hills such as Rome and Sorrento use motor bikes and/or scooters. All of this because of the cost of gasoline, when they do drive, the cars are all small in size. Rarely see an SUV type vehicle; and even those seem smaller than we have in
We enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the hotel dining room; also recommended by Eye Witness travel guide book.