Change of Plans: No Photos.
TIRANO, ITALY– I’ve just come off the nearly five-hour ride on the Bernina Express from Chur in Switzerland to this small town in Italy. It was my plan to publish several photos taken along the way, but the internet connection in this little hotel is so slow, half-way through uploading the first of five, the Word Press program I use for the blog quit in frustration, inviting me to “try again later.” So, for the time being, this will have to be text only.
I will try again, but probably tomorrow when I get to Siena and of course the trouble with that is I’ll probably have more photos of my trip from here to there. There will be three trains involved: the first from here to Milan, then Milan to Florence, and finally from Florence to Siena. I’ll do the best I can to post the best ones and one will surely be from today’s ride on the Bernina Express. The combination of engineering and craftsmanship that went into the construction of the bridges and viaducts along that route is simply astonishing.
Tirano is not a big town, somewhat less than 10,000 people, but at the moment it seems to have at least that many tourists. Most appear to be retirees and they’re here in groups–busloads of them. I can only hope and pray I do not appear as vacant and aimless and doddering as most of the people wandering around Tirano at this very moment. Perhaps if I accelerate from a stroll to a semi-brisk pace?
I’m also guessing that a lot of them are German because, when I sat down at a table in a sidewalk ristorante about 2:00 this afternoon, the waitress approached with several different versions of the menu and asked, “Deutsch?” Five minutes later, she did the same to a couple at another table.
Of course, I said “No, Hawaiian” and that set her off … rolling eyes, extravagant gestures, lots of “bella, bellas”, as if I need to be reminded that I had left Switzerland and had arrived in Italy. That was good fun, but in fairness I must report that my spaghetti carbonara was quite ordinary. The wine, however — I had asked the waitress to give me something red and local — was also ordinary, but in a good way, as in vin ordinaire. I plan to dine in the hotel restaurant tonight and, while this is by no means The Ritz, I expect the experience to be a lot better. If the internet connection cooperates, I will add an additional paragraph to this report following dinner.