No, that’s not Capri. I spelled it correctly. Some time ago Dave was nominated for membership in the Collegium Ramazzini, a collection of scientists who work in the field of public health. He was honored to accept their nomination (and pay their annual fee) and we made plans to head to Italy.
One of the interesting things about travel is that you lay out for yourself an itinerary of hotels and sights to see, but somehow, even without wanting to, you also lay out an itinerary of the heart, especially if you are feeling exhausted or tired before you go. When I’m in (fill in the blank), you say, I’ll always have nice meals and get to bed at a reasonable hour. When I see ________ , I will take time to really soak up the sight. And too often we travel like we live: rushing from one item on the checklist to another.
But this trip, I’m sure, will be different.
What we see when we wander the myriad of hallways to escape the plane. We’ve noticed that this is a constant: international flights have you take hallways and turns and escalators and stairs and more hallways and then a moving walkway to get out.
LAX to Frankfurt went well, and then we sit in some hallway and wait for them to post our gate. We head over there, wait a while (reading), meet up with Dave’s colleague Carl and his wife Crystal, and now head down two flights of stairs to a bus to go out to the airplane. But they don’t let us off. Instead they take us back to the terminal and we climb two sets of stairs to wait another hour.
On the flight from Frankfurt to Bologna, we had those new “thin” seats we’ve been reading about in the States. Comfortable. I wouldn’t mind them so much if I thought they were doing this to give us more leg room, but instead it’s so they can cram more passengers on the plane.
We’d been following the weather reports with all due diligence, and yes, it was raining in Bologna when we arrived. We’re supposed to have a lot of rain this week.
We stood, obediently and jet-lagged, at our carousel, waiting for our luggage. After about 40 minutes, two guys in orange jumpsuits jumped up on the carousel and started fiddling with the emergency stop buttons. Nothing.
Finally they routed us over to the side carousel where we picked up the luggage that had been sitting out in the rain for nearly an hour. We went upstairs to join the others who had been waiting for us (sorry, guys, but welcome to Italy) and took an hour-long van ride out to Carpi, home of Collegium Ramazzini, or as they say amongst themselves, Welcome to Ramazzini Days. (I slept most of the way there.)
From our little balcony, I could hear the cars swooshing around. . . in the rain. We were on the fourth floor, which gave us a chance for some exercise every day.
I always love to see what hotels put out for their toiletries, and this, in a slotted wooden tray, was one of the nicer displays.
This plain, flat, horizontal surface looked better than I can adequately describe. We immediately took our shoes off, and lay down to rest–for awhile, before we joined the other scientists and spouses at the 7:00 p.m.reception, where we felt like new kids at a birthday party. I did manage to enjoy the food treats as we had not eaten since the morning meal on the plane.
We had dinner that night in the hotel’s restaurant, and it began at 8 p.m. which is I-Don’t-Know-What-Time in California time. I’ve put all our meal items over in Menu posts (I and II), so check there. Those will be an ongoing process as I hit each city. Let me just say that although we staggered upstairs at 10:30 that night, we were happy and well-fed. And talked-out.
The information about Hotel Touring, where we stayed and where I honestly doubt any American will stay unless they have a car and are touring around, is on the main map post of this trip, and on TripAdvisor, under the pen name of “Letterpress.” It was a good hotel, and I can recommend it.