Five Lands. Three trains got us here in what seems to be becoming our Amazing Race-esque style. No confirmed room reservations in a summer resort area in the midst of summer was slightly concerning (especially to me who was born to worry) as we disembarked from our first train from Nice and boarded the second train in Ventimiglia that would take us to Genoa for our third train to Monterossa. This is the first town of the cinque towns we would enter from our direction of travel, and where Susan had a "potential" room reservation by email but we had left too early to get a confirmation email. Our seats in that second train were in a compartment little "room" that we shared with four other travelers. As luck would have it, our first compartment mate (a very attractive olive skinned Italian woman) spoke fluent English, and her job is as an interpreter from Italian to French. She said her English is not good enough to be an interpreter, but she is wrong!
After some conversation and telephone questions, our translator angel gave us her cell phone to call our potential hotel, and then took over the phone when Susan had trouble understanding the receptionist at the hotel. One problem solved -- in the style of the Amazing Race -- we had a room. A second member of our "team" was a young college student studying to become a Math teacher and was returning to her home in Genoa. Her English may not have been as good, but her sweet beckoning hand gestures led us to the correct station stop, to the ticket window, and toward the loading track where we needed to go for our third train. Next problem (knowing how to get here) solved in Amazing Race-esque style.
Waiting for our train, we met a woman and her daughter from Vancouver, BC, and a young couple from Romania heading for a day in Portofino. They reinfeorced that we were in the right place, and that this train in front of us was NOT the train we wanted. Last problem resolved (getting on the correct train) -- Amazing Race anyone?
Have been having problems downloading photos so am a little late with updating the blog.... and there will be a couple of days worth all at once -- if I can get to them right away...