This isn't a Ferry...
Trip Start Jul 26, 2010
25Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
SuperFast XI...somewhere across the Adriatic to the Ionian Sea
So, please do wish me well. I've my first European Opera House Audition. Next week, I've an audition with the Greek National Opera. In the poetic, overly romantic part of my person, I'm very happy and honored to get the chance to audition here and spend some time here because Maria Callas was Greek! Yes, the country is in dire financial times due to corrupt politician-banker-corporate interests that decided to play a loaded hand of poker with the people's assets, but the opera is still happening. And, dare I say it, the Greeks have been through worse and will certainly live this one through.
I think that I've learned another lesson
Perhaps is was easier because the past days have been so wonderful. A few days ago, I was fortunate enough to get a lesson with a Ms. Antonia. Now, this only happened because the amazing folks, who are becoming fast friends, at Cimbolello went to bat for me. The matriarch called and insisted that Ms. Antonia needed to hear me and after much reluctance...too busy, too old...don't teach any more...agreed to finally just meet me. Louise and Nicolo (her son who speaks pretty good English and is a really swell fellow) drove me to her abode and we all exchanged some pleasantries and then Antonia asked me to sing a bit.
She wanted me to produce my sound a bit differently and was amazingly clear at demonstrating and communicating even though she doesn't really speak English (and I don't really speak Italian). I was able to follow her lead very quickly. It made perfect sense to me and immediately I trusted her ears and her methods
Then, I had some great days helping Wolfgang with things around the house. AND, received the news that I've been granted an audition with Greek National Opera (http://www.nationalopera.gr/index.php)!!!!!! In order to make the ferry departure from Ancona, Italy, I had to get up at 4AM. After saying 'goodbye' and 'see you soooon!' to Benedicte and Wolfgang, I hoped on my bike and cycled to the Chiusi-Chianciano train station about 1/2 hour away. The train went south to Orte where I transfered to another train going east to Ancona. This leg was incredible as the sun was coming up and the train passed through several sections of mountains! Many of these mountains seemed to be made of this 'strange' stone that is much lighter, tanner than any stone that I've ever seen and also filled with holes. Ruins from goodness-only-knows-when dotted these steep cliffs...turrets, towers, bridges, arches, walls, fences and deep, rounded formations cut out of the cliff faces...with scrub brush in some places and thick forest in others and babbling brooks and stronger rivers and old buildings creating a sprinkling of villages here and there!!! It was idyllic looking and yet, obviously FUNCTIONAL. Nature and humankind seemed to be together here without one needed to dominate the other
As the train approached Ancona (http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1ACGW_ENUS390&q=ancona,+italy&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=)_ , industry became more and more apparent. The harbor of Ancona is an ancient one and to this day is very busy - private, commercial, public and military vessels all call it home. And, several times a day, these HUGE ferries travel between points in Greece and Italy from this harbor.
I met a lady from London, who was traveling alone for the first time, in a park in downtown while waiting for my 13:30 departure. We had fun chatting and found the cheapest, for me, European meal that I've yet had: two pieces of pizza for 1 Euro 68. We laughed that we'd hope that our stomachs wouldn't rot out and then went on to talk about real rot...GMO crops and the like. She's studying agriculture and food policy in London and firmly believes that GMO is necessary to feed the people's future. She knew that Monsanto (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hErvV5YEHkE) was the scientific leader of GMO technology, but knew nothing about their corrupt, deceitful, underhanded, illegal and inhumane business practices...
It was fun getting on board the ferry because I got to cycle on as if I were a semi! They were in the process of backing in and filling the enormous belly of this Swimming-Holiday-Turkey and there I was among those giants - a senior loading official even halted the semi traffic for a little bit while he walked on board, over the loading ramps, with me: escorting me to a comfy spot
Up several flights of escalators took me above the vehicle levels and to that of the people passengers. As the ferry pulled further out to sea, the color of the water changed from a dark green to an intense, deep blue...the sun set over it all in rich orange and red...!!!! Happy to be Alive!!!!
Tomorrow morning I'll arrive in the port of Patras, Greece...I'll have the day to make it to Athens! Another day, another land with so much more to take it : )
Now I just have to study some basic, Greek phrases that I was able to grab from a kindly staff aboard this...Disco Parlor? It's a little after 22:30 and some loud dance music just started...
The BEST part of the day though, was the shooting star that spun across the sky in the direction I started out just as I started the descent out of Citta' della Pieve... what a blessing!