Trip Start Jun 14, 2008
28Trip End Aug 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We stayed ten days in a two-bedroom cabin suite in Caminata, a tiny four-block "town" near Campo Tures in the Valle d'Agosto, Dolomiti (The Dolomites, I think, in English), Italy, so close to Austria that all the signs are in German and Italian, and everyone speaks Italian with a German accent
I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics from an Olympic training center deep in the mountains, weeping into my lemon tea from sheer overwhelm at the sight of hundreds of first-world athletes dwarf the meager handfuls of third-world athletes in a parade around the stadium whose erection displaced so many Chinese. Upon my return from the bathroom where I fled to compose myself, I learned that Italian lacks a word that translates into "overwhelmed."
I spent my day off from 'working' riding my bike across sunny cornfields, writing in my journal, and reading two poorly written historical novels, one about a leper colony in Greece and the other about Leonardo da Vinci and the sisters d'Este who ruled Milan during the Renaissance
One night after a particularly delicious open-air dinner, I ventured into the restaurant to escape the cold mountain evening to find myself at the mercy of a tableful of hearty blonde locals who spoke less Italian than they did English. They treated me to a shot of "grappa" (sweet hard liquor), a mug of scalding berry tea, and an unbroken series of long and awkward stares. I fingered the tab of my teabag nervously, smiling and glancing at the doorway for one of my boys to fetch me, and finally one of them - the shyest, I think - attempted trilingual conversation. We all laughed a lot, they took more shots, and I discovered that, although 90% couldn't say one complete sentence in English, they all knew and frequently interjected the phrases "I'm lovely" (possibly "I love you?") and "sex on the beach." Where do they learn--??