"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Snow and Palm Trees

The next day was another travel day as Liza and I left Genoa for Florence. This travel involved about 4 hours of train rides, which were highlighted by some interesting occurrences. For the first train ride we were going from Genoa to La Spieza, which took us on a route that hugged the coast. Despite the rain, we were greeted with some great views of mountains right on the coast of the sea, along with numerous palm trees. It had a very Florida like feel, except for the presence of the mountains. In La Spieza we changed trains as we began our trip to Florence. This also brought about a totally different kind of scenery. Now when we looked out our window we were once again greeted by mountains, but this time it was the southern edge of the Italian Alps, which already had seen some snowfall. Talk about a dichotomy of climates. Snow, coupled with palm trees, and neither being artificial!

Another crazy thing happened on the second train. Liza and I were enjoying our gourmet lunch of peanut butter and nutella sandwiches when another American couple, asked us what it was we were eating with the peanut butter. We explained about nutella, and started talking with them. Of course, they asked us if we were studying in Europe and where we went to school, etc. When we told them we went to Carleton and began to explain about it being a small liberal arts school in Minnesota they interrupted us, and quickly interjected that their son goes to Carleton. It gets better. He is also a junior. Still better. He was my next-door neighbor last year in Goodhue! Talk about a crazy small world. We ended up chatting with the couple for 20 minutes or so until they got off the train discussing traveling and studying in Europe, and various Carleton things as well, such as the new dorm to be built and the current status of the dinning halls. Who knows whom we’ll end up running into in Florence.

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