09.08.2010 - 11.08.2010
After several days of relaxing in the Tuscan sun, we pack our bags and head north. Scott has to be in Paris on Thursday morning and we have far to go in the next few days. Our plan is to go at a leisurely pace, to stop often, and to see as much of the countryside as possible.
After a stop in Pisa, we head for Genoa, a gorgeous city on the Northern Coast of Italy. Scott has been before but it the first time for the rest of us, and we are in love. It is a sophisticated city with extraordinary food (pesto was invented here), and beautiful people walking the streets. Fashion is clearly a high priority and we spot some of the most elegant clothing of our entire journey.
As we’re walking through the old town that evening, we stumble across the remains of the home of Christopher Columbus. It is telling that we have been travelling for a long time because, while we feel a small thrill at this unexpected discovery, we have come to take the extraordinary wealth of relics of civilization that exist in this part of the world for granted. We spend a few moments in homage to this explorer whose courage gave us our homeland, and then blithely continue our quest for good pesto which we find in a little restaurant down a dark alley. Langston declares it the best he’s ever had (and if you know anything about Langston, you will understand that this is very high praise.)
The next morning, we enter the Alps, stopping at Mont Blanc where we feel the cool mountain air. Leaving Italy for Switzerland, we notice an instant shift in style – the tans are the types that come from mountaineering and we’re spotting wool socks and heavy shoes that speak more to comfort than style. Langston comments that it’s good to be home and he’s correct, there is something about being in the Alps that reminds us the Northwest. We breathe deeply and lay hopeful plans to come back soon and ski these gorgeous mountains.
We spend the evening in Geneva. We have little time to explore the town but we do walk the lake and see the Jet D’Eau – the largest fountain in Europe . Analiese wants to walk to the edge but turns back when she realizes that the force of the air created by the fountain is blowing her dress above her head. As I’m in shorts, I give it a go but am dissuaded by the spray that fills the air and makes my shoes lose their grip on the slippery rocks. But the magnitude of the spray is compelling and we join the tourist who, since 1886, have sat in wonder and watched this magnificent display.