Monday, December 13, 2010

I Love This Country

Back to Brunek. It seems like I am always either going to or coming from Brunek. On friday, the word of the day was going to Brunek.

I had school in the morning, and afterwards went to the coffee bar with my classmates as usual. I was aiming to catch the 1.42pm train, as I had nothing else to do in Verona, and I thought it would be nice to get up there in time for supper.

Coming home and getting packed only took a few minutes, but I decided to head to the station anyways, as I like watching trains. I spent a good half hour watching trains come and go at the busy station. Unlike many main stations in cities, the station in Verona is not a terminus station, meaning the tracks go out on both sides of the station and don't simply end in the station like in Paris Gare de Nord.

Soon my train pulled up. It was about three minutes late. That does not seem like much, but on the busy Italian railways, any delay tends to compound itself. By the time we had reached Fortezza, the station I had to change trains in, the train was nearly a half hour late. It happens because the trains are so closely schedualed, that if you miss a signal, you get all messed up. We ended up having to wait for ten minutes on a siding for a freight train to pass that would have passed us in a station if we were on time.


The train was very full, having come from Venezia (Venice for those of you who don't know the real name of the city), and heading to Innsbruck. I had to stand in the little area between the cabin and the door to the next car. It was actually not that bad, although a little cold.

I was able to look out the widows on both sides, and took some pictures. It was the first time I had taken the train in the daylight up to Brunek, and it is quite a nice route, you can see a lot more than from the highway.

Here are the pictures I took.

In the last photo, all the little white specks at the bottom of the mountain are the buildings of a town. The mountains look small in the photos, but they are actually very abrupt and huge.

After that, when the valley starts to get narrow, it had gotten to dark to take any pictures.

There is a tunnel along that route that seems to go on forever. I timed it and it took us just over 7 minutes to pass through it. I figure it is about ten kilometers long. which for me is kinda cool.

Once I got to Fortezza, I got off, bought a ticket to Brunek, and looked at the schedual outside. As soon as I had determined that I had a 20 minute wait, a train pulled up. I asked where it was going and everyone said Brunek so I hopped on. It was an Austrian train again.

I got off at Brunek, and after a little wait in the bitter cold, Jake picked me up and we drove home. Nothing special happened that night, we had very tasty panini for as a quick supper.

In the morning, I just hung around for a while, then in the late morning helped Mathias with the recycling.

In the afternoon we went out, and as I described in the last post, had an epic sliding adventure. After that, I had the choice of going home with Jake, Mathias and Sophia, or staying with Poldi, Astrid and Lawrence and going to the theater. I chose the theater, not only to see the movie, but also because of the fact that it was in Austria.

We drove out past Toblach to the border. It is so cool that the only way to tell that we were in another country was a litte sign with the word Austria on it surrounded by the European Unions stars.

We stopped at a gas station, and I stepped out onto my eight country. I got a huge chocolate bar, and we continued to Lienz to the theater.

The film as Megamind, in German, and it was pretty good, even though I could not really understand the dialogue.

Heading back to the house, we again crossed into Italy, and again the only thing to mark the entrance was a little sign. There is not even a "Welcome to" sign. It is just a little blue sign with yellow stars and the word Italia.

In the morning I helped clear the snow off the trampoline, and a little later wrote the post before this one. We had a really good lunch with all sorts of different things you put on bread as well as a soup.

One of the things we put on the bread was this mixture of all sorts of herbs with raw beef all cut up into little tiny peices untill it resembles a spread. Very tasty.

Jake, Mathias and I had to head back to Verona that night so we went to the station to catch the train at 20 to 7. After a transfer in Fortezza, we ended up in a very cold train car all the way to Verona, finally arriving at a few minutes after ten.

One steak/pork chop later, I went to bed.

That brings me to today. It was sunny today for the first time in a while. I took my camera to school with me, and after school headed to the library, along the way taking many a picture.

The sunlight here casts such a beautiful light on the buildings. It is unfortunate that I do not have the skills as a photographer to capture the effect fully, but here is my best try.

The first three pictures are of Castle Vechia. It is a castle near my school. The next few pictures are from the bridge that spans the river from the back of the castle.

From there, I headed to Piazza Bra, the largest piazza in Verona, and the one with the roman arena. Right now there is a christmas market thing going on, so the whole piazza is stuffed with tents selling everything from traditional foods and cheeses to light-bulbs and wonder mops.

The star represents the star that the three kings followed to find the baby jesus and give him his gifts.

A narrow street.

Looking across the river towards the library I use.

Locks on a light post.

This week I am staying in Verona, and going up to Brunek again on friday or saturday. It is my last week of classes this week, so it is also probably my last week in Verona.

It is a Very nice place, and if the weather holds tommorow, I will walk around with my camera some more, and take in more of the wonderful sights and sounds of this ancient hub of humanity.

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