Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Torino, Italia

I've learned that international travel is much nicer when there is no one sitting next to you on the 8 hour flight so you can sleep. However laying down on the seat so your head is completely horizontal at several thousand feet can make your ears hurt if you're not careful. After arriving in Paris, AirFrance gives you complimentary newspapers, so I read the Frankfurter Allegemeine. My somewhat random selection of topics of German classes prepared me to understand most sections of the paper; sports, politics, travel, and even science. One random fact I read was that Uwe Krupp is the only German to ever win a Stanley Cup (with Detroit in 96) but there is a German playing on each of the teams in the finals right now. I slept through most of the flight from Paris to Torino, but woke up to an awesome view of the Alps.

Fabio met me at the bus stop (I got off at the wrong one). He was nice enough to let me stay with him in Torino. (Thanks Fabio!) After a delicious lunch and learning to make coffee in an Italian coffee pot (the water goes under the grounds and then filters up when it is ready- the opposite of coffee pots I've ever used, I thought this was really neat), I went to the Mole Antoinella. From the terrace you can see all of Torino, its beautiful.
Inside is the Museo di Cinema. I liked this museum. They had exhibits about how cameras work and the history of films, and then themed sets where you could watch films and other movie history. They even remembered to put my name in.

In the evening I met some of Fabio's friends at dinner. They taught me how Italians speak with their hands and some new words. For example, "nu-flah" (I don't know how to spell it) is used in Colombia to mean "I have something stuck in my teeth". At the restaurant you payed for a drink and then could have an all you can eat appetizer buffet. Apparently this is common for bars to do in the evening, I think its a great idea. We also got ice cream at Grom. Normally i dont like whipped cream, but it tastes sooo much better here than in the States. After dinner they showed me many places in the city and told me stories about them. I iked learning about Torino, I wouldn't have been able to learn this much on my own reading the signs which are mostly in Italian (of which I only know a few words and phrases).
On my second day in Torino I went exploring on my own while Fabio was at work. Torino is mostly laid out as a grid. At least that's what the map says. This didn't stop me from ending up in the opposite direction I intended to go several times, after wandering to look at something and forgetting which direction i came from. Many of the museums are closed on Monday, so I visited the medival part of the city and Castello Valentino in Parc Valentino.
 I discoved carrying a pen and paper makes buying train tickets easier. I wandered more for the rest of the day + saw many plazas, statues, fountains, and Italian flags (they're everywhere), a church, and the Roman gate to the city. After walking all day, I met up with Fabio, Roberta and Ana again for dinner. Perhaps there will be more BMIC reunions in the future?
I liked Torino very much, it was a great place to start my trip. Now I am on the train to Lugano, Switzerland. Ciao Italia, I'll be back to visit again soon!

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