Saturday, June 14, 2008

By the Seat of My Pants

Day 95
I woke up refreshed and excited that I had no idea where I would be in the next couple of hours. I seemed to even get to the train station a few minutes earlier than I had the days before. After a few minutes of playing with the ticket machine I found out that I would be heading to Assisi.

Assisi is an adorable little town that Rick Steves highly recommends. Even if I had not known that before going there the huge number of people with his books would have tipped me off.

When I got to Assisi I tried to get on the bus that would take me up the actual hill to the town, however some woman actually pushed me off of the bus. I was so floored that I didn't even react. How the heck did I get pushed off of a bus in Italy when I spent 4 years fighting my way on to the New York subway?

While I was waiting for the next bus I met a group of students from Louisiana who were studying in Florence. By the time we got the bus up to the town it was absolutely pouring. We took shelter in the post office because all of the restaurants were still closed. After a few minutes it began to hail. I doubled checked with everyone, it was in fact June.

After about 20 minutes it finally stopped and after lunch we headed to the church of St. Francis. St. Francis was the son of a very wealthy man. He begun life as a soldier, but had a revelation and gave up his life to god. He was known for preaching to the birds in the fields. I'm not quite sure why. The church was nice and the frescoes were interesting. It all concentrated on St. Francis life. In the basement was a room full of his things. This is pretty impressive considering that he lived 800 years ago. His remains rested in a rugged stone sarcophagus. I liked that he wasn't surrounded by gold as so many of the saints are. One thing that I found interesting is that just like at many churches you could buy a candle, however you couldn't light it yourself. There were only about 6 candles burning at a time and maybe 200 ones in the box. I think that they must recycle them.

When we had finished there Anne and I split off from the other three. I didn't have all day because I needed to do laundry and pack up for my early train the next day. Plus, the weather was really pretty nasty, it was raining on and off and it was cold. Anne and I wandered the streets while the others headed to the castle. Assisi is a really cute little hill town. My only warning would be that the majority of the sites are churches.

By the time Anne and I had gotten back to the train station it was pouring again. The train ride was fabulous though. I really enjoyed talking with Anne. Back in Florence we hit the grocery store together before I had to head back up to the campground for the last time.

I didn't get to sleep as early as I had planned because I met some American girls my age. This is a real rarity on this trip and I was up a bit later than I had planned talking to them.

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