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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#27-On the Train to Calabria and La Mia Famiglia

At 6 a.m., Cinzia the Plant and I set off to the train station with Fabio at the wheel. We were over an hour early just to be sure we wouldn't get lost in rush hour. As it turned out, all went smoothly. We had a comfortable first-class passage with plenty of room for Cinzia on the luggage rack above me. Here she is all ready for travel prior to departure.

Cinzia was feeling very special, the only plant in the station, the only plant on our train. We both slept for most of the journey. I woke up as we approached Napoli and the headed south. As we arrived in Calabria, the land became more wild. Hills grew into forested mountains with great slashes of rock exposed on one side of the track to the wind sweeping in from the sea on the other. The sea was a beautiful but full of a mythic danger...I guess I mean by this that I could see how it would inspire tales of intemperate and mighty gods.

There were small clusters of homes here and there. From time to time, some ruined stone structure would jut up as a reminder that this land had every intention of taking its toll. I wondered what my grandparents had thought as they may have passed this way to board their ship from Napoli to America.

There was something about the sweep of landscape and worn aged appearance of the houses that suggested that not much had changed in the last hundred years, except to get older and more determined to survive the wild.

The train was right on time. The station was colorful.

And my hotel was just a short walk from the station.

The town seemed very much like Tillamook in spirit, except the cows were in the meat shops instead of the fields, no one spoke English, and there was no rain...or so I thought...

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