Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Trip of a Lifetime

Twelve to thirteen hours on the train system moving from Cortona, Italy to Frankfurt, Germany gives you lots of time to reflect back on the last three weeks. Experiencing a world outside of your own effects you in a positive way and adding exercise and the quiet backcountry is icing on the cake. Everyone agrees this has been the trip of a lifetime and I think everyone would come back if given the opportunity. We have noticed so many differences between countries but the people are really all the same, friendly, helpful and proud of their towns. The differences are small like, the foods eaten, passports are used for identification primarily, they don't seem to be worried about being sued, people still smoke a lot but the elderly seem to be in much better health, everyone is very conservative with electricity. No ice, no clothes dryers, lights go on and off automatically, etc. we didn't see a lot of surveillance cameras and all the cars are small, probably for fuel consumption as much as the tiny streets they have to drive. Family and friends take priority at dinner, you never see cell phones at the tables, they take hours in the restaurants just eating and enjoying each other's company and the restaurants are not in a hurry to boot you out. We Americans usually end up asking for the bill. 
A big thank you goes to Tammy for spending all her time organizing and making arrangements for us all. Without Joanne and Renee, our map and trail leaders extraordinaire, who knows where we might have ended up. And my heart felt love to my roommate, Melissa, who keeps me laughing and is the easiest person in the world to have as a roomy. I will follow you anywhere!  
Thanks to Sue who stayed in the lead, we learned early on that we all had our own pace for hiking and no matter how many times we stopped or got out of line we always fell back in our place of comfort. 
We have been on trains all day and it is almost 10 pm and hopefully will arrive soon, we came through Northern Italy with it's chalet type homes, thru Austria, which looks like a good country to check out sometime and we are now in Germany. 
We are all ready to return home to our families but I will miss the commraderie and shared adventure we have experienced the last three weeks

Until we meet again!!
Oktoberfest in Germany

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