After 24 hours straight of travelling, I have arrived!
As I write this, I am sitting on my bed at about 0800 watching Capolago wake up. Capolago, Switzerland is the town right next to Riva San Vitale, where I will be studying this semester. I have a beautiful mountain view
So, before I leave my hotel room and truely start my semester, some random thoughts…
-The absolute worst thing about travelling? Being the American that goes to another country and expects them to accommodate me because I do not speak their language. I spent quite a bit of time working on Italian during the past month, and I think my language skills are workable, but I immediately reverted back to English when I arrived. I blame that on sleep deprivation (only ~1 h of sleep over a 36 hour period). Today should go better.
-I remember a lot more French than I was expecting. I could understand all of the important information (time, directions, etc). Pretty cool
-There are strange knobby trees here that appear to be excellent for climbing. I wonder if that’s frowned upon…
-I see a few busses and lots of cars going both directions, which is surprising because Capolago and Riva appear to be very tiny. I don’t believe either are through-routes. It could be commuting, but I would expect most to go toward the main road if that were the case.
And most importantly:
-The people were unfailingly kind at every leg of my long journey. A few examples: A train employee decides not to charge me a train reservation fee because I had accidentally gotten on the wrong train (the train I needed did not require reservations). A man in France checks to see if I had validated my train ticket (I didn’t realize it was necessary) to help me avoid a fee. I asked someone if a train went to Capolago, and he said yes, then guessed my hotel and gave me directions to it.
Now to really start my journey!