Day 8: Thursday July 29th, 2004 Read Short Version View Photos

Short Version Instructions: Only read every other paragraph.

Another day, another hotel breakfast. We ate up and got onto the bus for a short trip to a town called Courgne, where Thursday is their market day. We exited the bus and made our way straight through the square block-sized market, to a closed art gallery. There was supposed to be someone there to meet us, but after waiting for five or ten minutes we decided to browse the market for half an hour first.

The market was basically just a flea market, with cheap clothes, tools, food and livestock available for purchase. We wandered around halfheartedly looking for souvenirs and then made our way back to the art gallery which was now open. We went in and perused the acrylics then down into the basement where a large exhibit of political and sports cartoons were displayed. Our group then left and walked to a library, although I'm not sure why. While we were standing around doing nothing in a building full of books written in Italian, Bekki presented the idea of a Disneyworld trip for her, Tyler, Tori, Jessie and I. This potential vacation became a major focus of the rest of the day and persisted for the remainder of the trip as well.

Thumbs Up: Cool mayors We left the library and went to city hall, and ended up in the main meeting room where we all sat in chairs like we were important. Banging one's fist on the large wooden tables made a very satisfying noise, so of course we all did it repeatedly. We then met the mayor and shuffled through his office and a few other rooms, and ended up back outside again. We walked through some more market on the side streets and ended up looping around back near the market where we explored inside a copper store.

We were then given free time for lunch, so Alan, the entire Anthony family, Jessie, Bekki and I walked back past the art museum to a restaurant that Alan had spied earlier. We were seated in a covered patio and we ordered a lot of good food, including very good lasagna.

We congregated at the bus after lunch and headed up to San Colombano, which was the Cima ancestors' home town. The bus dropped us off at a wide spot in the road and we walked along the street, up the hill to an old church. Our little group was the first to the top, where we decided we had seen enough churches, so we continued down to the cemetery where we waited outside in the shade for the others. We found an old school broom, which begged to have flying witch pictures taken with it. Eventually everyone else trickled out of the church and the cemetery was opened. We walked through the small but quaint cemetery, noting the ancestors whom we recognized. The sun was hot and there was no breeze inside, plus some sort of plant in there was making me sneeze so I waited back outside in the shade for everyone else.

Once everyone was done, we walked back past the church and were surprised to find the bus right there, with Efram standing with a "yeah, I rule" smile on his face. We piled on and continued up to the actual house where the Cima ancestors lived (and still do). They greeted us warmly and served us a bunch of bite-sized appetizers and drinks. We all mingled for a while and explored up behind the house where the temperature was at least 15 degrees cooler. We also saw the famed Lamborghini tractor of lore.

Thumbs Up: Extremely cheap water We eventually said our goodbyes and walked back to the bus which took us back through Courgne to CESMA, the archaeological restoration school run by Daniella and Marco. We went upstairs and milled around in the lobby area until we found the break room, which had 35 cent water. Needless to say we bought a bunch and drank them throughout the museum. Marco then proceeded to take us through the museum, explaining the exhibits and answering questions.

The museum was very well done (except for the mysterious creaking floor), with many artifacts, cool exhibits and even a small movie theater. The further into the museum we went, the hotter it got and therefore my interest faded. We eventually broke off from the group and went back to the break room which was much cooler, and drank more water. We then meandered back across the street to the bus and back to our hotel.

Thumbs Down: Being rushed The entire bus ended up in a mini-argument over what time we had to meet. We were trying to avoid being way too early, as we had been for most things this trip. Initially the meeting time was 7 (45 minutes from that point), we were pushing for at least 7:15, and somehow it ended up being 6:55. Everyone was unhappy, since that was barely enough time for everyone to shower and/or relax and get ready for dinner, so we raced to our rooms, showered and/or relaxed, and got ready for dinner.

Everyone begrudgingly went back to the bus, and we headed back to Courgne and arrived in the large square parking lot where the market was earlier in the day. We walked towards the restaurant where we had lunch that day and proceeded to go inside. I was happy with lunch so I didn't particularly care. We sat down, played a bit of musical chairs and tables, somehow made Jessie mad so she moved, then the set menu of food started flowing.

Thumbs Down: Baby cow organs The food was good for the most part, although there were a few completely unappetizing courses, such as the one which had a bunch of fried veal parts... like liver and brain. Overall it was a decent meal, although there was a lot I couldn't eat or had no desire to eat. At least the fried figs in the dessert were tasty. We all piled back into the bus and had a quiet trip back to the hotel.