Thursday, June 21, 2012

Rumzicken verboten

So a few days ago I'm camping in Bad Bellingen, Germany. It's just north of Basel, Switzerland, so it's a bit of a tourist trap. Firstly, never stay at the Hotel Birkenhof in Bad Bellingen. Their wi-fi is terrible, and they're two-faced, crotchety, old jerks. Secondly, Lug ins Land campingplatz in nearby Bamlach is (are?) really awesome. They have a tennis court! And a heated pool! And a restaurant with very reasonable prices where you can join the locals and watch soccer with a pint! And most importantly, HOT SHOWERS and a WASHER & DRYER!

No goats allowed?
This sign on the restaurant is pretty funny. I assumed it meant "No goats allowed," which tickled me -- but after googling about the internet, I'm wondering if it's some kind of colloquialism for "No bitching," like a goat bleats annoyingly. If you're a German speaker, please let me know! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greetings from Italia

Construction sign in Vastrovaglia.
This morning I'm in Porto Vastravaglia, Italy, stealing a hotel's wifi. It's day four of a 21 trek from Genoa, Italy to Gothenberg, Sweden, and last night I slept next to a crypt on a cliff overlooking a lake that looked suspiciously like Rivendell. 

So far, we've had the most success in Italy by speaking in Spanish with an Italian accent and gesturing a lot. It's still hit-or-miss, but usually does better than English. There is absolutely some truth to how much Italians gesture with their hands while speaking. Dad's rereading Tortilla Flat right now for the umpteenth time and pulled out the phrase "hands like doves" for expressive hands.