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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Old Memories

A quick e-mail conversation with Rich Jones the other day reminded me of a wonderful memory from my family's European vacation during the Summer of 2006. We had just arrived in Venice, taken a boat to our hotel near Piazza San Marco, and quickly refreshed ourselves. Melissa and I then packed a quick backpack and got on the bus to head back to the train station. After all, we had a date to meet Rich and Caitlin in Verona for a wonderful night at the opera.

It was one of those chance meetings, of sorts. Caitlin and Rich were touring Europe and about to head north to Munich. Melissa and I knew we'd be in Venice and Verona was just a short 2 hours by train west. We had no set plans of when we'd meet or even where. We were almost flying by the seat of our pants. Luckily, Caitlin and Rich beat us to town, got a hostel, and met us at the train station. We picked up dinner at a market in town - al fresco, with prosciutto, bread, salame, and three bottles of wine! We found our way to the outdoor arena and thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and the opera, Madama Butterfly. It was an operatic experience I'll never forget and was happy to share with Melissa, Caitlin, and Rich.

But at the end of the opera, Caitlin and Rich had an unexpected train to catch to Germany. We had all anticipated staying at the hostel room that was previously booked, but an older Italian gentlemen would not allow Melissa and I to stay there in place of Caitlin and Rich. Well, to be clear, he might have allowed us but we just couldn't communicate with him well enough to work that out. So, the 4 of us ran to the Verona train station--Caitlin in really uncomfortable boots--to see them off on their train. With nowhere else to go, Melissa and I stayed in the train station waiting for the first train east to Venice. We walked around, relieved ourselves on the tracks since the bathrooms were closed, avoided the crazy pot smokers at the bottom of the platform stairs, and slept on ungodly uncomfortable marble benches. Dying of boredom and freezing, I captured this photo near dawn.

Italian Train Station by Night

I'll always remember this wonderful moment of that longer vacation. Thanks!

Eric Lovelin Photography


  1. This is funny. I had a very similar experience in Verona as well. My boyfriend of the time and I ended up NOT sleeping in the train station (we almost did), but got on a train without paying to get back to Milan. The train was on its way to Germany and we had to hide in one of the compartments. We missed the last train to Milan because we ended up at a Sting concert in the Verona atmosphere. Ah, to be 21 again. Good times. . .

  2. yeah, I meant ampitheater, not atmosphere. The cold is getting to my brain!

  3. I'd like to know the definition of an "unexpected train."

  4. You know. A train I didn't expect they'd be catching. Quit criticizing me!