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The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Notes on our Two Months in Europe

2007 European Trip, September 8 - November 6, 2007

London – A week with Stephen and Hugh; sightseeing, St. James Piccadilly, surprised to hear Matthew Fox as preacher. Tate Modern show was a bust. Went to the British Museum and others as well. Saw a wonderful play, "The Last Confession," about the death of John Paul 1 and election of a new pope. Intrique, murder?, survival.

Amsterdam – Golden Bear Hotel, sightseeing, Red Light District. Sexy seeing the legalized prostitutes but felt sad that they had to sell themselves. More canals than Venice, busy trams, lots of students.

Leiden – Janice and Arnold visiting and dinner. University town an hour from Amsterdam. Swallowed a whole herring raw, local custom.

Düsseldorf – Ingrid and Wolfgang. Lots of food, sightseeing and catching up on old times. Visit to magnificent Cologne Cathedral and a lovely Island on the Rhine.

Berlin – We rented a Penthouse, ate at home, visited great German museums, including the Helmut Newton Museum of Photography, Dined with Paul Moor, old SF friend. Local tattoo artist said we were not too old to get tattoos. We didn't.

Venice – rented a small house, rode the vaporettoes, the "bus” system boats on the Grand Canal, sightseeing, eating at home. Solemn High Mass at St. Mark’s Basilica.

Todi, Vasciano, Italy – 17 days at the villa of old SF friend Nadine Scott whom I have know since the sixties. Excellent food as she is a great cook, catching up on old times. Hiking and reading. I tended the wood fire like the good Boy Scout I never was. We visited Orvietto and Assisi whilst there

Rome – Stayed at a Convent Hotel, sightseeing, High Mass on All Saint’s Day in Santa Maria, Travestevere, sightseeing.
Met Iraqi students of diplomacy studying for two months in Rome. They are the first Iraqis we had ever met. They said the US should never have invaded but now they have screwed things up the US should stay and get things settled. Charming, good English and amusing. Seeing Shaun Loftus and Spike, SF and Trinity friends who came from Florence to see us in Rome.

Impressions - Way too many of us tourists. Long, long lines to get into St. Peter's Basilica, so we didn't go. Long lines at the Vatican Museum, Ann went and said she was glad I didn't. Too packed. Tourists everywhere in Venice; we were falling over each other. Restaurant food in Italy was only fair, not as good as what we had expected.

We loved the sights in England, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice and Rome, the cathedrals, churches, bustling streets, high culture and just walking around in the great cities. As always being with old friends is still the best.

The best restaurant we ate in was the "Al Cavallino," Borgo Cavour 52 - 31100 Treviso, tel. 0422 412801. Treviso is near Venice.

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