Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Rio, Rio!

Yesterday we messed up on the trains. Today we found out that one of our mess-ups was to our advantage. We bought yesterday what we thought was a “transfer” ticket; we discovered today, in fact, it was an “upgrade” ticket. So, today we bought a 2d class ticket and got to ride First Class. Quiet. Then we were suddenly invaded, at one stop, by a bundle of Canadians and Americans. We got the last laugh when NONE of them had validated their tickets, paid their 5 euro fine, and then had to move back to Second Class. What a hoot!
We’ve yet to meet an American who didn’t have to pay that 5 euro fine.
We walked hard today: started at Riomaggiore, walked the 30 minute nice walk to Manarola where we had the mandatory pasta and basil pesto lunch, then had a hard, hard walk in the sun over to Corniglia (say, Cornelia) — only 240 inhabitants here but about 500 tourists. The walk was hot enough that we took the bus down (instead of taking the severe 400 steps downward climb) and the train back to Monterosso.
We’ll hang here through dinner and then head back. We’re sure to find every cafe shop for our lattes.
I can’t get to all the comments on the blog; Kris has to write, too, and we’re trying to keep this to one hour.
Tomorrow we drive down to Lucca. I’m reading Jaroslav Pelikan’s book on Mary. Quite good.

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John Frye

posted May 29, 2006 at 11:06 am

Scot and Kris,
Did you bring your digital camera and download dock? Would love to see pictures. Lotsa latte, eh?

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posted May 29, 2006 at 11:06 am

Is this validating the ticket thing something they just don’t tell you about to collect the extra 5 euros? If all the Americans and Canadians get caught with this it sound like a tax for visitors. BTW nice goiong to enjoy the suffering others.

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posted May 29, 2006 at 11:07 am

My typing is questionable (read stinks). “suffering of others” was the intended phrase.

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posted May 29, 2006 at 11:51 am

I remember those steps. When my daughter and I were there in 1999, there was a train strike. I walked the whole way between the five towns, both ways. I had a good appetite that night for dinner.

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posted May 29, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Scot, I’m so happy our Savior – the same one for whom this blog is named – died for all of us, including “Canadians and Americans”. The attitude displayed by you here is not really worthy of being associated with His name.
Different customs and laws regulating travel are almost always confusing to “foreigners”. I was so thankful on a recent trip to the UK to have a couple of very nice folk explain the procedures for “first class” and “reserved seats” on National Rail. It helped us and kept us from the “embarrassment” in which you took such obvious delight.
If you are ever touring in my country I would hope “locals” would smooth the way somewhat for you. I know I’ve done my share of that in the past while working in Yosemite National Park. But maybe that’s another ‘difference’ betwixt Americans and Euros.

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Terry Dawson

posted May 29, 2006 at 2:04 pm

Scot, I certainly understand the humor in seeing others make the same minor error that you had made the day before with the ticket validations. I know you weren’t laughing at them, but near them. :) It would have been a hoot. I pray you continue to have the time of your young lives.

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Dana Ames

posted May 29, 2006 at 2:54 pm

It very well may be that the “fine” is only for Canadians and Americans. I think it’s more likely that since that stretch of rail is overrun with tourists, the Ferrovia dello State imposes an extra fee for everyone on that route and rakes in quite a few Euros that way. Don’t know if an upgrade is always included, but I had to pay the tariff as soon as the train I took from Milan to Pisa hit the coast, but not before. Of course, things may have changed in 29 years :)

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Ted Gossard

posted May 29, 2006 at 3:17 pm

It’s cookin’ outside in Grand Rapids today. So prob much the same in Chi town. So enjoy all the more.
Jaroslav Pelikan’s 2003 interview on “the need for creeds” recently aired on the NPR program, “Speaking of Faith” ( was also quite good, I thought.

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posted May 29, 2006 at 6:22 pm

To Mr. McKnight’s naysayers,
Having lived abroad I can personally attest to the noisiness, obnoxiousness and general lack of discretion which American tourists typically have. I was constantly praised by my employer for not being a “typical” American. That this was a tourist stop (Cambridge, UK), I took it as a compliment. Within 2 months of my arrival I could spot Americans 2-3 blocks away, usually by their noisiness. That Mr. McKnight was happy to be rid of them is a sign of his maturity as a visitor (i.e. he knows how to respect a place that he does not own), not glee over their inconvenience (about which we are too uptight anyhow). Mr. McKnight has my empathy.

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Scot McKnight

posted May 30, 2006 at 5:34 am

Wow, surprised by that response. As it turns out, the conductor asked us to help out, so we did, and explained the rules to the Americans and Canadians– and we all, including the conductor, had a good laugh.

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