アミーチ・クァルテット(2)2007年10月01日 08時14分13秒

August 18

I woke up to the sound of water running through the pipes. I figured it had to already be morning because someone was taking a shower but it was pitch black. And then I remembered I was in the basement and there were no windows down there. Every time I stay at the house in Wurmlingen, I sleep in the basement. The temperature is cooler and perfect for the summer.

Sadao returned the senior-citizen-mobile in the late morning. I practiced a bit and got ready for our trip to Lecco. The plan was to drive Jim’s car and meet Federico in Italy who was coming from Switzerland.
As Jim was backing out of the garage, I spotted a dent on top of the trunk. As the black Honda Accord exposed itself further into the daylight, it revealed its scars from a major hailstorm. Jim said the size of the hail ranged from golf balls to baseballs. He watched from a café in Trossingen as rows of parked cars got battered and shattered.
And upon a second glance, the Accord resembled a golf ball with all its dents. The good news was that the vehicle was more aerodynamic now. Here we come Autobahn!

We hit 210 kph with the remodeled Accord. This was more like it! Within the hour, we crossed the border into Switzerland. The air seemed immediately sweeter from all those wonderful chocolates the country boasts of and that’s exactly what we bought when we stopped for gas. I knew we were driving through the Alps but I couldn’t see it in front of us. Shouldn’t we be able to see one of the largest mountains in the world? Jim explained to me that the road was on a slow incline and we would be in the middle of the Alps before we knew it. Sure enough an hour later we were all singing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music…”
There weren’t any snowcapped peaks but the enormity of the mountains and their reflections against the expansive lakes were breath taking.
The other awesome part of this drive was man made. Switzerland boasts the 3rd longest tunnel in the world at just under 17 km. It’s called the St. Gotthard tunnel and one should think twice before going in if they have Closter phobia since it takes about twenty minutes to drive through.
When we got to the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel”, we decided to take a break at the next rest stop. The St. Gotthard acts as a divider between the German-side of Switzerland and the Italian-side. In fact, on the other side, it’s called the San Gottardo. Sadao noticed that the atmosphere at the rest stop was already different. People were speaking Italian for one but they were also more affectionate and the salami looked fresher in the ready-made sandwiches.

We crossed the border into Italy and arrived in Lecco shortly after. It’s one of the many towns surrounding Lake Como. We had a nice meal at the hotel that evening and went to bed.

-Yosuke Kawasaki





私達はアルプスを走っているはずだったが、前方には何も見えなかった。世界一大きな山脈が見えてもいいんじゃないか?!この道は緩やかに登っていて、知らないうちにアルプスの真ん中に出るんだ、とジムが説明してくれた。1時間後には、みなで“The hills are alive with the sound of music…”と、サウンドオブミュージックのテーマソングを歌っていたことは言うまでもない。
この旅行で見事だったもう一つのことは、人の手によるものだった。スイスには世界で3番目に長いトンネルがある。たった17kmの地下にだ。セント・ゴットハルド・トンネル(St. Gotthard)と呼ばれるが、通り抜けるのに20分はかかるので、入る前に自分が閉所恐怖症じゃないかよく考えた方が良い。
おなじみの“トンネルの先の明かり”が見えてきて、私達は次の休憩所で休もうと決めた。セント・ゴットハルド・トンネルはちょうどスイスのドイツ側とイタリア側とをわけている。実際、反対側ではサン・ゴッタルド(San Gottardo)と呼ばれている。禎夫は休憩所の雰囲気が既に変わっていることに気づいた。人々がイタリア語を話していたこともひとつだが、人がもっと愛にあふれ、出来合いのサンドイッチのサラミも新鮮に見えた。




_ 稜子 ― 2007年10月02日 08時20分21秒



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