Well, I started Thursday morning bright and early. My train left Bern at 7:30 a.m. I was headed for Italy. We pulled out of Switzerland, and rode through the mountain south into Italy. I was to change trains in Milan. I got to Milan, and I realize right away the feel of the country was different. It was vibrant and lively. The train station was beautiful old architecture, with doorways larger than life. The city was dirtier than Bern, but not in a bad way, it just felt lived in.

I found the baggage storage area, and gave Percy a rest and went to explore a little of the city in the 2 hour lay over I had. It was 11:00 a.m. and people were in the streets, sitting in outdoor café’s and going to and fro. I walked around the square that the station was in and decided I’d eat lunch. Thus . . .

The Meal of the Day
 
 
 

 

I ate at a what was called a Cafeteria, though it was not like ours with trays and all the food out on display. I ordered an anti pasta, which consisted of 3 meats, salami, procuitto, and another hot ham, with 2 cheeses one being a brie. My kind of food, it was delicious and too much. So I had them wrap the remainder, for those on the train snacks. I tried a beverage that wasn’t familiar to me. It turned out to be a peach ice tea and was quite refreshing. Thus . . .

The Drink of the Day
 
 
 

 

I sat in the square, and people watched for the remainder of my time. When I went in to get my 1:00 p.m. train the first mishap of the day began.

I was looking for the track number for my train and couldn’t find it. So I went to information only to be informed that the 1:00 o’clock time I say on my ticket, was the arrival time in Firenze and not my departure time. So I head to the ticket office to find out when the next train is. The lady waiting on me told me that there were no more trains going to Firenze today (in perfect Italian – no English), so I said “tomorrow” she showed me her screen and I picked the earliest time 6:00 a.m. She charged me an additional $10 Euros to change, I wasn’t happy, but what’s a girl to do. I leave and go sit, wondering what I’m going to do for the day, and worrying about how this is really going to throw off my schedule. I need to be in Paris, Saturday night, I have a room reservation.

So I pull out my map of Europe, and see there are several other cities that are near Pisa, and they have a train departing on the board. I’m surprise that a big city like Milan, doesn’t have another train going to another major city like Firenze (Florence), and it’s not that far away. So I figure I can get to Pisa from Bologna and save my day. So I go back to the ticket office get another lady – she doesn’t speak English either, but I tell her that I was told there were no more trains to Firenze and can I go somewhere else. She says “that’s not true!”. Long story short, I got a train to Firenze in the next hour and I’m on my way again.

Well, I arrive in Pisa around 6:00 p.m. My plan was to get there see the sights, mainly the leaning tower, and leave for the Cinque Terre, and spend the night there. Well, I get a bus ticket and travel directions to the Tower. When I get there, it was all that I imagined. Oh my, walking through the arch and seeing the tower and the surrounding buildings was just beautiful. I don’t know if these pictures can really do it justice but here’s a try.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

By now it’s around 7:00 and getting dark. So, I think maybe I’ll try to find a bed in a hostel, come back tomorrow, and maybe take the tour and climb the stairs to the top. So off to information. They give me directions to a hostel, it’s near the train station, and Percy is at the train station anyway, so I head over. The hostel looked pretty nice but they were full for the night, They gave me a name for another one, that I couldn’t find, so as I’m walking around, I decided that maybe I’ll just head to La Speiza, and the Cinque Terre and stay there for the night.

But before I go, I have to get some Pizza in Pisa, as advised to me by Azine. So, I find a pizza shop and have my slice and a beverage. It was ok pizza, but a really cheap meal. $1.50 for slice and drink.

2nd Meal of the Day

2nd Drink of the Day

This was another experimental drink. It was in a cute tiny little bottle and red, so I figured it should be ok. But it had a bitter taste, (thus the words bitter on the bottle), but it was drinkable and there wasn’t much of it.

So, I hop on the train for LaSpezia. I arrive about 10:00 o’clock and find out that the last train for the Cinque Terre is gone for the night. This time it is for real, and the first one leaves at 4:00 a.m. So I get to spend my first night in the train station.

Me Today Picture

I met Salvatore from Genoa/Naples, he is 73 and deals in diamonds. He kept me company until his train came at 1:30 a.m. He was a complete gentleman, and made the first 3 hours go by rather quickly. But when his train left, it took him and the few remaining people here on the track with him. His last warning was not to go to sleep. It’s raining, and though I’m covered, the breeze is a little chilly at times, and I did doze off a time or two. So here I sit, all by myself, on a deserted train track, in Italy, typing out this blog entry, because I figured it would kill some time, keep me awake, and keep my mind off the animal noises that I hear (just birds, I think). It is now 3:40 and there should be some life in the station soon, because the first train of the morning should be pulling out at 4:15. I plan to be on it.

It will be a Red Bull day, because I AM hiking the Cinque Terre today. After I have a cup of strong coffee and a hot breakfast. I’m alive and well and Safe guys. Next entry will be on the beautiful Italian Rivera “The Cinque Terre” Chow

Advertisements