Train tales

Once again we were to be on the move. We arose early, packed up and with Jayne and Silas having gone out to quickly to pick up some cheese omelettes, we had an easy breakfast. We did our usual “stoner” check to ensure we left nothing behind and locked up. Heading out wasn’t that easy as we had a very steep flight of uneven stairs. Gulgun took pity on me and carried my suitcase up the stairs after which I could easily handle it down the path. We had to return the keys to a key box at the office then headed to the train station.

The Cinque Terre station is an easy one as it only has two tracks. Hard to get it wrong. This was the first of four trains we had to take today, but only a 12 minute ride to La Spezia Centrale. We made it easily to that train and had reserved seats so no problems. The big problem came changing to the third train. Even if everything went on time we were only to have 6 minutes to get to our next train. I had mentioned this to the Railbooker people who booked all our trips, but they assured me that it was quite normal. Right. Not so much when one is 69 with a pack on my back and hauling even a small roller bag. So…. Train number 2 pulls into Pisa 2 minutes late cutting our transit time. Then we see that we were pulling into track 4 while we’re standing right by the door to scurry off. Not easy considering the throngs of people with all their bags. The Trenitalia app was telling us to go to track 6 so we ran down the stairs crossed over, ran up the stairs to track 6 only to find that instead that it was to be on track 10. Yikes! We turned on our heels, ran back down stairs, crossed over, pushing rather rudely through everyone, up the stairs again to track 10. And miraculously the train was still there! We stumbled aboard, flopped down on the nearest seats, huffing and puffing. At least I did. We couldn’t believe we made it. And then after all that the train pulled out a few minutes late. I pretty much coughed until the next station trying to soothe my throat after running so hard. We had been a bit concerned about missing that train not certain how we’d be rebooked. Fortunately it didn’t become an issue. And train number 4 from Florence (yes, we had to backtrack to Florence) to Bologna, was another bullet train! Luxury and speed. Yay!

We exited into the Bologna station to find it absolutely the nicest one we’ve been in, plus the least crowded. Delightful! We made our way outside and tried to get an Uber to our hotel. The car came whizzing up to us, turned where we thought he could safely stop for us to load, but instead he sped off! So much for that. We decided after all the train sitting that we ought to just walk. And walk we did. Probably a half hour to get to the hotel. Turned out to be a lovely one, but far off the beaten path as far as any activity goes. We hardly passed anyone and all the shops we went by seemed to be closed. Hmmm….

In any case we checked in, got settled in to our new home away from home and decided what to do while here today. We chose to head out on foot and hoofed our way finally to what must be the center of town where suddenly there once again were masses of people. We saw a stature of Garabaldi, one of Neptune plus several of the famous towers.

Finally deciding it was time to eat we stopped at a sidewalk cafe for a delicious cheese plate, pasta and wine, of course. We topped it all off when we spotted one of our favorite gelato shops, Venchi.

Eventually we decided we were ready to go back to the hotel but in no mood for another long walk, so we grabbed a cab.

Now as I write this I’m helping Silas with some homework worksheets he needs to do while he’s missing a week of school to keep traveling with me. What could be better?

5 thoughts on “Train tales

  1. Loral Ann Jorza

    My oh my!!! I hate to have to run for a train, ferry….. I get so nervous that I am breathing really hard!!! Way to go!!! It sounds like a good first day there!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Hutchins

    Have some Lasagna Bolognese in Bologna …. there is bechamel sauce in it instead of just tomato and sooooo yummy. Love the arcades


  3. Judy

    Your train tales made me laugh, only because I can so relate to it! We booked a train from Mestre (Venice) to Verona after a bus ride from Ljubljana, Slovenia. As we entered the station it was a mass of humanity going in two directions. We had to fight our way into the maelstrom; I followed a tall guy as closely as I could to let him serve as ice breaker. But I feared falling and being trampled. When we got to the train, it was jam packed and we squeezed ourselves in, standing for part of the trip. For our next train travel, Parma, I found a nice little local train and it was nearly empty. Trying to avoid Bologna because I thought it would be a madhouse; so glad to hear it was good as we have a transfer there as we return to Venice. I’m getting a little more comfortable with finding the right track but it can be nerve wracking! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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