Daily Archives: 03.05.2015

Dispatch from Italy: Train Edition

Is there anything more majestic than arriving at your guesthouse on the marina, and having the owner gleefully throw the shutters open?  I think not.

But to get to this point, what a journey.

Today, we woke up at 5:15, to be out of our hotel and on the road/water/track by 6:45.  My shout out of the day goes to the hotel reception who unprompted, offered to let us into breakfast early where in the course of three minutes I slammed two hot cups of American drip coffee, and wrapped up three pastry bits into a napkin to go.

Bless him.  This was way better than the Lara Bar and espresso pairing I was otherwise going to deal with.

I think that instead of going to premarital counseling, the newly engaged should be forced to navigate a foreign train system for a continuous 24 hour period.

How adventuresome it is to depart from a station other than the one you came from, to deal with ticket machines that will not print your tickets, and then to deal with the subsequent scolding of the Last Minute Assistance-employee who sniffs that you should have been sent a QR code with your confirmation e-mail (spoiler alert: our Not An ETicker confirmation e-mail didn’t come with one).

What joy there is in having a delayed train and then stopping completely on the tracks for an hour, 1/3 of the way to your final destination. You don’t know how/when the next train will be, no one can really explain to you why the train is stopped (maybe doctors are involved, maybe not) but does it really matter anyway?  You’re trapped in a train on a track.

What train will you take next since you have missed your first choice and your backup plan?  Only time will tell.

Ah, yes. This. This is the joy of travel.  Each time we visit the train station, our bond grows stronger.  More seriously, we are glad we are not still stranded on the train track and that over our travels, we have honed the fine art of packing sandwiches and wine.

Anyway, we finally made it to Riomaggiore!  We have literally no plans for the next three days other than hiking and eating and looking at the ocean. It should be splendid.