Sunday, October 28, 2012

Getting to Naples

Well, this has certainly been an interesting week-end.  We left Rovinj in a rain storm Saturday morning.  The ocean was beating its way onto the coast, the wind was whipping anything not tied down, and everything was soaked.  We made an easy transition from bus to train in Trieste and the train change in Venice Mestre was painless.  Things started to change when we got to Bologna.  

First, I lost the notebook where I keep copies of all our reservations and calendars.  Don't ask for detail - I have none to give.  It was just gone.  Then, the guy at the ticket counter was totally unhelpful.  Without any help from him, we finally managed to purchase the tickets to Naples for Sunday and the tickets for Munich for November 4th.  It was not a pleasant experience.

Then we set out to find an internet place to retrieve a copy of the reservation for Bologna.  That was fairly easy.  Next, I asked for directions to the address and was told it was a looooooong way.  I had specifically chosen this B&B because it was "convenient" to the rail station.  I do not consider three miles "convenient."

When we finally arrived, we were met by the most splendid Italian grandmother who did not speak a word of English.  We got through that all right.  With my few words of Italian and a little bit of Spanish and lots of hand signals we managed to pay for the room, arrange a time for breakfast, obtain basic instructions for a near-by restaurant, and learn the function of all three keys on the key ring.  

Dinner was delicious!  Probably because we were starving.  We walked back to the B&B thinking our run of bad luck was over and the morning would bring a whole new stream of good.  Well . . . not so fast.

This morning, we woke up right on time, showered, dressed, made certain modifications to the packing and were ready for breakfast when Stanley turned on the TV to see about news of Hurricane Sandy.  Wouldn't you know, the time changed last night and we still had an hour to kill before breakfast.

OK We had breakfast,  arranged for a hotel on our return from Naples,  retrieved the information from the missing notebook about our accommodations in Naples and got to the train station in plenty of time.  Stanley went to stamp our ticket and by accident  pulled out the one for the Munich trip.  He then spent the next 15 minutes getting the mistake corrected and discovered on his way down the track to meet me we were waiting at the wrong platform. 

By dashing and daring, we scrambled up on the correct platform, moments before the train pulled in.  We found our seats and waited for the train to pull away.  We waited and waited and waited.  In fact, we waited for about 30 minutes.  Finally, we were on our way.  Congratulating ourselves on the first class seats and big windows we had scored, we were ready to enjoy the beautiful Tuscan countryside between Bologna and Rome.  The train accelerated and we went through a tunnel and then another and then another.  By the time we got to Naples, we had spent well over half the trip in tunnels.  

Here are the few pictures I was able to take between tunnels.