Monday, July 11, 2011

Take train straight to hell

Hey people.

So, sorry for not posting yesterday, but I got stuck in Venice. I accidentally bought the ticket for the wrong day and couldn't leave until the next morning (though I am telling most people that the train got cancelled). I will go into further detail when we get there, but for now let us start at the beginning.
The day started off very exciting. I was going to Venice on a train by myself for the first time. I was so excited and nervous at the same time, hoping that nothing would go wrong. Once I got on the train it basically was smooth sailing the two hours until we reached Venice. I got off the train and immediately began exploring. I also immediately got really lost. I even bought a map just in case of getting really lost, but it was not help because i couldn't figure out where I was. Luckily I had accounted for getting really lost and gave myself beyond enough time just to wander around aimlessly. So, I did just that. I stumbled on some very big cathedrals and amazing sculpture, just like I planned to. Even stumbled upon a very quaint pizzeria that served me massive amounts of delicious food. Also found an amazing sculpture garden next to a park. But, after about 5 hours of wandering in the hot sun (which was really hot and I was sweating like a crazy person) I decided to walk into a couple of museums, just to cool down. The first museum was the music museum where I got to see all different forms instruments took before cementing to the designs they have now. Then I walked into a really fancy looking building that turned out to be a modern glass museum that was just in a victorian styled building. weird. Then wandered around some more and did some of the drawings I was required to do for homework very quickly (although they aren't very good and my teacher is going to bash them like no other) and then stumbled on another really cool museum of modern art. The artist took renaissance style pieces and put a modern cartoon twist on them. They were all very clever. That entire area happened to be flooded with new up and coming artists featuring their works in galleries so I got to see a ton of great fresh art. Then, since I was still full from my giant lunch, I had a sweet granite for desert and then headed to the train station to wait for my train.
So, I am sitting in the train station waiting for the board to show where I am to board, but I can't find my train number. I am early though, so I just sit and wait a couple hours for the board to show. Now it is 7:50, and there still is no sign of my train on the board. I start to freak out running all over, trying to make sure I didn't miss anything. I go to the information booth, but there is a long line, and by the time I get to the end the train will have already left. So I stop a conductor and ask if they could help. They looked at my ticket for a while and saw that the train was actually for Monday morning, not Sunday night. This sorta helped my freak out....sort of. I wait in the information line now, reading my book to try and calm myself down. When I finally reach the end I ask if there was anyway I can get a train back tonight to Florence. She said there was no way at all and I would have to wait until morning. I tried to explain the importance of getting back tonight and was hoping I could transfer at Bolongia or something, but she simply said it wasn't possible unless I could get to the other train station (9 K away) and take the train there at 3 am. I leave in a huff and decide to calm down and just take a hotel and stay the night. I go to three different hotels, all ridiculously expensive, and haggle the third place down to a reasonable price. By this time I am so exhausted, sweaty, and beaten that i just shower and crash for the night.

I had a wake up call for 6:45 made so I could work out and eat before my train at 8:30. After I had gotten ready I went to the train station and waited again. I should say I was worried and frantically made sure everything was correct this time, but I had used up all my worrying the previous day and just wanted to get back. The train comes in on time, I board and everything is fine. Once I am on the train, however, the conductor comes by and asks for my ticket. I show her the paper that the reservation said to print out. She explained that this wasn't the ticket, but that this was a reservation for the seat (even though the paper clearly said ticketless and there was no need for a ticket to be purchased). She then said I would need to pay 90 euro if I wanted to stay on the train. Ordinarily I would have fought this ridiculous expense, but I was so tired of fighting and arguing, I just wanted to get back to Florence so I could feel a little better about the entire situation. So, I paid her and she left. I am still a little regretful I didn't fight it, but can't say that I would have done it differently if the same thing presented itself again. Thats when I got off the train and went straight back to the apartment. The entire experience was extremely draining and has made me a little resentful against the train stations and about being in Italy all together. But, I am told this feeling in normal after you have been in a foreign place for a while and it will pass. I hope to travel to Naples next weekend, but we will see, as of right now I don't think I could muster up the nerve to do that again so soon. Perhaps the weekend after. No, I will probably go this weekend, but plan the trip better.

Anyway, I am tired and have class in a hour. I'll keep everyone updated on how today goes and will have some pictures to post of my paintings, maybe tonight or tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Wow,tough day. Maybe you should take
    The train a little closer...Naples is a the opposite end of Italy... Maybe a relaxing beach....