Adventures in Traveling

I thought that the trip from Coimbra to Barcelona was bad and nothing could possibly compete.  Well, it turns out I was wrong and that apparently it is just a bad idea to travel overnight because everything that could possibly go wrong will.

Last night I took the train from Nice to Florence. At least that was the plan.  I had bought my ticket a day early so that I would be assured a spot on the train because I assumed that it was going to be packed.  Turns out I assumed right.  What I did not account for was the attendant giving me a ticket to the wrong city.

When I got to the train station last night, I checked my ticket and to my surprise I was booked on the night train to Venice instead of Florence. I got in line to change the ticket and I was right.  The train was full.  The worker said that I could probably use the reservation I had for the train to Florence but I just had to talk to the conductor.  Unfortunately none of the conductors spoke a word of English and my halting French was not enough to make them understand.

I did meet two other travelers wishing to go to Florence in a similar situation except they did not have tickets at all.  We decided we would grab a compartment and hope that we would not get kicked off.  Luckily we did not and the staff just let us stay in the empty seats.

However, I ended up with someone coming into my compartment around midnight and all he wanted to do was chat when I wanted to sleep.  He did not get off the train until 1:30 and talked to me the entire time.  I learned all about how his father had four wives and how he wanted to be my boyfriend in Africa.  It turns out he was from Senegal and he gave me a CD to remember him by.  He was really creepy and I was very relieved when he got off the train and I could get some sleep.

My sleep was not to be for the rest of the night though.  The conductor came looking to check tickets at 4:30 in the morning and it was very difficult to get back to sleep after that.  Especially since the train arrived in Florence at 6:30.

The only good thing about the whole journey was that we arrived in Florence early enough that when I went to see Michaelangelo”s David there was a very short queue.  Unlike the hour plus lines to get into some of the other sights in Florence.

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April 27, 2008. Italy.

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