Posted by: lifeonislandtime | July 29, 2022

Into Italy

As lovely as the Bernini Express was, the initial steps into Italy were…not. First off, we were draped into Tirano with a couple of hours to kill. Problem was, there is not enough to do in Tirano to occupy us for several hours. Second problem is that the next leg was a bus. Fine. It’s a small town, the train doesn’t come often. Whatever. I would be fine if this was all. It wasn’t. We had reserved spots on the bus (but not reserved seats) and as we were waiting, the train agent was selling tickets out of his Fanny pack. Fine. Fill the bus. But, wouldn’t you think that those of us with reservations would get to board the bus first? No, not the case. It was a total free-for-all to get on the bus. Mom and I got on first we Dad and Trav handled the luggage. Trav brushed off his old hockey skills and couldn’t-checked his way onto the bus. In the meantime, a man had seen the empty seat next to me and tried to take it. A polite “It’s taken!” did nothing. I had to use my teacher voice and tell him “NO!” While pushing his bag away. Mom was looking everywhere for dad, and find him at the back of a scrum of people. She kept telling the driver “That’s my husband! He has a ticket! Let him on!” But it did nothing. Trav finally had to go down and tell him to push his way on. We finally get all 4 of us on the bus, only to find it poorly air-conditioned.

We took the bus to Colico, where we had a 10 minute connection. We get onto the train (finally! A train!) and there aren’t any seats. Trav and I get mom and dad seats, then we go forward to find some. We didn’t, so we stood in the doorway with our luggage. At least we were in the air conditioning. We figured we’d get seats at the next stop. We were wrong. Each stop along Lake Como saw 2 people get off, and 25 get on. As we neared Milan, we began to fear mom and dad would get off at the wrong stop, or worse, stay on the train.

When we finally arrived in Milan (at the end of the line) and mom and dad were off the train, with their luggage, we were grateful. But the adventure wasn’t over yet. We had a 17 minute connection to Rome, but couldn’t find it on the timetable. It only showed Salerno. We asked a worker through google translate, and we were eventually pointed to the correct train, where we got on with about 5 minutes to spare, it had ample air conditioning, and it had a bar. We rolled into Rome at 9:20 at night, ready for our good night’s rest, and trip to the ship the next day.

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