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Traveling Italy June 30, 2011

Posted by kylebogdal in Travel Log.
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For our five day weekend, we decided to go on a trip to Italy. Our first stop was Rome and it was an interesting journey getting there because our overnight train left from Munich and headed for Rome. We had made reservations for a sleeper car and the compartments in these sleeper cars are very narrow and not much room can be spared for anything more than a bag and yourself. The “beds” are stacked three high on each side of the compartment and there is a small ladder to get up to each level.

It was, however, very convenient once you were settled into your spot to have a place to lie down for the night. It was also very convenient to be able to go to sleep in Germany and wake up in Italy. Once in Rome, we headed for the important and famous sites. We saw many of the highlights of the city including the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Coliseum in the same day and explored the Vatican museum and Vatican city the rest of the second day. The third night of our journey was spent on a couple trains while traveling to the beaches of Cinque Terre. The train out of Rome was extremely crowded and we had to kick several people out of our seats who didn’t have reservations. Once we got to the beaches, it was before dawn and we were all so tired that we napped until the sun rose. We spent the rest of the day relaxing at the beach and headed back into town for dinner. Once we finished our dinner, we boarded the train to take us towards our next destination: Florence. We went to make our transfer to the train to Florence and an announcement said that that train had been cancelled! The other train headed for Florence was also cancelled along with many other lines to other cities! We found out after talking to some of the natives that there was a train strike that was supposed to end earlier that day but didn’t end when they said it would. We were stuck in the town of Pisa and didn’t know how to get to our destination. We eventually found information about a bus that was leaving from the train station and heading toward Florence. We still had several hours to kill before that bus came and decided to go visit the famous leaning tower.

While waiting at the train station for the bus we learned that everyone else in the area was trying to get to Florence had also bought tickets to the bus and that the machine selling the tickets had not limited the number of tickets that it sold. This resulted in way too many people for a coach bus that had nowhere near enough room. The bus driver eventually opened the doors and because I was relatively close to the door, I was picked up off my feet from the force of the people behind me all clamoring to get onto the bus and pushed on. If another bus had not arrived immediately after I got on, I believe that there may have been a riot in the streets. This was the last mishap in our travels through Italy and we eventually got to the hostel in Florence where we originally intended to go.  

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