I slept on and off from 1130 till 330 when my alarm woke me. I sat up and realized that another bum had joined our possie sometime during the night. I packed my stuff slowly and quietly, not wanting to wake the bums from there beauty sleep and walked to the front entrance of the train station.
The station didn’t open till 4 so I had to stand around waiting for about 20 minutes. It was ok I had my eye on a shop in there that looked open where I could grab some food and more importantly a coffee. The doors opened and I made a bee line for the shop. It was an illusion, not the shop but the idea that it was open. My head down I headed towards the train. It wasn’t leaving but thankfully the doors opened so I went inside and not long after the heaters came on and I was fast asleep.
I’m just leaving Venice. It’s kinda eerie the suns set, there’s a low cloud and venice being an isand, means that the road and train line out is flanked on both sides by water. However we are at sea level there for the illusion of being on a bridge is negated. A bridge feels like you are crossing from somewhere to another somewhere. This just feels like we’re going out in to nothingness.
The train ride this morning was actually a series of three rides. I didn’t know this was the case untill we got to the first place written on my ticket and the train speaker said something about Termini and every one got off. It was about 6 in the morning we’de stopped at Bologna central. Bologna is where bolognaise was invented. Actually I don’t know that I’m more just assuming.
I had 30 minutes to kill so I wandered aimlessly looking for a coffee shop. I found one across the road in what I think was the bus station. It tasted great though. I took that back to the station and went looking for the next leg of my trip. This train was awesome, the only thing was I was trying to sleep but it started to fill up with school kids. Fast. Sleep was impossible. So I just read for another hour long ride to Ferrara. The birthplace of Ferrari. Actually I don’t know that either, again I’m simply assuming.
Here I had almost 40 minutes to kill. It was about 730 and the sun was up. There was supposed to be a pretty cool castle here. But I had no idea how far away it was and it was cold. So I opted for sitting in the station restaurant with a coffee and my book.
Here I was approached by one of the school girls, I guess she was about 14 or 15. She said something in Italian and pointed at my feet. I pushed my chair back and just looked at her. She moved around to the other side of the table and pointed at my bag, to which my sleeping bag was attached, she continued speaking in Italian. I asked if she spoke English, that was brushed off pretty quickly. This continued to go back and forth for a while before I gave my sleeping bag a proper inspection. Crawling over the top of it was the biggest wasp I’d ever seen. It seemed pretty out of it though. Dunno why. But I just nodded my head at the girls smiled and she ran back to her friends who by now were all in Italian fits of laughter. I grabbed the spoon from my coffee and used it to flick the wasp onto the floor before continuing to stir the sugar into my coffee.
That was a lie, I didn’t really put the spoon back in my drink. Not for long anyway.
Closer to the time of departure I went back over to the platform where my 3rd train for the morning was leaving from. I was 15 minutes early, 5 minutes later the train was packed with school kids.
I actually got a bit of sleep on this trip. My carraige was full of yapping school kids but there was also a group of girls sitting behind me singing. They had beautiful voices, voices of angels easily carrying me off to the land of sleep. (I think that’s the gayest thing I’ve ever said in my life, never again)
We got into Venice at abit after 10. I figured because it was such a labyrinth I’d by a propper map. They were only 2 Euros each. Despite this map and my compass I switched off for 2 minutes and was immediately lost.
It was pretty cold in Venice, with my hood and beanie on I walked into the centre. Via a quick stop off where I grabbed something to eat and another coffee. I swear I’m running on the stuff.
In the centre is a huge square, due to it being the end of November it was mostly empty. I can imagine during the summer how crowded it must become. At the head of the square is one of the most unique church I’ve seen, a massive Byzantine structure which seems to be a mixture of Gothic and almost like renaissance with a splash of baroque too all for good measure.
I went to enter the church. I was stopped by a guard. I hoped I didn’t have to pay. He explained that you’re not allowed to take your bags in. wondering what the hell I was supposed to do with it, he explained that there was a free bag deposit located just around the crner. Ending all my unknowns.
After returning to the security man for directions after an unsuccessful search I eventually got my bag checked and went back into the church. The inside of the church is the most majeestic I’ve seen. Not necessarily as magnificent as the orthodox churches of Serbia and macedonia or as beautiful as the alfresco in the st peters cathedral of the Vatican city but the moost majestic. The roof is what made it. It was a a mosaique, where human figures were separated my millions of small gold tiles, it was something I’d feel if I were to enter Aladin’s cave it was incredible. This combined with the rich wooden lower walls and the beautiful marble between the wood and the mosaque added to it all.
Unfortunately you weren’t allowed to take photo’s in there. So I sat in one of the chairs and half slumped to stare at the roof. I noticed some other tourists taking pictures so I took the opportunity to take a few snaps before I was stopped by one man. I’d seen him walking around behind the rope and I figured he was like a grounds man or what ever the church equivallent is. He shook his head and gestured towards the door and took off towards the entrance. I left towards the exit, both the entrance and the exit being very close. As soon as he looked around I started quick marching towards the opposite door to him and went through it. Looking back only quickly as he came out the door opposite door to myself looking around. I moved around the corner and dashed for a side road. In some cases I’ve heard of people being forced to delete photo’s from there camera’s. I didn’t want to suffer the same fate so I just got out of there. Camera and contents intact.
Before retrieving my bag I went to the information centre at the end of the square. All I wanted to know of was where I could find a café or an area with free Wifi, and where a decent reasonably priced restaurant was. She couldn’t help me with either. She just gave me a broachure of the restaurants in Venice, with no recommendations and looked at me like I was an alien when I asked about the Wifi, as if it doesn’t exist anywhere. She looked even more confused when I asked if there was a star bucks or a Costa’s coffee somewhere. Maybe she’d never left venice and that’s why she’d been given the job.
I went to a square where she said there was an internet café. Yet I couldn’t find any so I sat in the middle of the square and got out my laptop to write about the previous days happenings. Much to my surprise soon after booting up my computer connected to a free unsecured Wifi source. My computer was almost out of juice so I went into a neighboring café, ordered a drink and plugged it in. I took almost 2 hours to drink the 4.5 Euro coffee. Not bad I guess, much cheaper then an internet café.
One funny thing I saw in between typing on my computer and trying to book a viewing of Leonardo’s ‘last supper’ was a guy who was walking along with a small trolley (The type for carrying boxes) his only had one box. With some fresh fruit and a piece of meat in it. What was most interesting was his keys he had hanging on one of the trolley handles. Or more distinctly it was his key ring. It was a bar of soap. With a hole drilled in one end to allow for the steel part of the key ring to hold the dirty keys next to the obviously necessary soap.
Next I went to where LP said I could get good cheap seafood. I haven’t had much luck with the restaurant recommendations of the otherwise brilliant book. This time I got to the restaurant, which was there, luckily, and found no fish on the relatively expensive menu. I’d seen a decent place not far back with a good choice of reasonably priced pastas so I doubled back for an awesome spagetti bolognaise, while on the TV I watched Looney tunes’ wiley coyotte try too take on the Road runner. In Italian. But I still got the jokes and the bird never was caught.
I spent the rest of the afternoon walking, along the outside of the island and up the grand canal back to the train station. I did at one point pass a Leonardo Da vince exhibition containing working models of many of his inventions. The engineer in me was drawn in and I paid the 5 Euros and walked through the door.
3 years ago I’d told my girlfriend at the time that I was taking her for a surprise at docklands, my intent was to take her to a human anatomy exhibition, she was studying nursing and was into all that stuff. However just before we got there we went past a Da vinci exhibition. I couldn’t help myself and told her that it was her surprise. This was the very same exhibition that I’d pid 5 euros for to visit today. Maybe this was karma coming back to bite me on the ass for forcing my girlfriend at the time to walk around staring at what she found boring for 2 hours while I moved around like a kid in a candy store.
By the time I got back to the station 30 minutes early I was feeling pretty knackered, maybe visiting Athens, Milan, Pisa, Florence and Venice in a bit over 48 hours was a bit too much. Combined with the lack of sleep I was well spent.
My clothes are pretty feral too. I’m still wearing the clothes that I wore out in Milan 2 nights ago. They haven’t crossed the digital step of becoming wet and I don’t feel like the analogous continuous progression of becoming more and more smelly justifies pushing an otherwise clean set of clothes onto the same continuous slope.
Maybe the look on the girls face sitting across from me as she stared at my shoeless feet should define a moment when enough is enough. Admittedly it did feel like I was walking in a swamp of algae towards the end of the day. But I’ll wait till I have a shower at the hostel tonight.
So yeah, back at station I unfolded the map I’d paid 2 Euros for and put it under a temporary fence leg so that it was in plain sight for the possibility that someone might come out of the station and could save themselves the 2 Euros. That’s opposed to me just throwing it in the bin.
I had 30 minutes to kill so I walked into the restaurant and grabbed a coffee, this being number 5 for the day. It comes with traveling alone I think. When I get to places and have a look I don’t have anything to do. I don’t want to just eat so something that I cant really think of a good reason not too is have a coffee. Maybe I’ll have to slow down a bit.
I got to the train early with the intention of getting a decent seat. I did but not long after sitting down my carraige filled up with kids, young 10 or 12 year olds coming back from what appeared to be an excursion. I looked over at the girl beside me, it was a bit of a telepathic “Are u thinking what I’m thinking B1?” “I think I am B2”, except lacking the co-ordinated outburst of the solution we both just smiled and shifted up to a different carraige.
The new carraige started to fill up very quickly and it soon became apparent that I wasn’t going to have nearly as much space as I thought I might. A group decided that they were going to fill the seats around us, one of the girls tried to pick her bag up to put it in the overhead lockers but had no luck, I stood up and helped lift the bag which couldn’t have weighed more then 15kg’s into the storage rack. The “Grazie” and the smile I got as a thanks was totally definitely worth it.
Man I want this train ride to finish. I just wanna get my bag from Chrissie’s and get to my hostel I should be there by 2100. I’m hoping that they aren’t doing anything tonight and that I don’t meet anyone who is. As that’s the only way I’ll be able to justify not going out and getting a decent sleep.
I’m wrecked what a jam packed few days. So much stuffing around, y cant people be reliable??
After finally getting into my hostel room I got straight in the shower it felt so good. Even with out soap I could feel the slime washing off my skin. It was a pretty clean shower too, which made it even better.
The room itself was pretty funny. The internet said Hostel Greco but the sign said hotel Greco. So I figured it used to be a hotel. Except now 90 % of the floor space has been crammed with beds.
The first bed I tried was ok, but right next to the heater. So it was super hot. I shifted over to the one beside It it was better but the springs in one side were totally gone so it was like sleeping on the leaning tower of Pisa, (Good way to work in a recent related pun yeah?). So I shifted back to the first bed and turned off the heater. It was fine. And I was out like a light sleeping all the way till my alarm went off at 8.
Actually no I didn’t. Sometime during the night some guy came into the room. And turned on the light. “Sorry” he said in a thick Aussie accent “I just need to find which beds mine. Was this guy retarded, it was blindingly obvious which bed had people in them. Why the hell did he need the light. What a dumb ass. I didn’t care and rolled over and went back to sleep. Soundlessly till 8 o’clock.
I got back to Melano Centrale at 2040. And walked around for 5 minutes looking for a pay phone to try and call chrissy. I didn’t want to use up my credit. I finally found 1 and stuck 50cents in. The way they work here requires you to place the 50 cent in a slot and then push the money and the cradle into the machine. However this one wouldn’t budge. I pulled out my 50cents and upon closer inspection realized that the thing was full of crap. Well at least I got my money back.
So I just took it on the chin got my phone out, powered it up (I’ve been leaving it off because my charger is busted) and tried to call chrissie, it just rang out. Oh well. I decided to just take a gamble.
I knew which line to take and which tram to take to get to the student dorms. But when I was getting onto the metro line I realized that I didn’t know where I had to get off. Last time I’d come this way I’d simply followed Brian. Sorta fretting I just decided to hope that I’d recognise it. Luckily I didn’t have to and I could just look at a map that was at the station. With that weight off my chest I jumped on the tram.
The gamble didn’t pay off. She wasn’t there and she still wasn’t answering her phone an hour wasted I figured.
On the way back I got a message from her. I was still at the tram stop so I figured I could still go back. However she wasn’t there. She was out for tea with her friends. Man that cheeses me off. I’d messaaged her the day before saying I’d be out there between 9 and 930 to pick up my bag in conjunction with a friend req on face book. She replied to the face book request so I know she got the message. Do I reckon it’s the fact that she’s Australian that makes her so un reliable. I dunno maybe, or maybe it’s just people in general are blasse about things and not really any one is reliable. This I might add is not to be confused with saying no one is trust worthy.
I just caught a tram, then a train, then a bus to where the hostel was. On the tram I read my LP (Take note of this for future reference.). And when I got to the right spot I had to get my laptop out for the saved map of how to get to the hostel.
After a series of walks through some back alleys I found the hostel. And checked in. they took my Passport and put it at the head of the desk, presumably with the others, not even locked. I was beyond caring.
The description on lonely planet had said that iit had a bar. I was leaning against a high raised granite table so my hopes were rising as to a quick beer before sleep. They were smashed though. There was no bar. Nor, I was in formed, that there is within 15 walking at that hour.
I was shown to my room. I asked the guy for a key. “Oh no, he said, there is only one per room and the last person leaves it here at the desk.” Again I was beyond caring. I tried to enter room I had no luck, I knocked a couple of times to no avail. I went back to the reception too check that the people were there. I went back and began a periodic knocking cresendo untill the door was finally opened (after 20 seconds of them fiddling with the lock) by a very wearisome looking bloke. I quickly apologized for waking them. “Nah she’s right mate” was the response, God damn Aussies. They are everywhere.