Saturday, August 6, 2005

Drama in Italy

Hello everyone,
So. It was bound to happen... something went wrong in my trip :-( I'm lucky in a number of ways, though, so I'm in a good mood and thankful that I have food to eat and books to read!

Yesterday, I left from Rome to take a train to the other coast of Italy, to the city of Bari, where I would catch a ferry to Greece. My train unfortunately hit a person when we were about 10 minutes from Bari, and we had to wait 2 hours before a judge came to allow the train to move again. Finally we moved and arrived in Bari, though it was 8:40 and the ferry left at 8:00. While on the train, I started talking to the three girls sitting next to me. They were on vacation from Portugal and were trying to catch the same ferry as I. We stuck together when we arrived in the Bari train station and eventually shared a cab to the port since the bus to the port would have taken 20 minutes longer. I unfortunately had no cash at that time, because the train I was on was nicer than the ones covered by my Eurail pass, so I had to pay the only 20 Euro I had for the stupid supplement instead of the supplement for my ferry ride. Lucia, Susanna, and Maria Joao paid and told me not to worry about paying them back (see? people are good!). We got to the ferry port and learned that the ferry had just left, after waiting until 8:30, because the train had called ahead to have the ferry wait. Which means we were just a few minutes too late! It didn't matter anyway, though, because the ferry was full, as is tonight's ferry, and we found out that we can't get reservations anyway. So. They went back to sleep in the train station, and I was standing there outside the ferry ticket office, when I heard these two girls talking in US-ian English (their names are Alyssa and Melissa - yes, seriously). I asked them where they were going, and they said a hotel and asked if I wanted to share a cab and the room to make it cheaper for us all (they had been on the killer train, too). We asked the taxi driver, in broken Italian, English and Spanish, to take us to a cheap hotel, which he did and didn't overcharge us for the trip, either! The hotel was very nice for being so cheap, and we immediately dropped our bags and raced for some food. We were luck and found the best restaurant I've seen here (their house bread was AWESOME!), and they kept giving us free water and bread, which we eventually took home with us (I actually have some of the bread right next to me right now, to go with my peanut butter and water - it's a good lunch!). I slept well and today came to the internet cafe to check finances and to see what my Greece/Italy options were. After that, I had to check out of the hotel at 10:00, and when I was checking out, met this Austrailian couple (Michelle and Franz) who were trying to go to Greece from Croatia, but had to come to Bari first. We traipsed around Bari all morning, and finally they figured out a way to get to Greece and now I'm alone in an internet cafe again, figuring out my next week, and letting you all know I'm ok and going to be well-fed.

My new plans are to use my Eurail pass to travel around Italy, based in Florence. I'll be at the Plus Camping Michelangelo hostel (yes, tents, but they're like cabin-tents, not just pitch-a-tent-on-the-ground tents). Their phone number is 39(0)556811977 and email is if you need to contact them to contact me. My cell phone is still working (Shoshana just called me while I was writing this!), so you can call that if need be. So. Tonight it's off to Florence (Kathryn - we only missed each other by a couple days!) and maybe a day trip to Pisa or something. Maybe I'll learn more Italian by the time I leave - yea!

I fly to London from Rome on Friday the 12, to arrive in London around midnight. I'll email sometime in the next week and definetly after I arrive in London. Please don't worry about me - my lack of shyness should help me in not being alone in dangerous situations, and I can hang out with tourists that speak English, German, and Spanish, so my options are very wide!

I miss you!

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