If it's so lucky, why'd I miss my flight?
Milan Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Things started out well enough. After spending the last week w/ my host family on a farm in the middle of nowhere, I was looking forward to some sunshine and potty-trained company. I even managed to make it to Lubeck a few hours early in an attempt to get a new battery for my camera.
That turned out to be a fruitless pursuit however, as it seems that I received a camera for my birthday that’s batteries do not exist in the whole of Europe. I did however get lots of “uh ohs!” thrown my way after several vain attempts to explain my problem in a Denglish/mime fashion. So with disposable cameras in hand I made my way to the airport where I made my first travel buddy of the trip. (At least I think she was friendly as she got quite handsy with me in front of three teenage boys…ah, the joys of airport security!)
But no matter, I was going to ITALY! Of course the plane was late and I missed any shot at catching a train that night. But I got to spend 6 hrs talking to some Americans at the train station while janitors drove by slowly in golf carts to ogle us. Yay! My first interaction with locals?! ahahahaha.
Quickly made it south, where my first day consisted of sunshine, gelato, lemon groves, and limoncello. I had found paradise and it was called Sorrento. The next day I headed to Pompeii, wandering around aimlessly pondering the city’s real demise. I still believe that if the volcano hadn’t wiped the place out the food and drink prices would have… A quick stop to check costs to Mt. Vesuvius led me on an unexpected trip there that same afternoon. An older couple talked me into going (even though I was in flip flops) as well as 2 more people so that they wouldn’t have to pay 4x as much for the ride. Considered it good travel karma… What I should have considered was that the tour company was called “The Vesuvius Express” as they took their name to heart! We gamely sped through the winding streets, horn blaring to let oncoming traffic no we were coming, only pausing twice. Once was so the driver could exclaim “Capri” and the other (he turned down the music- That’s Amore…I kid you not!) to spout out “1944 1944” before hitting the accelerator. In the parking lot we were told to meet back in 45-60 minutes. (For those of you that haven’t been, it’s roughly a 20 min hike to the top.) But the only regret I occasionally have is not purchasing that glittered lava rock figurine of an erotic Pompeii statue from the gift shop ;)
After that I made my way up to Rome where I was meeting a friend. We arrived in time to see most of the sites as the sun was setting. The Colosseum is especially gorgeous at that time. Plus all of the tourists and vendors were pretty much gone for the day. (Possibly to stake out Madonna’s hotel- which we spent a bit of time doing before sightseeing I must admit…) The next day we got to actually go into most of the attractions and had a super cheap and delicious picnic lunch at the Trevi Fountain. Deciding not to go out with the gelato man that offered “to show me around after dark” while plying me with samples of every flavor (My friend’s reaction- “Do it! Then we won’t have to pay for our scoops!”), we headed back to the hostel. Going into our room we met 2 guys, sort of (One was passed out after they had taken a hideously long trip from Paris thinking that it would only take a couple hours tops-haha) Feeling bad for the conscious guy, we took him out and gave him a nighttime tour so that he would know where everything was the next day.
From Rome we made our way to Florence after hearing nothing but rave reviews. But to be honest I was a bit disappointed. While incredibly beautiful, the architecture seemed flat/ one dimensional to me. It looked like a Disney version of an Italian town if that makes any sense? Like it was too perfect or something. We had enough time for a side trip to Pisa though and managed to miss the one bit of rain the whole trip.
Things really didn’t start to go downhill until leaving Florence. My friend bought our tickets at a kiosk and we waited for the timetable to go up so we knew which platform to wait at. (In Germany it’s printed on the ticket, but in Italy you just wait until it’s posted.) Well about 10-15 minutes before our departure the platform still wasn’t listed so I asked to see the tickets. And realized that we were at the wrong station. Thinking positive thoughts I quickly purchased tickets and got us on the next train as we were really close to the correct station. So close in fact, that we got to watch our train pull away from the end of the platform…
Fortunately it only costs around 16 euro for us to upgrade to the next available train, unfortunately that train wasn’t for about 4 more hours and departing from our original train station. Still I managed to make a joke out of it. Posing for pics and calling it “our 10 euro photo op” as I could tell my friend felt bad about the mistake. We made it back to our original stop after a small incident w/ the ticket checkers (the stamping machine was broken and it is a 5 euro fine, but the guy decided he didn’t want to deal with my brand of crazy) and Nanda decided she wanted a magnet. I agree to watch her stuff (she’d lost 50 euro in Rome and didn’t want to spend money to check it) if she wanted to go to the shop across the street. And she doesn’t come back for 2 HOURS. Now I’m just pissed as I can’t really go anywhere or do anything carrying my backpack and her suitcase. So I instead sat in the lobby muttering “I’m going to kill her! I’m going to f@#king kill her!” repeatedly under my breathe as one would expect. On the plus side I hade quite a bit of space and wasn’t hit on once as nobody really wanted to sit next to me :P
We finally make it to Venice and catch a bus to the hotel. (We stayed just outside of town in Mestre) And my friend has us get off at the wrong stop. But she thinks it’s a good idea to try to walk along the highway to the next stop… and I have to tell her that even though I wished her dead earlier, this idea will in fact kill her and I’m no longer angry. We eventually catch another bus and make it safely to our hotel. And as we step into St. Mark’s Square for the first time at sunset all is truly forgiven.
Venice was amazing and I was sad to leave for Milan. Especially after what happened next. On the day we were to fly back to Germany (me to Lubeck and travel w/ my host family, she directly to Dusseldorf) we went to the Duomo and twirled on the mosaic bull’s testicles for luck at Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle. Basically anything to kill time before heading to the airport. Well, I guess I’m a better time waster than I thought because I ended up missing the check in to my flight by 3 minutes. It was quite a remarkable feat and I couldn’t even muster the strength to do anything but laugh. The upside was that I managed to get on a flight to Frankfurt for only 60 euro and trained it back to D’dorf around 3am rather than being stuck between 2 toddlers singing “We’re going on a bear hunt” for 6 hours. So maybe those testicles weren’t such bad luck after all!