Will the rain ever stop....
Bologna Travel Blog› entry 16 of 21 › view all entries
March 29th, 2009 – by: cotterb
Oh well, live and learn.
Today was a full travel day. I got out of the hostel fairly early, but ended up having to wait an hour for my first train. An hour later I was at my connection with a choice. I bought a regional train ticket for 8€ which would get me to Bologna...on regional trains. When I got to my mid point in Prato I found there was an InterCity direct train to Bologna.
The conductor came around and made a short speech in italian, which seemed to frustrate a bunch of people...I couldn't understand him, so as he came around to inspect fares, which was weird because he only looked at a few peoples, I told him I didn't understand him and showed him my ticket. He paused, gave me a bad look, shook his head, and said "It's okay," and moved on. I'm pretty sure he could have fined me 50€ or more....but lucky me.
The train ride was good otherwise, but the sights were not. The weather has been really cloudy and rainy. That light rain where you can tolorate it, but eventually you're cold and wet. Yuck.
When I got to the train station I quickly found my bus line, but the stop I was at was headed the wrong way.
The bus was pretty quick too and it turns out that the bus I need to get to my hotel is actually the same bus that will take me into the main downtown area. Very handy.
I had to stay at a real hotel this time because there aren't really any hostels in Bologna, the closest is a way out and doesn't look very good so I skipped it.
Internet in Italy is a little scary because all of the free cafe's have to track your name etc. They often photo copy my passport. The hotel, even thought the wi-fi is free, had to give me a username and password because they had to log my info in their internet book. Another weird thing, not bad mind you, is that I'm finding a lot of the internet cafe's are using Linux instead of Windows as their operating system, and almost all of them, even if they are using Windows, are using Firefox as a browser instead of Internet Explorer. I'm sure this has something to do with the Microsoft anti-trust lawsuits that have been going on in the EU for some time. It's frustrating thought because my realtor needs me to electronically a document, but I have to use IE to do it.
I took the bus back to the major area and wandered around in the rain a bit. Beautiful city, with lots to see. The only 'tour' I did was the Basilica di San Petronio. it's a hugh church, 5th largest in Europe, which was set to be the largest, larger then St. Peter's at the Vatican, but Pope Pius IV stopped constructions to build a university right where they were expanding the basilica, thus halting it's growth. hummm. You can actually see an incomplete section on the side of the church.
It was beautiful inside, as is to be expected. This church also has a huge sundial inside which was "instrumental in discovering the anomalies of the Julian calendar and lead to the creation of leap year." Inside they also have a large pendulum with an explanitaion of how it works.
A little more wandering and now it's time to go back to my hotel. I'm actually excited about that with it being so nice. Also I need to get up a little early to make it to the cooking class. Fortunatly I had a chance at the train station to figure out the connection I need to make to get there by 1000.
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