Thursday, June 4, 2009


After the train station incident, BlueBirdy (BB) and i went to Mestre to pick up luggage, back to Venizia Santa Maria station and got on the overnight train (final destination of train was Napoli) so we can get to Bologna.

Italian night trains don't announce stops, so all you have to go by is the estimated time of arrival - set your watch for 10 minutes before the ETA, then watch and see if the train pulls into your destination around the time they said. Italian trains also run on Amy time - they are anywhere from on-time to 15 minutes late. So you have a moving target of 30 minute window to look out for your stop.

BB and i managed to find an empty cabin (row of 3 seats facing another 3 seats in the compartment) and we didn't put our luggage up on the shelf in case people with assigned seats were going to claim them. Then 3 guys came in and asked if they can sit here too... they seemed harmless and friendly, so we decided to include them and then close the compartment door quickly to exclude anyone else from intruding into our little comfortable space...

The one who spoke the most english was Lucas, the friend Gabriel in the middle is quiet but eagerly planning their days in Rome and all the things he had been waiting to see. The cutest one was Paolo who sat across from BB and spoke the least amount of english (but we all communicated fabulously between all our languages)
Brazil (southern) seems like a beautiful place to visit, i wouldn't mind taking a trip there someday...

the train stopped at this random station for about 20 minutes, we all thought it's going to delay all the other stops, but surprisingly, 2:30am came by and we were in Bologna!

------ Trapped in Bologna ---------------

BB and i got out with our luggages, and maybe one or two other people got off at the station - middle of the night, i guess there's no crowds.

We followed the Uscita sign to exit, and walked all the way to the lobby when we realized the doors were chained shut - and the place was full of homeless people taking shelter because it's cozy and warm inside. One of them shouted something we couldn't understand, we figured they were reiterating that this was closed.

we walked back towards the platform we got off at, and i saw the walkway up towards an overpass where cars were passing by. At the platform, there's also a locomotive by itself, steaming off into the distance, probably being fixed. As BB and I dragged our suitcases toward the walkway, she said to me "this is like seriously old days in Chenoby or something"...

we managed to wrestle all the stuff we were carrying to the top of the walkway only to find the doors similarly chained shut, and we can see the door that opens to the street but can not go through.

Exhausted, and tired, and trapped in Bologna station, we hauled everything back to the platform.

I stopped for a moment - there is no way that we are literally locked inside Bologna train station, even though it felt like it. I took a breath. Then i told BB - every station, platform 1 opens directly to street level - there has been no doors, you just walk right in - we MUST be able to exit via that way.

finally, we got out of the station, and walked across the street to check into our hotel. at 3am, another couple was there checking in (a very demanding and high maintenance Polish woman, with her Canadian husband)
Our heads hit the bed after quick showers until morning, where we had to pack up and check the bags at the hotel and explore Bologna.

-------- Bologna on a Sunday ----------------

BB and I started exploring Bologna on a sunday. we saw a beautiful fountain by the city wall and took some pictures

Almost nothing is open until after siesta in Bologna on a sunday... we were the riff raff that wandered the streets window shopping... we headed towards downtown but decided that our priorities were in order and lunch was the main point...

I had - surprise drum roll - Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna

and it was delish. SOOOOOOOOO good, the sauce was perfect, meaty and not heavy.
the best bolognese sauce i've ever had.

we found our way to the main church and museum area in Bologna, but BB and I were exhausted from all the walking, the being trapped in train stations, the churches and museums... we walked around, saw an interesting fountain

(interesting and obnoxious)

then we just sat outside this ledge outside a scenic church and chatted and hung out for over an hour, talking to our hearts' content about books we read, things we've seen, life, pets, whatever else happen to come up.

we slowly mozie our way back to hotel to get our luggage and take the train to Parma, to switch trains to La Spezia.

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