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Published: April 11th 2011
The Sicily that wasn't meant to be:
So we left for sicily around 3 for an 8 O'Clock flight out of Verona, plenty of time to get there. Our first train was delayed from Bassano to Padova. We got to Padova a little behind schedule and hopped on a train headed for Milan. This was a speed train so it made few stops, thus making it a short ride to Verona. Well, this train was an hour late, and on this particular day, not the speed train. So we jammed into this packed train and started making our way to Verona. We stopped at every stop until verona. This made a 30 minute train ride into an hour and a half train ride. We were also standing this whole way because the train was so packed. We finally got to Verona and start running for taxis or whatever would take us to the airport. The first time in all of Italy, we did not find a group of at least 10 taxis sitting around waiting for people. So we tried to cut the line of 15 or so by hopping in a taxi that was dropping people off. This failed miserably and everyone in the taxi line seemed to be traveling alone, thus making us 15 taxis away from leaving. So we decided to hunt down the mysterious bus that we heard about from others at Cimba who have flown out of Verona. We found the Airport bus, hopped on and it took about 10 minutes to get us to the airport. At this time it was about 5 minutes after our ticket says the gates close. On every Ryan Air flight I have flown on so far in Europe, none have boarded until after the ticket says the gates close. So we figure we were OK. We ran into the airport and found no Ryan Air checkin desk. So the geniuses we were, we asked someone and he said he thought the gate was closed and he said to try the security line and see what they say. So we ran to security and they called the Ryan Air attendant over and she said that we missed the flight. We were devastated, exhausted, and starving. So we went to the booking desk on the floor above and asked for any flight to Trapani from Verona, Milan, Venice, or anywhere else that was mildly close for a flight the next day (friday). She said there was one flight out of Venice-Treviso that would cost us 57 Euros and that there were 14 seats still available at that price. She said we would have to buy it online ourselves because it would be cheapest. We all thought that was an excellent option and decided we would first worry about getting back to Paderno before the trains stopped for the night before booking the flight. We spent the 5 euros each to get back on the bus to go to the train station. We bought a 20 euro train ticket to get back to Paderno and went on our way. We got back to Padova and had about an hour before our bus was scheduled to leave. At this time it was about 9 and we were starving. We grabbed some McDonald's and waited for our bus at the bus stop. When the time came we asked a bus that was right in front of us if he was going to Bassano del Grappa. He said no and pointed us to a bus across the station. We ran to the bus and he pointed back to where we came from but this time we saw a double bus, which was the bus that we were supposed to be on, starting to pull away. My buddy Matt just books it towards this bus, while we jogged behind him at a fast pace. A biker whistles down the bus driver, the bus driver stops and we got on. We all were beginning to question this whole trip, and how everything possible that could go wrong has almost all gone wrong. We get back to Bassano, grabbed a cab and headed back to school, where it all started. We arrive back to campus at about 1130. We discussed and decided we would book that ticket for noon on the following day, friday. We decide to book a taxi first to make sure we could get to the airport after everything that happened. We got a cab and now it was 1215AM. We all hopped on a computer in the computer lab and began to book it but then realized that the flight now was 157 euros. Ryan Air jacked up its prices on the day of the flight. We were 15 minutes late. It seemed that there was a higher calling telling us not to go to Sicily. We all agreed to eat the costs and pass on the flight. So we stayed in Paderno this past weekend, while paying for a flight to Sicily, a hostel in Palermo, an apartment in Trapani, a flight home on Sunday, and traveling costs to and from Verona, non of which could be refunded. So the weekend started off on a very depressing state, but we managed to make the most of it. Plus, finals are this week so I got in some good study time. That was my Sicily trip.
This week is finals and I have already finished one of my classes because I presented my final project today. Wednesday I have 2 finals, and my last final is thursday. Friday I have to go to a final but I just listen to presentations so that doesn't really count. Saturday my parents and sister fly in so I will meet them in Venice and we will do various Italian tourist things for the week and a half after that. I leave my parents the 26th to go to Nice with my buddy Matt. I will be in Nice for 2 nights then I have to make my way to Paris on the 28th. The 29th I fly home, which I moved up from my original date of May 5th. This will be the last entry until after I am home so check back here around may 1st.
It has been an amazing semester here in Italy. I can not thank my Parents enough for allowing me the opportunity to study abroad. I have made some great friends and have learned a lot about my own abilities. I recommend any one who is given the opportunity to study abroad to do so. It is truly an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. Cimba has been an excellent experience and if you want to learn about the real Italian culture, travel more than most other study abroad programs and take excellent courses, than Cimba is for you.
I will see some of you very soon. Thanks for reading! Arrivederci!
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