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Published: September 24th 2012
Our first, clean train
it sucked we had to move
Learning from our mistake the day before, we actually scouted out the train departure times and left at a decent hour to catch the regional train at the closer station, Pompei Scavi, eating the few euros if we were to have caught the train at the city's train station. After our free breakfast, and saying goodbye to our great hosts at Easy Bed Hostel, we walked the 250 meters to the station. It was much better being able to sit around and wait for our train, rather than arriving at the last second. Even though we found seats together, the train was not as nice as the others, which really isn't saying much, and we stopped at every station on the way to Naples. We were very thankful we decided to take the earlier train because it was about an hour long, rather than the half hour we were led to believe. We had Vesuvius in the background. Oh, and some lovely graffitti the entire way.
We arrived at the station before they had even selected a platform, so we had time to wander around. Not much to see. Gwen and I went to the bathroom and here is my
rant - you have to pay 1 euro to go to a public toilet in most of Italy. Fine, but use that euro to pay someone to CLEAN THE BATHROOMS! Every single public toilet I used in Italy was so disgusting, that when I finally found one that actually clean, I drank his disgusting expensive cappuccino with a giant smile on my face. I hate public toilets anyway, and from now on I will just hold it or use the beautiful great outdoors.
So, we found our rain and our seats and the train was incredibly nice! The first time we were sitting on real seats with room to spare, on a nice clean train. Aaaah.... We were on one of the furthest cars and I was wondering where the heck all the people were coming from who walked by our window. Turns out, we had to switch trains! NO!!!! We lost Josh, found Josh, and made our way to our new train which was set up the same but just not quite as crisp and new and clean. Still way better than any train we'd ridden on yet. We choo-choo-ed our way out of town, with only a
Stuck in the countryside
somewhere between Naples and Rome
stop at Rome Termini. This was the fast train and we were looking forward to a nice relaxing trip all the way to Florence. Oh, but wait - we broke down ten minutes outside of Naples. Yep. And sat on the tracks for about 40 minutes, with no A/C. Again, thankful that we decided to alter our plans and get to Florence early. Eventually we took off again, and after our stop in Rome, there were no more delays. Our train reached speeds of 240 km/hr - it was amazing to see the beautiful countryside (no graffitti!) speed by as we relaxed and I read my book.
We arrived in Florence 30 minutes late and found our way to the office of the agency who was renting us an apartment for the next three nights. The walk to the apartment was very long but I fell in love with Florence. The architecture here is beautiful; it is a very pedestrian friendly medieval city. The streets are still stone and are narrow with close shopping and apartments throughout. Little vespas were zooming through the city and stylish women were walking easily from place to place. When we finally found our
place, we were very happy to put our bags down and stretch. We each had a nice cold beer and discussed what our plan for the next day would be.
For the evening we decided to get a bite to eat and then take a walk to the river and see the sunset. It was beautiful. Just amazing. Then we headed over for some gelato at a place that Gwen had read about - i had some kind of cookies and cream type this time. We wandered about on the other side of the river looking for a church tower Josh had seen - it was hidden within the many buildings and eventually we headed back.
We didn't have a real dinner as most restaurants there do no open until 8pm and a few opened at 7. We were lucky to find a place at 6:30, but just ordered some wine and small appetizers and that was plenty. So, we headed back to the apartment and played cards while drinking wine. I taught Gwosh how to play Gypsy Rascal, which I was taught by Loree, Adam and Ron, only in their version you get to slap the other
players if they flinch. We didn't implement this rule. Thankfully because I got beat big time. Gwen picked up on the game immediately and dominated. I blame her longer fingers. So, we decided to play Rummy instead and thanks to my mom, this was my game. We had each picked our prize for if we won (first to 300 points), with the loser having to perform the deed. I kicked some serious butt and my prize was for the loser (Josh) to massage my (freshly clean) feet. More on that tomorrow...
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