At any rate, I spent the night in a hotel that I would not especially recommend. What saved the evening there was having dinner at a table next to the only other dinner guest at that time, a man from Scotland who was quite friendly and clearly enjoyed having someone to speak English with. He gave me great advice about visiting Scotland and specifically the Isle of Skye, which I truly hope to do someday, as we have ancestry ties to a castle there.
And then the server was so sweet. She was clearly glad that I spoke Italian! At one point in the evening, when I apologized for not knowing the word for something and attributing it to my tiredness, she said that she was also very tired and had been having trouble sleeping and was thinking about switching to a night shift since she's always awake at night, anyway.
She spilled the water at one point, and later dropped a glass, which shattered on the tile floor. I felt an immediate bond with her.
So, exhaustion aside (I never am able to sleep on planes), it was an enjoyable evening, and I went to bed happy and beginning to feel as if I really were on vacation.
Next morning, a shuttle to the airport, and a bus ride to the most beautiful train station I've ever seen. You really should take a moment to enlarge the pictures and look at the detail.
The ceiling in the "Sala di Attesa," the official waiting room, is just wonderful. Makes sitting around and waiting much easier.
I couldn't help but notice, though, how somebody apparently didn't appreciate the history and tradition as much as I did. Otherwise they would not have put an ugly digital screen right where they did, with its brightly colored advertisements.
This became a theme on much of my trip. In another area of the station, I saw this exit sign surrounded by a beautiful mosaic . . .
. . . but had to work hard to really see it what with all the glossy ads surrounding it.
Eventually it was time to board the train, and then I knew for sure I was no longer at home. Riding a train is just not part of life around where we live. Now I was heading for another home. Physically still tired, but my spirit was beginning to wake up!
It just occurred to me as we were stopping at Bologna, I think, that many of my friends stateside have probably never had the expeience of riding a train and looking over at the nextdoor train. So I took a picture.
And this, such a familiar sight, is something many Americans have never seen. And the sky was beautiful, so I took another picture.
And soon I was in a less beautiful train station. But that will wait for another post.