AIR TICKET TO ITALY. AIR TICKET
AIR TICKET TO ITALY. CHEAP FLIGHTS JULY 2011.
Air Ticket To Italy
USSP in Italy - 61
Tired, I set my things down in the hall outside the seating rooms and got some water from the bathroom sink to drink. Not my proudest moment, but all of the sun and running had made me more than a little dehydrated and there was nowhere to get regular water on this five-hour train ride. Afterward, I had the intention of walking down the train to find my seat. The train, however, saved me the trouble. Despite the seat number stamped on my ticket, there was actually no assigned seating. Instead, it was every person for themselves. The number on my ticket didn't even seem to correspond with a seat that actually existed anyway. So, as I was the last person on the train and all of the rooms were full, I stayed with the people in the hall, pulled down one of the fold-out seats from the wall, and settled in for the trip.
Having said this, I must admit that most of this train ride was actually remarkably enjoyable. No photo could really do justice to the feeling, but after the hectic running around that preceded it, there was something supremely enjoyable about standing by the open window, the cool air rushing by, and hearing the roar of the train on the tracks below me. I leaned on the windowsill and watched as, out there in the distance, the occasionally lights of small towns drifted by in the darkness. And up above, the stars hung still, the ineffable lights of the cosmos glimmering down on this silent, peaceful scene. Things would occasionally rush by near the train, like a concrete building or shadowy bridges, and then they'd be gone, their shapes taken back into the darkness behind.
I sat by the window for a few hours at least, occasionally closing my eyes to see if sleep would come, but the small seat wouldn't allow it. Instead I experimented with my camera, but nothing I could do with it would turn the scene outside into anything but a dark blur with some small lights. About the only thing I ended up with was a photo of the conductor. Traveling on a night train is a novel enough thing to me that I felt like showing others. At some of the stops I would see if anyone got off and freed up any seats in the rooms near me, but it was only late in the trip that this happened. And, while the seats in the rooms were more comfortable, they were cramped and the rooms were warm, and no sleep would come there either. Eventually 3 AM came and the train stopped at Bologna. Not knowing where exactly the buses stopped, and too tired to properly figure it out, I took a taxi to the airport.
The hours at the Bologna airport were tiring and full of waiting, then waiting in lines, so I'm not going to recount them in detail, except to say that I lost some souvenirs because of it. Since my lage was a few kg overweight, it was a choice between paying an exorbitant fee and transferring some things to my carry-on. I chose the latter option, removing two bottles of olive oil from my suitcase. Before I realized my mistake, my lage had been taken out of sight on the conveyor belt. Those bottles of olive oil, which I had bought in Urbino weeks beforehand, depressingly never left the airport.
The first flight was short. I sat next to an older German coupled and I may have even fallen asleep for a few minutes. Frankfurt, the final stop before getting back to the United States, was more interesting.
Italian Railways Class 626 at Cesena, Emilia Romagna in 1988.
During the summer of 1988 I was having problems with a certain lady friend, hence I came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interests to keep a low profile and leave the country for a while. This was dealt with by that good old trusted time proven method of purchasing a two week Italian Rail Rover ticket for....ME only.
Yes, The Italian Job Part 2 was on....and I was on it !
On the morning of departure, I once again prepared the good old reliable corned beef sandwiches (with brown sauce of course) and got my vital life support belongings together i.e. spare pens, camera film, writing pads etc. I was excited, this was like the good old days.
But this was different, I wasn't catching the first bus of the day to Stoke station, I was rocking from side to side on the Piccadiily Line tube into the centre of town.
I then proceeded to the Italian Railway Agency Office (or Tourist Centre) somewhere just off Bond Street (I think) in London's West End to purchase my "Get Out Of Jail Card", then continued onwards to Victoria Station for Class 73 haulage to Gatwick Airport before boarding a Dan-Air flight and flying "backwards" to Rimini on an elderly BAC 1-11 (or something like that).
I'd served my "post Beeching" British railways network apprenticeship, so decided to give the Italian rail system (including Sicily) a good thrashing, as well as visiting Monaco, Austria and Yugoslavia (before all hell let loose) in the process.
First night was spent travelling overnight to Rome with my minimal belongings tied to me just incase I fell asleep (which I did from time to time), the second night was spent in cheap "dodgy" accomodation. I spoke briefly (on the creaky, well trodden, dirt groomed narrow stairs) to the "well built" girl who was staying in the room next door to me, she looked as hard as nails and wasn't all that attractive, but she appeared to have lots of male friends....they were coming and going at regular intervals throughout the night !
The overnight pattern continued throughout the tour i.e. train, dodgy pensione, train, dodgy pensione, train, convent etc etc.
Anyhow, I won't describe the "ins and outs" of the whole tour because (A) space here does not permit, and (B) only a seasoned traveller or someone with a wild imagination would believe it anyway !
No, I will concentrate on the loco type above, I was fascinated by these ancient "wooden" looking electric monsters.
The loco above is E626 025 and is seen passing northbound at speed through Cesena Station, Forli, Emilia Romagna with a lengthy parcles/goods train, probably on route to Bologna (a sort of Italian style Crewe) on 29th August 1988.
I welcome any comments on this type of loco, I can't imagine for one moment that they are still in service today.
Probably best to enlarge and scroll to the right to get a better view of things, as per normal it's a poor quality image, taken with poor quality equipment, with the sun in the right place....and the buildings in the wrong place !
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