Saturday, August 13, 2005


Ten years ago today - Rome to Provence

This is one of my favourite travel stories.

7:50 am, 13 August 1995
Roma Termini Station (on the train)

So I'm getting pretty good at this whole train thing by now. I stood for hours in Termini station yesterday to get information and make my reservation to Genova. I've spent some time thinking about this and I'm finally smart enough to request a window seat on the left (Mediterranean) side, non-smoking. Great! So I get onto the train this morning, looking for my *reserved* seat, and what do I find? A NUN! In my reserved seat. Of course, a unilingual Italian nun.

What could I do? Through a bit of sign language and an interpreter, I express my point (you're in MY seat!) She smiles at me and pats the empty middle seat beside her. What can I do? I hate the middle seat. It's a friggin' nine hour ride, I don't want to sit in the middle seat when I reserved a window seat. But God is watching, and I am just superstitious enough and far enough from home and have spent enough of my vacation to this point in churches to deal with this. So here I am, in the middle seat.

4:00 pm, same day
Genova, Italy

Okay, here I am in the train station in Genova. I was going to spend the night in Genova, but I just can't stand being in Italy any more. So I'm killing two hours here to get my transfer to Nice and eventually Antibes. It's been a long day and it won't be over for another five hours or so, but when it is I'll be on the Cote d'Azur! And I must say, I've earned my days on the beach.

Stuck in the train station, unable to convert my lire into francs because it's Sunday again. Well, hopefully I'll be able to find an ATM and a taxi when I get into Antibes...