Trip Start May 22, 2009
197Trip End Feb 16, 2010
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Started out on a grey morning to do some laundry, find a better map, and head North. But just as I was putting on my nice dryer-warmed pants, they were to get soaked. The rain pelted and the wind blew until I could see my breath, but not feel my fingers. Barely above 10 degrees it was freezing and miserable! England in the summer couldn’t even hold a candle to this. I couldn’t see anything from god and rain drops on my glasses which was terrifying me a bit considering Italian city driving.
I convinced Brian to pull off into a McD’s so that we could check internet. Some people had mentioned that this weather front was supposed to last for a week
But McD’s free WIFI does not seem to apply in all international countries. Brian was lucky enough to find a few sporadic unsecured networks and connected on and off just enough to see that the worst fear was true. The weather front stretched all across the SE part of France and enveloped almost all but the very south most part of Italy.
What to do…
Continuing north towards the quiet beach towns of the Cinque Terre seemed useless now, and cycling hill towns less than appealing. We would see nothing and we very grumpy the entire time and that’s not what I want of our time. We did put up with it before, but I hope we’ve become a little wiser since then.
Brian wanted to take the first train east to the closest ferry departing for Greece. But since the connection didn’t last long enough to check if this weather front was enveloping Greece I wasn’t ready. Plus, I didn’t want to give up on Italy. We’d been looking forward to seeing the countryside despite my apprehensions
Shivering and cold we weaved through the soaking wet streets following less-than-accurate maps to find the train station. Thank goodness the tracks don’t lie, and we could just follow them. A quick and easy transaction and tickets were booked for Venice. (My apprehensions were to be found ridiculous. Most signs are translated into English and everyone speaks a little bit it seems. Still, I’m a little disappointed, maybe I won’t be learning as much Italian as I had thought).
Sitting by the window of the train I saw a faded, blurry, rain streaked version Italy, yet t could have been anywhere in the world for all I know. Images flying by faster than I could imagine with objects I couldn’t identify. Missing the bike, I wished for the opportunity to be able to stop and take photos, and wanting to explore the town I could see in the distance. To watch people going about their daily lives and skirt around the cats in the street
4 train transfers in all. Hoisting our bikes on and off he trains and up and down flights of stairs at each station to get to the next platform within minutes was hard. The system works like amazing clockwork, but leaves Brian and Sharilyn a stressed sweaty mess. Thankfully we’re both strong enough now to carry our loaded bikes up the stairs by ourselves. Otherwise this would have been impossible. Unloading bags and ferrying them up and down one by one would have taken an eternity. As it was, the experience was very unpleasant. Traveling in therma-controlled comfort as great speed was great, but I’m not convinced it was worth it. Train travel needs a backpack and cycle travel needs to avoid trains!
As the km’s clicked by, Brian lost more and more of his optimistic view (and unfortunately there was only a small supply to start with). We were heading to Venice! How could he not be excited? My dream city of romance and photo ops. I couldn’t wait!
But arrival in Venice was dark and cold with blurred lights rocky over the wavy water. It found us skirting under overhangs and running down alleyways looking for someplace dry to sleep. Nothing close to my romantic Venice at night visions. But then, nothing of today has resembled clear vision anyways.