Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
Trip End Aug 01, 2007

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Flag of Italy  ,
Friday, June 22, 2007

Entering the train station this morning was like walking through a ghost town. At first I didn't think anything of it. I wasn't in a very big city and I knew how to get my ticket at the 'Fast Ticket' machine, so the teller not being there didn't matter. A few other people were around as well, but it was very early in the morning and when I was denied a ticket, that's when the panic set in. "How could it be sold out!" was my first thought and then I started asking around.

"There on strike," was the unfortunate answer I was given. Um... now I started freaking out. I had to be in Florence by 11 am because I had reservations for museums that I didn't have time to stand in line for hours to see! Why today? Why me? Taking a deep breath, I noticed there were still a few trains stopping as they passed through, but the problem was the machine wouldn't issue any tickets. So I walked to the bus station, "No bus to Florence," I was told. All right, don't you think they should have some other means of transport in this country if a strike is likely to happen??

I walked back to the train station. Its now 820am and I go back to the information office to see the schedule for trains going out and where they head to. If I took the train going to Rome, it should stop in Florence, only thing is I can't purchase a ticket. While I was figuring this out in my head I started talking to a group of Japanese men also going to Florence. After numerous attempts with the ticket machine the men looked at me and said, '"We're boarding." 'Um, OK," is all I could utter as I followed them to the platform. Before I really thought about it we boarded the train, ticket-less I might add, with a bunch of other travelers. It was an hour-long ride to Florence; I was just hoping it would stop and that the ticket man wouldn't be to hard on us.

Exactly an hour later, the train stopped in Florence, no ticket man every came, and I had a great time with my new Japanese friends. What can I say... another great story to remember and I got a free ride!
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