Voyage to Italy
Written on: Tue, 27 Jul 2010; 20:51
About two and a half weeks ago I left on a holiday to Italy. Although the week was absolutely fantastic, I will not be telling you holiday stories. I would much rather inform you of our very pleasant journey from Zwolle in the Netherlands, to Orvieto in Italy. Here comes the tale of public transport and budget airlines throughout Europe.

With all the wisdom in the world we of course made sure we had plenty of time to switch means of transportation, so getting to Düsseldorf we had zero trouble and plenty of free time.

Here comes the first encounter however with dysfunctional transportation: our flight from Düsseldorf to Rome. We arrived at the airport perfectly in time, ready to jump on the plane. Once at the gate we saw the plane had a delay of an hour. Unpleasant, but it's alright. Flying with EasyJet - or flying in general - you have got to be prepared for a small delay. And indeed, an hour after the plane should have left we were allowed to enter and find our seats. It was still going to be almost an hour and a half delay, but at least we'd fly off.

Well, not! We had to wait and wait and wait. The stewards even handed out FREE water! One of our stewards was called Alessandro, and out of genuine curiosity I decided to ask this man what we were waiting for. "We are waiting to go." was his well-informed reply. What it was: we of course missed our spot on the runway, so we had to wait for another one.

After a lovely flight, touching down at sunset, we arrived in Rome over two hours late. Trust me, we planned a lot of transit time, but this was just that 15 minutes more than we had accounted for. Lucky us, we were almost the last customers to be helped at the ticket counter for the trains, and we got train tickets to Orvieto, where we should arrive just after 11 that evening.

Now you should know that trains going to and from Rome only go every few hours, except for during rush hour. We had a transit at Roma Tiburtina, from where the only train that evening to Orvieto went at 22:05. Our train from the airport to Tiburtina left at 21:15. Wish us luck!

We asked a stewardess how long it was, and it would be just 20 minutes or so. After over 40 minutes we were getting very worried. The next stop was Tiburtina, but just before the stop... we stopped! We just waited. It frankly was absolutely nerve-wrecking! Now one thing you should know about Tiburtina Station: it has 25 platforms. We found out when getting out of the train that we had about 3 minutes to get from platform 2 to platform 19. We ran.

What do you know about Italians? They do not care about being on time. So lucky for us: neither did that train and we caught it. The train itself made us feel like we had just arrived in a third world country. There were people hanging out of the windows, mostly because it was steaming hot inside the train and there were simply no free seats. For the next 1 hour and 10 minutes we found ourselves a spot in the little hallway beside the toilet with a giant window for ourselves.

If you ever happen to be in a train in Italy with giant windows, you must know this: do not EVER stick any part of your body - or anything else for that matter - out of the window! The trains pass each other and the walls of the tunnels at such a small distance that you could High Five with a person on the other train. We only just survived, and after an hour and 10 minutes we arrived at Orvieto Station, where my father and brothers were waiting to take us to our home for the week.

It was an adventurous journey, but we made it through and had a most wonderful week in Italy. For pictures, please check the photo album.


Great picture! Looks like you had a great time after an adventurous journey!
Written by Aart on Tue, 27 Jul 2010 at 23:12
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