My Trip To Italy travel blog


Monday:

I am again awoken by noise in the entryway at 8 - 8:30 so I laid in bed checking email and FB. Since I have 2 hours before checkout and pickup at 10:30, I take it easy getting ready. After my shower, I go have some breakfast, my usual of cereal, juice, a shot of espresso but the cake is gone this time! That's a bummer, it was a good cake and the other tenants must have eaten the rest of it. As I'm eating, a couple of women show up and they head towards the cleaning closet so I figure they are part of the other cleaning crew. When I finish eating, I go to my room and see them sitting on the table in the entryway. Soon I hear a knock on my door as I am in the bathroom packing stuff. When I open the door one of the women points to a clock which is just after 10 and I say yeah thinking I have until 10:30 to check out. She obviously has other ideas of when I should be out though so I quickly pack up and put my luggage in the entryway and wait in the kitchen for my complimentary shuttle. Shortly a woman shows up and tries to explain that I am her passenger in Italian and we go outside to her car which is a bit messy. She apologizes and tells me that she and her family went to the mountain over the weekend. She drives me to the airport and it's kind of a mess of roads and a lot of traffic which takes between 15 - 30 minutes. She drops me off at the airport and I went inside to check it out. It's a pretty small airport and shouldn't be any problem tomorrow morning but still I want to be there early enough. I decide to grab a taxi now and head towards the hotel I'm staying at for the night. There is a long line of taxi's so I walked to the front of the line and come across a couple of guys talking. I ask them for a ride to my hotel and show them the name and address of it. The older guy says it will be 30 euros and I tell him I don't have that much cash plus it's way more then I want to spend especially after the 10 euro ride there. We go back and forth and finally I ask if they take credit cards and the younger guy says yes so we load up and take off with both guys in the car. The driver who I nicknamed Guido drives like a crazy guy crossing the yellow line to get around a line of cars waiting at the stoplight and as traffic comes towards us he ducks into the line of cars. I'm sure we will get in a wreck before this trip is over. I don't know how long we were driving but all of a sudden we stop and he points to an ATM. I look at him and don't know what to say then tell him all I wanted was to go to the hotel. He drives off and is yelling in Italian (I really wish I had recorded this part as it was so cliché) and I'm sure he's pissed at me but I didn't ask for this. The next stop he makes is at another ATM so now I'm really pissed and feel I'm being held hostage by this joker until I get money. I get out and stand in a line with 5 people in front of me. Soon the kid shows up and asks if I need any help and I say no, like what is he going to do? I get some money out and hand Guido 30 euros and he's finally happy now and asks if I want a tour of the city and a coffee and I say no, I want to go to the hotel. Then he stops for gas (WTF?) and then we drive off. Before I know it we are back at the airport and now I'm really upset. Then he sort of tells me that I need to go with the kid so I load my luggage in that car and he drives me to the hotel but is also asking me about what time I need to get my flight tomorrow. I don't want to go with these two clowns so I tell him that I have a shuttle from the hotel.

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We arrive at the hotel and he walks with me to the front desk. He asks the woman behind the counter what time he should pick me up so I ask her if there is a shuttle. She says no, they would just call a cab and it's 15,00 euros. So I tell her I want to leave between 5 and 5:30 and she suggests 5:30 since it's close. When he leaves she asks about the cabbie and I tell her what happened. She seemed concerned but nothing came of it. I just don't want any issues in the morning as I cannot miss my flight. The connecting flights are pretty tight other then Rome and I don't know if another flight goes to Rome after mine.

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When she is done checking me in I ask about lunch. She said that with it being a Monday that it will be difficult to find a place open. I'm thinking a Monday? Every day it is difficult to find food in the afternoons around here.

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A woman shows up to take me to my room and shows me around then leaves. I check out the TV which won't turn on and the wifi has weird instructions plus that stupid Vodafone wireless page keeps popping up. I hang up some clothes for tomorrow and then head out to see what I can find. Feeling pretty good about my travels so far walking around the different cities. I walk a little ways and all I can find open is a market which does have some packaged salads at least. When I went to pay, the line was all over the place and I wasn't sure where to stand to get checked out. Finally I was able to pay, they didn't have a dish to put your money like just about every place so I just handed the woman the money. I headed back to the hotel to eat and watch some TV so I stopped at the front desk and asked about the TV not working and that I didn't understand the wifi instructions. She helps me with the wifi and it turns out the instructions are way more complicated then they need to be and it's just a simple wireless connection after all. She then calls the woman that helped me to my room and tells me that she will meet me at the room. I take the elevator and there are two women already in the room working on the TV. They can't figure it out but then one reaches behind and turns on something and then it works now. Very strange but at least I can watch some TV now.

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The salad was good but not very filling and laid down to rest up for a bit. I woke up and was hungry but still 4 hours until dinner was served so I decide to go out again and see what I can find to eat. I walk down the block that the hotel is on and find a Café that has some small sandwiches in a display case which sounds perfect. I try to ask him what is in them and what else he has. He just says calzone so I say great, I'll have one of those. It was only 1,30 euros too plus he gave me a glass of water for free (which isn't a given around there). He heats up the calzone and it's good and it hit the spot. Feeling better now I check out the deserts. He has some rolls that are split and have a cream cheese filling in them. There are two sizes and I ask for the smaller one plus an espresso which again comes out to be 1,30 euros so lunch was not too expensive at all. The salad was 1,30 euros as well. So now I have time to kill and decide to check out this part of the city. I'm keeping my bearings so I don't get lost as I don't have a map of any kind and pretty much walk straight lines. There are some interesting buildings that I take photos of and then I turn left and see what looks like the same statue I saw Saturday but that can't be since I had taken cab rides to the new hotel of about 30 minutes. I start to go down that street and sure enough, it is the same statue with the view of the same ocean and Sicily. I am also back on the same streets with all of the stores on them and can't believe I just walked there in basically no time. All of a sudden, I'm feeling like I probably could have just walked to the hotel, hell I could have walked to the airport faster and cheaper. It is really blowing my mind as I was remembering the map of the airport as I was booking the new hotel and thinking it was so far away but really it was a 15 - 30 minute walk.

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I walk down to the sea and take some more photos and then as it's starting to get dark I head back to my hotel trying to retrace my steps as closely as I can and there are main streets so I feel good about it. Soon though I'm walking and don't recognize anything and can't find my hotel. As it's getting darker I start to ask people about the hotel, some try to help and some don't understand or just don't answer. One guy starts yelling at me and I didn't even ask him anything. I ask another guy who tells me it's about 1 km away and points me in the direction to go. I'm thinking, how in the hell did I get that far off course? I know the streets are on angles and everything but I never felt like I was that off course. I'm walking but it's not working out so I break out mapquest and it tells me that I'm 1.2 miles away now and there are two routes that you can take to get there. I took the straight one along the main road instead of what looked shorter but went on different streets. It is tough to read street signs in the dark plus not all corners have signs. Finally I do make it back to my hotel and I was so happy to make it back there and for mapquest's help. I went up to my room to lay down and journal before dinner time.

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When it's dinnertime, I go down to the restaurant (I didn't see any others around) and order some hand-made noodles, roma tomatoes and "brown pork". It was good although some of the pork was tough. I ordered still water and a glass of red wine which was chilled for some reason. I saved some of the rolls for the trip tomorrow and the rest of my bottle of water. I decide to order Tiramisu for desert since I haven't had any so far and it was delicious although it didn't have any cookie or texture to it. It's now around 9pm already as I head up to my room.

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I honestly can't wait to get away from this area of Italy and don't really want to return unless I can find out exactly where Nana was born. I would love to go back to Venice, Florence and Rome and spend more time in those cities plus maybe a few more in the northern part like Naples and Milan.

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The room cooled off a bit but for some reason the heat/air kept going on all night so I didn't sleep that well since it kept waking me up. I tried turning it off but it just kept coming on.



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