Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update from La Spezia

Update from La Spezia
Gee, I'm pleased we paid the little extra to get priority boarding as we were the first on the plane and got great seats at the front. I dozed as much as I could on the plane but was difficult. We arrived in Pisa at about 8.00ish in the morning and just made the train to Pisa station.

There I went to the information desk and asked for the next train to La Spezia. I was told that would be at 10.33 and that I woud need to buy the tickets at the next counter. I went there and bought two tickets to La Spezia at 10.33 please and paid 10Eur.

While waiting we headed across the road for coffee and pastries and came back to the station to find there had been a late platform change, so we headed there as the train arrived and leapt aboard for our 2 hour trip.

Halfway through the conducter came along and saw that our tickets hadn't been validated by the machine at Pisa and that we had to pay an instant fine of 100EUR! I explained that we had just bought the ticket today, that nobody had told us to validate it in a machine and that we had not seen any validating machines! He insisted, but agreed to cut the fine to 50EUR and treat as one ticket. I paid up. Four people behind us got the same treatment.

This was an example of daylight robbery and I plan to write to the rail company and complain about the process we went through. It wont change anything, but it has soured our introduction to Italy.

We got to our hotel, Hotel Genoa, before Terry and Dallas so checked in and headed off for a walk and to find a feed. It was now 34 degrees! We had a great lunch at Pane Vino where Leigh had tortellini and I had a platter of hams. Beautiful.

We wandered around and returned for a 30 minute shut eye until Terry and Dallas surfaced. It was great to catch up with them and hear of their exploits in Norfolk and the South of France.

Terry determined it was now beer o'clock so we found a bar up the street and had a couple. We then wandered around and stumbled across Loggia De' Banchi where we hjad a great feed, at a great price with superb service. See next post.

Tomorrow we tackle the Cinque Terre in what is expected to be very hot temperatures.

No comments: