Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Was so relaxing in Cairo for the past week and found I was a little hesitant about leaving, but had to honor reservations in Bologna, Italy. Taking the early flight was a little difficult because I needed to wake by 5:00 a.m. but got to the airport, through three security lines and was on my flight as scheduled. My friend, Hussein, had to wait several hours before his flight to Luxor departed.

Flew into Milan, took the train from the airport to Milan’s central train station for my train ride to Bologna. At the airport I met up with two women who were from Belgium but lived in the United States. They were also headed to the central train station and they hadn’t been to the Milan Airport before, but I had. So we all walked together to the ticket office and purchased our tickets together. (Safety in numbers.) We enjoyed our hour long ride together (for 13 Euros each) to the Central Station and shared travel information and, of course, talked politics. Again, I meet the nicest and interesting people during my travels.

At the Milan Central Train Station, I just caught, by a few minutes, my train to Bologna. Enjoyed looking out at the Italian countryside during my trip. Like England, it is just as you imagine it would look like. Small farms, a few homes, and fields of corn and other crops. During the next week, the weather is expected to be mild (in the 70’s during the day and 50’s at night) with no rain expected in this part of Italy.

I selected Bologna because, if part, of the great food served here. But also due to its proximity to Pisa, Florence, and Venice. Maybe Florence and Venice will take two days each, but I like being in one location that allows for flexibility. The cost of the trains is minimal when weighing the cost and time of moving to a new city every few days. Also, I can always return if I would like to stay longer.

When I arrived at the Bologna station I was amazed at how large it was. It was on several levels and appreciated that I didn’t have to carry my luggage up or down a flight of stairs. I found a taxi and off we were for my flat for the next week while I’m here. Was met by the host who showed me around the flat. I was upgraded a couple of times and found myself in a very large space. Big open room with the TV, an office, large bedroom with several closets, and the downstairs was the kitchen and bathroom (with washer).

The flat is located near to the University of Bologna and my place is generally rented out by the year, so was lucky to find this place. Very quiet at night but hear the sounds of daily life during the day. (I’m writing this on the next day.) I’ll need to find a bus that will take me to the train station when I visit Pisa, Florence, and Venice.

Had barely enough energy tonight to walk to the nearby grocery store and pick up some supplies. What would normally take 10 minutes seemed like an hour when I walked to and from the store. It took 10 hours from when I woke in the morning to arrive in Bologna, so was a long travel day. Found a place near the grocery that sold a slice of lasagna and my food needs for the day were met.

Took a nap when I returned, and when I woke, got caught up on mail and getting settled before retiring for the night. Think I’ll like it here.


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