Thursday, 28 September 2017

Moving day! Was up early getting organized and cleaning the flat before I leave. I enjoy preparing for moves, even though it takes a bit of work. Really a sense of accomplishment when you can leave a place pretty much as you found it. Hosts appreciate this a lot, based on the excellent reviews I have received. I particularly liked working with this host who really had her act together and promptly responded to emails and answered my questions, the few that I had.

We did have a lapse in communication when I had asked about a taxi picking me up at 11:00 a.m. for my 12:15 train to Milan. When I met her at 10:45 I asked about the taxi. What taxi she said. (I had asked in an earlier email, but it wasn’t important to pursue the question.) We tried to contact one of the local taxi companies but no one picked up the phone. She said it was typical. I noticed the day before that the #33 bus went to the station. After we said our goodbyes I walked down to the main road with my suitcase. When I got down there I decided I might as well walk the rest of the way since I knew where I was going. Why not? I made it there in 45 minutes, well before my train arrived.

I had something unusual happen when I walked up to the platform. A man, who was not an employee of the train company offered to help me find where to stand to catch the train. I knew he would probably expect a tip. When I gave him a 2 Euro tip he wanted more, so I gave him an extra Euro. I didn’t know what to expect if I refused, so I gave it to him and thanked him. I need to better learn how to tactfully avoid these situations.

Once on the train, I had some assistance from another passenger to get my large suitcase in the overhead rack. He also helped me get it down when we arrived in Milan. Guess this is one of the perks of getting older – even though I can manage by myself, I’ve learned to accept the assistance when offered. This is good practice for later on when I will eventually need help from others.

Buying a ticket from the Milan train station to the Milan airport was a little challenging. Guess it looked like I was having problems and again another non-train company person offered to help and actually pushed me aside and was pressing buttons. I kept thanking him and he was getting a bit bothered that I was not appreciative of his help. I eventually had to walk away and went to the train station office to try and purchase a ticket there. That didn’t work either. I eventually found another type of ticket machine and was in the process of ordering a ticket when another “helper” showed up. He finished the transaction for me, I retrieved the ticket, thanked him and walked away.

The train ride to the airport takes about an hour and the train arrived a floor below the hotel. So glad I didn’t try to fly to London today and could now rest in a hotel at the airport. My flight doesn’t leave until early afternoon, so have all morning to rest before the last leg of my trip to London.¬†Glad there is a McDonald’s here. Ha!

Has been a busy month. First to Cologne, then Darmstadt, to Italy’s Cique Terra, to Munich, to Cairo, and finally to Bologna, Pisa, Florence, and Venice. Lots of zigzagging, but enjoyed meeting up with family and friends along the way and exploring new places. Grateful I have the opportunity to travel like this and share and keep these travels via this travel blog.

 

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