Friday, 22 March 2019

Hilton Garden Inn (Lecce, Italy)

Last night I decided to take the 12:12 train to Bari that would get me to the new Bari hotel by 3:00, the standard check-in time for most hotels. Well, that was the plan. The train to Bari went well. I arrived at the Bari station on time and all I had to do was to find the best way to get to the airport, then travel to the nearby hotel I booked yesterday.

As I found out, it wasn’t that easy. (But of course, I don’t always like everything to be easy.) From the Internet I couldn’t get a clear answer to determine the best way to get from the train station to the airport. I saw a bus, that said it was going to the airport, pull out as I arrived. I asked around and found out a train goes there as well. This where I could have used someone who could speak Italian.

I was told there was a building somewhere (people just kept pointing outside) that sold tickets to the airport. It took me a couple of attempts to find the right building. Then, when I was buying the ticket I asked where to find the platform. The person helping me pointed outside and said to go to the other station, which I did. I found that she didn’t point me in the right direction. The station was actually downstairs just 10 yards from where we were standing. This whole process took at least an additional 45 minutes.

By the time I got on the train to the airport it was pushing 3:00. The train was nice and after a few stops were arrived at the airport. It was a fairly long walk to get outside of the airport so I could get a taxi. Google said it was a 20 minute walk to the hotel. The taxi driver said it was a flat 15 Euro charge to take me to the hotel. I said okay and off we went.

The trip by car took a little over five minutes. It was actually cheaper than the taxi in Sorrento that charged me 20 Euro from the bus station. I found out from the hotel that they offer a free shuttle from the airport. They also were surprised at the cost of the taxi. I should have asked about a hotel shuttle yesterday or today before my train trip. I’m not used to hotels offering free shuttle service. Lesson learned: Ask if there is a shuttle service when booking a hotel that is beyond walking distance.

From there it got better. My room was very nice and the whole hotel was quiet and very modern. The staff were friendly and helpful. After I checked in I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich from the bar and took it up to my room. I figured I’ll probably have a small dinner later in the evening. I was told dinner in the hotel starts at 8:00 p.m.

After I got settled I took a nap and slept for well over one hour. I was able to publish two days blog postings before I went down for dinner. My dinner was Linguine with clams. It was very good and ate every bite. Then I was full.

Before I went to bed I watched the rest of The Social Network. Tomorrow I’ll be up early and at the airport by 9:30 for my 11:10 flight to Rome. Almost a four hour layover at the Rome airport before I board the connecting flight to Malta. The price of the ticket was good, which makes the wait worthwhile.

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