Yesterday we made the final arrangements for our house and cars, ran a couple last minute errands and packed our bags in the airport shuttle and left for Italy. We packed a lot. People kept asking us if we were going to ship stuff and we always said we were not. The airline would allow us 3 bags each with each bag weighting up to 70 pounds. Who would want to take more? More about that later. The only early drama occured when June couldn’t find her passport, which she had in her hand 5 minutes before but that was solved quickly. Checkin at the airport and security were fast and easy. The flight was a good one but I don’t sleep well on planes so I was up all night. June didn’t do much better. We landed in Amesterdam early this morning and transfered to a flight to Turin (…Torino, as they say in Italy). Everything was a piece of cake up to this point. After all, someone else had been handling our luggage.Here’s a picture of the Alps out the plane window as we approached Turiin.
Things began to take a different turn when we picked up our bags at the Turin airport, put most of them on a cart, and pushed and drug them across the airport to the airport train station. That’s when the trouble started. We needed to go down to the trains and the sign at the elevator said, “No trollys on the elevator.” So, we ignored the sign and in two trips took our bags down the elevator. We then returned the cart upstairs and lugged our bags to the platform. The train arrived and we muscled the bags onto the train having learned, at some point, that this train only went to downtown Turin where we would have to catch the train to Bra. When we arrived downtown we dumped the bags out the door or the train onto the platform and began looking for the connecting train. A question provided the answer that from there we needed to take a bus to the train station, but…we didn’t need to buy a bus ticket as the train ticket covered it. We were struggling around the buliding to the bus stop when a station attendent, who was showing us where the bus was, took pity and pulled two of our our bags. We just made the bus by the time we had it loaded. At the bus stop, about a block from the train depot, a woman and her daughter whom we had asked for directions to the train station, took pity on us and they each took a bag or two and helped us drag them to the station. By the way, none of these people who have been helping us speak English and my Rosetta Stone hadn’t covered such issues, yet. The train to Bra wasn’t listed on the arrival and departure board. Our friendly woman took June to Traveler’s Aide and they determined that we would have to start on one train and then change trains three times before being on the train to Bra.
Let me provide some station geography at this point. To get to the train platform one usually needs to go downstairs then over to the platform number then back upstairs to reach the actual platform. So we juggled 6 large, heavy bags plus 3 carry-on bags, without a cart, throough each change of train arriving finally in Bra. …exhausted…
In Bra we took a cab and when heard heard in amazement that we had 6 suitcases said he had to upgrade us to a van for an additonal fee. It was worth it. We arrived at the B&B where we are stayinng until we find an apartment to friendly host (he speaks English, she doesn’t) and free internet (not wi-fi). I discovered that one thing I forgot was our 110v USA plug to 220v European plug converters. So I can’t recharge phone nor computers. That means this is enought adventure for tonight.