OMG…I have made it back home. If you thought I was bad when I booked a return trip to visit Regina in France on the SAME DAY…then you don’t know me.
Another plan was hatched. We were to be deposited at our rowing friend’s Bed and Breakfast at 7am this morning. Of course it pissed rain! We arrived there and hubby picked up the guys who where driving back through Europe with him and left me with daughter and and no idea of where I was.
Arrived at train station where I had been assured by hubby that there was no problem getting to Milan and then to Bergamo. Not so. Our driver….a fellow rower, and an American whose wife had been introduced to him by Bill Clinton!!!! had to leave us there.
We had to move on to a second train station by foot and alone and I was really starting to panic.
Second train station…where the feck do I buy tickets….
And then we were adopted by an Italian couple in their sixties.
Updated as I was too tired to continue last night.
The Italian couple (who had overheard my questions to the one person in authority on a lonely train station in the middle of Italy) obviously understood that I wanted to go to Milano-Garibaldi train station. They had no English and I had no Italian, but they made it known to the person in authority that they were travelling to Milano-Garibaldi and that we were to accompany them. This was a godsend as we had to change trains en route, and there is no way that I would have found the right platform or the right direction in the couple of minutes that we had to change trains. No words were spoken, but we were ushered along with them and directed to sit beside them. We just sat and looked at each other and smiled. When they finally deposited us to Milan I wanted to kiss and hug them. I made do with a handshake and a big “grazie.” Getting to Bergamo and the airport was relatively easy and we made it with hours to spare. There was a huge shopping centre across the road from the airport and daughter and I made our way there and made a dent in the bank balance – that will teach hubby to drop us off at the wrong train station in the middle (north) of Italy.
To be perfectly honest, the return trip was easy. Getting there was the hard part. I refuse to drive in Europe on the motorways as it scares the hell out of me, there is just too much traffic. Hubby obviously couldn’t drive all that way without another driver, so we ended up with Greg from Northern Ireland travelling with us. He was great fun. However, the plan was that we pick up daughter and another couple from the dreaded Bergamo airport at 9 pm the night that we arrived. At 9 pm we were just entering Italy. Hubby’s battery on his phone had died and mine was running out of credit so communications with daughter was limited. I did manage to text her and let her know we were running late. Greg had to be dropped off to his destination which we couldn’t find. We did manage with a lot of difficulty to find the small town he was staying in, and we literally dumped him on the side of the road and headed for the hour and a half drive to the airport. The sat nav led us to a tiny road in Bergamo and informed us that we had arrived at our destination! We eventually found the airport and picked up daughter and our friends around 11.30. My bladder was bursting at this stage and we had no time to find a restroom as we were supposed to have checked into our hotel at 10.30. I am not a prude and I found a space between two cars in the parking lot…
We then had to turn around and drive back for a couple of hours to our hotel. It was not easy to find. Arrived at the family run hotel at 2 am and hubby and I demolished a bottle of wine between us. We were incredibly stressed out after the last few hours and we needed an hour to unwind. I don’t know how the hubster managed to get up the following morning and find the rowing venue (another long drive) and then win his race. I got up for breakfast and went back to bed!
My camera is currently somewhere in England with hubby and his mates. I’ll post some pics when he arrives home later today if I get a chance. Son has also informed me that an Australian friend he met in London this summer is arriving later today to stay with us. I have no car and no food – I need a visitor like I need a hole in the head.