To Reserve Or Not To Reserve...
We left Venice with hope and excitement for what else Italy had in store for us. We spent the day exploring Florence, stayed the night, and then woke early to catch a train to La Spezia. We hopped onto a crowded regional train so we didn't have to pay for the ride. It was slightly less than a comfortable 85 degrees packed to the seams train with screaming toddlers and our backpacks tucked under our feet. We stopped about half way, for reasons unknown. We waiting, and sweat. Yet, we made it to La Spezia with little fuss and a little dehydrated. It's all apart of the journey, right?
Upon our arrival we were greeted by Maria... Or was it Marianna? Anyway, she was lovely. First letting me know she speaks very little english, which is okay- we managed quite well. She gave me a map of La Spezia, information about getting to Cinque Terre, and great ideas for places to eat.
We set out on the town right away. Grabbed lunch and walked along the boardwalk area. La Spezia is a port for many sailors, so the docks were filled with all kinds of boats.
We were able to get information about our upcoming journey to Cinque Terre. Tomorrow we are going to ferry through the 5 towns. The views from the water are said to be the best, and we can dock and explore each town before heading to the next or walking. I'm so very excited about this venture.
We have an early train Friday, and an 8 hour ride to the French Riviera. We aren't sure if we need to make reservations, so we are going to hop on and see what happens. We attempted to make reservations today, but after standing in line for the one ticket lady. Wait, back up. We went to the train station and got in line. At that time, there were two ladies working and a line of about 15 people. At 6pm promptly, the one woman stood and left, leaving just one lady to deal with everyone trying to buy tickets. There was this very disheveled man, whom was very upset at a ticket machine (punching it and shouting at the air) and right as the woman who had previously left came back (20 minutes later) it was our turn. We approached the window only to have the angry man dip under the retractable belt barrier (aka the piece of fabric that we use to separate people and form queues (that's lines for you Americans) ) and try to get in front of us. He was yelling at the woman as Shelby was trying to ask about our tickets. And all 3 of us (the woman included) just stood there until finally Shelby broke the yelling and said "we just want some tickets for Friday." Kindly, the woman looked up train times and explained all the stops we had to make and which trains and which times to take. She was getting the tickets ready and then helped us to learn that, it's improssible for us to get tickets at this time and we will just have to get on the train without reservations. We have been going on a lot of trains in our few weeks of travel, Italy has been the most difficult to figure out. They say reservations, but they want us to hop on the trains without one. Oh well! So, we left empty handed and drank wine on the main walk way in La Spezia. What a day!