Sunday, October 25, 2009

Train Ride to Garmisch, Germany

I started my journey at San Lucia Train Station in Venezia. I had to take my car back to the airport and take the bus over to the train station at Pizza le. Roma. I changed trains in Verona to a faster EuroCity Train. The cars have “cuchette” cabins that contain six seats. What a surprise to me when I arrived at my cuchette to find it occupied by five old men traveling together. Their faces lit up light Christmas trees when I stood at the door and they realized I was going to sit with them on the trip. They immediately jumped out of their seats scooting around and readjusting their seating asking me where I wanted to sit; taking my luggage and getting it organized; and making sure I was comfortable. I sat in a seat right by the door and after a few minutes I spied an electrical outlet right by the window across the cabin. I asked them if they thought it would work and I plugged in my computer to try it. They immediately jumped out of their seats again and begin to reorganize the seating arrangement to accommodate me desiring to use my computer on the train ride. The light on my IGO did not come on even after the train started moving. So the gentlemen next to me got up and went to find a train attendant to see what he could do about getting the computer going. After a few minutes the little blue light on my computer adapter lit up and I had electricity. The old man returned to the car with a huge smile across his face turning his cheek towards me for me to kiss him!!! I graciously complied with a quick kiss to the cheek and a bunch of “gracias.”

After a little while, the more talkative one of the group who speaks a little English, told me that they were tennis referees on their way to a match near Bolzano in northern Italy. I took all of their photographs and they were happy, happy gentlemen.

The question came up as to whether I would be able to access internet. One man held up his telefonino and explained that he could get telephone internet WiFi on the train. So we tried to see if I could get it. I got signal but very weak and then I finally got found a connection but I had to have an account with them and enter a password. So I am content to write and work on my photos. It was quite funny though because they got into a heated discussion about whether I would be able to get internet on the train. One man just got downright mad about it and was yelling at the others. I think he must be Sicilian!

So here I am riding the train in a car full of tennis referees!!! How funny is that.

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