Thursday, April 9, 2009

It wasn't the greatest start...

Hola queridos,

So the beginning of my spring break wasn't going as smoothly as I hoped it would. Basically, I didn't have time to print off all of my confirmation emails/reservations/itineraries because the Internet Cafe I was at ran out of ink, then when we went to buy our bus tickets to Madrid, mine went through but within two seconds, the bus was sold out and my friend still needed her ticket! Never mind you that the bus was scheduled to leave in 15 minutes! Alas, we got her a ticket at the counter and I learned that the whole time I've been traveling here I could've been saving 2 Euro on each ticket with the student discount!

Once we finally arrived into Madrid we spent a good 2 hours walking around in circles trying to find our hostel! Ahhhh. Once we finally found it & checked it, the time was nearing midnight & we had to get up at 4 am!

Our flight, being scheduled to leave at 7:20 am, meant public transpotation wasn't up & running two hours before like we needed to which then meant that we had to pay for a taxi...ouch! Taxis are expensive...but we got there, checked in, and once we were in the air, it was smooth sailing...until we landed in Bergamo, Italy (right outside of Milan).

Once we arrived to Bergamo, we found a bus shuttle to the city center & got off where it told us we should in order to catch Bus #1. Well, about an hour later and after seeing the same 3 bus lines drive by we thought 'this probably isn't the right stop.' Turns out we needed to go around the corner to a different stop...blah blah blah. So...we're finally on the right bus, realizing that no one around us is speaking English, I know no Italian, & yet various Italian people were very patiently trying to help us find the hostel even though we don't understand a word they're saying! It was very impressive for me.

We find the hostel & instead of being greeted by a "Welcome" at the reception desk we find a sign saying: Closed 10-2pm. We arrived at 11am. Logically, you would say that we could've just walked around but my travel partner had a huge luggage and therefore was not about to lug it around the city, so we sat, more or less...made small chat with a cruise-sailor-man from Italy & I roamed a little as the location of the hostel was in a gorgeous spot!

Yah... pretty interesting, huh? At this point I was really having to force myself to think that backpacking through Europe for the next weeks was going to be worth it : )


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