Sunday, March 31, 2013

Krakow to Bologna to a day

I left Krakow late Saturday afternoon to head to Bologna, Italy.  Why Bologna?  Simply because it was the cheapest place to fly into in Italy and that is where I wanted to head next.  It didn't really matter to me where I landed, because I'm taking the train all throughout the country. So, I chose what I had thought was the cheapest flight.  It was, actually, the cheapest flight, once again on the no frills Ryan Air.  Here's the rub: Ryan Air charges for every little check a bag, to reserve a seat, to print a boarding pass, etc.  I'm traveling alone, so I don't care about which seat I get on the plane, and in the past I've been able to print out my boarding pass online and not had to pay for it.  But in Krakow, I didn't have access to a printer and couldn't find an internet café near the train station before leaving.  So, I knew I would have to pay for my boarding pass when I got to the airport.  I figured, it being Ryan Air, that it might be as much as $10 or even $15.  What I had not been prepared for was to pay $111 for it.  Yep, they charged me $111 bucks for one little piece of paper.  I was furious!  That's almost 3 times more than I paid for the flight itself.  I tried to cancel my flight and get on a later one so I could go back into town and find somewhere to print, but that would have cost me even more.  Live and learn...from now on, printing my pass will be a priority.

I arrived in Bologna after a flight so harrowing the passengers applauded when we finally touched down.  We went through a horrific storm that had the plane pitching left and right, dropping altitude suddenly, etc.  It made me glad I'm staying on the ground for a while.  Trains may bump and sway, but that is definitely preferable to dropping a 1000 feet or so unexpectedly. 

I don't have much to report about Bologna, because it was really just a stop-over point for me on the way to Venice, where I arrived by train this afternoon.  The trip through the Italian countryside was lovely.  I saw fields and farms, little Italian villages, and a couple of times I saw castle ruins on high hilltops. 

I'm staying just outside of Venice in a lovely little neighborhood called Marghera.  This time, instead of having my own apartment or hotel room, I am being hosted in the home of a wonderful woman named Vera Michelotto.  She is a gem!  Already we have become fast friends.  Vera is retired and rents a room in her home to travelers.  She doesn't accept just have to write her and let her know a little about yourself and what you are doing, and she decides who she will host.  I am lucky, lucky, lucky that she accepted me because she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  She was waiting for me at the train station when I arrived and fed me a traditional Italian Easter cake as soon as we got to the apartment.  As much as I wanted to get into Venice and look around, it was hard to leave Vera.  I felt immediately at home here and could have just sat in her kitchen  chatting all evening. 

I did pull myself away for a few hours, though, so here are some pictures of beautiful Venice.  I apologize, but I'm not doing commentary for these.  I'm exhausted tonight.  The time changed over here last night, moving an hour ahead.  While I love falling back, I hate springing forward.  And in a completely unfair twist of fate, I've had to do it twice in the past month...once before I left the states and now again in Europe.  You don't need my commentary anyway...the beauty of Venice speaks for itself.



  1. Totally jealous! Next time you do this, girl, you're having company!

  2. Get on a plane and come on over! You would love it here!