Friday, August 23, 2013

You Want to Go Where?

I always have this optimistic idea that if we take an early flight, we will have plenty of daytime left once we reach our destination. Failed attempts to prove this a truism have still dissuaded me from being hopeful for some future time. Here is how it went downhill.
4:30 am the taxi arrived to take us to the airport
30 minute ride to the airport
33 minutes waiting to check in with Alitalia (they don’t have web check- in from Budapest)
15 minutes in the Diners Club lounge for multiple cups of espresso and some rolls, before running to the bathroom and then another run to our gate
6:30 am boarded the Alitalia flight to Rome
1 ½ hour layover in Rome - hunt down the Diners Club lounge
40 minute flight to Bologna on Alitalia, wait for carry-on suitcases, because I have a backpack this counted as my one carry-on.

I had pre-purchased train tickets from Bologna to Rimini via the Italian train website. The train was scheduled for 2:45pm, so we had a couple of hours to kill. With carry-on luggage in tow, it does not make for great sightseeing, so we walked with the luggage long enough to find somewhere to eat. There was always the left luggage in the train station, but A.) we would have to hunt it down, B.) it is an extra expense, and C.) you never know if they will really be open when you return. Opening and closing times in Italy are just suggestions.

We found a pizzeria where they claim the crust is digestible by anyone, because is it filled with vitamins, nutrients and “pulses”. Don’t ask. I am just retyping what the menu claimed. It was a great pizza with the fresh ingredients they promised. What I was not able to digest was the bill; at 37 Euros, I am calculating that into dollars and getting knots. This was the price of a good dinner, not pizza.

With still an hour to go and no other place to waste time, w went to train platform. It was this or risk loitering charges at the restaurant. We tried reading with our sagging eyelids. The train ride to Rimini is 50 minutes. Not a pretty ride scenery wise, so sleeping is okay. However we just had a guest leave us in Budapest before we left ourselves. She went to Eger a 2 ½ hour ride from Budapest and had her entire suitcase stolen from the luggage rack above her. I was not going to sleep and risk any loss.

Ever since knowing Ron our first stop anywhere is the tourism office. Without a map in hand, he doesn’t feel fulfilled. Generously, they were able to fill our needs for Rimini, Ravenna, and San Marino. They also sell bus tickets, so we bought those too. Each ticket is €1.20.

Here is where Rimini misses out on making it big time. The busses run one time an hour. In order to get the bus we needed, we would have had to wait 45 minutes, about 40 minutes more than our tired eyes would vote for, so plan B was to take a taxi. Ron asked how much the ride would cost and was quoted €12. As much as I hate parting with money needlessly, this seemed really a need at the time. Coincidentally, when we reached the hotel, the fare was exactly €12.

Our hotel is lovely, with the sea directly across. Once you walk the equivalent of a block seaside shops, beach tennis courts, a children’s racetrack, bocce ball courts, and changing rooms, you find yourself at the lounge chairs with over-sized umbrellas for rent. The Adriatic waits. From the balcony off of our room, besides a view of the beach, there is one of a Ferris wheel. To reach it from here, you walk to the end of our parcel of land and take a ferry across for 80 cents. We were too tired to do this tonight. However during our walk, we were impressed with the architecture of some of the buildings, both hotels and apartment buildings.

Dinner was at the Blue Bar Pizzeria on Via C. Zavagli N.156. Both of us had a mixed salad and lasagna. This place offers craft beers, so I tried one. I could only wish I could get it in Budapest.  After dinner we went for a coffee elsewhere. This strip is filled with hotels on the shoreline. One offered Karaoke, another had guests dancing. After being voyeurs for about fifteen minutes, we went back to crash.   

One more thing: I had no idea Rimini existed until the bug bit me after reading the article the "10 smallest countries in Europe". It was then I discovered Rimini is the gateway to San Marino. What a great discovery.

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WalkerH said...

If it weren't for transportation, travel would be fun. Nonetheless, travel can be rewarding.

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