Quick stop!

Trip Start Jun 13, 2009
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Flag of Italy  , Emilia-Romagna,
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

After flying from Lisbon to Madrid airport, spending a sleepless night there, and an early morning flight to Bologna we were pretty tired when we finally arrived! We had booked into a cheap hotel, but got an email just before we left Lisbon saying that they had overbooked and we had been moved to a 4 star hotel for the same price – WOOHOO! We had the address but had no idea where it was, so we asked at the tourist info desk and jumped on the shuttle to the city to find it. We had been told to get the number 20 bus, and double checked with the driver before getting on – he didn't know but said he would ask.. after driving around for a while he yelled out through the crowded bus that this was us, but we were still in the city centre and couldn’t see a hotel anywhere. Standing in the middle of Bologna, very tired and not in the mood for getting lost, we wandered around and found the main tourist office. Turned out we had been told the wrong bus number!! The lady gave us a bus map and new directions and off we went. Found what we thought was the right bus, but after a while I realized it was going the WRONG WAY.. AAGGHHH!! So off we jumped, crossed the road and tried again – surely this one would take us there. We basically crossed from one side of the city to the other, and got off where the tourist info lady had told us to. We were in the middle of NO WHERE. Like the outer suburbs. We found a gelato shop and with a lot of hand signals communicated that we had no idea where we were, and did they know where this hotel was??? A man who was having his afternoon espresso offered to give us a lift – through more hand signals he let us know that he thought he knew where the hotel was, and he was married with kids and we had nothing to worry about! Plus it was pretty much that or continue to stand on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. It turned out the hotel wasn’t too far away, and on the way there we learnt that the man was Sicilian, and he couldn’t understand why we were in Bologna. It was a bit too hard to sign language 'we got a cheap flight here, it’s only for 1 night and then we are off to the Cinque Terre’. We did manage to get the Cinque Terre bit across – he said it’s ‘OK’ but we should really be going to Sicily because that is much better (I think he may have been working for their tourism board..).

Anyway, we FINALLY got to the hotel – it was very nice and we felt a lot out of place having pretty much only stayed in backpackers for such a long time! We had a massive king size bed, a great bathroom, a giant plasma.. GREAT!! We decided we weren’t going anywhere because it had been so hard finding the place, so we slept for what was left of the afternoon and watched BBC News at least 4 times through as it was the only thing on in english. We had our 1st Italian pasta in the hotel restaurant and watched a movie on our massive plasma until the power went out (really annoying actually, we still don’t know the ending to that movie!) so went to sleep!

Getting back into the city was far less eventful thank god – there was a bus stop just around the corner and the bus took us straight to the train station to get to the Cinque Terre!
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