Funiculare? What's that?

Trip Start Jan 09, 2011
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Trip End Feb 06, 2012


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Flag of Italy  , Lombardy,
Saturday, January 28, 2012

This morning dawned cold and grey, so we thought perhaps a day trip was in order.  After our breakfast, we packed up for the day and walked to the train station.  We chose Bergamo as our destination, simply because the guidebook talked about the funiculare.  Huh.  What on Earth is a funiculare?  We googled it and came up with a tram which goes up the side of a mountain.  That settled it.  We were going to Bergamo.  The train ride itself  (though not the train.  It was ugly) is very pretty and crosses many rivers and one gorge.  Bergamo was rainier than Milan, and on arriving, the first thing we wanted was food.  Frankly, we've had our fill of pizza and pizza roll sandwiches, so we opted for an offering from the DonerKebab truck parked outside the train station.  This was perfect and filled exactly the space it needed to.  I had "spiciness" on mine (which wasn't really that spicy, but who am I to argue with the DonerKebab truck guy?) as well as the garlic mayonnaise.  We found our way to the funiculare very easily, but basically you just follow one big straight road with the old city on the mountain directly in front.  Our tickets were cheap, so we joined the line and took a ride up the mountain.  The citta alta was even chillier and rainier than the lower city, but it was still really pretty.  I'm sure there would have been a spectacular view if it weren't for all the clouds, mist and rain.  We walked around checking out the walls, duomo and pebbled streets until our 75 min ticket was about to expire.  We rode the funiculare back down and walked back to the train station. The funiculare trip was totally worth the 3 euros we paid. Nora spent much of the time sleeping, which was great, since she first got up at 5am.  She spent much of her awake time as she usually does: being adorable and smiling at old ladies and getting them to say "bellissima."
On the ride back to Milan we discussed new plans for a future trip.  I've always wanted to just have a rail pass and get off at a randomly selected station, with no real plans.  It would be best if it were a small rural station, and we could just find out what there was to do once we got there.  Maybe we'll find a nice little place to stay, or maybe we'll just spend the day and then move on.  That would be the fun of it, just (not) choosing a place!  So many plans, so few holiday days.  I guess we'll have to get busy saving and planning for our next trip as soon as we get home! 
Getting off the train in Milan, we were delivered into more rain.  We finally got to use our "scenes of Tuscany" umbrella we bought way back in Florence. This was one of Nora's favourite things!  She's never really been out in the rain before, and she spent a lot of time staring, enthralled, at the umbrella and the rest of her time trying to grab it.  It wasn't as fun as the bag of chips we bought yesterday, which she played with for the entire walk back from the store, but it probably came in a close second.  We're having instant noodles for supper again today.  I'm not totally thrilled about it, but it is so much cheaper than buying a pizza in a restaurant, I think I'll make it through a meal of noodles.  Tomorrow we'll stay in Milan and see what else there is to do and see here.
-Jayne
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