joy magnetism: One way, or another

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

One way, or another

Magnet #642 - London Underground

Well, nuts. I was hoping to keep my daily blogging streak going, but I've been thwarted at every turn during this Italian holiday. Who knew you wouldn't be able to get hotel wi-fi in a Tuscan villa outside of San Gimingano, or just outside the city walls of Padua?

Even now, I'm sitting in a dimly lit "bar," at the end of the registration desk corridor, in a somewhat sketchy (though let's use the word rustic) hotel in Florence, listening to our cute and overworked (well, just since our party got here) concierge snap the wet towels and hang them out to dry on the lines out back. But, hey, I've got wi-fi, and all of our charges are safe and sound in their rustic bedrooms down the hall.

But, what a French farce of a time we had getting here. It's why I'm choosing the London Underground for this first catch-up magnet. London and NYC are two of the easiest to navigate train systems in the world. The Italian train system? Noooooot so much.

Today as we were leaving Padua, we had two of our party - my sister and my friend - get on a train to Geneva. Uhhhh, yeah, we weren't going to Geneva. They didn't even know they'd boarded the wrong train until I texted my friend.

Uhhhh, yeah. This is what happens when you split up big groups.

After loads of parental worries (once the adults realized I wasn't joking about the girls) and reversal of trains (once they realized where they were headed) and more train tickets boughten (once we realized the girls had my train ticket), and yes, loads of laughter (once we were all where we needed to be) and we finally all arrived back in Florence. Whew.

Expensive Eurostar 1st class tickets bought out of desperation? Worth it.

Also. Eurostar - would it kill you to space out the schedule, and perhaps announce trains better, and perhaps order your coaches consistently, so that people with luggage can get to the right place on the platform? Oiy.
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