Day 33: Bari

Today is a day of travel. After getting packed up and what not I went to the hostel from the night before to meet up with my travel companion to Bari, and hopefully burn Rachael’s disks before I left. I had gotten up a bit too early, and was still half asleep waiting for them to come out. Apparently Rachael and the Canadians had been out till 1am, and were all a bit tired. I took the photos off Rachael’s camera and burned them to a DVD after messing up a CD first. I don’t have my normal CD burning software and had to use the Vista stuff, but that defaults to burning a Live Disk, which won’t work on just any computer, so I messed up the disk that way.

As it turns out Rachael was leaving for Naples too on the way to Florence so the three of us set off together to catch the 9:40 train, and made it just in time, though the train would turn out to be 10 minutes late. Arriving in Naples we set about trying to figure out the trains for our respective trips. Rachael was able to find some local trains that would get her to Florence, though fairly late in the evening. Allan and I had to book a seat on a EuroStar train to Bari which can be a bit expensive, but it was literally the only way to get there today by 7pm(which is surprising considering it was so early in the day still.) The problem however was that all of the second class seats were full, and only 44 first class seats were available. Its cheaper though than to spend another day. As it turns out my rail pass is fine for that, but I’m supposed to pay the difference between first and second class (which in this case is only 10 euros). We got out of line and checked with the information desk but he told us there was no other way even with more changes. I’m not sure I entirely believe that, but I didn’t know what else to do. We got back in line and luck came to us. We ended up with a different window this time, and the guy showed us no second class seats available. I tried to explain that I could use my rail pass and pay the difference between first and second class, but he didn’t understand and ended up just giving us both first class tickets at the second class price!! The three of us then went and had some cheap lunch, so pizza. I really don’t like pizza these days, just too much of it, though I’ll miss the great pastas and ice cream.

Rachael didn’t have much time so she had to leave before Allan and I finished, so we said goodbye and parted ways. Its always a bit sad when you meet really nice people and then have to say goodbye. After lunch Allan and I went to the waiting room where a couple American tourists on their honeymoon were near by and heard us talking and struck up a conversation. This turned out to be some of the most entertainment of the day. The wife was a real drama queen it seemed, and was really acting freaked out by some Italian guy that was looking at her from time to time. She even made a scene saying he was making her feel uncomfortable, he just said he didn’t speak English in Italian and went back to his reading. These two strike me as the tourists I hate the most. They had everything planned out completely by AAA, and had just picked out a trip from a catalog. Anyway, so here was this attractive young woman about 25, freaking out because some guy was staring at her probably because she was pretty. Her and her new husband asked if they could sit with us, and of course I couldn’t say no, and she just kept on about how freaked out she was. Eventually she told her husband that she wanted to go to the restroom but was scared to go by herself. He didn’t say anything, so I spoke up and said “this is where you’re supposed to offer to go with her and make her feel safe.” And he kinda went red then asked if she wanted to go haha.

After they came back we said goodbye and boarded our train. As it turns out our train’s AC was broken, and it felt like a sauna inside, getting hotter and hotter the longer we were inside. It took almost an hour, about 10 minutes longer than it was supposed to but we arrived at our station to board the EuroStar to Bari. It seemed like everyone our age going to Bari was going for the same reason, the ferry to Greece. Here we met a couple Canadian girls back in second class so we haven’t seen them since, but we also ran into a French couple who were looking to catch a ferry. This also turned into a bit of entertainment for me and Allen because they had no plans or research at all, they asked if this was the way to Brindisi to catch a ferry to Greece, which you can, but its not the major shipping lane, Bari, though further, is cheaper. So they decided to go to Bari. I realize they probably don’t have reservations so I tell them that this train requires reservations and there are no others coming early enough for the ferry. Just then the train pulls up, and there is no time, so they just board anyway.

After about 3 hours we arrive in Bari. I spot the French couple so they made it fine, but were charged the normal cost (though they had no seat). There was a bit of a mad rush to find the bus to go to the marina, but Allan and I played it cool and just asked around calmly without running around like chickens with our heads cut off, and found out which bus, and bought our tickets. We seemed to be some of the only people that thought to go buy tickets before boarding.

Arriving at the docks we got in line to buy tickets, and the line moved excruciatingly slow. It ended up taking quite a long time, and we only managed to get our tickets 15 minutes before the ferry left. That was enough though as we were able to board no problem. It cost me 48 euros with my rail pass, which wasn’t a huge savings over the 68 Allan paid for the ticket without one. Tomorrow we arrive in Greece just after noon. Look there for the continuation of the adventure.

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