June 18 - Pont Saint Martin to Ravenna
(This is a continuation of my Europe trip after my BAC Val d'Aosta bicycle tour).
Ravenna's Piazza del Popolo
Breakfast at Hotel Crabun in Pont St Martin was special. There was a machine that automatically squeezed oranges - the first fresh orange juice that I have ever drunk in Italy. The rest of the buffet was typical - croissants, cereals, cakes, yogurt, etc. We left Pont Saint Martin at 8:00 on a big bus after storing our luggage underneath. The ride was uneventful except for a huge traffic jam that delayed us for about 1/2 hour. We made it to Milan Malpensa in time for those going home to catch their planes. I joined Janet Monks, Mary McCurdy and Heidi Dexter on the train to Milan Centrale . It was much nicer than taking the bus like I did when I arrived several days ago.
Janet was staying at the same hotel where I stayed on June 5 so I led her out of the station and showed her which way to go. Then I went to a ticket machine and tried to print out my prepaid ticket. For some reason the machine did not recognize my surname and would not cooperate. I had to join a very long line to take my reservation to an agent. This took about an hour, or so it seemed. It was very warm in the station, enough so that an elderly woman fainted in the line in front of me. This did not slow the line at all. It was hardly moving in the first place. When I finally reached my turn, it took the agent only a few seconds to print my ticket. I felt relief.
I wandered around this huge station and found a cafe, one of many. It was past noon and I was getting hungry. I had a tuna salad and a panino. My train to Bologna was not until 4:20, so I found a cool place to sit and read.
The train to Bologna was very nice - plush reserved seats. The second train to Ravenna was a local and the air conditioning did not work. There were some open windows so it was tolerable. The major effort was hauling my bicycle case as well as my suitcase. The combination wore me out. The bicycle case is especially heavy when I had to take it up and down train station stairs. When I was going up the stairs in Ravenna, a kind man helped me. That made me feel good - trust in my fellow man.
I wheeled my gear along Ravenna's main street and then up a street to my right and found my B&B, Casa Masoli . It is in a real old building. My room is large and my bathroom is huge for a bathroom - very unusual for Europe. The owner checked me in and gave me lots of advice for tours and restaurants. She let me keep my bicycle bag on the ground floor. It was easy to carry my suitcase to the second floor.
After showering I looked for some of the recommended restaurants but I couldn't find any that were open. I looked at a menu and then walked into a nice looking one. It was a good choice. I had noodles with several types of crustaceans along with a mixed salad. I also finished off a large bottle of fizzy water. It was a good dinner.
I took the long way back to the B&B and noticed that the town was very quiet. There were not a lot of tourists here. According to Rick Steves, Ravenna is a day trip for most people. That's OK with me. I like quiet nights.