Wednesday, August 26, 2009

~ Transportation Pt. 2 (Originally Posted 2/25/08)

In my last blog entry, we discussed why using the rails as your main form of transportation while traveling overseas was a good idea. To recap, it’s fast, clean, reliable and a reasonably priced alternative to renting a car.

If you remember, I briefly mentioned in my last entry that when we traveled in Italy, we used the train to travel to all of our destinations except for only one time.

Bus travel, or “coach” as it’s commonly referred to in Europe, is another wonderful alternative to renting a car to travel within the country you’re visiting.

Even though we chose to use the train the majority of the time, I had done my research (reading guide book after guide book) and in one of my favorite guidebooks, specifically, Rick Steves’ Italy, he made mention that sometimes train engineers go on strike and that sometimes those strikes last for a few hours up to a few days. When we made our way to the train station in Orvieto to purchase our tickets to go to Siena, we were told that the trains were not running due to a strike. Rather than going into panic-mode, we calmly asked about when the coach was running and found that it was due to leave within the hour and the cost was even more reasonable than the train! Bonus!!!

The coach was clean and convenient. It delivered us to our destination a bit later than we had planned but the drive made its way down winding roads through gorgeous countryside that we might not have seen had we taken the train.

Now, my personal preference is for the train. Not because of money or time but because I have a tendency to get carsick and eventually, bus rides make me feel ill. However, for me, it was just fine in a pinch.

If you’re on a tight budget and you have ample time between destinations, a coach would be a wonderful alternative to the train. And speaking of alternative modes of transportation, if you get the chance to use them you should. One of my more memorable modes of transport as we traveled from Naples to Sorrento was via hydrofoil! We spent a beautiful afternoon eating luch at the docks in Napoli as we waited for our hydrofoil to take us to Sorrento. It was a great trip (even if I got a little seasick) and one I’ll never forget!

We’re not done talking about transportation yet! There’s more to discuss and more hints and tips coming up on the next blog entry. Stay tuned!!

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