Still Cheeselessly in Parma

If you’re a believer in signs, when you read my tale you will perhaps understand why I gave up my attempts to get to Cheese this morning.

First, the friend who was going to come with me had pulled out before I left London. Next, I found out on Thursday that the plans to visit a winery Friday morning with another classmate had changed – the rental car wasn’t rented after all and there was no way for me to get there without leaving on Thursday and staying an extra night — somewhere. I was busy to-ing and fro-ing with packages to the post office and various other errands and just couldn’t manage it, so decided to go on Saturday. Then arose the possibility of getting a ride with someone else to Bra on Saturday morning, but that fell through on Friday. So I went to the train station Friday night and bought a ticket for a train leaving at 5.53 this morning, which would have got me to Bra at around 10.

Got up 4.30, walked to the train station and arrived I guess at about 5.51 – with just enough time to reach the platform and watch my train pull out, in the full knowledge that the next train wouldn’t get me there until an hour after the start time of the talk I most wanted to hear.

I took all this to mean the cosmos was indicating my presence was not required at Cheese this year, so I turned around and walked back home, since it was still too early for the buses to be running. Well at least I got my exercise. And was spared a three-stage, four hour train trip each way. The way things were going, chances are excellent that I would have missed one of those connections and ended up late anyway.

I don’t know how many of you out there have tried to plan trips using Trenitalia‘s rather good website, but it does have one major flaw, which is that it doesn’t tell you the ultimate destination of the train you will be catching/connecting with or the platform you’ll need, which means you have to figure that out on the fly by checking the departure list posted on the platform, and then find the platform listed, and hope it hasn’t changed. A lot to manage in a strange station with sometimes only three or four minutes between trains.

Think I’ll go out and buy myself some… cheese.

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