I left from Atlanta on January 7, 2009 and arrived at the steps of the Villa in Genova on Via Piaggio at 11pm, January 8, 2009. Traveling from Atlanta to Detroit, from Detroit to Amsterdam, from Amsterdamn to Milan with no set plan other than a final destination. The plane from Atlanta was running late, I was supposed to board my connecting flight to Amsterdamn, boarding at 8:15, and my flight from Atlanta wasn't supposed to arrive until 8:27. We landed in Detroit right around 8:30 with no one at the gate to guide us in...minutes ticked away and the chances of me catching my connecting flight grew slimmer. Finally by 9:10 we were off the plane, and I was running down the terminal to catch my connecting flight to Amsterdam only hoping my luggage was going to make it. I made it...
The Amsterdam airport was wonderful. I sat down for a moment to have a few beers and gather my thoughts of the next move I was going to make and how I was going to get to Genova that night...Naturally over a couple beers. I spoke with the bartender named Jan, pronouced "Yawn", and asked him to recommend one of Amsterdams finest. He asked "Well, do you want the Natte or the Zette?" and I answered with a perplexed look on my face I'm sure, huh? He explained, "The Natte is the wet one and the Zette is the drunk one". Naturally I went with the Zette, and highly recommend it. After two beers at the airport bar I was on my way to Milan...the English became less and less abundant.
From the Milan airport, Malpensa, I took a hour shuttle bus North, away from Genova, to Milan's Central Station to hopefully figure out how to catch a bus, hoping to run into someone who can speak English. Struggling with the attendant at the ticket counter, I bought a ticket to Genova - Station Principe. The attendant tried to tell me how to read the ticket in Italian, but it was more difficult than expected.
I interpreted my ticket to say that I would be arriving at Principe at 8:48am. It was 9:05, a dark night allowed only my reflection to be seen in the window, and I was wondering if I had gotten on the wrong train, or possibly worse, missed my stop and was headed to La Spezia.
It was truly a rendition of "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles"