Posts Tagged With: bus

Teramo Pt. 1

Wow. So I will never win The Amazing Race. And times like these are what make me wonder why I thought traveling would be a relaxing break from reality. I spontaneously decided Thursday night that I would go to Teramo for the weekend. I had originally planned on going to Rome, but decided the heat wave cause by the African winds (I always forget that Italy is actually so close to Africa, they’re so separate in my subconscious) would probably make that a hard first independent travel experience. So instead I decided to do something closer to Pescara. As it was the night before I wanted to go, I had limited options. I was trying to find a cheap hotel or room for rent, but most cheap ones were booked. I wanted to go to a small castle town that there are so many of around here, but there either was no accommodations in the ones I wanted to go to, or I wouldn’t be able to get to the hotel by public transport. So I ended up choosing Teramo. While not quite as picturesque as some of the hill top towns, Teramo has some beautiful churches and is smaller than Pescara, which is something I felt I needed at this point. So I booked a room at a bed and breakfast for two nights.

I was hoping to catch the direct bus from Pescara to Teramo at 2:45 as when I was planning to go to Rome Madda said I could have the afternoon off. But I guess Teramo isn’t as important so when I brought the kids home for lunch I found out she wasn’t coming home until 5:00. Oh well I thought, there were other routes later in the day. So I tried to catch the 5:50 bus that went through giulul—-nova something or other, then to Teramo. Or so I thought. I was actually supposed to take two different buses, so I ended up missing the 5:50 one as it didn’t say Teramo. This was such a frustrating experience. The bus station in Pescara had no shade so it was literally boiling out, my back pack was heavy, nobody speaks English here, buses kept coming and going in no order (the Pescara station is very unorganized, you literally have to run around and check the front of every bus to see which one you need, there are no set “stations”). Finally at 7:10 the bus came again and found it, got on, and the sense of relief was amazing. I had to transfer once which ended up being unpleasant, as I went from a charter bus to a local bus where I had to sit next to a disgusting man yelling in Italian on a phone for an hour. Curious point- I bought a ticket in Pescara, but neither bus driver checked it or asked for money. Anyways, by the time I got to Teramo it was dark out. Thank modern civilization and my host family that my Italian phone has unlimited data so I could use GPS to figure out where I was and the best route to the B&B. And that Teramo is not very big. I got there in about 15 minutes. It was a confusing spot to check in to, as apparently there’s no front desk, somebody just meets you there when you need to check in. So I was waiting outside when an old lady come up to the door (holding a pizza box, of course) and lets me in asking if I was trying to find the bed and breakfast. Apparently this was the wrong thing to do because I got lost inside the building while the guy was waiting for me outside. Oh well I finally got in and checked in and threw my stuff down and decided to go to bed early so I could go out early in the morning.

Quick bed and breakfast review (It’s just called B&B Teramo if you’re curious): Very modern and clean, I got turn down service today which I wasn’t expecting, and everything feels very sanitary. There’s no air conditioning or wifi, both of which are a pretty big inconvenience.  Also no first aid kit as I tried to find a bandaid for my blister. The coffee machine is cool, it makes espresso out of these little capsule things. The “breakfast” was pitiful, I recommend just going to a café around the corner and getting some cheap good pastries. I did managed to pick one out that was squishy like a croissant and was good with peach jam on it (have I mentioned they like peaches here?).  There was also good blood orange juice though that I liked. Overall I feel like it’s more like a more private hostel, doesn’t really quite hold up to watch a B&B should be.

So that’s about it for travel and accommodations.

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Bus Ride to Pescara

Arriving in Rome was not quite the triumph I thought it’d be. By that point I was extremely tired, pissed at afore mentioned blondes, and nauseous. I’ve become quite the fail at not getting nauseous on plane rides. After getting my checked bags and consolidating I headed out of the airport trying to find the bus my host mom told me about. There were signs pointing and saying where to go to get to “the bus station”. Lies. There is no bus station. Buses just stop along the street outside the airport and you figure it out. I was quite lost for a while and stood with all of my bags trying to get the courage to ask for help in English, I hate looking like a lost tourist! And again getting that lonely-I-want-a-travel-companion urge.  It was then I saw a Prontobus pull up, and I recognized the name of the service as the company I was trying to connect with. So I headed over to it and figured out it was headed to Pescara. This was finally the triumph I was looking for! It felt so good to figure out how to get to Pescara in that mess all by myself with no Italian skills. So if you’re trying to bus to Pescara, there it is, head outside and look for the yellow prontobus heading that way. Turns out nobody on or around that bus spoke English as I tried to ask if I needed to buy a ticket somewhere else to get on the bus. Apparently, at least for this bus company, you can buy a ticket when you get on. Knowing the words “Pescara” and “si” were all I needed, communication win!

By this point it was about 2am Seattle time and I was tired. But I was determined to stay awake and drink in my first two hours of being in Italy. Turns out the bus ride took three hours. I was not happy about that. However, if, like I hope in writing this blog ,that you might be interested in heading to Pescara, this bus ride was very scenic. You go from Fiumacino with its hay bales and graffiti, to the lower hills above Rome with farms and monasteries, then to the mountains with the most gorgeous hill top towns, before heading down the other side of the mountains to Pescara. I hope I have a day to go visit one of those towns. I love cities that sprawl down a hillside with houses stacked one upon the other, leading to some sort of castle or church at the top. There is a surprising number of them as well. So many undiscovered Abruzzo charms.

I wish I had taken pictures of them but everybody on the bus was a some sort of local, and I didn’t want to pull attention to myself as a young touristy woman heading to Pescara alone. No need to draw that sort of attention. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to take quality pictures of them at some point though.

In order to make up for this, here’s a horribly low quality iphone picture of the espresso machine they had on the charter bus. So amazing.

 

One last tid bit I learned on this bus ride: Italians have loud, obnoxious, musical ring tones and are not afraid to let their phones ring. It’s not like the US where everyone always has their phone in their pocket on vibrate. The old Italian man sitting in front of me got called countless times to the repetition of “Mr. Saxobeat”.

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