Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Three cities & modes of transport in one day

November 4, 2017

Our next adventure has begun.

We left Alex & Ian’s by taxi to take us to the train station in Barnehurst where we were to catch the train into London Bridge and then transfer over to another train to take us to Gatwick Airport for our flight to Milan. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time so we had a late breakfast at the airport.

Our flight boarded a little late but we got away safely and were soon on our way flying over central France and then across the Alps.

We wondered if that was Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn poking high into the sky in the middle of the picture?

We landed at Milan’s Malpensa Airport 20 minutes early, great we thought, we can get on our journey sooner than we thought. But we were thwarted somewhat as apparently there was no ground staff available to set up the steps from the plane to the tarmac. The captain apologised profusely and had radioed his annoyance a couple of times to those involved but it was all out of his control and we just had to wait. After about 25 minutes we were off by bus to the terminal building to head through passport control and then onto another bus for the trip into Milan Centrale Rail Station.

We missed the first bus so it was a bit of a wait for the next one, we arrived at Milan Centrale Station in good time to purchase a train ticket to take us to Mendrisio in Switzerland. Actually, the buying of the train ticket was an adventure in itself. As we queued to talk to someone about which train and what ticket to purchase, a young man ushered us out of the queue to go with him to the automatic ticketing machine. Here he showed us what to do, helped us purchase the ticket and then he proceeded to pick up our bag and said “follow me”…..yes, we know what you are all thinking, the Vannini’s have been duped, and are about to be scalped….he asked us where we were from and then proceeded to tell us the names of the players of the NZ cricket team! He was from Bangladesh and a keen follower of cricket, he was of course not an offical guide but he was courteous and no, we did not disclose documents or wallets in his sight. He was just touting for a donation we figured. He led us to the right platform, and with a fond farewell and a few coins he was off. And yes we did check everything to make sure nothing was missing, all was in order and as there was armed Military and Polizei everywhere we felt pretty safe.

We were soon on the train for the final leg of our travels for the day. Mendrisio is not far from the Italian border near Lake Lugano in a finger of Switzerland that dips into Italy. (Indicated by the blue dot in the following map).

This is where Roy’s Great Grandfather Cosmo Damiano Vannini was born in 1836. We are hoping to be able to find some records of the family whilst we are here. Watch this space for more on that.

PS. Oh dear, it seems I cannot count as a taxi, bus, train and plane adds up to four modes of transport and I guess we could say that we also moved through at least four cities as well!!