A day’s travel is many things: Time wasted at train stations or airport, time to rest and be forced to do nothing, a test of patience, time to write, time to read. The activity I enjoy most – along with reading – is to observe.

You see all types of people travelling. Fascinating.

We drove to Bari and delivered the car to Avis. Easy to find in busy traffic.  We don’t get a Sat Nav. I use my iPad. I load in the map and route we are taking, when I have wifi, and then I can just follow along. A blue throbbing dot marks our location. Even without wifi. It’s like magic.  Much better than Sat Nav.

While we waited  for our train we went back to the cafe we had visited on our first day in Bari. Very good juices, sandwiches and salad. And I swear the man behind the counter remembered me! And the opera of the two tarty women trying to pay for a 5 Euro coffee with a number of obviously fake 500 Euro notes!

Then it was a onto the train. 1st class! But it wasn’t the Orient Express. It just meant we got our own seat. We got a drink and a snack! The ticket guard on board was a Montelbano type. Bald hair, tan skin and good looking in his own way. If you haven’t seen Inspector Montelbano do yourself a favour and watch it. It’s set in Sicily, has subtitles and is great fun. Montelbano gets to solve crimes.

Yesterday we met Antonelle at a cafe. He was very taken with us Australians. We chatted about things with him and somehow policemen came up. Steve said ‘like Montelbano?’  He laughed and replied. Not all all. They don’t get to solve any crimes in real life!

The train trip was fine. All ran well and before we knew it we were on our way from Rome Termini to Fiumicino to stay at a hotel not far from the airport. I chose Hotel Tiber right on the coast where the River Tevere flows into the sea. Not bad for our last night in Italy.

We walked along the river past all the fishing boats,  looking for a restaurant. The only ‘Opera’ we saw was the altercation between the driver of the tourist train and the man delivering things from his double parked truck! The train had clipped his door. Much shouting and arm waving, before all was resolved  and then waving a cheery farewell to each other and it was all over.

The T-shirt saying ‘I can’t stay calm. I’m Italian’ came to mind!

We chose a restaurant  that looked typically Italian, but in the old fashioned sense. No red checked table clothes. Nice white ones with older gentlemen waiting the tables. We knew we were away from friendly southern Italy by the haughty manner of the waiter once we sat down. He barely looked at us. Refused to speak Italian to us and was very dismissive. There goes his generous tip I thought!

Happily we enjoyed the food and the Piedmont wine and then walking home we could see, or rather hear, some recorded voices. We rounded a corner into a little piazza and there were chairs set up facing a stage. Cinema style. It was the local summer outdoor theatre.

We walked towards what looked like a very old fashioned movie just in time to hear ‘we’ll be landing in Brisbane in a few minutes!’  Then an aerial view of an old fashioned Brisbane. This was a old movie about a woman coming to Queensland as part of the bride scheme. Back in the 50’s. We had to stay and watch and it was so funny. I told the women near us we were from Brisbane. She was lovely and described that this film though old was a favourite!

The film took the poor,  but beautiful Italian bride to be, on a long journey to get where her future husband lived. They went to Port Douglas, Uluru, Melbourne, an island that  looked like Stradbroke, Sydney, Broken Hill and finally the house , in a hick town where  she was to live. Of course during the journey she fell in love with the man, Amadeo. Of so funny!

So the prediction was right. Tomorrow Steve indeed would be landing in Brisbane.

Whilst I continue my adventure in Cotignac.

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