Hello And Goodbye
I was just traveling back to England after three months on the Italian-French border in the mountains and the nearest TGV station was about two and a half hours away in Oulx. The village I was staying in was called Prazzo and had the most beautiful view of the Italian Alps. I was taking up camp in a chalet that my friends owned in the top half of the village surrounded by pine trees.
The chalet was very luxurious, more like a hotel than a family home. In the three months I was there, I went skiing nearly every day as I was staying from the beginning of November through to the end of January and we had a week in Rome which had to be a week because Rome was a seven hour drive away. When in Rome we stayed in a little hotel at the bottom of the Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps). We visited the Vatican City and the Colosseum. We also threw coins into the Fontana di Trevi. When we went to the Colosseum I was overwhelmed with the size of it. According to the travel leaflet it could seat more than 50,000 spectators. It is thought to be named after Emperor Nero’s enormous Statue of Colossus that was built near by.
On the way back from Rome we stopped for the night at a farm near Florence in Tuscany before driving back to the chalet.
Most mornings I had local grown fruits: strawberries, melons, grapes, figs, croissants and baguettes from the Panifico (a bakery) and sometimes breakfast skewers which were normally cooked peppers or onions and sweet Italian sausage. On colder days we had coffee or Hot Chocolate and Biscotti (a sweet hard biscuit).
Unfortunately the day had come to go back home and say goodbye to my close friends. We left at about seven o’clock to get to the train station on time as the train left at 10:30. The car’s boot was filled to the brim with luggage and souvenirs and was ready to go. I made a final sweep of the house to check if I had forgotten anything and then got in the car.
The journey to the station was very picturesque one because of the snow capped mountains covered in pine tree forests and there was literally no traffic on the road. In the car I played cards with my friend and lost because my friend was a lot better than me.Though I’ve played cards every night since I’ve been here I haven’t been able to beat him.
We finally reached the station after nearly three hours of driving. As we got out of the car, the heavens opened like the weather was as miserable as me because I was leaving the place that I had lived at for three months. Then I remembered a saying someone told me: “If you don’t leave, you’ll never be able to come back” and suddenly I felt a lot happier although the weather didn’t seem cheer up. Annoyingly, we didn’t bring any umbrellas as they would be very helpful at this time. So we braved the rain and grabbed the luggage as quick as possible and ran into the building. I now had an hour before the train arrived so we had some coffee at the little station café there.
Finally the train arrived and it was time for me to say my proper goodbyes to my friends. I got lots of hugs and kisses from everyone and then went to the platform to get on the train. Just before the train doors closed I called “addio ai miei amici!” and then the train started moving.
I had a long journey ahead of me. There was a 4 hour TGV journey to Paris and then I had to get the Eurostar to London, but luckily on all three trains I had my own compartment.
As the train left I was waving out the window to my friends thinking “I’ll be back soon!”. I kept waving until the train rounded the corner and the station disappeared from sight. I suddenly felt very relaxed and tired, so I dozed off.
When I woke up I had three hours until we got to Paris. We were just passing through Lyon, in the south-east of France, which we had a quick stop at to change trains. The rest of the journey wasn’t that eventful, as I was reading on my tablet for the remainder of the trip.
At last we came into Gare De Lyon (Lyon Station) in Paris. There was about 10 other platforms there. I was amazed at how many places they went to: Geneva, Nice, Bern, Montpellier. I stopped for a very late lunch or early dinner, which was delicious I must say. Then I got a cab to Gare De Nord (North Station) which took me past loads of different landmarks like The Louve Museum and I caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower peeking over the top of the buildings. The atmosphere was very different than than Prazzo, obviously! There was just loads of traffic and people everywhere. It took the cab 30 minutes just to travel 10 kilometres.
I have not finished it completely but I will soon. Please comment on how it is.