“The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Psalm 121: 7-8
It’s been a big morning! Breakfast and then packing! Cleaning out the room by 11:00am was a bit of a challenge for some of us… So it was finished around 11:45am. But the people have been so kind here, and so full of generosity. They allowed us to stay at the villa until we decide to go. It’s now 14:34, and we’re relaxing in the massive living room of the villa. Bridget is writing “Thank You” cards that have gone to the way side during our travels, but she likes to take things slowly. We are planning to leave whenever Bridget decides to get going. But it’s so relaxing here.
Bridget’s brother and I just went down to the local Coop (no, not the same kind of store that we have, rather like our local Acme). Got the last few snacks, candy and treats for our long bus ride!
Once we got back to the villa, we made some food and rested! I slept for about half an hour before Bridget woke me to say we were leaving in an hour and a half… I couldn’t sleep again….. But by 6:00pm we were packed (after a lot of nudging, helping the packing process…) and went to the bus station in the 98° sun! We waited for about 9 minutes and sure enough, the bus to Siena arrived right on time! We crowded in, and I strapped my luggage onto the “handicapped” accessible chairs– oops.. but I would it rather be buckled than it flying about the bus hurting people. We arrived in Siena, and saw a bus to Florence, but turned out it was the “local” to Florence. So we waited for the “Firenze Rapito”. We arrived in Florence at around 8:40pm and walked to the station that the GPS and tickets had told us to go to. It had begun to darken, as the sun was going down. We waited by the back of some old rail road stations, and plenty of people who needed to find “things” to do, were there as well. While we were waiting, two young girls came up to a group of young boys and asked if they were interested in having “some fun” tonight. It was interesting to see the interaction. Somehow it seemed like the boys were truly confused and weren’t interested. They were all probably between the ages of 16-18 years old. After the girls tried again in different ways, they just walked off and the boys all looked at each other with perplexed faces. And soon then left as well, in the other direction.
We waited and waited. It was a rather dirty place, waiting around with men who wanted some fun. Holding on tight to my bag, and thinking of my friends back home. That helps me a lot!
The original bus to Munich was at 1:00am and at some point a notification came that it was cancelled, so we tried calling the bus company to try and figure what other bus we could take. Just as we were about to find a train or a cheap place to sleep, a bus rolled up, and I asked one of the passengers where they were going. She said Vienna. I asked if there were stops, but she said it was direct. We spoke to the driver, and he originally said no, but then told him I would have to find a place in Florence to sleep. In the end he said “66€”. I paid! I got on the bus! Now I’m on and safe. It will arrive at 9:30am in Vienna.
Sometimes great things happen, sometimes not so great things happen, and it’s the small things that we need to be thankful for. To know that God is watching you and He will be there for you in your need. It’s amazing how human beings can learn from one another and be able to understand each other. The fate of this trip ended in safety and the choice that the bus driver chose to give us is something that really brought an awareness of humanity.
I will go to sleep now. It’s been a bit of a day!