My Cervia Fiasco
In spite of my late night, I was up bright and early to attend the task of getting myself to Cervia where Antonio told me he would be building, starting at 4 or 5 am. It was a bright and sunny morning and I had thought it would be as easy as jumping a bus right by the train station but of course it was not. In fact, this was one of the worst travel days I have had so far - and Cervia is only a few miles from Cesena.
First off, it was explained to me that the buses were not running as it was a holiday, but that I could there by train via Rimini. In this way, a short trip to the beach turns into a 2-hour affair with timetables and changes to figure out.
By the time I arrive at the Cervia station, the sky has clouded over and is in fact looking rather threatening. The buses here are running but the table is not helpful as Antonio has given me no clue as to where in Cervia he is building. So I find a helpful lady who helps me explain to the bus driver that I want to go to the beach - any beach. and that is exactly where I get dropped off... just as it started to rain. Not a gentle spring rain either - this was a full fledged hard driving rain accompanied by lightning and thunder and I was thoroughly soaked before I was able to seek the shelter of a nearby bath house.
Fortunately, the storm blows itself out quickly and soon it is once again warm and sunny with a brisk north breeze that quickly dries my clothing. And I am marching marching down a very long beach indeed searching for Antonio and his sculpture which I never did find. Either he did not build that day after all or he built somewhere other that Cervia because I am pretty sure I covered it all. This was discouraging because I had really hoped he could give me some alternative to the train torture I would have to go through to get back to my room in Cesena.
I finally stopped marching nd pulled up a seat on a chunk of concrete and stared glumly into the Adriatic, thinking I ought to try and build something anyway so the day would not be a total loss. An older man perched on the sam chunk of concrete moved over and attempted to strike up a conversation and I think we did pretty good seeing as how our knowledge of each others languages were pretty equal. He informed me that a taxi to Cesena would run me about 70.000 lire - very expensive. He left me suggesting that I get started on my sculpture and that I might make enough in tips to pay for the cab. I am not optimistic on this however, as I do not think I can spend much time on it and anyway it is now past noon and the beach is mostly deserted.
So I start hacking away at the shell encrusted sand with a trowel - it is very hard to get a proper hole going but once I do I find an extremely high clay -- and shell -- content. I could build pretty big if I wanted to spend more time at it but it would be difficult to get much detail carved with all the big shells and shell pieces. I spend a little over an hour on what turns out to be a pretty little castle I think and does get some notice from the few passersby and a lot of the beach venders - but I am in no mood to talk to anyone as I am worried about getting back to Cesena.
So about 1 pm I pack up and head back to the road. Find a bus stop almost immediately but I have no idea if it is a functioning one or if the bus will take me where I want to go. I wait for over half an hour and -rapidly losing confidence in this plan, start walking back to what I hope is the general vicinity of the train station. I come across a tourist information center but it is closed until 3. I see a few other people starting to congregate at another bus stop - none of them can speak English so I decide to hang out with them anyway and sure enough eventually a bus shows up and takes me to the station. There it is an hour long wait for the train to Rimini so I grab a snack as I have not eaten anything all day. I get to Rimini safely but then is problem - which train will take me to Cesena? I know it is not far but the timetable is confusing and I do not see Cesena on it anywhere. So I find the info desk and the lady says the next train to Milano goes to Cesena. It is packed and suffocatingly hot and moving too fast and I discover my worst train nightmare come true - I am on the wrong one. I am very lucky that it stops in Forli which is very close to Cesena but in the opposite direction. This time the table is clearer and I do not have to wait long at all for the 8 minute ride to Cesena. I am so happy to be back in my room and do not leave again all evening.