Correction...when I say I recommend train travel, I only recommend it if there aren't any connections.
I had 4 transfers to make today. I had 20 minutes to make the one in Figueres, 2 hours to make one in Valence, and 1 hour to make my last one in Lyon. I was unsettled about the 20 minute transfer since getting lost has been the theme here and I wasn't sure that was enough time to find my train. When I arrived in Figueres, I realized my next train was across the platform. Phewf! Crisis averted. I was able to relax since my next transfer in Valence was a 2 hour layover and that, for sure, wasn't going to be an issue since we were on time.
Well, I spoke too soon.
After getting to Valence, my transfer train to Lyon was one hour late which would make me miss my transfer to Milan. I asked the information desk what my options were and at first they were telling me to travel to Milan tomorrow. But after saying something in French to one of the other information officers, he pointed me to another line which transferred in Chambéry - where I would have to transfer there to hop on a train to Milan. Not a big deal since it got me into Milan at the same time anyways. It was just a different route. I saw some beautiful scenery going through some national parks - lush greenery, waterfalls, mountains, blue sky. It reminded me of home.
It also made me think about my trip, thus far, and how it has been a great way for me to learn to let go of the steering wheel once and awhile - if not all the time. There are some things you just can't control so you just gotta roll with the punches and live moment by moment, one foot in front of the other. As my mom says, "all roads lead to home" so whether you're stuck in a train station in an unfamiliar part of the world, wandering the streets in many wrong directions, or completely unsure of your direction in life, one eventually gets to the place they need to be. It's just that sometimes, we're destined to take the more scenic route.
My life, for example, has had many scenic routes to which I am now grateful for. I never did follow the crowd anyways and the road less travelled has always been an ongoing theme in my life. But then again, maybe that's just LIFE.
Either way, I'll take that scenic route over a paved, straight highway any day.
From Milan - buona notte!