“Sorry. We don’t exchange Euros.”

We arrived back in Split at about 5pm, and headed away from all the SobeRoomSleeping? people waving their pieces of paper at us at the station (with me replying NoFerrySleepingHome each time) and straight over to the ferry ticket desk to see if we could somehow obtain a proper bed for the night. Despite having twice failed to book a cabin for the return journey prior to this, we were now told that there was indeed one available, but in some bizarre Kafka-esque ritual that I to this day still don’t quite understand, we couldn’t pay the extra money for it at the ticket desk, but only on the boat, and not in the currency of the country we were in, but only in Euros (and obtaining them proved to be comically difficult, considering the fact that at least one of the three exchange offices “didn’t exchange euros”–so what currencies do you exchange, exactly?) When we got onto the boat, and the Italian staff took Sally’s passport from us and told us we couldn’t pay for our cabin until after the boat had left port, I stopped even trying to work out why things were happening. But we got our cabin in the end, and slept blissfully all the way back to Italy.

As the flight home wasn’t until the evening, we planned to kill a few hours in Bologna on the way back to Venice, but it was mostly shut and full of awfully pricey bars charging extortionate cover charges (I can only wonder how much the two chubby Italian chaps at the table next to us who were drinking champagne and eating sandwiches at 11am were paying for the privilege, considering the price we paid for our two ice coffees). Sally was happy enough when the shops (almost entirely women’s clothes shops) opened in the afternoon, but I’m not sure I’d have bothered going to Bologna if I’d know what wasn’t there.

Later, much later, when we got back to Gatwick, I had the pleasure of my scruffy rucksack being the very first bag off. I don’t think that’s ever happened before, and I’m sure it never will again.