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N#mbers and facts of my trip
Steps walked throughout Europe: 318,727 at last count (although I had about two days after that where I got sloppy and didn't keep track), which, given my step counter's estimate of 60cm steps, means I may have walked approximately 118.828666 miles.
Granola bars consumed: An unimpressive 12, with the highest number (5) being consumed on bank-card day in Rome
Pizzas eaten: 10
Best pizza place: The place in Florence, where I had my first Italian pizza (and it was cheap, too)
Worst pizzeria: Night two in Rome, when I got the "assorted vegetables" pizza with three vegetables on it and was sort of burnt. It was also a little pricier than I had expected.
Favorite pizza topping: Plain margherita is always good, but sausage is nice to mix things up a bit (when it's actually sausage and not just hot dogs being called sausage)
Hostels examined: 10
Best hostel: Ostello Benacus in Riva del Garda. Nice rooms, nice people, nice location, nice showers.
Worst hostel: It's sort of a toss up between the nasty hostel I had to stay in my first night in Barcelona and the super irritating Rome hostel, but I think Kenzo in Rome takes the lead with the card purporting itself to be a "Bed and Breakfast." Maybe a bed and breakfast where the owners are never around, don't show up even when they're supposed to be around, have dysfunctional bathrooms, and, oh yeah, don't serve breakfast.
Scoops of gelato: 22
Best gelato place: Somewhat arbitrarily Gelateria Triangolo delle Bermuda in Florence, for it's creative flavors and nice location.
Worst gelato place: Can there be such a thing? No, I'm sure there can be, but all the ones I went to were pretty similarly priced and nothing was outstandingly bad about any of them.
Explored uses of "Prego": Probably about 10, but I wasn't really keeping track
Pictures taken: 260 made it to the final cut, but the actual number I took must be at least twice that
Baguettes eaten: 18
Best baguette: The ones from El Corte InglÚs in Madrid were pretty tasty (and inexpensive)
Worst Baguette: The ones from Spar in Riva del Garda tasted just like saltine crackers... not necessarily bad, but not what I was looking for in a baguette
Favorite baguette accompaniment: Why, Nutella, of course. Cheese would be a close second, but buying cheap cheese can be difficult, as once I opted for the bargain cheese in a Barcelona grocery store and found myself with Spain's answer to Kraft Singles (only white and slimier).
Money spent: Way more than I'd even like to think about. It was worth it, though
Trains ridden: 10
Best train ride: The trips between Barcelona and Madrid were on nice trains, and on the way back I got to watch Crueldad intolerable (Intolerable Cruelty), so that was fun.
Worst train ride: I believe it was the Florence to Rome train were the air conditioning was broken in my car, but I didn't realize it was just that particular car so I didn't move (this train also featured the see-down-to-the-tracks toilets). A close second would be the overnight train from Cerbere to Ventimiglia, due to the "vomit everywhere" bathroom.
Best train station: Madrid Atocha, with the jungle/green house thing in the main room.
Worst train station: Probably Cerbere, due to its littleness, dirtiness, the toilets that flush sending toilet water cascading over one's foot, and the fact that I was there in the middle of the night (I was supposed to be there again during the morning, but I missed it since it only has one sign that you see as you're pulling away from the platform, which is another strike against it). Milano Centrale is also quite frustrating, since it's frequently crowded with people standing around like a bunch of rocks and has no signs with long-distance planning involved. If you want to know where ticketing is, you better be standing right in front of the ticketing room to see the signs pointing inside, because you can bet your Eurail pass there won't be any signs down the hall directing you to it.