ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME......
Trip Start May 13, 2010
25Trip End Jul 05, 2010
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Where I stayed
I noticed a separate, somewhat shorter line on one side and correctly assumed that was the line for passengers collecting luggage. There did seem to be some effort to “expedite” the process in that line. After finally collecting my Backpack (a process which took about two hours!), I walked the short distance to the airport rail terminal for the trip to Rome on the Leonardo Express. Although the distance to Rome is relatively short, I prefer using the train rather than a Shuttle or Taxi, as there are never any concerns about traffic and it’s an easy ride. It’s nice that Vancouver is now offering the same type of service with the Skytrain link to YVR. The train was hot and crowded, with every available space filled with various types of luggage. Thankfully it was a short ride.
The Hotel that I chose this time (using the Guidebook, of course) is located only a short distance from Roma Termini (the main rail station, and in the same area as some government buildings (Ministry of Defence). The important buildings usually have one or more members of the Carabinieri guarding the entrance (their uniform is rumoured to have been designed by Giorgi Armani or another famous designer, and is very distinctive). The room is very comfortable, although it’s a “single” so isn’t large by North American standards (but typical of rooms that have been “fitted” into older buildings)
For my first evening back in Europe, I usually ask the front desk staff at the Hotel for recommendations on nearby restaurants. As I’m usually tired and jet lagged, I’m not in the mood to wander about looking for places to dine, and I’ve never been disappointed with the places they’ve suggested. On this occasion, the Clerk recommended a restaurant only a few blocks from the Hotel, and I found the food to be great (accompanied by some Vino of course). As usual, there was a “Coperto” added to the bill, but that’s typical for Italy, as well as the charge for a bottle of Aqua Naturale. The restaurant wasn’t overly large, but was completely full by the time I left, so appears to be a very popular spot.
The walk back to the Hotel was a bit “wet”, as it had started raining heavily while I was dining. I had to pass through a “gauntlet” of street vendors on just about every block, selling cheap Umbrellas. It never fails to amaze me how they adapt so quickly and have the appropriate product on hand for current “market conditions”! After returning to the Hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar sign on the front desk describing the tour schedule for a Rick Steves tour group which is also staying at this Hotel. I’m looking forward to having a visit with the group at breakfast tomorrow and perhaps also the Guide.
I plan on having a somewhat relaxed day tomorrow, to rest and recover from jet lag as well as get organized for the photo workshop. One of my first tasks in the morning will be to find the nearest ATM.