Monday, June 21, 2010

Rome, June 2010 Day Five, Sunday

The big plan for today was for me to go to the airport and rent the car that we will use as we tool around Tuscany for the next week or so. As usual, I hopped a ride to the Piazza Mazzini apartment. Beatrice’s printer was capoot and I needed paperwork to rent the car. I sat down in her dad’s office and plugged the USB cable from her dad’s printer into Donnas’ laptop. The printer wasn’t even on and the Windows 7 operating system recognized the printer and went online to locate the necessary driver and installation software. With permission, it loaded everything and offered to print a test sheet as well. Windows 7 is a complete wonder of an operating system. For anyone still using XP or Windows Vista, I strongly recommend an update.

Shortly later I was off on my adventure. I had to buy a couple of bus passes since I had used the last ones getting home the previous evening. As usual, the 628 presented itself and I got on. I rode it to Flaminio (just outside of the gates at Piazza del Popolo) and walked uphill, underground to the subway. All I can figure is that the subway is under the Borgese Gardens which slope uphill from that piazza. From there, a quick run to Termini (the central train station). Up, up, up, more and more and more escalators got me to the ground level where I purchased a ticket to Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport) and was told that it departed from rail # 28. Well I went out to the rails, I was at # 17, following off to the right I counted all the way up to 25 and then there was a solid building. Very suspicious. As I reached the end a sign pointing down the track indicated that 26-28 were down there. So I started walking, it must have been more than a half mile down but eventually I arrived at the mysteriously missing tracks nicely arranged next to track 25. It was a quiet and leisurely ride out, and I found the rental place without ado. The lady charged me an extra 12 Euro a day for the Tom-Tom GPS unit but I already know that it was worth it. Returning to Rome it worked flawlessly. It knew about every counterintuitive move that was necessary to get me to the center of town. I was tempted to ignore it when it seemed to be wrong but I decided to trust it until I saw the Mouth of Truth. At that point it wanted me to veer right toward Piazza Venetzia and I wanted to continue along Lungo Tevere toward Campo Di Fiori. So, since I ignored it, I was immediately forced to make a left onto a bridge and another left at the end of the bridge and I was heading back toward the airport all over again. Fortunately, Tom-Tom had some ideas for me. First he wanted me to go right down an alley, when I failed to make that right, he led me back across the next bridge and from there I defeated that loop and eventually got all the way to the side of San Andrea della Valle where I did as the Romans do and parked with two wheels on the sidewalk and two on the street with the driver mirror folded in so that no one would break it off.

I rang Shirley’s door bell and no one answered. I called her cell phoe and then mom’s with the same results.They weren’t home and they were out of communication. Mom had said that they were going out to lunch. Wondering where they might be, I wandered over to the Campo. Tried to call again and failed. I looked in at a few restaurants as I crossed the Campo and ended up eating at a ‘Tavola Calda’- a place that sells pizza by the slice and other things like Suppli or roast chicken. The contents can vary. I had a slice of white pizza sliced down the center and filled with prosciutto and mozzarella. They were still not home. I remembered that Mom had pointed out a restaurant the previous day that she said was Shirley’s favorite, I went dowen that way and found them inside finishing up their meal. They were mystified how I had found them, I told them that I was psychic. I visited with Mom and Shirley for a while, they finished lunch, had coffee and paid their bill. As they headed home, I headed off to meet Donna as her day of teaching was coming to an end. What fun, driving in Rome again. It is just like a mini demolition derby thing except even though everyone IS out to get you, they don’t actually want to damage their car in the process. There is a sort of poetic flow to driving in Rome when the traffic is moving and since it was Sunday, I had a blast. Arriving at the apartment in piazza Mazzini, I found a parking space immediately (another perk that is available on Sundays) and climbed up to the apartment. I only had minutes to work on the Rome blog before Beatrice roped me into helping her put the house back in order. The workshop was over and her parents were coming back the next day. We had a massive amount of stuff to carry down to the street and pack into the cars but it all fit and we said goodbye to Bea trusting the Tom Tom would get us home. It seemed like it led us around in circles but eventually I started recognizing the landmarks and I was totally amazed when we ended up on Bea's street and found a parking space right in front of her apartment building.

No comments:

Post a Comment