Tuesday, September 27, 2005

On the Train to Germany

As I am writing this, Mrs. K and I are on the night train out of Rome heading to Florence, Brig, Basel, and eventually Assmannshausen, Germany. We had a fun final day in Rome after we got our travel problems worked out.

First thing this morning I decided to take a look at our itinerary. Traveling at night and checking into a hotel the next day is trickier to me than it should be, so I wanted to double check the details. Sure enough, we were to check out of our hotel in Rome this morning, spend the day sightseeing in Rome and then board the train tonight. Then I checked the train reservations! They had been made back in Charlotte for the wrong day. We had travel reservations to Germany on Tuesday, arriving on Wednesday instead of leaving Monday arriving on Tuesday. CRAP!

Then I looked at my cell phone and noticed that I had a voice mail message. It was our neighbor informing us that Mrs. K’s car alarm was going off and the car was OPEN. CRAP! At this time it was 9 am Rome time which means it was 3 am eastern US time. There was no way I could call anyone about that then.

So my first stop of the day was at the train station (glad it was only 4 blocks away) to get our reservations changed, if possible. Happy ending, it was possible and got done with only one slight hitch, I could not get the reservations changed or refunded there. The lady at the ticket office said that I could get that done where I got the reservation. It remains to be seen if I will get and junk off of the AAA people when I do that on Friday.

Anyway, the day was nice but was supposed to get worse as the day went on, so we took our rain gear along with our normal fanny packs, money, camera, extra lens, and hats.

Our first stop was the Coliseum. We paid an additional 8 euros each to bypass the long line and get a guided professional tour. Well, we got to bypass the long line, but professional, the tour was not. The poor lady spoke better English than I speak Italian but that is not saying anything for her English. She kept repeating herself to the point that we could hear other folks on the tour start to make fun of her. Usually it is me doing that.

Despite the less than professional guide, the tour was fun and I got some good pictures. They have added quite a lot of exhibits in the stadium since we were there 3 years ago. It By then it was lunch time and we headed back to the same restaurant that we had dinner at last night. The pizza was huge and well priced.

After lunch it was late enough to call about the car. As it turns out, the car appeared to be OK but was still unlocked. Mrs. K asked her father to go take a look and I asked the neighbor (who is seriously a great neighbor) to see if he could lock it for us. I hope it will be fine for a couple of days. This is the first car break-in we have had in 7 years in this house.

We continued our day be strolling about the Capitoline Hill, the Roman Forum, and the Flori Emperial (an ancient market). We toured Santa Maria Maggorie and also took some time to update my blog and check email at an internet point.

Our dinner was not real good and very over priced which is very surprising considering that we were near the church, but not near any of the big tourist hangouts. From there we got our bags that we had stashed at our hotel (the Hotel Igea did us right the whole stay) and got to the station.

It is time to hit the hay right now and wake up in the Alps. Most of tomorrow will be traveling so probably not many pictures. Then Wednesday we tour Assmannshausen. Chao.

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