Monday morning arrived, and with it, the knowledge that this leg of my adventure was over and the next one set to begin. Gabriella and her friend, Dutch Ellen from Whitby, England, offered to take me to the train in Chiusi, an offer I happily accepted. Step one of a many- step journey.
The first challenge was getting two bags down the 52 stone, worn, dished out steps from Gabriella’s , but Ellen grabbed the heavier of my two bags and down she went. What a gal!!
We arrived in Chiusi, and said a quick goodbye, amidst my continual ” Grazie mille” to both of them.
As I sat in the train station, munching a not-too-great panini, I decided to look at my ticket which I had booked online. Oddio!! I think I booked the wrong date. I hurried off to the ticket counter, told the guy at the window( who was very eager to get to his lunch break) that I had to get to Rome TODAY, not tomorrow. He looked at my ticket, looked at me, and said something like, ” Yes, you will go today.” I HAD booked the correct day. Just a case of nerves, I thought. . . But wait. . .
Anyhow, I say on the platform, waiting for my train.
It was an easy ride to Rome, then another easy ride to Fuimicino, my hotel, the former Club Isola Sacra, now called the Golden Tulip, was a mere 10 min. Bus ride. I bought my ticket, found the bus, struggled with two bags up the steps, stamped my ticket, settled in. The bus was crowded because it was end of the work day,
First mini-disaster was that I couldn’t get off the bus!! I could see we were approaching the hotel. I tried to get over the guy beside me, get two bags, press the buzzer, and before I knew it, we were two blocks beyond the hotel. Finally the bus stopped, a nice man helped me with my bags, and down the street I trundled with my bags.
Aaaaaaahhhhhhh. . . The hotel. . .
it felt so good to be there. . .and I went right up to the desk, gave my name. . . And ODDIO!!. ..they could not find my reservation, I confidently pulled out my iPad to show them my non-refundable confirmation . . . And ALLORA. . . It was for yesterday!! Oh, crap.
So maybe it was a combination of the look on my face, my struggling Italian, or simply the kindness of the hotel management, but they honored the reservation,gave me a beautiful room in their new section. Grateful, grateful, grateful. . .
After a much-needed shower, I celebrated with a dinner in their terrific restaurant. . .two glasses of white wine, pasta with mussels, a salad, and the first dessert that I ate in two weeks, a creme caramel. A fitting ending to chapter one of this 8 week trip. . .