Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day Twenty - A Roman Holiday

I remember being about 8 years old and watching Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn – this was a time when my family would leave the room the minute they saw the TV wasn’t showing any color or the movie was pre- 1990. I however fell in love with Rome at that point and ever since it has been the one place other than Egypt (blame Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra for that) that I have always wanted to go.

Because of this I feel a bit sorry for Rome, it has a lot to live up to, to match the expectations in my head. Flying in this morning we didn’t really have a good start. Our driver was 40 minutes late leaving us trying to decide if we were going to catch a cab or try a local bus. At the same time reading the voucher it said we must call the company before we make any other travel arrangements if the driver didn’t show but the neither the phone number or the name of the company were on the voucher. Eventually the driver strolled into the arrival terminal, demanded the voucher and said not one other word to us before driving to the hotel. I don’t know about you but a sorry would have made me feel worlds better but ehh, im determined not to let one ill-mannered driver ruin one of the highlights of my trip.

So we arrived at the hotel, which is lovely, it’s an ex-nunnery and the curved ceilings and exposed brickwork made my heart stop. The location is amazing, we are actually bordering on the Roman Forum and maybe a 10 minute walk to the Coliseum. The check in was quick an easy and we finally felt things we going well.  The drama started when we got to the room. It was on the ground floor and we were told it overlooked a garden, what they didn’t tell us was that in the garden was a restaurant and when we opened the curtains every single diner could look in at us. It probably didn’t help that every single travel security meeting has stressed that a ground floor room looking out onto public property was the most dangerous place in the hotel to be. I really tried to just accept it, I’m not the type to stress about a room or request changes but the truth of the matter is that I was really not comfortable. I eventually asked for another room but at this point I had sadly managed to work myself up into a bit of a panic.

We changed rooms and the air con wouldn’t come on – it was 28 degrees outside and really uncomfortable in our room. Hubby tried to console me with a scotch and coke but when we opened the fridge everything was warm. I tried to calm down by having a shower but again everything went wrong, the shower door got stuck, my beauty case got caught on the suitcase and no amount of tugging would let it free and then I couldn’t get anything out of the safe. So I kind of lost it … lying down on the floor and crying seemed like the best thing to do and it took a good ten minutes of sobbing before I realized I might have over reacted slightly to everything. We have since found out only reception can control the air con, the fridge doesn’t really cool, its just there to store the beverages in and the safe doesn’t like you to use the numbers 1, 5 and 9.

We changed into something cooler, went for a wander around the coliseum and then found a cute little restaurant in a tiny little street where we order some lovely Italian pasta and listened to some musicians serenade the diners.

Overall not a good start but I’m a big one for second changes and tomorrow we have a guided tour of the coliseum so bring on tomorrow.

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