5:43 a.m. wake up from dream about the time being 5:45 and checking cell phone to confirm time.
5:44 a.m. check phone. Realize I am psychic. Or have impeccable internal alarm. Am going with the former, because it’s way cooler and more useful.
6:15 a.m. leave apartment in Rome.
6:25 a.m. arrive in new metro station for the B1 line (it only took them 83729 years, but hey, better late than never, right?)
6:30 a.m. Get on train to Termini
6:35 a.m. arrive in Termini
6:42 a.m. Get ticket to buy my train ticket. This is a newish system they’ve been doing in the station to “expedite” things; however, it’s just like the post office.
6:45 a.m. Realize B31 (my number) is a big difference from B12 (the number they’re on) and the dreaded* auto ticket machines would be faster. *dreaded because they NEVER seem to take my credit/debit cards and I always end up running around a station asking strangers for change for a 50 because I manage to always find the one machine that doesn’t give the correct change.
6:48 a.m. Successfully acquire dreaded auto ticket machine ticket! Huzzah!
6:50 a.m. Validate ticket. Since 2003 when I was traumatized by a Trenitalia agent fining me for traveling without a validated ticket (what did I know? I was 16 and alone and had no idea what was happening!), this is priority uno for me in a train station.
6:50-7 a.m. Walk to stinkin’ Piazzale Est, another newish part of Termini, which include tracks that were essentially laid in China.
7:16: Train departs. Realize it’s the first time in years that I’ll make the trip straight past Orvieto on the Rome-Florence line to switch in Chiusi.
7:17 a.m. Reflect on how little I enjoy seeing the sunrise on travel days, ebcause it normally means I’ve slept poorly the night before.
7:35 a.m. Sun gets me in the eyes and I look outside and see the landscape of Lazio in a thin coverlet of fog. Wonder if this is what the ancient Romans saw and assure myself that it was indeed. Am reminded that dawn isn’t so bad, after all.
8:03 a.m. Whole world is invisible outside or, at least, only silhouettes in the fog; here, a tree. There, the suspension of the bridge. Alfred Hitchcock’s ghost would derive great inspiration.
8:04-9 a.m. Read Book 3 of Game of Thrones and wonder when/if/how I can/will write such an engaging story to be sold worldwide and made into a killer HBO series.
9:01 a.m. Change trains in Chiusi.
9:38 a.m. Have brief conversation with Canadians about why I speak Italian after translating for a couple of women for the conductor. Remember Canadians can be just as loud and conspicuous as Americans.
10:38 a.m. Arrive in Siena, eat food, write postcards of places I went years ago but still remember and can report back about.
My morning ends technically at noon, at which point I find myself still waiting for the 12:50 bus to Gaiole in Chianti. By now I have run into 2 L’Eroica riders, been made fun of for knowing 0% about bicycles, especially antique ones, and learned a) what a sprocket is and does, b) what the distinct characteristics are of an antique versus modern racing bike and c) that I really don’t know a darn thing about bicycles. NO, really, at all.
|This is the main house of the apartment where we’re staying in Castellare in Chianti. You can’t tell how pretty it is from this, but trust me. It’s pretty.|
The afternoon was full of stuff, including a butt-breaking uphill ride to our apartment and really tasty pizza, not in that order. Full report on L’Eroica and Gaiole in Chianti coming soon.