Ciao a tutti ! We have finally made it to Roma! There has been an unexpected delay between this and our last post for reasons described further on.
The last leg of the journey was fairly event less. Smooth flight, sleeping children, fatherinlaw sat behind us instead of beside and a shortish journey of 6 hours that arrived at Fuimicino early! Unfortunately, arriving early at Rome is not a feat worthy of respect. This was made clear when , after a seamless landing, the pilot announced that we had to sit on the Tarmac because our gate number was still being used by the previously scheduled flight resulting in our flight barely being early at all.
I have to say that after a long 25 hour flight, we were all very excited about getting off the plane and onto a sleeping device of some kind. The quality of that device was of little interest. After disembarking at KL and DXB, that's jetset abbreviation, for Dubai, the expectation at Rome was for more of the same opulence in airport quality i.e. free WIFI, clean, lots of easy to follow signs and lest of all, a nice smell. What I really mean by that is not a terrible smell. I have to admit that I had forgotten just what a s***hole Fuimicino is! So much so that upon disembarking I was stunned by the lack of attention to detail. Please don't get me wrong. I am very proud of my heritage however it is clear to me that the ruins are not all in the centre of Rome! Poorly detailed signs saw us and others with confusion about where to find customs but we eventually found our way! The customs officials here are not like border security at home. In fact they appear so useless that in my view, they are better off making customs part of their domestic terminal! Lack of WIFI caused a delay in this post. While that isn't a huge problem, not being able to access all of our hotel details was a problem! I know that you may think that this lack of organisation may be a bit of my heritage coming through but be clear that this piece of organising wasn't in my area of responsibility! Anyway, enough negativity about the airport let's move on....
BTW TR wore his Dahlsens Building Supply hat all the way to Rome. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway who named the volley ball "Wilson" and would scream out his name "Wilsooon" when it floated out to sea, we have named TR "Dahlsen" and scream out his name "Dahlseeen"whenever we lose him in the crowds! TR was instrumental in organising our first ( yes I said first ) cab amidst the chaos outside of the airport. TR responded to a man calling out the word TAXI. For the record, I noticed this guy early but had ignored him because I figured that if you needed to pimp work when there are so many taxis around, then something is wrong! Anyway TR negotiated something in Italian with this guy and before you knew it we were dragged away to meet the taxi....yes I was concerned....out of nowhere a taxi appeared. The car was of similar size to my Toyota Echo only the hatch version...getting the picture. The driver attempts to stack 5 cases in the boot. After several slams of the boot lid this was achieved...yes I was impressed too! Next we had to all get in the car. Johanna and the kids got in the back and TR got in the front. I tapped on the windscreen and asked the obvious question. After some confused looks and wild hand movements, the driver got out of the car, unloaded our cases told everyone to get out and drove off. Nothing else was said.
Our eventual ride into Roma was beautiful. We were treated to some of the landmarks enroute and the kids were quietly amazed. Our arrival in the Paris end...sorry I meant to say...Vic Market end of Rome was a point of relief. Finally a bed to lie in! I spent most of my time organising suitcases up the pensione lift. TR went ahead to reception where I found him negotiating with the manager over the room. The first comments I heard were that they had no booking under our name! Like you, after a 25 hour flight these words are akin to being told that you have been photographed in your underwear! Johanna intervened and after some typical Italian carry on we were politely shown our room. Small but cosy, it was an oasis! Next stop - Firenze!